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Babylon 5.1
by Rick Norwood

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Other Babylon 5.1 Columns
For more information, you can try the following sites:
Rick Norwood's Website
Worldwide TV Schedule
The Official Babylon 5 Website
The X-Files
Pocket Books: Star Trek
Paramount Star Trek

Ratings
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.

SF on TV (or whatever)

Four great things I know about and you don't.

You'll want to know my philosophy of art. I like art that wakes you up. A lot of people like art that puts you to sleep, or so it seems. Here I am, television reviewer for a great metropolitan web site, and I usually find watching television such a numbing experience that I might as well be shooting up novocaine. I can hardly stand to be in the same room with a TV. And then people come over to visit and we're sitting in my living room talking and they ask, "Why isn't your television set on?" I think a lot of people are filled with a fear they cannot feel, a fear so strong it paralyzes them. Television helps them avoid thinking and feeling.

So, while we're sitting here on the Group-W bench, waiting for the Fall Preview Issue of TV GUIDE, waiting for Voyager and The X-Files and hoping they'll be worth watching, I thought I'd tell you about some art that will wake you up.

Now, some good stuff everybody knows about, like Star Wars and The Lord of the Rings and Calvin and Hobbes. And why does everybody know about those great works of art? Not because of advertising. Not because of reviews in Time magazine. It happens by word of mouth. But some good stuff never reaches critical mass. Word of mouth never becomes a self sustaining chain reaction. So, while Harry Potter and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and Tom Lehrer take off, other art just as good or almost as good -- but maybe a little too weird -- crashes and burns and is never heard from again. Until now.

The Modern Folk Musician, Mike Agrinoff.
Highlights: Hamlet as it might have been written by Gilbert and Sullivan if they had lived in Scotland. Also: "From nine to five I work as a computer statistician, which makes me quite the model of a modern folk musician." To order call 1-800-759-1775. Richard Burton's Hamlet

Richard Burton's Hamlet.
If you love Hamlet, your mouth is watering already. If you've always wondered what all the fuss was about, this is the version to open your eyes and ears. Better than the Lawrence Olivier version. A filmed stage play in glorious black and white. Highlights: King: "What do you call the play?" Hamlet: "The mousetrap." Available on DVD from amazon.com.

The War of the Worlds, a musical version by Jeff Wayne starring Richard Burton.
Highlights: "In the cellar was a tunnel scarcely ten yards long, that had taken him a week to dig. I could have dug that much in a day, and I suddenly had my first inkling of the gulf between his dreams and his powers." Available on CD from amazon.com.

Harry Chapin, The Gold Medal Collection.
Highlights: too many to mention, but especially, "Remember when the music." Available on CD from amazon.com.

Copyright © 2000 by 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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