Out of the Box UK TV highlights for November 1999
selected from
Cult Times #50
Jump to:
Week One: 1st - 5th Nov
Week Two: 6th - 12th Nov
Week Three: 13th - 19th Nov
Week Four: 20th - 26th Nov
Week Five: 27th - 30th Nov
Highlights by Paul Spragg (PS), Tom Spilsbury (TS), Clayton Hickman (CH)
For full day-by-day listings of all UK TV channels, see magazine

Time for the Sunnydale High Yearbook...
Buffy the Vampire Slayer  
Highlight of the month {short description of image}
Graduation Day Parts 1 & 2
Friday 26th, 20.00 – 22.00
Oh, you know what this one’s about. After a build-up of several episodes, it’s time for the Sunnydale High graduation and the Mayor plans to make use of the student body as an appetizer when he ascends to demonhood. Matters are complicated when Faith poisons Angel with an arrow, and the cure is rather extreme...
Graduation Day is everything you’d expect from an end-of-season spectacular, with the first part dealing with Faith and the second the Mayor. Although things take a turn for the serious, there’s still the requisite comedy and the fights are superbly staged. The Faith/Buffy rumble is particularly vicious, but that’s nothing compared to the last section of the story as the Mayor takes on all-comers hoping to take over Sunnydale. The final moves in setting up Angel are a little clumsy, but serve their purpose and it closes with a bang what has been the best season so far. (PS)

1st - 5th November • Back to top
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sci-fi channel logoFANTASY ISLAND
Pilot • Friday 5th, 20.30

Arriving on Fantasy Island, three people make wishes that they may come to regret as the mysterious Mr Roarke shows them the error of their ways.

Viewers of this ’90s update soon became aware that the more saccharine aspects of the original weren’t going to be making an appearance anytime soon. From the second the new Mr Roarke, (the superb Malcolm McDowell), picks out a black suit from his all-white wardrobe, you know he’s not a man you mess with. This first episode splits the action well between the three island visitors, with each being shown that you can’t always get what you wish for. A good start to a surprisingly overlooked series. (PS)

  Fantasy Island
Season One – first UK showing begins on Sci-Fi, Friday, 20.30
Babylon 5
Season Five – first showing on Sci-Fi from Tuesday, 21.00, two episodes per week
Due South
Season Three – first UK showing of last ever episode Call of the Wild, Monday, 18.25, BBC2
Stargate SG-1
Season One – last episode of current run, Singularity, Tuesday, 18.00. Series returns to Channel 4 next year

6th - 12th November • Back to top
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Sky One channel logoSTARGATE SG-1
Wednesday 10th, 20.00
  Sky One channel logoSTAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE
The Siege of AR-558
Monday 8th, 20.00
Testing for demons in SG-1

SG-1 arrives on a world featuring a village showing signs of Christianity. However, the village is also troubled by a demon, which is what SG-1 are taken for. Held captive, Teal’c is forced to endure tests to prove he can do witchcraft, and with old methods, he doesn’t stand a chance...

Several twists make this episode stand out, not to mention the unusual setting, which provides a contrast to the usual Outer Space fare. And look out for Richard Dean Anderson’s Dr Evil impression. (PS)


Ever wonder what happened to the Starfleet officers left behind in the Chin’Toka system after it was taken from the Dominion in Tears of the Prophets? Probably not, but Siege takes a rather different look at the Dominion War, ie from the perspective of ground troops rather than big spaceships shooting at each other.

With a superbly choreographed fight sequence and some beautiful music, the episode’s ending won’t fail to bring a lump to your throat. Deep Space Nine always excels on these ‘realities of war’ episodes, and if you think that the good guys always come out unscathed, Siege will force you to change your mind... (TS)

The Simpsons
Season Eleven – first UK showing of Beyond Blunderdome as part of Sky One’s All-Aussie Weekend, Sunday 7th, 18.30

13th - 19th November • Back to top
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Sky One channel logoTOTAL RECALL 2070
Brain Fever
Wednesday 17th, 21.00
  BBC2 channel logoDOCTOR WHO
Doctor Who Night
Saturday 13th, times tbc
Headache-inducing events for Hume in Total Recall

Hume and Farve discover a doctor placing implants into human brains, and Hume’s wife may have been one of his patients. The first of a two-parter, this story shakes up the TR2070 world and introduces an important concept that will return later in the season. It also has some horribly realistic effects. so squeamish viewers should steer clear. (PS)


Tom Baker, sans curls, sans scarf, sans marbles, presents this overdue tribute on the eve of the show’s 36th anniversary. There are two documentaries on the time-travelling Doctors themselves and the many rubber foes they have faced, plus short featurettes produced by BBC Science.

The highlight should be a series of sketches written by and starring League of Gentlemen member Mark Gatiss and fellow comedian David Walliams. One of the skits, Doctor Who and the Web of Caves, will see Gatiss achieve his lifetime ambition of playing the Time Lord, with a specially designed costume to boot. Also on offer is one, as-yet undecided, episode from the series and the 1965 Peter Cushing movie Doctor Who and the Daleks. (CH)

sci-fi channel logoFUTURAMA
Hell is Other Robots
Tuesday 16th, 20.00

Bender is addicted to electricity and is now ‘jacking on’ everywhere he can and later endangering his crewmates. Can Robotology save him?

A great Bender episode as we see two extremes of his nature, neither of them conducive to being around humans. The Church of Robotology is particularly inventive, especially their slogan 10 SIN 20 GOTO HELL. (PS)

Season One – first UK showing on BBC2 from Tuesday, 18.25
The Tribe
Season Two – first UK showing on Channel 5, starting Sunday, 16.40, now in hour-long episodes

20th - 26th November • Back to top
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The Debt (1 of 2)
Saturday 20th, 20.05

Although Sabrina Lloyd is present in voice alone, it’s good to bring some closure to this storyline in the final season, and contains some effectively-realized emotional moments for Cleavant Derricks. (PS)

Xena's early career in The Debt

Xena undertakes a journey to China when she receives a message from the ‘Weak One’, intending to fulfil an old debt. A chance to see the old Xena once again as flashbacks tell the story of the last encounter the warrior princess had with Ming T’ien, a vicious Chinese warrior. Now she must return to his palace and kill him.

It’s a darker story than usual for Xena, but it’s definitely a good one, and continues the Xena/Gabrielle relationship breakdown begun a few episodes previously. (PS)

  Sci-fi channel logoBABYLON 5
Day of the Dead
Thursday 25th, 21.00

Day of the Dead is unique among the last three seasons of Babylon 5, by being the only episode to not be written by Joe Straczynski. Taken on its own, it’s an odd little instalment, with an almost X-Files feel to it: during a Brakiri festival, a load of dead people come back to life for the day. Hence the title.

For Lochley and Garibaldi, this means some intense character-building scenes, while poor Lennier learns that he is about to become the 23rd Century version of Judas Iscariot. As always in B5, all will be revealed in the episodes to come. Oh, and Penn and Teller are in this one too. Be warned. (TS)

sci-fi channel logoSLIDERS
Monday 22nd, 21.00

Rembrandt starts to hear the voice of Wade Wells and is determined to find her and save her from the Kromaggs who captured her a year earlier.

Yes, it’s the answers long-time fans have been waiting for, as Wade’s fate is finally revealed. What starts off as a trust exercise for the current sliders, who think Rembrandt is going mad, turns into a frantic race to save Remmy’s friend.

South Park
Season Three – first UK showing on Sky 1 from Sunday, 23.00
Buffy The Vampire Slayer
Season Three – first UK showing of conclusion Graduation Day as a double bill from 20.00 on Friday. See Highlight of the Month (above) for information.

27th - 30th November • Back to top
Cult Times #50
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Love on the Rocks
Sunday 28th, 19.00

An all-time classic Simpsons episode featuring the apt guest voice of Patrick Stewart and plenty of Homer. In fact, pretty much all of him. It also features the memorable drinking song We Do (PS)

Hercules & Aphrodite: se

Aphrodite informs Hercules of a village in danger from a mudslide, and naturally our hero goes to help. Left standing is the alternate universe’s Iolaus who is trying to learn how to fight. However, after finishing off a group of heavies, he is spotted by Nautica, a mermaid who has been given legs, and they fall in love.

It’s been a while since there was a solo Iolaus story, and the fact that Michael Hurst is now playing a rather different version of the same man than before makes it even more enjoyable to watch. Of course, any episode featuring Aphrodite is a guaranteed hit, and there’s plenty of fun, romance and fight action to keep fans happy. (PS)

  Sci-fi channel logoLEXX
Sunday 28th, 22.00

The LEXX crew put down on the resting place of the former bodies of His Divine Shadow, unaware that the bodies are up and shuffling about and can turn vampiric with anyone who gets too close. Not to mention Lyekka’s hungry again...

One of the more unusual instalments of LEXX (and that’s saying something), Twilight is an enormously fun romp through a world straight out of an old Horror film, with blood, slime and Kai going completely barking the second he sets foot on the planet. You won’t see anything like it again. (PS)

BBC2 channel logoSLIDERS
Homer the Great
Monday 29th, 18.00

Homer manages to inveigle his way into a secret society known as the Stonecutters, and after being assigned a number based on the order in which he joined, he proceeds to reap the inherent rewards.

The Simpsons
Season Eleven – first UK showing of new episode Guess Who’s Coming to Criticize Dinner? on Sunday, 18.30 (Sky One)
hIGHMore highlights, with full UK broadcast and merchandise listings for
November, in Cult Times # 50
Cult Times