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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.

Stargate SG-1 March belongs to Stargate SG-1. One new episode slipped in under my radar at the end of February, and the remainder of the seventh season will air in March, ending with the two-part season finale, "The Lost City", written by Stargate's top writers, Brad Wright and Robert C. Cooper. "The Lost City" leads into the new spin-off series Stargate Atlantis, premiering in June. I am not a big Stargate fan, as you know, but I'll be watching these. Here is a guide:
Feb 27 "Resurrection"
Friday, March 5 "Inauguration"
Friday, March 12 "The Lost City I"
Friday, March 19 "The Lost City II"

March also premieres four series of borderline interest.

Wednesday, March 3
Stephen King's Kingdom Hospital, with scripts by King adapted from a Danish mini-series by Thomas Gislason, Niels Vorsel, and Lars von Trier. Ghosts and doctors. Borderline horror.
Wednesday, March 10
Game Over, Computer game characters at home in the suburbs. Borderline Jetsons.
Friday, March 12
Wonderfalls, by Bryan Fuller (Star Trek Voyager) and Todd Holland.. Talking toys. Borderline fantasy.
Tuesday, March 16
Century City, by David Gerken, et al. Holograms and lawyers. Borderline SF.

The Stephen King series, appearing on already overcrowded Wednesdays, would be my pick.

The only other new SF on TV in March all airs on Wednesday, March 3:
Star Trek Enterprise, "Azati Prime" by Rick Berman, Brannon Braga, and Manny Coto
Smallville, "Crisis"
Angel, "Shells"

Then nothing but reruns until mid or late April, at least as far as the USA goes. New episodes of Stargate SG-1 Andromeda and Jeremiah continue to air in Canada. The next Smallville, currently scheduled for April 14, has Christopher Reeve as a guest star.

Dark Shadows may return to television this Fall. I have mixed feelings. I'm sure they'll get a young gay guy to play Barnabas, and I wouldn't be surprised if they made David (Daybed in the Marvel parody) a teen instead of a little kid. The problem is that they plan to retell the familiar story of Barnabas, which is already a twice-told tale. The great thing about the original Dark Shadows is that it broke new ground.

If I were writing for the new Dark Shadows, I'd use the concept of Parallel Time, introduced in the original series, plus the magic of computer graphics, to create a confrontation between the new Barnabas, Ben Cross (the revival Barnabas), and Jonathon Frid (the original Barnabas). Then I'd stage a battle between Buffy and Angelique.

Copyright © 2004 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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