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Babylon 5.1
by Rick Norwood

Other Babylon 5.1 Columns
For more information, you can try the following sites:
Rick Norwood's Website
Worldwide TV Schedule
The Official Babylon 5 Website
The X-Files
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Paramount Star Trek

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.

Fall Preview Issue

There is nothing on TV this season but mud wrestling. Trade in your TV for a new sound card.

OK, I lied. There is going to be a new Fall season and there might actually be a few things on worth watching -- one show in particular looks spectacular. I'll tell you about it in a little while. But most of my friends have given up on TV entirely, with the demise of Babylon 5, and in the future the medium may be as minor (if fondly remembered) as Old Time Radio is today. Of course, TV is still the most powerful and most watched medium in the Brave New World, but it looks as if we are headed for a future in which the masses watch television while everyone with intelligence or taste huddles in their home with their beloved books, waiting for the villagers with torches.

Some of you may be interested to know about the most recent episode of Crusade, even though it wasn't very good.

Crusade, "Visitors From Down the Street" (**)
by J. Michael Straczynski

Crusade This episode is a heavy-handed take off on The X-Files. The Excalibur is contacted by an alien man in a suit who thinks his planet's government is covering up visits by Earthlings. He has a skeptical female partner and is constantly foiled by a cigarette-smoking alien. There is a stupid subplot about a funny smell. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine did this kind of thing much better in "Little Green Men" (****).

The X-Files

X-Files The season premiere of The X-Files has not yet been announced. The buzz is that Fox is punishing Chris Carter, since he plans to take The X-Files and follow Star Trek to the big screen. So they under-publicize his show. I look for a short final season of The X-Files, with a good opener, maybe one good two-parter in the middle, and a spectacular lead-in to the next movie for a finale. For the rest of the season, I expect them to save the really good ideas for the film, which means we better hope Voyager is a lot of fun, because it will be just about all the good TV SF we're apt to get.


Star Trek: Voyager Here is how Voyager's Season Six is shaping up.

Wednesday, September 8
"Equinox II" by Rick Berman, Brannon Braga, and Joe Menosky. It is written by the same three top writers who gave us the disappointing "Equinox I" (**) last season, so don't get your hopes too high.

Wednesday, September 15
"Survival Instinct" by Ronald D. Moore. This is the show to watch. As I mentioned in the opening paragraph, I expect it to be spectacular. Ronald D. Moore is the best writer currently working in the Star Trek universe, and this is his first script for Voyager. Let's hope he can turn Voyager around -- figuratively speaking, that is.

Wednesday, September 22
"Barge of the Dead" by Ronald D. Moore and Bryan Fuller. Looks like another good one. This episode and the previous one will probably determine if Voyager is worthy to continue Gene Roddenberry's dream, or if it is just lost in space.

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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