10 May 2016

Crusade Review: The Memory of War & The Needs of Earth

The Excalibur and her crew continue to search for a cure to the Drakh plague back on Earth...

The Memory of War
Gideon and crew are investigating a planet, much against Galen's warnings, whose inhabitants perished due to some sort of plague. However, when crew members begin dying on the planet, something appears to be a miss.

Galen of course is right, and it is discovered that an artificially created virus wiped out the planet's inhabitants. What is unexpected, is what, or who created the virus.

This episode makes good use of special effects for the time. Something Babylon 5 was already well known for, but Dureena's exploration up high in the city, and that bridge she crosses, were certainly impressive (for the time).

We also continue to learn more about our characters; Gideon has a strange, talking box which he listens to - coming to this planet was one of its suggestions. Due to watching these episodes in a different order than broadcast, I'm not sure when the box is formally introduced. It's not exactly a continuity glitch, but the audience will be wondering what exactly is this box he's talking to, why does he have it, how does it know things?

Galen's encounter with the 'rogue' technomage links us back to the main Babylon 5 series of course, but we have to wonder what are those things on Galen's body, and how is his staff so important to him? It's also clearly very powerful.

The main takeaway from this episode is the viral shield that Dr Chambers develops from their stop here.

I thought this episode has a good balance of exploration, suspense and character, my rating is 6.5/10.

The Needs of Earth 
The Excalibur is tasked with retrieving information deemed important from an alien who is willing to sell to the highest bidder.

Gideon and crew head to Praxis 9, outside of Alliance jurisdiction to meet the seller who is wanted by his own people for his actions. What he holds has no medical information of help, but a message of hope and not losing ones own identity - as his people have done.

This episode takes a slight step away from the search for a cure to remind us to remember who we are while all of this doom and gloom unfolds - particularly around Earth. We also get to see some new aliens, new worlds and ships as the Excalibur heads into new parts of the B5 universe. Action and suspense mixed in with humour surrounding Max's viewing habits make this episode enjoyable.

My rating: 7/10.

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