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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.

Doctor Who Christmas Special The Doctor Who Christmas Special was the best sf I've seen on tv this year, and is a likely winner of the 2011 best sf drama Hugo, short form.

While I'm waiting for something else good to show up on television, I've been watching all the old good movies in chronological order, starting with Elmo Lincoln in Tarzan of the Apes. I'm currently up to 1983, when the best films of the year were all either sf or borderline sf: The Right Stuff, Testament, Return of the Jedi, and War Games. All hold up well. The computers in War Games look more ancient every time I watch it, but the story is still great. 1983 was a good year for science fiction and 1984 looks even better. I also watched what may be the worst major film of 1983, Superman III, which despite a great cast and a great director was ghod-awful.

Jane Espenson is writing for Once Upon a Time. Her episodes may be worth watching even if those by other writers are not.

SF on TV in February 2012

Thursday, February 2
The Vampire Diaries "Bringing Out the Dead", by Turi Meyer and Al Septien. They wrote many Smallville episodes in the later seasons.

Supernatural Friday, February 3
Fringe "Making Angels" by Akiva Goldsman, Jeff Pinkner, and J. H. Wyman. Akiva Goldsman won an Oscar for best screenplay for A Beautiful Mind. He also wrote the film versions of Lost in Space and I, Robot. Jeff Pinkner wrote for Lost. J.H. Wyman wrote or co-wrote 19 episodes of Fringe.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars "The Box"
Supernatural "The Slice Girls", by Brad Buckner and Eugenie Ross-Leming. They worked together writing scripts for the tv series Lois and Clark.
Grimm "Organ Grinder"

Monday, February 6
Alcatraz "Guy Hastings"

Thursday, February 9
The Vampire Diaries "Dangerous Liaisons", by Caroline Dries, who wrote for Smallville.

Grimm Friday, February 10
Fringe "Welcome to Westfield"
Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Crisis on Naboo"
Supernatural "Plucky Pennywhistle's Magic Menagerie" by Andrew Dabb & Daniel Loflin
Grimm "Tarentella"

Sunday, February 12
Once Upon a Time "Skin Deep", by Jane Espenson. Jane Espenson won a Hugo for Buffy, and wrote for Firefly, Caprica, Torchwood, and Game of Thrones.

Monday, February 13
Alcatraz "Paxton Petty"

The Vampire Diaries Thursday, February 16
The Vampire Diaries "All My Children" by Evan Bleiweiss & Michael Narducci. Evan Bleiweiss wrote for The Shield. Michael Narducci wrote for The 4400.

Friday, February 17
Fringe "A Better Human Being"
Supernatural "Repo Man" by Ben Edlund, writer/artist of The Tick comic book.

Once Upon a Time Sunday, February 19
Once Upon a Time "Whatever Happened to Frederick"

Monday, February 20
Alcatraz "Johnny McKee"

Friday, February 24
Fringe by David Fury. David Fury wrote for Buffy, Lost, and 24
Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Massacre"

Monday, February 27
Alcatraz "Sonny Burnett"

Fringe started with 9 million views, has lost 2 million viewers each season it's been on, now down to just 3 million. Fox reports that they are losing money on the show and will probably cancel it. One problem with the series is that too many Fringe fans are downloading Fringe and bypassing the commercials. If Fox cancels, Fringe may continue off-network.

Copyright © 2012 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. Visit his web site at

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