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Babylon 5.1
by Rick Norwood

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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.

Occasionally I get e-mail asking me why I haven't reviewed this or that tv show. There are two possible answers. One is that I didn't watch it. The other is that I watched it but didn't like it. I seldom write "killer" reviews. If your tastes are similar to mine, why would you want to know about something you won't enjoy? If, on the other hand, your tastes are different from mine, why would you care what I think?

I'm going to make a brief exception, here, just to give you an idea of some of the stuff I don't review. This is a non-review of an episode of Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda. One of the characters on this program says, in all seriousness, "I will fight you with every fiber of my being." Now, how many layers of stupidity did it take for that line to get on the air? First, we need a writer who can actually push the keys of his word processor to produce that dialogue, and not instantly blush and delete it, realizing that a) it is a cliché, b) it is an outdated cliché, and c) it wasn't that good a cliché in the first place, representing a coinage by some Victorian who couldn't write and had no idea how people really talk. Next, you need a story editor who will buy a script from a writer who can turn out dialogue like that. Then, I suppose, you need a producer who will allow a story editor to buy such a script and not fire him on the spot. You need a director who will not say, "CUT! Let's leave that line out, shall we?" And finally you need an actor so desperate for work that he will recite "I will fight you with every fiber of my being," without bursting out laughing.

Anyway, that's why I don't review most of the stuff that passes for SF on tv. Voyager may be the least of the Treks, but it has never sunk that low.

Star Trek: Voyager

Speaking of Voyager, it was not announced by UPN in time for my column on what to watch in November, but there is a full slate of Voyagers this month, including a two hour special at month's end.

First, the two episodes that have already aired as of this writing:
1 NOV -- Wednesday
"Critical Care" (***), story by Kenneth Biller and Robert J. Doherty, teleplay by James Kahn
The Doctor is stolen and forced to work in a Managed Care hospital.

8 NOV -- Wednesday
"Inside Man" (***), by Robert J. Doherty
The battle of the Barclays, as Reginald on Earth has to outsmart a supremely confident hologram of himself who has been transmitted to Voyager.

And for the rest of the month:
15 NOV -- Wednesday
"Body and Soul", story by Michael Taylor, teleplay by Eric Morris, Phyllis Strong, and Mike Sussman

22 NOV -- Wednesday
"Nightingale", story by Robert Lederman and Dave Long, teleplay by Andre Bormanis

29 NOV -- Wednesday
"Flesh and Blood (I)", story by Brian Fuller, Raf Green, and Jack Monaco, teleplay by Brian Fuller

29 NOV -- Wednesday
"Flesh and Blood (II)", story by Brian Fuller and Raf Green, teleplay by Kenneth Biller and Raf Green.

Copyright © 2000 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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