Out of the Box UK TV highlights for December 1999
selected from
Cult Times #51
Jump to:
Week One: 1st - 3rd Dec
Week Two: 4th - 10th Dec
Week Three: 11th - 17th Dec
Week Four: 18th - 24th Dec
Week Five: 25th - 31st Dec
Highlights by Paul Spragg (PS), Tom Spilsbury (TS), Clayton Hickman (CH)
For full day-by-day listings of all UK TV channels, see magazine

SG-1: Jolinar's Memories
Highlight of the month {short description of image}
Jolinar's Memories
Wednesday 8th, 20.00
When Tok'ra host and Carter's father Jacob is captured, he is taken to a planet ruled by a Goa'uld named Sokar who has decided to model himself on the Devil. Enlisted by other Tok'ra, SG-1 sets out to rescue him.
Generally, you tend to expect that little bit more of a two-part story, and Jolinar's Memories really delivers. Obviously given a fair share of the budget, the CGI landscapes are particularly impressive when the team first arrive in 'Hell'. Using a memory-retrieval device, Carter is able to access Jolinar's memories in order to find a way to escape, leading to tough times for the main characters as the device is used to try to extract information from them by a familiar figure. It's not hard to guess who's back, so I won't spoil the surprise, bit it could make for some interesting plotlines as the series progresses towards the end of its third season. (PS)

1st - 3rd December • Back to top
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skyone channel logoSTAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE
Sacrifice of Angels • Thursday 2nd, 18.45
DS9: Sacrifice of Angels

You know, the one with the big battles. No, the really big battles. Actually, although the battles are the one thing that everyone remembers Sacrifice of Angels for, that is actually doing the episode an injustice. It marks the turning point for Dukat, who descends into madness after this episode, and the re-introduction of the Prophets, who would become increasingly important to the series from this point on.


Odo has to decide who his friends are, Damar decides who his enemies are, and Weyoun is just having the time of his lives. It's crunch time for everyone, (esp-ecially if you're the 'angel' to which the title refers) but the war itself is only just hotting up. One of the show's very finest instalments. (TS)

The Silurians Tuesdays, 18.00
Bart Sells His Soul Wednesday, 19.00
Buffy The Vampire Slayer
Sky 1 begins a series of the best Buffy episodes as a Christmas treat, starting on Friday at 20.00 with The Puppet Show.

4th - 10th December • Back to top
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sci-fi channel logoDOOM WATCH
Winter Angel • Tuesday, 21.00
Winter Angel

Although apparently based on the 1970s BBC series of the same name, which concerned a government-run investigative team who uncovered threats to world ecology, this one-off special is the same programme in name alone. And even then, they've added a space.

A very expensive-looking production, this film updates the concept to the Nineties where former head of Doom Watch, Dr Spencer Quist gathers together a rag bag team of students and professors with an interest in ecology in order to find out what's been happening in a remote power station near Newcastle.


With some fine performances and excellent (if sometimes gory) special effects, the production is only let down by its occasional impenetrability - the writer should have been told that not everyone has a degree in advanced scientific gobbledegook.

On the basis of this film, Doom Watch is certainly deserving of a follow-up series, if only because beautifully-produced Sci-Fi drama like this is such a rarity on British TV. (CH)

Ted Thursday, 18.45
The Simpsons
Season Eleven - first UK showing for new episode E-I E-I D'oh on Sunday at 18.30, featuring a guest vocal performance from popular beat combo The B-52's.

11th - 17th December • Back to top
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skyone channel logoSLIDERS
Heavy Metal • Monday 13th, 21.00
Heavy Metal

The sliders arrive in the middle of the ocean. This causes some degree of concern, as swimming to shore after each slide may not be useful or possible. Bumped out of their 'sliding radius', the team seek passage on a ship to get back to dry land. Then it gets boarded by pirates. Don't you just hate it when that happens?


Possibly one of the dafter ideas the Sliders creators have had, Heavy Metal is actually one of the more enjoyable episodes this season, if only because it's something a bit different. Plenty of fighting, a spot of action, sympathetic characters… and Maggie manages to get lucky in a surprisingly hot and heavy scene. And you can't say fairer than that. (PS)

Infection Thursday 16th, 20.05
King of Assassins Saturday 11th, 20.00
The Simpsons
Season Eleven - first UK showing for new episode Hello Gutter, Hello Fadder on Sunday 12th at 18.30

18th - 24th December • Back to top
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uk gold channel logoRED DWARF
White Hole • Sunday 19th, 00.50
White Hole

Season Four's Holly story is an undoubted highlight of the show's entire run, as the crew discover a white hole, spewing Time back into the universe in random pockets.

So what is it? Well, attempts to boost Holly's IQ back to 6,000 so she can count without banging her head on the screen result in her lifespan being reduced and the Dwarf floating in Space.

So what is it? Only joking. Season Four contains some of the best Sci-Fi concepts the show has utilized, and playing pool with planets is fantastic.


So what is it? I believe we've experienced this Time period before. Well, attempts to boost Holly's IQ... And that one. Luckily, the comedy isn't lost in the shuffle with Rimmer's attempts to explain a simple concept to Holly and the return of Talkie Toaster particular highlights. So what is it? Well, attempts... (PS)

Love's Labor Lost in Space Thursday 23rd, 22.30
They Keep Killing Steed Friday 24th, 11.00 & 17.00
Due South
Season Three – first UK showing of last ever episode Call of the Wild, Monday, 18.25, BBC2
Season One - first UK showing of the show about an alien who crashes on Earth and becomes a nanny, with hilarious consequences, weekdays over Christmas from 20th at 10.00, repeated at 15.00

25th - 31st December • Back to top
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uk gold channel logoDOCTOR WHO
Mawdryn Undead • Boxing Day, 09.15
Mawdryn Undead

As a pedantic Doctor Who fan, it is my duty to point out that Mawdryn Undead completely messes up all established UNIT continuity, by setting part of the story in 1977. However, once one gets over that small point, the story remains one of the highlights of the Davison era.

As well as bringing back the wonderful Nicholas Courtney as two versions of the Brigadier, we also meet new companion Turlough, who is actually plotting to kill the Doctor for the Black Guardian. And this is only the sub-plot! The main story revolves around a group of scientists who wish to gain the secret of eternal life, but entirely mess it up. David Collings excels as the tortured Mawdryn while Davison is just hitting his peak. An adventure which showcases Doctor Who at its most thoughtful and scientific. (TS)


Secrets • Wednesday 29th, 21.00

This is an introspective Stargate tale that sees most of the main cast discovering a secret (surprising eh?), Daniel's about Sha're and Carter's about her father.

Jackson's return to Abydos is the most affecting of the plotlines, but Carter's reunion with her father is also emotionally played. Meanwhile, O'Neill meets a reporter who has somehow uncovered the truth of the Stargate Project and is determined to expose it. Truth exposing is unusual for The X-Files' Chris Owens, but he does a fine job with a small role here. (PS)

hIGHMore highlights, with full UK broadcast and merchandise listings for
December, in Cult Times #51
Cult Times