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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.

Fringe I watched the final episodes of Fringe and Last Resort this month. Both will soon be forgotten. The final ep of Fringe was two hours, but to stretch it for two hours they had to have one character let himself be captures by the bad guys, for no reason at all. The show also violated one of my prime directives of good screenwriting: when you're in a hurry, don't stop to talk.

I have a copy of the Harlan Ellison script of the Hugo Award winning episode of Star Trek, "The City on the Edge of Forever," and at one point he gives the following directions to an actor: Run all out. Don't just saunter across the set. Sauntering across the set is bad. Stopping to engage in a soul-searching dialogue is worse.

I enjoyed the action-packed ending of Last Resort. The characters and acting are excellent. But it only lasted half a season, and will probably go the way of Defying Gravity, another sf tv show with good characters and good scripts that only lasted 13 episodes.

Of all the sf television that first aired in the 21st century, I suspect the only shows that will still be watched ten years from now are Enterprise, Smallville, Firefly, and Lost. Maybe some of us will still remember Battlestar Galactica, Heroes, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, and Dollhouse.

The Walking Dead and Touch return in February. And evidently somebody likes Beauty and the Beast. It won the People's Choice Award for Favorite New Drama, even though it has less than two million viewers.

SF on TV in February 2013

Last Resort Saturday, February 2
Star Wars: The Clone Wars "The Lawless"

Wednesday, February 6
Supernatural "Everybody Hates Hitler" by Ben Edlund
Arrow "Betrayal" by Lana Cho & Beth Schwartz

Thursday, February 7
The Vampire Diaries "Into the Wild" by Caroline Dries
Beauty and the Beast "Cold Turkey" by Allison Moore

Friday, February 8
Touch "Event Horizon/Closer", Season Two Premiere

Once Upon a Time Saturday, February 9
Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Sabotage"

Sunday, February 10
Once Upon a Time "Tiny" by Christine Boylan & Kalinda Vazquez
The Walking Dead "The Suicide King" by Evan Reilly
Battlestar Galactica: "Blood and Chrome", story by Michael Taylor, David Eick, Bradley Thompson, and David Weddle, teleplay by Michael Taylor

Wednesday, February 13
Supernatural "Trial and Error" by Andrew Dabb
Arrow "The Odyssey" Story by Greg Berlanti & Andrew Kreisberg, Teleplay by Andrew Kreisberg & Marc Guggenheim

Supernatural Thursday, February 14
The Vampire Diaries "Down the Rabbit Hole" by Jose Molina
Beauty and the Beast "Trust No One" by Brian Peterson & Kelly Souders

Friday, February 15
Touch "Enemy of my Enemy"

Saturday, February 16
Star Wars: The Clone Wars "The Jedi Who Knew Too Much"

The Vampire Diaries Sunday, February 17
Once Upon a Time "Manhattan" by Edward Kitsis & Adam Horowitz
The Walking Dead "Home"

Wednesday, February 20
Supernatural "Man's Best Friend With Benefits" by Brad Buckner & Eugenie Ross-Leming
Arrow "Dodger" by Beth Schwartz

Touch Thursday, February 21
The Vampire Diaries "Stand by Me" by Julie Plec
Beauty and the Beast "Tough Love" by Don Whitehead & Holly Henderson

Friday, February 22
Touch "Perfect Storm"

Saturday, February 23
Star Wars: The Clone Wars "To Catch a Jedi"

Arrow Sunday, February 24
The Walking Dead "I Ain't a Judas"

Wednesday, February 27
Supernatural TBA
Arrow "Dead to Rights" by Geoff Johns.

Doctor Who, Game of Thrones, Grimm, and Revolution return in March.

Who killed Laura Palmer?

Copyright © 2013 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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