September 1998 Out of the Box

Highlight of the month

Red Dwarf
Season Two UK Gold, Monday 7th, 21.00
UK Gold has arranged another fantastic evening of comedy entertainment, with a complete showing of Red Dwarf’s second series. Widely regarded as the best by fans of the show, Season Two highlights the characters and their interaction rather than the effects. So, if you want to see a slightly different Kryten rebel against “Smeg-for-Brains”, the Cat demonstrating what happens when people give him food, Rimmer reliving his sexual exploits, the crew going back in Time and causing chaos, Holly playing an April, May, June, July and August Fool, and the whole crew Holly Hopping into an interesting encounter with themselves, tune in. Proof that remastering was never needed. (PS)

5th-11th September Cult Times Logo
A Masterful gesture Doctor Who
Terror of the Autons: UK Gold, Sunday, 10.00
A Time Lord comes to Earth to show off his levitation skills and warn the Doctor that a rival has arrived on Earth just to make things unpleasant for the inhabitants. So warned, the Doctor and his new assistant, Jo Grant, find themselves taking on the Nestene Consciousness and the plastic peril of the Autons. The first story to feature the wonderful Roger Delgado as The Master was surrounded by huge controversy when it was first transmitted when it was decided that evil policemen and killer dolls, chairs and daffodils would scare all the little kiddies. In fact, most kiddies were lapping it up. Enjoy it once more, and realize why Terror is so good. (PS) pic © BBC

12th-18th September Cult Times Logo

B5 pic Babylon 5
The Coming of Shadows: Sci-Fi Channel, Tuesday, 21.00
It won Babylon 5’s first Hugo award for being very fab indeed, and the accolade was well-deserved. There’s a lot going on here, including the Centauri Emperor arriving on the station to make a public apology to the Narn for past Centauri actions. Meanwhile, members of his own race, as well as G’Kar, are planning his demise. All the intricate plotting combines well, with a dash of irony thrown in as G’Kar apologizes to Londo without realizing what is happening behind the scenes. Beautifully written, integral to the whole story arc, and featuring a brief guest spot by Michael O’Hare to introduce the Rangers, The Coming of Shadows is B5 at its best, and sets in motion an important chain of events. Unmissable. (PS) pic © Warner Bros

19th-25th September Cult Times Logo
Max Headroom
Rakers: Sci-Fi Channel, Saturday 10.00 & 19.00
Now regarded as an ‘80s icon, Max Headroom is back on the Sci-Fi Channel. Originally the computer generated host of The Max Headroom Show in the early ‘80s, Max went on to star in the UK produced 70 minute pilot, Max Headroom – 20 Minutes Into the Future, which told of the stuttering digital hero’s origins. After two years, the option for a series was picked up by Lorimar Telepictures in America who produced two seasons of the show. When Max first hit the UK’s screens in 1983 it was maintained that he truly was a completely computer generated entity. However, the truth is that Max was in fact actor Matt Frewer wearing heavy make-up. The video recordings of his performance were then enhanced by computer. (JA)
pic © UPN
South Park South Park
Mecha-Streisand: Channel 4, Friday, 23.05
What do you do when Barbra Streisand is desperately trying to collect all the missing pieces of an ancient relic in an effort to turn herself into the most powerful person on the planet? Why enlist the help of Sidney Poitier, Leonard Maltin and Robert Smith from The Cure of course! Thus ensues a raging battle of Toho-inspired monsters which decimates South Park and as usual our miniature heroes are stuck in the middle. This is a shining episode in the already glittering universe of South Park, proving once more that it’s genius creators really don’t give a monkeys (with four asses). (GK)

26th-30th September Cult Times Logo
Resistance to 7 of 9 was low Doctor Who
The Gunfighters: UK Gold, Saturday 10.00
One of William Hartnell’s last stories, The Gunfighters is a curious little Doctor Who egg around which various tall tales have grown up. Let’s see: it was supposedly the lowest-rated story of the time. Bzzzt – it wasn’t, not even close. It sounded the death knell for purely ‘historical’ Who episodes. Wrong again – it was just another example of what the incoming production team didn’t like about said historicals. The aurally recurring ‘Ballad of the Last Chance Saloon’ is wretchedly annoying. OK, you’ve got me there. And the whole thing’s apparently a pile of old nonsense. Well – it’s not. Dodgy American accents and an ‘interesting’ approach to historical authenticity aside, it’s solidly written and produced, and plain good fun. I tell it like it is, bro. (PG)
Star Trek: Voyager
Demon Sky One, Monday 20.00
As we head towards the end of the season, Voyager throws in some intriguing stories. All of us Trek fans are by now well aware of the concept of an M-class planet, one that can support human life. Searching for an element desperately needed to work the warp engines, the crew of Voyager come across a demon-class planet, intensely hot and very unfriendly towards humans. When Kim volunteers himself and Paris to obtain the substance required, the pair soon find themselves quite literally dying to return to the ship… Some nice performances from the cast, a clever idea and a unique and surprise ending makes for a fun episode. Plus, it’s a good opportunity to get those First Contact spacesuits out again for an airing. (PS)

Highlights by: John Ainsworth (JA), Peter Griffiths (PG), Grant Kempster (GK), Paul Spragg (PS)

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