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Episode 1.11 - The Needs of Earth 
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  [Episode Written By: JMS] (11/11/99)

Gideon is forced to break the law's of the alliance in order to recover the last library of an entire race's history.  While searching for a cure for Earth, perhaps we now understand more than ever what is "really" at stake.

Although this episode isn't perfect, and I can honestly say it is the worst written JMS episode in my memory (no writer is perfect),  it is where Crusade should be aiming itself.  The Excalibur should be on missions deeper and deeper away from the alliance, instead of hanging around Earth.  To find a cure they must be on their own with no one to bail them out.  Too bad in this case there really wasn't much to do out their in the void.

This episode is a warning to mankind.  It is a warning that we must all head.  Because the things we hold dear and the thoughts and the knowledge we possess can fade or die in a second.  It is a message JMS has sent us again and again, and I hope that people are listening.

Being human is not just passing the days.  It is studying those of the past, creating the future and striving to make sure that there is a continuation.  We all have a responsibilities and few of us are strong enough to point that out in the face of a world where those that stand up are ridiculed.

Trivia Time: What two known alien pornography titles appear in Max's data crystal (answer below)?


Touch and go throughout, however, the song at the very end of the episode from the alien race was rather lovely.


Doctor Chambers bedside manner in her opening scenes was lacking.  She is usually softer and more understanding, but she seemed to bounce back and forth between anger, confusion, compassion, boredom, etc.  No consistency there.  It seems like Marjean wasn't given proper direction or motivation by the director.

Ok...I've waited for Matheson's character to develop...I've given it a chance honestly.  He is, in my opinion, useless to the crew and the story line.  All he does is stand on the bridge and repeat orders from other members of the crew and act as a relay between Gideon and everyone else.  Does this role make any sense?  No.  He clearly isn't of the mindset to make his own decisions in emergencies, so his go-between role is only detrimental.  Not to mention the fact that as a telepath he seems way too surprised to see routine things coming.  No telepath is this relaxed or this unaware of his surroundings, especially one who was part of the Corps.  Yes, every ship needs a first officer, but that first officer needs to be more defined than Matheson.

I quote Matheson: "How hard it is to know everyone's heart but my own."  Hey bud, don't take it too hard; its not your fault.  No one knows who da heck you are.  Can someone please write this guy a heart.  Ughhh...darnit, I'm available.

As a whole the cast seems very uncomfortable with each other throughout the episode.  Emotions are off and out of place, lines are forced and pauses seem just plain odd.


The running joke with the alien porn-crystal was classic JMS.  I observed a few people on the newsgroups after this episode complaining that JMS should grow up.  One word for these people: common!  This is realism at its best.  The future isn't perfect and everyday vices will continue on and on and on.  We aren't perfect and maybe that is what makes life livable.  I personally applaud JMS for using this plot device, it certainly was original.  Writers shouldn't be afraid to touch every issue.

A few too many clichés in this story to my taste.  Matheson, who as I have mentioned before is Gideon's foot rest, acts way too much like the young Riker from TNG when he objects to Gideon going down to the planet.  Their relationship is supposed to be established and this is not needed.  He should know and trust his captain.  Too many lines are directly borrowed from countless science fiction and action shows.

The Excalibur did not seem outgunned.  It had come out ahead in larger fights before.  If it couldn't handle the forces encountered here then it frankly has no chance out there.  They should have been able to threaten their opponents instead of being threatened themselves.

The message behind this story is a compelling one and that is what holds the episode together.  Without the strong moral message this would not be a good story.

Way too many ending scenes.  Usually a show is wrapped up in one or two scenes I call cappers.  They bring the heroes together and they laugh or talk and then things fade to black.  Here we see a half dozen cappers.  Someone needed to fill extra time badly.

CGI: (1.5 STARS)

Nothing to see here, unless you really like the color red.  The alien ships looked anything but imposing and were physically no threat to the massive Excalibur.  They should have been designed with more care.