Out of the Box UK TV highlights for September 2000

selected from
Cult Times #60

Jump to:
Week One: 2nd - 8th September
Week Two: 9th - 15th September
Jump to :
Week Three: 16th - 22nd September
Week Four: 23rd - 29th September

All highlights this month by Paul Spragg (PS)

For full day-by-day listings of all UK TV channels, see magazine

The Seaquest DSV crew. Plus dolphin Highlight of the Month seaQuest DSV
To Be or Not To Be
Monday 4th, 13.00 & 19.00
Sci Fi channel logo

Captain Nathan Bridger is asked to come out of retirement and command the Deep Submergence Vehicle seaQuest that he designed, and which has now been built. Okay, not much of a storyline there, but this is the first part of the pilot episode, so it’s necessary to introduce the crew, the kid cybergeek genius and, yes, the talking dolphin.

It’s taken a lot of flak over the years, and although seaQuest DSV was hardly the best Sci-Fi programme on the air, at least it was different. The ship itself is a wonderfully sleek craft, and before the more outlandish aspects took over, not to mention the introduction of a war and Michael Ironside, many episodes were wonderful journeys of discovery in the depths of the ocean. Maybe it was because it was too true to life and lacked the drama of fiction that caused problems, but here’s a chance to reappraise this series as it is shown from the beginning. Plus Season One features the mighty Bob Ballard at the end, too. Marvellous. (PS)

2nd - 8th September • Back to top

Cult Times LogoSelected from
Cult Times #60

BBC2 logo

ROSWELL
Pilot
Thursday, 18.00

 

“Oh, I am what I am, I’ll do what I want, but I can’t hide, I won’t go...” These words, (or something like them) while familiar to many, will be unknown to those people who haven’t had the chance to sample the wonders of Roswell, or indeed Roswell High, as it’s known here in the UK.

A violent incident at the Crashdown, the hilariously-named local coffee shop in the town of Roswell, sets off a chain of events which flips the world of waitress Liz Parker upside down. This opening episode leaves the viewer in no doubt as to the potential of Roswell as a series, and although it takes time to build up, the eventual pay-offs are much better due to having a chance to get to know and love the characters. Get in on the ground floor, as you’ll come to regret it later otherwise, when everyone is talking about this season’s best new show. (PS)

9th - 15th September • Back to top

Cult Times LogoSelected from
Cult Times #60

BBC2 logo

FARSCAPE
Look at the Princess I: A Kiss is But a Kiss
Monday, 18.45

 

The Moya crew, minus Zhaan, travels to a planet where the local custom seems to involve kissing everyone you meet. Crichton, recently brushed off by Aeryn once again, is more than keen, and the ‘active’ D’Argo and Chiana are likewise happy to join in the fun. Then Crichton discovers the reason for the kissing, Moya starbursts away and Scorpius arrives...

If you’re going to do a three part story, you have to have plenty of plot to go round, and there’s certainly more than enough here, with the above barely scratching the surface. There are some superbly played scenes between Aeryn and Crichton and Crichton and Scorpius, the latter of which comes across as wonderfully sinister as ever.

If you’ve ever wanted to give Farscape a try and never have, this episode gives a good example of what you’re missing. Get over the muppet stigma and watch. (PS)

 
Channel 4 logo

ANGEL
City Of...
Friday, 18.00

 

Angel moves from Sunnydale to the big wide world of LA, only to find a new calling in the opening episode of his spin-off series. While a little heavy on the setting-up-premise aspect, City of delivers an intro for new viewers and some great action to old ones, particularly the incredible opening teaser. As a semi-pilot it works quite well, and although things go a big wonky during the season, stick with it. Like Roswell, Angel really hits its stride later. (PS)

16th - 22nd September • Back to top

Cult Times LogoSelected from
Cult Times #60

Sky One logo

STARGATE SG-1
Upgrades
Wednesday, 20.00

 

A Tok’ra named Anise arrives at the SGC with a proposal: she has brought with her gauntlets that greatly increase the natural abilities of the wearer, giving them what are essentially super-powers. And the test subjects? Who else but O’Neill, Jackson and Carter?

It’s a wonderful premise, and although it perhaps isn’t quite milked to its full potential, Upgrades does see the team, as O’Neill puts it, “Kicking some cool butt.” Their trip to a restaurant where O’Neill orders several steaks for himself alone, and which ends with a fine collection of sound effects, is a particular highlight, as is SG-1’s mission to destroy a prototype Goa’uld ship, where their powers of advanced speed and endurance really come into their own.

Fans should pay special attention to this mission, as it will become an important plot point a couple of episodes down the line. Oh, and for those people who are still experiencing Vanessa Angel withdrawal symptoms after Weird Science, she makes her first appearance as Anise in this episode. And she’s still gorgeous. (PS)

 

Channel 5 logoCHARMED
Déjà Vu All Over Again, Saturday, 20.05

Phoebe gets a vision of Andy being killed, but the sisters soon realize that they are equally in danger from a villain determined to kill all of them, and getting as many chances as he needs to do the job, thanks to the machinations of the Time-controlling Tempus.

The first season finale features another of those instances where Phoebe has to break news of a death within the first three minutes, but the Groundhog Day nature of events here gives Andy several chances to avoid his fate. There are some touching scenes between him and Prue as they both finally admit how they feel. The sequences of the sisters under attack and, in some cases, meeting their end, are sudden and shocking and there’s also the conclusion of some of the season’s story arcs. (PS)

23rd - 29th September • Back to top

Cult Times LogoSelected from
Cult Times #60

Channel 5 logo

XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS
Adventures in the Sin Trade I
Saturday, 20.05

 

Gabrielle is dead, sacrificing her life to save the world from her evil daughter. Of course, never one to let death get in the way of a good friendship, Xena sets out on a quest to find and retrieve Gabrielle’s soul.

Although the revolving door of the Underworld is starting to get a bit much now, this is still a strong episode that gives an insight into the person Xena would be without Gabrielle at her side. Not only that, but it introduces some of the elements for the arc that runs across the season and a new recurring villain who is more than a match for the warrior princess... (PS)

 

Sky One logoRELIC HUNTER
Buddha’s Bowl Saturday, 13.00

Gullible but sweet Brit Nigel arrives at a university as the new assistant to Professor Sydney Fox. Despite being a little troubled by her unusual teaching methods, he agrees to join her on a relic hunting trip to find Buddha’s bowl, an artefact that can provide for the holder’s desires.

Relic Hunter does exactly what it says on the tin. Tia Carrere and Christien Anholt start as they mean to go on with a trip to the Canadian wilderness (aka Africa) in search of a relic, meet a nasty fellow relic hunter, who just happens to have a past history with Sydney, and have all manner of jungle-related japes.

Of course, this wouldn’t be a highlight if I were just having a go at the programme, so it’s worth pointing out that although much of this episode, and the series as a whole, is blindingly obvious, that doesn’t dull down the sheer pleasure of watching the female version of Indiana Jones in action. There’s running, jumping, chasing, dastardly traps and all the usual nonsense, and if you felt The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles was a bit serious and dull, this will be much more to your liking. And both Sydney and Nigel take their clothes off. Well, some of them. So, something for everyone then. (PS)

hIGHMore highlights, with full UK broadcast and merchandise listings for
September, in Cult Times #60
Cult Times