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Out of the Box
Highlight of the Month

Oktober
ITV, Thursday 2nd, 21.00


Not a documentary about how great a certain autumn month is, but a new three part ITV drama. Oktober has been adapted from the novel by the author himself, Stephen Gallagher (the man behind some of the better Bugs episodes and the more confusing Doctor Who stories such as Warrior's Gate), who also directs the series. It stars Stephen Tompkinson as Jim Harper, a teacher who falls head over heels for a beautiful woman whilst on holiday, and in trying to track her down inadvertantly gets dragged into a world of dangerous experimentation. Injected with an untested drug, Harper develops new abilities, and the race is on for him to expose the mysterious Oktober Project before they can silence him. Murder, mystery, intrigue and good character drama.
(Paul Spragg)

 
Oktober
 
4th-10th April: This week

StarGate SG-1
Children of the Gods

Sky 1, Wednesday, 22.00

US TV shows taking their inspiration from hit movies is not a new phenomenon. We've seen it many times before with War of the Worlds, RoboCop and the currently airing Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Joining the pack at the beginning of last year's fall season was StarGate SG-1 on the US's Showtime channel and it finally begins screening in the UK this month on Sky 1. Initially commissioned for a full two seasons (44 episodes in total), Stargate SG-1 kicks off with a two-hour pilot that is a direct sequel to the 1994 StarGate movie that starred James Spader and Kurt Russell. Ex-MacGyver star Richard Dean Anderson takes on Russell's part as Colonel Jack O'Neil and leads his SG-1 team on weekly missions to distant worlds via the titular stargate.
(Jack Rostron)
 
 
11th-17th April: This week

Millennium
Owls (1 of 2) / Roosters (2 of 2)

Sky 1, Wednesday (15th and 22nd), 22.00

The first back-to-back two-parter for this season is a major 'mythology' story in more ways than one. If you've ever wondered what kind of people are in the shadowy Millennium Group, prepare to see the mystery revealed. Owls concerns the discovery of the cross used in Christ's crucifixion - an artifact of great mystical power. The Group is split when a dangerous dissident faction disappears with the cross. In part two, Roosters (broadcast next Wednesday), Frank and the remaining Group members must unite to fend off what manifests itself as an evil force. This action-packed Glen Morgan and James Wong story sees the return of RG Armstrong as the old man from Beware of the Dog as well as series regulars Terry O'Quinn and Kristen Cloke.
(Ian Calcutt)

 

Star Trek: The Next Generation
Unification

Sky 1, Saturday, 16.00

When a Federation ambassador is suspected of defecting to Romulus, Picard and Data are sent to the Empire in order to retrieve him. And the ambassador's name? The one and only Mr Spock. After years of anticipation, Unification finally provided Star Trek's loyal fans with the moment they had been waiting for: a crossover between the original series and TNG. Unification was cunningly timed to coincide with the cinematic release of Star Trek V, providing the film with added publicity and The Next Generation with its highest ratings at the time. Additionally, it was the first episode to air after the death of Star Trek's founder, Gene Roddenberry. Among its better moments, it is perhaps the interplay between Spock, Picard and Data that makes Unification a fitting tribute.
(Tim Leng)
 
 
18th-24th April: This week

Sliders
Genesis

Sky 1, Monday, 22.00
 
Another season, another revamp... Cancelled at the end of its third year by the Fox network, Sliders is back for a fourth season of inter-dimensional adventures courtesy of the USA's Sci-Fi Channel. The new series, which is receiving its world première on Sky 1, promises a SF-orientated story arc and a return to the character-based storylines of the show's early days, in a move no doubt inspired by a 33% cut in the budget! Genesis kicks off proceedings in style with Quinn, Rembrandt and Maggie finally reaching Earth Prime, only to discover that the planet has been conquered by the evil Kromaggs (from Season Two's Invasion). With Wade held captive in a Kromagg breeding camp (the lucky swines!), the three remaining Sliders embark on a new quest to defeat the aliens - in all dimensions. Get ready for the Slide of your life!
(David Bassom)
 

Star Trek
Star Trek Weekend

Sky 1, Saturday and Sunday, 14.00 - 18.00

This weekend, 'Sky salutes Star Trek'. On each day, one episode per Trek series is screened as part of a theme, with Craig Charles providing links. Saturday's theme is 'The Villains Unmasked'; Sunday's is 'Hailing the Heroes'. Of the episodes on offer the ones to watch are: The Adversary, in which the frighteningly good abilities of the Founders are revealed; Death Wish, in which Q arrives on Voyager to stop another Q committing suicide; Qpid for the sheer comedy of Worf's distaste at becoming a 'Merry Man'; and Deadlock, when Janeway finds herself in a no-win situation when a duplicate Voyager is created and one must be destroyed. Tense, grim and exciting, this is one of the show's earliest triumphs.
(Paul Spragg)
 
 
25th-30th April: This week

The X-Files
Kill Switch

Sky 1, Sunday, 21.00
 
This hi-tech story of an artificial intelligence project that gets out of hand has been co-written by celebrated cyberpunk author William Gibson - and his attempt is far more successful than the previous week's tepid Stephen King story. Gibson's style of exploiting machine intelligence to fuel human paranoia fits The X-Files ethos surprisingly well, and although the episode has a few plot holes and daft twists, the action is fast and intense - especially in Mulder's excellent virtual reality nightmare sequences in which he loses his arms and is visited by a kickboxing Scully! The Lone Gunmen have some choice moments and Kristin Lehman makes an engaging heroine.
(Ian Calcutt)
 

The Simpsons
El Viaje Misterioso De Nuestro Homer

Sky 1, Tuesday, 19.00

Or The Mysterious Voyage of Homer. Despite Marge's best efforts, Homer makes a fool of himself at the annual Chili Cook-Off, donning wax lips to gorge himself on Chief Wiggum's Guatemalan Insanity Peppers. This episode is something a little different, a case of style over content which focuses almost exclusively on Homer (no bad thing). The highly bizarre hallucinations brought on by the peppers use the series' distinctive animation style to great effect. Homer's subsequent search for a soul mate (prompted by a dream coyote with Johnny Carson's voice) is quite sweet, though the answer is never really in doubt... It doesn't get any stranger than this, folks.
(Peter Griffiths)
 
For full listings of all your favourite programmes, see Cult Times
The Best Monthly Guide to Cult Television
Issue 31 (April 1998) available now
£2.50 ($4.99)
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