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Babylon 5.1
by Rick Norwood

SF on TV
Other Babylon 5.1 Columns
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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.

Smallville TV is probably as good now as it has ever been -- provided, of course, you watch it on DVD, without the on-screen commercials. There are three good SF shows, Heroes, Smallville, and Battlestar Galactica. The latter has been called (by Rolling Stone) the best TV show of all time. I wouldn't go that far, but it is pretty good.

On the other hand, when I am in an introspective mood, and ask myself which form of entertainment I enjoy most, I always find the same answer. I love a good book. The best science fiction fun I've had lately is reading Vernor Vinge, Ursula K. Le Guin, and Robert Heinlein. Movies come second. TV is a respectable third.

The Smallville episode "Justice" drew 5.2 million viewers. I watched the premiere of The Dresden Files, and while there was nothing wrong with it, there was nothing particularly right with it either. I've never been able to work up an interest in Jericho. Did you catch the guest spot by Hiro from Heroes on Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip?

On TV in February

Thursday, February 1
Smallville "Crimson", by Kelly Souders and Brian Peterson

Sunday, February 4
Battlestar Galactica "Rapture" II, a rerun of the season 3.5 premiere, which has a nice confrontation between Starbuck and Lee Adama's wife, but the wrap-up of the big crisis is a bit too easy.

Monday, February 5
Heroes "Distractions"

Thursday, February 8
Smallville "Trespass", by Tracy Bellomo

Sunday, February 11
The Dresden Files "Hair of the Dog", by Laurence Walsh
Battlestar Galactica "The Woman King", by Michael Angeli

Monday, February 12
Heroes "Run"

Wednesday, February 14
Jericho "Return to Jericho", a recap of the first 11 episodes

Thursday, February 15
Smallville "Freak", by Todd Slavkin and Darren Swimmer

Sunday, February 18
The Dresden Files "Rules of Engagement", by Kurtis Kheel
Battlestar Galactica "A Day in the Life", by Mark Verheiden

Monday, February 19
Heroes "Unexpected"

Wednesday, February 21
Jericho "The Day Before", by Mike Kelley

Thursday, February 22
Smallville "Promise"

Sunday, February 25
The Dresden Files "Storm Front", by Hans Beimler, Robert Hewitt Wolfe, and Morgan Gendel. Beimler and Wolfe wrote some very good Star Trek episodes.
Battlestar Galactica "Dirty Hands", by Jane Espenson and Anne Cofell Saunders. Jane Espenson has written for Buffy, Firefly, and Star Trek: DS9.

Monday, February 26
Heroes "Company Man"

Wednesday, February 28
Jericho "Black Jack"

The final episode of Stargate SG-1, "Unending," will air in the UK in March and in the US in June. Two-hour direct to DVD movies will follow.

Copyright © 2007 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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