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Babylon 5.1
by Rick Norwood

Recommended Viewing for May 1999
Other Babylon 5.1 Columns
For more information, you can try the following sites:
Rick Norwood's Website
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The X-Files
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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.

Face facts. Unless you are willing to stand in line for days -- DAYS -- it is going to be at least a month before you get to see the new STAR WARS. So, you might as well enjoy what sf television science fiction has to offer, including the end of one series and the season finale of two others.

But, before we move on to May, I hope you all watched the best television aired in April. No, it wasn't sf, it was the Horatio Hornblower saga on A&E. Superb acting, directing, scripts, and seafaring special effects made this mini-series a real treat. If you missed it, you can buy it, in a very reasonably priced set of four boxed tapes, at

Now, on to May, and my recommendations of the shows that are apt to be the best that television has to offer, based primarily on the writers who created them. There is no great story without a great storyteller.

Saturday, 1 May
Deep Space Nine, "When It Rains", by Rene Echevarria and Spike Steingasser, (part 5 of 9).

Sunday, 2 May
X-Files, "Three of a Kind", by Gilligan & Shiban, a Lone Gunmen episode by the writers who brought you "Unusual Suspects" (****).

Wednesday, 5 May
Voyager, "11.59", by Jeri Taylor, Brannon Braga, and Joe Menoski. Their work of late has been good rather than great, but this is probably one of the better Voyagers, the first of four new Voyagers in May.

Saturday, 8 May
Deep Space Nine, "Tacking into the Wind", by Ronald D. Moore, the best current Star Trek writer (part 6 of 9).

Saturday, 15 May
Deep Space Nine, "Extreme Measures", by David Weddel & Bradley Thomson, authors of "Treachery, Faith and the Great River" (****) (part 7 of 9) (ha ha).

Sunday, 16 May
X-Files, "Biogenesis", by David Duchovny and Chris Carter. Carter has been very stingy with mythos episodes this season -- a couple of great two-parters and a lot of marking time. This promises to advance the story line at last, but will probably make you wait until next Fall for any big revelations. And Duchovny's writing on "The Unnatural" (**) made it clear that he better not quit his day job. (Part 1 of 2 - season finale).

Saturday, 22 May
Deep Space Nine, "The Dogs of War", by Ronald D. Moore and Rene Echevarria, (part 8 of 9).

Wednesday, 26 May
Voyager: "Equinox" by Brannon Braga and Joe Menoski (part 1 of 2 - season finale).

Saturday, 29 May
Deep Space Nine, "What You Leave Behind", by Ira Stephen Behr and Hans Beimler (part 9 of 9 - two hour series conclusion). It is appropriate that these two writers, who have done so much to make Deep Space Nine the best of the four Star Trek series, should write the final chapter.

Next month: J. Michael Straczynski's Crusade.

Copyright © 1999 by 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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