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BABYLON 5
JOIN THE CRUSADE
On Saturday 4th April one-time radio jock J Michael Straczynski (jms) went on to Hour 25, the show he used to present, on Los Angeles station KPFK and announced Babylon 5 spin-off series Crusade (The Babylon Project part of the title appears to have been dropped) was a go project. Production commences on 27th July and the first episode will be shown by TNT (US) on 6th January 1999. He gave no casting details nor did a TNT release on Monday 6th which provided the following information: "From J Michael Straczynski, creator of the Hugo and Emmy award-winning series Babylon 5, comes Crusade, an all-new original series from TNT. With the threat of the Shadows gone, all is quiet on Earth - too quiet. An alien race vows revenge for the loss of the Shadows and aims its wrath at humans, unleashing a deadly biogenetic plague. Only five years remain for the inhabitants of Earth unless an Alliance ship, The Excalibur, succeeds in its quest to find a cure for the mutating plague. Crusade launches with the spectacular two-hour TNT original film A Call to Arms. Douglas Netter and series creator J Michael Straczynski will executive-produce both projects for Babylonian Productions."
The LAX-Files
After months of speculation Chris Carter announced to his Vancouver crew on Friday, 27th March that The X-Files were being closed down in Vancouver following completion of the fifth series in May with production transferring to Los Angeles. Reading a prepared statement from Fox he emotionally declared the shift was beyond his control but he hoped to shoot another show in Vancouver using the same crew some time in the future. It was reported that prime instigators of the migration, David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson, both made short speeches, Anderson claiming she would miss her British Columbian 'family'. Tom Adair, representing the production's union said, "It's difficult to be away from your family for that long. That's the reason that would make any sense - not economic sense, its emotional sense." British Columbia Film Commission director Peter Mitchell is not overly dismayed, "We know the reason they're leaving is not because of the crews or that they're unhappy with the town. It's just that five years is a long time to be away from home... Having The X-Files, the highest profile television series ever made in Canada, in Vancouver has put us on the map, and other producers are looking around to shoot here as a result." Such is the wealth of film and television production hitting Vancouver that Mitchell is confident "the people who work on the show will go to work immediately on other shows."

MacSci-Fi - The Latest Fad
Is there something in the air north of the border? With BBC Scotland's Invasion: Earth due to air in May, ITV company Scottish Television has announced it will make new television adaptations of several of John Wyndham's classic stories in conjunction with Australian company Total Film & TV. The rights are owned by producer Marc Samuelson who is working with ex-Doctor Who producer Philip Hinchcliffe in developing the scripts. First off will be a 13-part version in hourly instalments of The Kraken Wakes.

The Voyage Home
It is likely the fifth series of Star Trek: Voyager will see Captain Janeway and her crew return to the Alpha Quadrant. New executive producer Brannon Braga says, "There's a strong possibility we may return to Earth next year. It's got to be exciting and big in scope." Perhaps this will be in preparation for the demise of Deep Space Nine, which is widely expected to conclude at the end of its seventh season.


Read all the latest cult television news in TV Zone #102. 
 
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