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Babylon 5.1
by Rick Norwood

Fall Preview Edition
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.

Three years ago, in 2005, the networks offered six new fantasy/science fiction series. Only Supernatural, the least sfnal of them all, was a success, though The 4400 developed a cult following. The major networks have pretty much avoided sf and fantasy ever since.

The most successful new genre shows in the last three years have been Heroes and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, both returning this month. Long-running Smallville also returns for an eighth season. Lost and Battlestar Galactica won't be back until 2009, and we also have to wait until 2009 to see Joss Whedon's Dollhouse. In Stargate news, Stargate Atlantis will not have a sixth season, but will return in a telefilm, and Stargate Universe will debut next year, with the same plot as Lost in Space and Voyager.

Both Doctor Who and the anagramatical Torchwood will return with new seasons, but your guess is as good as mine when they will make it to US tv. The Doctor Who episode "Blink" by Stephan Moffat won the best short drama Hugo.

The only new genre show in the Fall season is J.J. Abrams' Fringe.

SF on TV in September

Stargate Atlantis
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
Friday, September 5
Stargate Atlantis Whispers, by Joseph Mallozzi

Monday, September 8
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles Sampson and Delilah by Josh Friedman, Season Two Premiere

Tuesday, September 9
Fringe Pilot (2 hours) by J. J. Abrams, Alex Kurzman, and Roberto Orci, Series Premiere

Friday, September 12
Stargate Atlantis The Queen, by Carl Binder

Monday, September 15
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles Automatic for the People
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles No Good Deed, by Natalie Chaidez

Tuesday, September 16
Fringe The Same Old Story, by J. J. Abrams, Robert Orci, and Jeff Pinkner

Thursday, September 18
Smallville Odyssey, by Todd Slavkin, Darren Swimmer, Brian Peterson, and Kelly Souders, Season Eight Premiere.
Supernatural Lazarus Rising, by Eric Kripke, Season Four Premier

Friday, September 19
Stargate Atlantis Tracker, by Alan McCullough

Monday, September 22
Heroes The Butterfly Effect (two hours) by Tim Kring, Season Three Premiere
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles The Mousetrap, by John Wirth

Tuesday, September 23
Fringe The Ghost Network, by David R. Goodman and Robert Orci

Thursday, September 25
Smallville Plastique, by Holly Henderson and Don Whitehead
Supernatural Monster Movie.

Friday, September 26
Stargate Atlantis First Contact (part 1 of 2) by Martin Gero

Monday, September 29
Heroes Dreamtime, by Joe Pokaski
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles

Tuesday, September 30
Fringe Power Hungry, by Christopher Misiano

That's more television than any sane person would watch. My picks are Fringe, Smallville, Heroes, and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.

Battlestar Galactica will air ten webisodes in October, and the final ten shows in 2009, including a rumored three-hour finale, to be followed by a telefilm. Lost will also return in 2009 with 17 episodes in its antepenultimate season.

And don't miss Doctor Horrible's Sing-Along Blog by Joss Whedon and friends, on the web.

Copyright © 2008 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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