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Babylon 5.1
by Rick Norwood

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Other Babylon 5.1 Columns
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Ratings are based on a four star system.
One star means that the commercials are more entertaining than the program.
Two stars watch if you have nothing better to do.
Three stars is good solid entertainment.
Four stars means you never dreamed television could be this good.

Star Trek Enterprise, "Babel One" (***)
by Mike Sussman and Andre Bormanis

Star Trek Enterprise Enterprise has gotten quite good of late, and I suggest that you watch it while you have the chance. This may be the last time Star Trek is on television. This season of Enterprise is focused on the events leading up to the original Trek. One of the best Kirk/Spock episodes was "Journey to Babel" by D.C. Fontana. This prequel captures a lot of the charm and excitement of the original. Part I of III.

Smallville Superboy, "Unsafe" (*)
by Jeph Loeb and Steven S. DeKnight

Lana and Clark both come within one layer of cloth of loosing their virginity -- not with each other. If I overheard teens talking about sex the way the characters in this episode do, I would be convinced that one of those mother/daughter body switches so popular in the movies had taken place. All the preaching about saving your virginity, of course, is just a cover for titillating audiences with teen sex. Bad teen. Bad. Drool. Pant. I was the last person in the world to admit that the third season of the original Star Trek sucked. I guess now I'm the last person in the world to admit that the fourth season of Smallville sucks. Stand by for Krypto, the Superdog.

Battlestar Galactica, "Act of Contrition" (**)
by Bradley Thompson and David Weddle

Battlestar Galactica Clearly one of the suits at SciFi is sitting on Ron Moore. "Make it dumber. I'm dumb, and I earn six figures. The audience is even dumber than I am. We like it dumb." And so we are expected to believe that the Capricans have a flag ceremony, cigarettes, even coffins exactly like present day America. The Lords of Kobol colonized thirteen planets, twelve in one star system and one in the Sol system. Why did they stop with thirteen? In a galaxy in which habitable planets are rare, how did they find a solar system with twelve habitable planets? Or are the other planets Capriformed? Or airless? Too little story, too little background, too much talk.

I tried to watch an episode of Stargate Atlantis. Some people were being held hostage by some bad guys. The teaser established the basic situation.

Then somebody said, "You're with me," and they walked down some corridors.

Then a couple of other people watched it rain. Then the first people walked down some more corridors. Then more rain. Then more corridors. I say it's spinach and I say to hell with it. If you don't like crottled greeps, why did you order them?

SF on TV in February
Wednesday, Feb 2
Smallville, "Pariah" by Holly Herold

Friday, Feb 4
Andromeda, "The Past is Prolix"
Enterprise, "United" (part II of "Babel One")
Stargate SG-1, "It's Good to be King"
Stargate Atlantis, "Hot Zone"
Battlestar Galactica, "You Can't Go Home Again" by Ronald D. Moore

Wednesday, Feb 9
Smallville, "The Recruit" by Todd Slavkin and Darren Swimmer

Friday, Feb 11
Andromeda, "The Opposites of Attractions"
Enterprise, "The Aenar" (part III of "Babel One")
Stargate SG-1, "Full Alert"
Stargate Atlantis, "Sanctuary"
Battlestar Galactica, "Litmus"

Wednesday, Feb 16
Smallville, "Krypto"

Friday, Feb 18
Andromeda, "Saving Light From a Black Star"
Enterprise, "Affliction" (part I)
Stargate SG-1, "Citizen Joe" by Damian Kindler
Stargate Atlantis, "Before I Sleep" by Carl Binder
Battlestar Galactica, "Six Degrees of Separation"

Wednesday, Feb 23
Smallville, "Sacred"

Friday, Feb 25
Enterprise, "Divergence" (part II)
Stargate SG-1, "Reckoning" (part I) by Damian Kindler
Stargate Atlantis, "The Brotherhood" by Martin Gero
Battlestar Galactica, "Flesh and Bone"

Audio Review
Dark Shadows, "Return to Collinwood" (****) by Jamison Selby
Dark Shadows For Dark Shadows fans only, this final Dark Shadows episode in audio form from MPI Home Video is excellent. It was originally staged at the last Dark Shadows festival, starring the original actors. I was tempted to go to New Jersey to see it, but did not, because Jamison Selby, son of actor David Selby, had no previous credits as a writer. Turns out he's really good. This roughly two hour audio finale to the long running and much loved series brought tears to my eyes, though it will be meaningless unless you have watched the original.

Copyright © 2005 Rick Norwood

Rick Norwood is a mathematician and writer whose small press publishing house, Manuscript Press, has published books by Hal Clement, R.A. Lafferty, and Hal Foster. He is also the editor of Comics Revue Monthly, which publishes such classic comic strips as Flash Gordon, Sky Masters, Modesty Blaise, Tarzan, Odd Bodkins, Casey Ruggles, The Phantom, Gasoline Alley, Krazy Kat, Alley Oop, Little Orphan Annie, Barnaby, Buz Sawyer, and Steve Canyon.

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