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Babylon 5.1
by Rick Norwood

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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.

Farscape Yes, I am watching the end of Farscape. No, it still bores me -- much like the camp Batman series from the 60s. The dialogue reminds me of Captain Proton and the action does not even try to make sense. I guess enjoying things that don't make sense is what the series is all about. In the penultimate episode, our heroes escape an atomic bomb, which blows great chunks out of the planet's surface, by hunkering down in an elevator! This is, I assume, a homage to the old movie serials, where the hero avoids a mountain-destroying avalanche by ducking behind a convenient rock.

And the SciFi Channel habit of showing promotional material over the picture during the action is another reason to wait for the DVD versions of Children of Dune (airs March 16, 17, 18) and Riverworld (airs March 22).

Babylon 5 So, as DVD replaces television drama, here is what we have to look forward to in that medium, and when it is scheduled for release. Best news: Babylon 5 Season 2 is finally ready to order. Reportedly the delay was so it would not suffer from the letterboxing problems we saw in the Season 1 DVD.

Program Release Date
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (James Mason) May
The Animatrix June
Babylon 5 Season 2 (April)
Children of Dune May
Cowboy Bebop Complete Sessions Collection currently available
Dark Shadows Volume 4 (March), Volume 5 (April), Volume 6 (June)
The Day the Earth Stood Still currently available
Deep Space Nine Season 1 (March), Season 2 (April), Season 3 (June), Season 4 (August), Season 5 (October), Season 6 (November), Season 7 (December)
H.G. Wells' First Men in the Moon currently available
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets April
Invaders from Mars Special Edition currently available
Journey to the Center of the Earth (James Mason) currently available
Metropolis Restored Authorized Edition currently available
Riverworld not yet announced
Spirited Away April
Star Trek Nemesis May
Taken April
The Thief of Bagdad (Sabu) currently available
Time After Time currently available
The X-Files Season 7 (May)

With the release of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, every really good SF film ever made will be out on DVD, except for the original Star Wars Trilogy and the 50s version of The Thing. Fantasy fans are not so lucky. In addition to the Indiana Jones Trilogy, we are still waiting for King Kong, Mighty Joe Young, The Man Who Could Work Miracles, House of Dracula, Darby O'Gill and the Little People, and Dragonslayer, while comics fans wait for the 80s version of Flash Gordon (currently available only as a Brazilian import) and Popeye (both much better than their bad rep would have you believe).

We have two great games to look forward to in the next month or so, Zelda Windwalker in March and Laura Croft Tomb Raider The Angel of Darkness in April.

Don't forget to see Dreamcatcher at a theater where they are showing the Animatrix short "Flight of the Osiris."

And, on March 28, at a theater far away from you, Cowboy Bebop The Movie.

Life is good! Who needs television?

Copyright © 2003 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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