Out of the Box UK TV highlights for February 2000

selected from
Cult Times #53

Jump to:
Week One: 1st - 4th Feb
Week Two: 5th - 11th Feb
Jump to :
Week Three: 12th - 18th Feb
Week Four: 19th - 25th Feb
Week Four: 26th - 29th Feb
Highlights by Paul Spragg (PS), Tom Spilsbury (TS), Mark Wyman (MW)
For full day-by-day listings of all UK TV channels, see magazine

LEXX: Fire and Water LEXX  
Highlight of the month Sci-Fi channel
Fire and Water • Sunday 6th, 22.00
The lovely Sci-Fi (UK channel) have managed an impressive coup and obtained the brand new season of LEXX before anyone else in the world, featuring a new concept, a new look for Xev, a new outlook for 790 and plenty of the cosmic weirdness we’ve come to know and love. The destruction of the Light Universe has left the LEXX stranded in the Dark Zone, but with no fuel reserves (it’s “very hungry”).

Drifting for 4,000 years with the crew in stasis, the LEXX eventually falls into a figure-eight orbit around the planets Fire and Water which have been at war for centuries. Are the LEXX crew the saviours of two worlds? Or will they make things worse?

As inventive as ever, this 13-episode season of LEXX is one complete serial. This first episode introduces some of the set-up and main protagonist, Prince, and continues the astonishing visual quality LEXX has always shown with some fantastically outlandish CGI creations. Be warned though: if you’re expecting a conclusion, you’ll be out of luck until episode 13. (PS)

1st - 4th February Back to top

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Channel 5 logo

FIRST WAVE
Joshua
Thursday, 20.05

Ooh, nasty... Joshua in First Wave

STARTING THIS WEEK:

Futurama Season Two – first UK showing from Tuesday, 20.30

Cade has been caught out in the woods, penned in by the authorities. One man seems particularly keen to capture Foster, Joshua, one of the alien leaders. But when they meet, things aren’t so clear cut as both parties find out more about each other.

Channel 5’s plan is to show selected episodes from the series, and it seems they are screening the episodes by creator Chris Brancato. This is one of the better ones, despite being low on actual plot, it does set out some facts about the aliens and their plan and begins a building trust between Cade and Joshua that will become more developed in time. (PS)

skyone channel logoANGEL
Rm W/A Vu Friday, 21.00

It’s time for Cordelia to find a new home, and after being taken house-hunting by Angel, the vampire is ready to give in. One favour for Doyle later and he’s clear of the responsibility, but the flat Doyle has found for Cordy is haunted...

A welcome character piece for Charisma Carpenter, Rm W/A Vu shows how fragile Cordy really is beneath the surface, and gives her a chance to recover from her recent set-backs and return to her old self with a new awareness. Worth watching for some top bitchy dialogue and a surprise twist ending. (PS)

LOOK OUT FOR

Brimstone
Season One – first terrestrial UK showing now in progress on Channel 4, Friday, 02.00

5th - 11th February • Back to top

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THE X-FILES
Terms of Endearment
BBC1, Wednesday, 22.20

STARTING THIS WEEK:

LEXX Season Three – first showing in the world on Sci-Fi from Sunday, 22.00

Mulder and Scully investigate a man who seems to be a serial father, moving from woman to woman and apparently killing the children they produce. After more outright comedic episodes, the expectation that Bruce Campbell will provide more of the same is turned on it's head with an affecting performance. A well-paced story, Terms of Endearment keeps you guessing right up until the final twist which is particularly creepy. (PS)

skyone channel logoFUTURAMA
Mars University Tuesday, 20.30

Fry decides to return to University so he can drop out all over again and Bender joins him to revive the spirit of Robot House, his old fraternity.

Packed with lunacy from start to finish, this episode proves that Futurama hasn’t lost its touch after a dodgy (second season) start. Bender’s antics are hilarious, as is Fry’s inability to out-think a monkey wearing Professor Farnsworth’s latest intelligence-enhancing invention. What’s particularly effective, though, is the way this monkey is developed as a character so the viewer feels sorry for him. (PS)

LOOK OUT FOR

Stargate SG-1
Season One appeared on Channel 4 too late for last issue on Sundays at 17.00, as did...
Star Trek: Voyager with its fifth season running on BBC2 at 18.45, also on Sundays

12th - 18th February • Back to top

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HERCULES
Yes Virginia, There is a Hercules
Sunday, 20.00

Kevin Sorbo comes up-to-date

STARTING THIS WEEK:

 The Strangerers Season One – first UK showing of Rob Grant’s new Sci-Fi comedy on Sky 1 from Tuesday at 21.00

After an earthquake hits Los Angeles, the Hercules production team are unable to find Kevin Sorbo. Can they come up with an idea to cover the loss before the show is cancelled?

Yes, it’s one of those episodes only Hercules could get away with as the recurring cast play various members of the production team and Kevin Sorbo plays himself. One thing this episode shows is that all involved have a great sense of humour, and there’s much to enjoy as the search starts for replacement ideas. Not to mention the final twist... (PS)

skyone channel logoBUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
The Initiative Friday, 20.00

Spike escapes from a hi-tech lab and decides to go on a Slayer hunt. However, his captors are on his tail. I really can’t say any more than that without wrecking the surprises of this episode for you.

Suffice it to say that James Marsters is on superb form as Spike, and for those who’ve been getting increasingly irritated about the SAS-style soldiers roaming the campus, all (or at least some) is revealed. But there’s much more here, including some of the funniest sequences yet seen on the show as two recurring villains attack two of our heroes with unusual results.

Frenetic, vital to this season’s arc and side-splittingly funny, Buffy fans will love this episode, or I’ll give each of you a fiver. (PS)

LOOK OUT FOR

 The Simpsons
Season Eleven – first UK showing of new episode Grift of the Magi at 18.30 on Sunday

19th - 25th February • Back to top

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STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE
Strange Bedfellows
Monday, 20.00

Surprises for Kai Winn in DS9

LOOK OUT FOR

 Roswell
The conclusion to last week’s story, River Dog, is on Sky 1, Thursday at 20.00

After Weyoun’s announcement last week that the Breen had joined the Dominion, Damar is rather hesitant to embrace the new alliance. Back on Deep Space Nine, another unlikely partnership is forming between Kai Winn and Anjohl Tennan. Anjohl (the disguised Dukat) has got far more in mind than a bit of hanky panky with her Eminence, and as his true motives become clear, Bajor’s future begins to look very bleak.

Strange Bedfellows is an aptly named episode that provides a few more pieces to the puzzle, and reduces the regular cast members to little more than cameo appearances. With the shocking death of a main character (no, I’m not telling you who) and some decidedly creepy Pah-Wraith moments, this is another excellent character piece from writer Rene Echevarria. And don’t miss the sad tale of how Martok lost his pet Targ. But it might make you cry. [You say this every month – Ed] (TS)

BBC2 channel logoBUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
I Only Have Eyes For You Thursday, 18.45

Is love forever? A desperate crime of passion from the 1950s causes havoc by being repeatedly re-enacted in the corridors of Sunnydale High. Someone’s tortured spirit is clearly at work, but whose? After a run of bizarre manifestations which leave the school deserted (limbs in lockers, snakes in the canteen, that kind of thing) Buffy finds herself drawn into a final performance which could be fatal…

This haunting, very poignant episode (from the series’ best writer of comic romance, Marti Noxon) contains some of the best of the much-needed diversions from that traumatic Buffy-Angel arc during late Season Two. Yet it still finds room for an audacious encounter between the couple that forms a unique final act. Don’t walk away from it. (MW)

LOOK OUT FOR

 Buffy The Vampire Slayer/Angel
The second crossover event between the two shows sees Angel visiting Sunnydale to secretly protect Buffy and a return visit by the Slayer to LA for the romantic and tragic I Will Remember You. It all starts on Friday at 20.00 on Sky 1.

26th - 29th February • Back to top

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EARTH: FINAL CONFLICT
Thicker Than Blood
Sunday, 20.00

Sandoval on the verge in EFC

STARTING THIS WEEK

3rd Rock From the Sun
Season Five – first UK showing from Tuesday, 20.00 on Sky 1

Sandoval’s attempt to get a ‘memory block’ puts him in hospital, and only a transfusion from a child or a parent can save him from death. Luckily, he has a son, but is Liam willing to help his father? Meanwhile, Da’an sends an Amoralist to obtain information on the Resistance for his own purposes...

This episode is a perfect example of how good Earth: Final Conflict can be when it remembers that its characters are its most important asset. Aside from the puzzling start (what is a memory block and why does Sandoval want one?), this episode doesn’t put a foot wrong, giving Augur, Da’an and particularly Liam some powerful scenes and excellent dialogue. Robert Leeshock is a revelation as Liam is betrayed on all sides, and the characters’ relationships will be well and truly shaken up from here on. (PS)

Channel 5 logoXENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS
Fins, Femmes and Gems Saturday, 20.05

Aphrodite is up to her old tricks again. In order for one of her thug-like followers to get a diamond to her temple, she must waylay Xena, Gabrielle and Joxer who are in pursuit. Thus she uses her new perfume Obsession, making Xena mad about fishing, Gabrielle completely infatuated with herself and Joxer into an apeman.

More comic catastrophe ensues in this enjoyable but unlikely episode, with the particular highlight being Ted Raimi’s Joxer doing his best Tarzan impersonation.

LOOK OUT FOR

 Red Dwarf
Timeslides: UK Gold, Saturday, 22.05

Hidden among other great episodes in Season Three, Timeslides has a host of brilliant ideas.

hIGHMore highlights, with full UK broadcast and merchandise listings for
February, in Cult Times #53
Cult Times