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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.

In July, we have new episodes of both Stargates and Battlestar Galactica.

Friday, July 15
Stargate SG-1, "Avalon" (part 1 of 3) by series creator Robert C. Cooper
Stargate: Atlantis, "The Siege" (part 3 of 3), by Martin Gero
Battlestar Galactica, "Scattered" (part 1 of 2), by Bradley Thompson and David Weddle
There was some speculation that Edward James Olmos would not appear in the second season, but he is still around, though his character is at death's door. Bradley Thompson and David Weddle wrote several Deep Space Nine episodes, the best of which was the four star episode "Treachery, Faith and the Great River".

Friday, July 22
Stargate SG-1, "Avalon" (part 2 of 3) by Robert C. Cooper.
Stargate: Atlantis, "Intruder", by Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie
Battlestar Galactica, "Valley Of Darkness" (part 2 of 2), by Bradley Thompson and David Weddle

Friday, July 29
Stargate SG-1, "Origin (part 3 of 3) by Robert C. Cooper. Richard Dean Anderson's final appearance, at least for now.
Stargate Atlantis, "Runner", by series creator Robert C. Cooper. Mitch Peliggi guest stars.
Battlestar Galactica, "Fragged"

My pick: Battlestar Galactica, of course.

Carnivale has been cancelled, with, as I feared, all of the mysteries left unresolved.

DVD Review

Tarzan II, (**)
by Jim Kammerund and Brian Smith

Tarzan II This story of kid Tarzan is not all that bad -- it's mildly entertaining.

I've been a Tarzan fan all my life. Edgar Rice Burroughs may not have been much of a writer, but he sure could tell a story.

The very best Tarzan is, I think, the Russ Manning comic strip, which I'm running in full color in my magazine, Comics Revue (shameless plug). My favorite Burroughs novel is Tarzan at the Earth's Core. Of all the Tarzan films, I think the Walt Disney version is the best, while others might pick Tarzan and his Mate, with Johnny Weismuller and Maureen O'Sullivan, or Tarzan's Greatest Adventure, with Gordon Scott as Tarzan and Sean Connery as one of the villains.

I used to be a Disney animation collector, but Michael Eisner's boast that he can produce crap and still make money cured me of that. I haven't even bothered to see the last few Disney "classics". This direct to DVD "movie" is titled Tarzan II, but was preceded by Tarzan and Jane and by a Saturday morning series featuring the Disney Tarzan, both very bad. Kammerund and Smith are staples of direct to DVD Disney animation. The music by Phil Collins is not nearly as good as his music for the Tarzan feature, but Glen Close and George Carlin do a good job on voices and the animation is reasonably good for animation done on the cheap.

To say this is probably the best of the Disney "sequels" is to damn it with faint praise.

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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