March 1999 Out of the Box
All highlights this month by Paul Spragg

Highlight of the month

The X-Files
The Beginning
Sky One, Sunday 7th, 21.00
For those of you who missed the X-Files movie over the summer – you fools! It was fantastic! The Beginning carries on the events from the movie and last season’s exciting finale, The End, which introduced the world to chess prodigy and general smart-arse Gibson Praise. After discovering the child could be the answer to everything in the X-Files, Mulder and Scully rather pathetically lost him to newly-reformed cab driver Krycek and the Well-Manicured Man.
Now, after an unsubtle recap of the film’s events, Mulder and Scully are thrown into the pursuit of a black-oil alien that has recently done an Alien from the chest of an unsuspecting Human. How is the oilien related to Gibson Praise? Watch and see, and for once you’ll get some answers in an exciting, surprising, and conspiracy-full X-Files. A superb start to one of the show’s best seasons [See feature in this issue].

Pic © Fox
1st-5th March Cult Times Logo
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
The Puppet Show:
BBC2: Wednesday, 18.45
It’s time for the Sunnydale High talent show, and this year the new Principal, Snyder, has decreed that Buffy and her trouble-making friends will provide an act on pain of death. Giles isn’t doing any better: he has to organize the whole spectacle.
However, when students begin to be murdered and their organs harvested, it looks like a ventriloquist’s dummy showing signs of intelligence is a demon in disguise. Can Buffy stop the deaths before someone close to her ‘volunteers’ an organ?
The Puppet Show has much to recommend it: clever plot twists, hilarious comedy (including Buffy and co’s appalling act during the end credits), and the first appearance of Armin ‘Quark’ Shimerman as Snyder, denouncing the previous Principal’s niceness as “the kind of woolly thinking that gets you eaten”.

Pic © Warner Bros

6th-12th March Cult Times Logo
Zo'or Earth: Final Conflict
Between Heaven and Hell
Sky One, Sunday, 20.00
When Dr Belman’s daughter Joyce injects herself with an evolutionary accelerant, she soon becomes the most advanced creature on the planet. Naturally, her first thought is that all the inferior humans and Taelons must be wiped off the planet so she can start a new race with Liam. So, good news for him.
The experiments on humans to make them capable of fighting a Jaridian invasion come to a head in this fast-paced and emotional episode, which sets out what we know of the Taelons’ plan so far. Good use of the ensemble cast, especially a heroic Lili, a bitchy Da’an, a cunning Zo’or and a Dr Belman with personality, makes this a vital story to see for the next phase of the show’s evolution.
pic © Alliance

13th-19th March Cult Times Logo
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
The Reckoning
Sky 1: Monday 15th, 20.00
An important entry in DSN’s sixth season, in which Sisko finally tells the Prophets what he thinks of them. However, shortly after deciding to make his own choices, Ben finds he’s managed to cause a war between the Prophets and Pah-Wraiths in a winner-takes-Bajor-and-the-wormhole battle. Sometimes, you’re just not going to have a good day. Fine acting by Avery Brooks as a frustrated Sisko makes this a stand-out episode that will become more significant later.
pic © Paramount
20th-26th March Cult Times Logo
Virtual Insanity VR.5
Love and Death:
Sci-Fi: Wednesday, 20.00
Sydney goes into VR with a suicidal man, but soon discovers things aren’t as they first appear, and he may be an assassin. Didn’t understand it the first time? Well, neither did anyone else, so here’s your chance to enjoy VR.5 again. Its plots may have got increasingly complex, but it’s certainly intriguing trying to work out what’s going on. This is the last episode featuring Armageddon’s Will Patton before Anthony Buffy Head took over.
pic © Universal
hIGHFor more highlights, with broadcast and merchandise listings for March, see Cult Times #42.
Cult Times