Visimag home page
About Us
Cult Times
Film Review
Movie Idols
TV Zone
Ultimate DVD
Shopping Info
Exclusive features
VI jobs - The UK's Biggest Video Store

for your own topics
Go to USA site Readers in USA click here

Go to UK/World siteElsewhere click here

Image copyright: see contents page of each issue. All other material © Visual Imagination 1998 - 2002
Welcome to
Cult Times Back to culttimes MainPage Contents Buy this issue from UK/World site Buy this issue from USA $ site
Contents Buy this issue from UK/World site Buy this issue from USA $ site

Feature: Review of 2002

Times Past – 2002

Review 2002

Time to look back at the year…

At least once a year, the broadcasters and networks cast a critical and often unforgiving eye over the viewing figures and cull those shows they consider are under-performing. The result is that the Cult TV landscape can change quite a lot over 12 months. This time last year, to give you some idea, this column was commemorating the end of Xena: Warrior Princess and Star Trek: Voyager and looking ahead to the future of the newly-arrived Smallville and the shortly-expected Enterprise.

Last Call
This year, the most striking impression one gets from the bird’s-eye view is of the ‘big beasts’ of Cult TV slowly departing the scene, and making way for the younger and fresher series to take their place. At the time of writing, it still seems unclear whether Buffy will survive beyond its current season, but fairly clear that we’re not going to see another full year of Farscape. Lesser, though still significant, casualties this 12-month have included Roswell and Dark Angel, and though we’ve yet to see the final episodes, the death knells have also been sounded for Earth: Final Conflict and Futurama. Most symbolically though, this was the year in which The X-Files finally snuffed out its candle, with more of a whimper than a bang. It was a sign of how much has changed since five or so years ago, when a new series had a hard task to muscle in between the giants of The X-Files, two Star Trek offspring and the mighty Babylon 5.

Paranoid and Sinister
Just as significant this year, I think, has been the slow fading of two franchises that were formerly among the most reliable and marketable of the genre. Buffy The Vampire Slayer, though still one of the most interesting and accomplished shows around, had another year beset with recycled and misfired ideas, in which the considerable talents of some of television’s best actresses were, for the most part, underused. For the majority of the year, indeed, it was decidedly overshadowed by its more imaginative younger brother, Angel. Meanwhile, the lukewarm reaction to Enterprise proved that it’s no longer enough to put out a series set on a starship in the Star Trek universe and expect people to get excited about it. The irony here is that Enterprise was often very good, particularly showing a talent for the paranoid and sinister previously unknown to the franchise. Unfortunately, the producers figured that the best way to get attention wasn’t to emphasize these elements but to push all the standard, auto-pilot buttons for the franchise, like casting Jeffrey Combs as just about every alien going.

by John Binns

For more thoughts on 2002 a month-by-month look at the programmes see
Cult Times Special #24

Image © Visual Imagination
Feature © Visual Imagination 2002. Not for reproduction

Taken from
Cult Times Special #24, see below for ordering options
Cult Times Special #24
Special - 2002 Yearbook 2003
ships from Dec 5 2002
News-stand Price

UK £4.99 / US $9.99

VI Direct Click on one of the choices below to buy
Buy it now!

Stores Info

You can order any of
our magazines via this
secure service.
To buy this issue:

Jump to UK £ entry for this issue
UK/World order
Jump to US $ entry for this issue
USA $ order

CULT TIMES, use these
links to our stores:

Jump to UK £ entry for this issue
UK/World subs
Jump to US $ entry for this issue
USA $ subs logo