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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.

The first half of February saw one of the best ever Voyagers and one of the worst ever X-Files.

The four-part X-Files mythos story promised by Fox did not materialize.

The first February episode, "The Gift" (***) by Frank Spotnitz did have a brief flashback cameo by David Duchovny, and a story about a Native American who eats sickness set shortly after Dogget met Scully. That seemed to suggest four episodes, each set a month later than the one before, that would bring us up to date on the investigation of Mulder's disappearance.

That didn't happen. The second February episode, "Medusa" (*), also by Frank Spotnitz, consisted almost entirely of Dogget wandering through tunnels shining a flashlight and acting like an idiot.

The good news is a major X-Files mythos episode scheduled for Sunday February 18. This time for sure.

The X-Files, Medusa (*) by Frank Spotnitz.

X-Files An undercover cop is murdered in a Boston subway by a killer infected with a deadly disease. The stupid subway manager wants to open the tunnel anyway. Scully tries to talk him out of it. The stupid Center For Disease Control gives the tunnel a clean bill of health, despite the fact that the victim's flesh has melted. Since it turns out that the tunnel is actually filthy with flesh-melting slime, the CDC can't have looked very hard.

Dogget and three others go into the tunnel to investigate, while Scully stays behind to call the shots. They are looking for an infected killer.

They come to a side tunnel. No need to look in there, says the stupid subway cop. Everyone else seems to think it is perfectly reasonable to ignore side tunnels when searching for killers, but Dogget insists they look anyway. They find lots more bodies, including the killer's. Well, says the stupid subway manager, I guess that clears everything up. Let's open the tunnel! Scully tries to talk him out of it. Stupid Scully. The FBI have no authority over civilians. But the CDC does. And a CDC investigator saw the bodies. Stupid CDC investigator. She does nothing. The stupid subway cop comes down with green slime disease. Does Dogget insist he get immediate medical treatment for this condition that has already killed a whole bunch of people? He does not. He pulls a gun on the subway cop and insists that even though he is infected he must continue the search.

Stupid, stupid Dogget. Then, at the last minute, himself infected with the disease, Dogget makes an electrical connection between the third rail and a pool of green slime. The green slime is killed instantly. All of it. Even the green slime in puddles far removed and clearly isolated from the patch he shocked. Even the green slime on victims far removed from the shock.

Killed so thoroughly that there is no evidence what-so-ever that the green slime was ever there. So, there is no evidence to prove that this was an X-File and the subways run on time.

Star Trek Voyager, Prophecy (****) written by Kenneth Biller, J. Kieley Burke, Raf Green, Larry Nemecek, Phyllis Strong, and Michael Sussman

Star Trek: Voyager This is best Voyager in a long time, and shows us just what Voyager has always needed: more plot and more Klingons.

Here, two hundred five Klingons beam onto Voyager -- hard to do better than that. If you don't mind further evidence that the Klingon religion is the one true religion, this is a fun show, with about twice as much plot as most Voyagers, and lots of cool Klingon stuff.

Just ten more Voyagers before the end.

Copyright © 2001 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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