Crusade episode 2 - "The Long Road"
taking of hostages is a weapon of choice for a coward
and a criminal - which are you?" - Alwyn
second episode of Crusade is a substantial improvement
over the first one. But what it lacks in action and
suspense it more than makes up for by strong characters
and an interesting story.
episode takes place about two months after "War Zone".
On the remote planet Regula 4, a mineral has been found
that has certain anti-viral properties that may help
against the Drakh plague or extend its incubation period.
Earthforce has arrived and started a mining operation,
but they are met with resistance. The Excalibur is called
in to assist, but what can they do against a giant golden
basic plot is very similar to many old Star Trek (original
series) episodes, with the crew visiting a low-tech
planet and solving a problem, but it is well done and
refreshing here. Unlike many of the old Trek episodes,
this dilemma has no easy or clean solution. (There is
also no supercomputer to argue into self-destruction
either) :-) Do the needs of the many always outweigh
the needs of the few? There is also quite a bit of humor
in this episode, and it works well. One example of a
great scene is the tavern fight, especially with Galen
and Alwyn commentary.
episode primarily centers on two of the main characters,
Gideon and Galen, and this gives us an opportunity get
to know them much better. Gary Cole as Gideon is very
likeable as usual, and we can see that he does have
a diplomatic side. Peter Woodward plays Galen very well,
and he has a lot of good lines in this episode. His
reaction to the peanut butter scene was certainly great.
:-) We also learn much more about his past and the Technomages
- an order with very diverse individuals.
Edward Woodward (most famous for his role as the "Equalizer")
plays Alwyn, the main source of the problems on Regula
4, and he is just wonderful as the main guest star.
He also as great chemistry with Galen, not surprising
since the actors are father and son in real life. Marshall
Teague also does well as a typical single-minded Earthforce
captain. If he looks familiar to you, it probably because
he guest starred in several Babylon 5 episodes as the
Ta'Lon, the Narn bodyguard and successor to G'kar.
Another performance I enjoyed was the Earthforce first
officer, but I didn't really care for any of the colonist's
While the effects in this episode are not as much in
your face as a big space battle can be, there were a
lot of effects and they were all very well done. The
planets forest surface was rendered very well, and the
PPG effects looked much better here than in "War Zone".
The golden dragon certainly didn't look very real, but
I don't think it was supposed be realistic. After all,
how realistic can a huge golden glowing dragon be? Another
minor scene that I appreciated was the shot of the Excalibur
flying by from a "lower" perspective, very nifty - we
don't need more of those typical side flyby's of ships,
space is three-dimensional after all. A minor point,
I know, but it's cool to see anyway.
I thought this episode was a nice change of pace from
"War Zone", and really shows Crusade's potential for
interesting drama. Hopefully we will get to know more
of the characters soon, I really look forward to the
Lars Joreteg (firstname.lastname@example.org)