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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.

None of the networks have announced when they will air new episodes of any sf or fantasy series -- probably not until after January 15, maybe not until February. Showtime says they will show us some of the Jeremiah episodes that have already aired in Canada eventually, but they won't say when. Battlestar Galactica is a go as a series and Ron Moore is writing it, but we won't see it until Summer at the earliest. Dragonriders of Pern is dead. The network didn't like it. "What is this? This isn't Buffy. Make it more like Buffy." Still no news on the eighth season of Stargate SG-1, or Stargate Atlantis, or the return of Farscape. Everything seems to be on hold.

Let's look back at 2003 while we brace ourselves for 2004.

In my column for the July 2003 issue of SF Site, I predicted, based upon the writers, which films would be hits and which would be busts. I'm reprinting what I said in July -- in a shortened version -- without comment.

Terminator 3 The Rise of the Machines
It's better than Jurassic Park 3 or Hannibal Lector 3.

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
Don't expect much.

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
It's better than it sounds.

Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over
It is more of the same, only in 3D.

Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life
When a film is written by the producers, that's a bad sign -- a very bad sign.

Sindbad Legend of the Seven Seas
It's run-of-the-mill.

The Matrix Revolutions
We'll finally find out if they are going anywhere with this.

Don't expect much.

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
It's the best film of the year.

Peter Pan
You will do better watching the Mary Martin version.

How'm I doin'?
Terminator 3  The Rise of the Machines The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over Lara Croft  Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life Sindbad  Legend of the Seven Seas The Matrix Revolutions Timeline The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

Best of 2003:
Gods and Generals
X2: X-Men United
Finding Nemo
Pirates of the Caribbean
Kill Bill Volume I
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

The West Wing before Aaron Sorkin was fired
Battlestar Galactica
Star Trek -- Enterprise

DVDs (not counting movies)
The added scenes in The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers
Firefly, the complete series
Looney Tunes
The West Wing, season one
Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere
Babylon 5, first three seasons
The added scenes in The Lion King
Horatio Hornblower The New Adventures
Cowboy Bebop, the complete series
Star Trek Deep Space Nine, all seven seasons
Have Gun Will Travel, season one
Dark Shadows

The Knight by Gene Wolfe
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J. K. Rowling
Quicksilver by Neal Stephenson
Changing Planes by Ursula K. Le Guin
A Saucer of Loneliness by Theodore Sturgeon
Red Thunder by John Varley
We, the Living by Robert A. Heinlein
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
The October Horse by Colleen McCullough
A Mist of Prophesies by Steven Saylor
Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austin

Comic Books
Girl Genius by Phil Foglio
Cerebus the Aardvark by Dave Sim
The Amazing Spider-man by J. Michael Straczinski
1602 by Neil Gaiman
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen by Alan Moore
Bone by Jeff Smith
Comics Revue by Russ Manning, Harry Harrison, Lee Falk, Thomas Yeates, Peter O'Donnell and many more
(Full disclosure I'm the editor). And while I'm tooting my own horn, may I recommend my story, "Portal" in Black Gate #6.

Video Games
It was a disappointing year for video games. Mostly I just play Arkanoid II by John Lund and Ryan Ridges.

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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