Out of the Box UK TV highlights for October 2000

selected from
Cult Times #61

Jump to:
Week One: 1st - 6th October
Week Two: 7th - 13th October
Jump to :
Week Three: 14th - 20th October
Week Four: 21st - 27th October

All highlights this month by Paul Spragg (PS)

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

Kevin Sorbo leads the Andromeda crew into action Highlight of the Month Andromeda
Under the Night
Monday 9th, 20.00
Sky One channel logo

Er... this could be tricky. You see, Andromeda is starting on Sky a mere few days after it arrives in syndication across America. Therefore, in a Radio Times-esque way, no preview tapes were avilable at time of going to press. However, here’s what we do know.

The fabulous Kevin Sorbo plays Captain Dylan Hunt, awoken after 300 years in stasis, which saves on getting Kev to seriously slim down à la the recent Robbie Williams video. Finding the universe he knew in tatters, he recruits a mix and match crew of varying colours, sexual preferences and attitudes (yes, it’s that Gene Roddenberry ‘we’re all equal’ thing again) and sets out in the advanced starship Andromeda Ascendant to restore peace to the galaxy.

Although the rag-tag crew thing has been done before, and certain aspects sound troublingly like Crusade, Andromeda is the biggest hope for new Sci-Fi this year. With a charismatic lead and a crew that should allow for some interesting storylines, Andromeda is expected to be big. Get in on the ground floor before it overtakes Big Brother in popularity... (PS)

1st - 6th October • Back to top

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SciFi logo

FIRST WAVE
The Believers
Monday, 21.00

 

Cade Foster takes over a TV station with the help of Eddie, just as it is preparing to broadcast a show about him, in the hope of converting greater numbers to his cause. However, Cain is outside the building, and he has his own plans...

It’s the Season Two finale of First Wave, and unlike the first season’s lazy clip show, this is a suitably climactic finish. The opening take-over of the station is incredibly fast and exciting, and it’s good to see Cade finally taking the initiative in his fight against the Gua. Roger R Cross is clearly having a ball in his new role of Cain, who’s far more evil than Joshua was, and after much suspicion of Cade’s hostages, one of whom is an alien infiltrator, there’s a fantastic cliffhanger ending that’ll leave you staring open-mouthed at the screen and with a lot of questions for next year. (PS)

7th - 13th October • Back to top

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Sky One channel logo

STARGATE SG-1
Window of Opportunity
Wednesday, 20.00

 

Exploring a planet, O’Neill and Teal’c are hit with a beam that sends them back to breakfast just prior to a briefing about the trip. Can they break the Time loop, and indeed, do they want to?

With a cast like the one Stargate has, who by all accounts spend half their time on set larking about, this episode is a gift. The premise is familiar from Groundhog Day and the countless imitations it has spawned (with SF/Fantasy shows being ideally suited to this kind of unlikely set-up). It all seems fairly serious at the start, with O’Neill and Teal’c trying to stop the day repeating by learning everything they have to. But it’s once Daniel points out the pair can do anything without fear of the consequences that things take a turn for the hilarious. Watch as Teal’c seeks revenge, the pair find a new use for the stargate and a fan dream comes true... (PS)

 
Channel 5 logo

HERCULES
...And Fancy Free
Wednesday, 19.00

STARTING THIS WEEK
ANDROMEDA
Season One – first UK showing. See above.

A young woman teased by her peers is desperate to dance, and only one man can help her: Hercules. Hercules constantly seems to be trying to outdo itself for the sheer lunacy of its plots, and this tremendous Strictly Ballroom pastiche (after all, why not make use of the local talent?) is one of the strangest yet funniest episodes of the series.

It’s not just Hercules hitting the dance-floor, using his fight moves as dance moves (and later on vice versa), it’s the inimitable and familiar-looking Widow Twankey teaching him that really sets things off. Playing the role to perfection, ‘Edith Sidebottom’ admires Herc’s trim figure and is a revelation on the dance-floor. You’ve never seen anything like it. (PS)

14th - 20th October • Back to top

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Sky One logo

ANGEL
Sense and Sensitivity
Friday, 18.00

 

The Los Angeles Police Department have all been signed up for sensitivity workshops to better learn how to relate to each other and to victims of crime. Of course, someone has foolishly hired a man from the Ethan Rayne school of practical jokes, who makes the entire force and other people he comes into contact into a bunch of teary-eyed softies.

After a fairly dark start, Angel lets its hair down with this offering, written by the jewel in the writing staff’s crown, Tim Minear. For an episode played mainly for comedy it contains some of the series most dramatic scenes, particularly those revolving around Detective Lockley and her father. David Boreanaz is allowed to play to an unexpected strength, allowing a side of Angel to come through that’s barely been seen before, and the reactions of Cordelia and Doyle to his niceness are priceless. (PS)

21st - 27th October • Back to top

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BBC2 logo

FARSCAPE
Won’t Get Fooled Again
Monday, 19.15

 

Don’t you just hate it when, after months of being on a ship, a living ship, full of strange alien life forms, you wake up to discover you’re back on Earth where you’ve always been, being administered to by Nurse Bettina Fairchild (who looks like Aeryn Sun). Well, John Crichton hates it too, which is why he’s determined to find out who’s messing with his mind this time, and his only help may lie with Scorpius...

It seems writer Richard Manning has been working his way through some serious hallucinogenics to come up with the weirdest Farscape episode yet. Frankly, to say more would spoil things, but if you want to see Crais in stilettos, D’Argo expressing his affection for Crichton, Zhaan in strange fetishist attire, Scorpius as the new Ringo Starr and Rygel going flying, this is the episode for you. (PS)

 

Channel Five logoLA FEMME NIKITA
I Remember Paris
Tuesday, 23.40

The Section is normally extremely careful with its prisoners. Catch them, torture and interrogate them, then kill them when you have the information. However, when the latest guest escapes, he transmits Section files, including its location, to a terrorist organization, leaving Operations no recourse...

At last, Section One finally gets what it deserves. It’s the end of an era as we discover where the base has been housed all this time and there’s an almighty explosion. The third season of the show has seen a gradual opening out of Section One, making it more vulnerable to both internal and external attack. It all leads to this, as the moment Operations has been dreading finally arrives. It’s fairly traditional Nikita territory (find solution to problem, find terrorist group and eliminate them), but it’s the wonderfully murky character motivations that keeps it so watchable. (PS)

hIGHMore highlights, with full UK broadcast and merchandise listings for
October, in Cult Times #61
Cult Times