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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.

Heroes The series Heroes is taking an important step. In the December 1 episode, we discover (spoiler warning) that Hiro cannot change the past.

You may remember a series called Witchblade, some years back. The first season was, you should pardon the expression, cutting edge. But then, after a number of major characters died, the Witchblade turned back time, and everything was set back the way it was. This can only happen once, we were told, but once was enough. "I say it's crottled greeps, and I say the hell with it." If everything we see is provisional, if a character can be unkilled, then why should we care what happens to anybody?

In Entertainment Weekly, Stephen King told how he would end the series Lost. King's advice: make it all a dream. Bad, bad advice.

Yes, we know that fiction is not "real." But within the fiction, it has to seem real. We have to care what happens to the characters. If, as in a dream, anything can happen, then who cares what happens? Dream fiction can have an effect -- psychological insight, perhaps, or surrealistic imagery. But we don't care what happens to the characters in a dream.

So, while I don't look forward to Heroes the way I look forward to the Green Arrow episodes of Smallville, for example, Heroes has taken another move in the right direction.

On TV in November
This month, it's all on SciFi Friday between now and Christmas. (Heroes also airs the previous Monday.)

Battlestar Galactica Friday, December 1
Heroes "Six Months Ago"
Dr. Who "The Satan Pit (II)", by Matt Jones
Battlestar: Galactica "Unfinished Business", by Michael Taylor (filling in the year long gap between Season 2B and Season 3A.

Friday, December 8
Heroes "Fallout"
Dr. Who "Love & Monsters", by Russell T. Davies
Battlestar: Galactica "The Passage", by Jane Espenson

Doctor Who 2006 Friday, December 15
Heroes, "Genesis" by Tim Kring, a rerun of the first episode.
Dr. Who, "Fear Her" by Matthew Graham
Battlestar: Galactica "Eye of Jupiter (I)" by Mark Verheiden, (Season 3A finale)

Friday, December 22
Dr. Who Marathon finishing off with the last two episodes of Season Two, not previously aired in the US:
     Dr. Who "Army of Ghosts (I)", by Russell T. Davies
     Dr. Who "Doomsday (II)", by Russell T. Davies

Monday, December 25
Dr. Who "The Christmas Invasion", by Russell T. Davies

Copyright © 2006 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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