November 1998 Out of the Box

Highlight of the month

Not raven-haired, then Highlander: The Raven
Reborn: Sci-Fi Channel, Friday 13th, 20.30
It’s got an Immortal, it’s got swords, but that’s where the similarities end. The Sci-Fi Channel begins the first run of the show expected to be one of the year’s hits, starring Elizabeth Gracen as Amanda, an Immortal thief, and Paul Johansson as Nick Wolfe, a cop who wants to bring her in.
As all pilots, which this effectively is, Reborn has to introduce the concept behind the series, introduce the characters and explain why it’s called The Raven. All of these are done well, and the episode is filmed in a particularly stylish way. It’s not the most exciting of tales, and after over 1,000 years, you’d think Amanda would be a slightly better thief, but it does its job, and there’s plenty of potential for more. But the best aspect is Amanda’s cloak which makes a very cool whooshing noise when she moves around... (Paul Spragg)
pic © ???
1st-6th November Cult Times Logo
Xena pic The Simpsons
Treehouse of Horror IX: Sky One, Sunday, 18.30
The Simpsons’ yearly Treehouse of Horror is a great opportunity to use the normal characters in a different way, and quite often kill them. This year’s promises to be no exception. First up, Snake is finally given the death penalty (for smoking in the Kwik-E-Mart), but swears vengeance, returning as Homer’s new toupee to kill his crime’s witnesses. Secondly, Bart causes the television to suck himself and Lisa into Itchy and Scratchy’s cartoon where the cat and mouse try to kill the newcomers. Channel changing also causes them to appear in Ally McBeal. Lastly, Maggie starts to grow tentacles and uses her pacifier to summon her real father: Kang. Bart decides a custody battle must be fought... on The Jerry Springer Show. Enjoy. (PS) pic © Fox
7th-13th November Cult Times Logo
The Flash The Flash
Pilot: Sci-Fi Channel, Wednesday, 20.00
Using one of DC Comics’ lesser known but still very popular characters (the comic’s latest run is over 130 issues now), The Flash was a series that could have (ahem) run and run. Despite the fact that DC had killed him off four years earlier, the makers stuck to the original Flash, Barry Allen, a police scientist who is covered by electrified chemicals that grant him super-speed. Although this opener puts Barry up against a motorcycle gang (not a good start), the relationships are set up nicely and DC continuity adhered to rather than being ignored. Although the experiment was repeated with better success by Lois & Clark, The Flash is well worth a look. If you can spot him, that is... (PS) pic © ???
14th-20th November Cult Times Logo
Here comes Xena Xena: Warrior Princess
Here She Comes... Miss Amphipoulis: Channel 5, Saturday, 20.05
Salmoneus asks Xena to avert a war by joining his beauty pageant and stopping a group of warlords killing the contestants. Cue a sweet but deadly Xena, and a commanding, haughty Gabrielle. Great fun, and a chance for Lucy Lawless to relive her modelling career. (PS)
21st-27th November Cult Times Logo
Will you marry me, Davros? Doctor Who
The Take on Doctor Who: BBC Choice, Sunday - Friday, usually 21.00
Just in time for Doctor Who’s 35th anniversary, BBC Choice have put together a week of programmes to highlight the best of the series. Presented by Sylvester McCoy, the week starts on Sunday with a showing of the original pilot version of An Unearthly Child, the Paul McGann TV movie and a documentary alongside the first episode of fan favourite Genesis of the Daleks. The rest of the story is showing during the week, backed with the last episode of a selection of the best stories for each Doctor, including The Daemons, The Caves of Androzani and The Curse of Fenric. The only thing that’s disappointing is that a wider audience can’t see the celebration on BBC1 or BBC2 rather than Choice. (PS)
hIGHFor more highlights, and complete broadcast and merchandise listings for November, see Cult Times #38
Cult Times