FROM THE FILE OF big shows, little spinoffs


I am a huge fan of Babylon 5. I love Babylon 5. I am biased.

The B5 spin off  CRUSADE was cancelled after only a few aired episodes, most which were shown out of order which did not help story continuity or character development. Still, I think CRUSADE deserves a brief reflection.

General premise: Aliens known as the Drakh unleash a plague on earth that will kill off the population in about five years. There are human colonies off of earth and ships and the whole planet is put under quarantine. The ship EXCALIBUR is sent on a mission to find a cure for the plague.

Captain Matthew Gideon was played by Gary Cole. I like Gary Cole. He’s been in lots of stuff.  Before CRUSADE he starred in a great paranormal/horror series called AMERICAN GOTHIC which I loved. I felt he did a decent job as captain of the EXCALIBUR-and yes, the sword and sorcery references in this series could get overwhelming. Which leads us to…

The technomages, mainly Galen played by Peter Woodward. I was never a big fan of technomages in B5, but it was apparently a popular concept. They were a group of who could use technology to imitate magic and generally quite secretive.

John Matheson was Gideon’s second in command and the resident telepath, because the B5 universe must have its telepaths. He did not get much of a chance to use his telepathy on the show, but is notable because he was played by  Daniel Dae Kim before his Hawaii 5-0 and LOST years and guest appearance on all kinds of shows.

Doctor Sarah Chambers (Marjean Holden) was the resident medical expert which every SF ensemble show must have.  Max Eilerson (David Allen Brooks), an archeologist /genius/ troubled soul type of character. His role was to provide exposition to explain all the alien technology when Galen didn’t. Durenna Nafeel (Carrie Dobro) the lone survivor of a alien race because you need at least one alien. Actually, I liked her character. Thief, outcast, rogue. And lastly, Captain Elizabeth Lochley (Tracy Scoggins) whose character follows over from Babylon 5 and ties the show to the original universe.

The series was apparently cancelled before the first episode aired. There were behind the scenes conflicts about the show’s production and potential audience. It was mainly watched and remembered by die hard B5 fans and it does have its moments.



From March to June of 2001 the X-FILES had a spin off THE LONE GUNMAN. For those fans of the show, remember  Byers (Bruce Harwood), Langley (Dean Haglund), and Frohike (Tom Braidwood). They were and integral part of the show- a mix of paranoid conspiracy and comic relief. And they got their own spin off series of 14 episodes.

THE LONE GUNMEN series playED off of theX-FILES mythology, but more centered on government/corporate coverups, technologies, etc than the alien mythology that drove the X-files world. It was also a lighter mood, played for comedy. The Lone Gunman have a mysterious, beautiful female thief, Yves(Zuleikha Robinson),  who works with them-or not. And an assistant, Jimmy Bond(Stephen Snedden), who is clearly the straight man for the jokes.

It was an entertaining enough show which I will admit I watched. There was nothing particularly new or innovative-the X-FILES universe was  running its course. A show definitely there just for the fans and fun to watch if you have the time.

So, Smart Girls Readers, any memorable spin-offs?


    • Frazier ! I love that show. I actually liked it more than Cheers and always forget it was a spinoff. Thanks for commenting.

  1. the shows you mentioned are good shows, sadly I saw Crusade on DVD because I didn’t have cable. THE LONEGUNMEN was cool, I was not a big fan of The X-Files at the time, but I some how found this show.
    after seeing Crusade on DVD , I can see why it was cancelled, sadly what made Babylon 5 great was missing for this show. which was the network. TNT helped B5 to get it’s fifth season. but the spinoff was too pressured.

  2. Yes, the production of Crusade was riddled with problems from the start. too bad, because they had some good actors. Thanks for stopping by!

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