A Call To Arms sets the stage for the short-lived Crusade, Babylon 5’s spin-off show. The story sees Sheridan being warned (in a waking dream) by Technmages (aliens whose advanced tech appears to be magic) that the Drakh are planning to attack Earth with a planet killer. Two other people have similar experiences and after meeting up with Sheridan, they steal a kick-ass new spaceship (the Excalibur) to combat the Drakh.
There’s a battle, which Sheridan wins, but the Drakh unleash a biological weapon on Earth, which will kill all life within 5 years. Sheridan turns the Excalibur into a research ship, it’s mission, to seek out a cure from alien races that might have the technology to help.
It’s fair to say that I was never a huge fan of Babylon 5, it never appealed to me in the same way as Star Trek or The X-Files for example. That said, the TV series did feature some outstanding episodes and I liked how there was an overall story that emerged over multiple seasons.
I was slightly hung-over this morning, but woke up early after last-nights Christmas party. Turning on the TV, I found that FX were showing this TV movie and somehow, I managed to sit through it. Unfortunately, this movie features all of Babylon 5’s shortcomings – execrable dialog, shoddy CG, cheap sets and truly awful electronic music.
Unusually for Babylon 5, the plot is weak and uninteresting. There is no suspense when the aliens attack Earth, and the space battles are unexciting, confusing and look cheap. Everything about this production is lackluster, from the cinematography to the characterisation. Sheridan blindly trusts in the vision given to him by the Technomage and merely does as he is told, a passenger in the story rather than an active participant. Tracey Scoggins’ performance has to be seen to be believed, it’s that bad.
There have been a number of pretty decent Babylon 5 TV Movies, the best of which, for my money were The Gathering and In The Beginning. Sadly though, A Call To Arms is one for the hardcore fans only.