Out of the Box UK TV highlights for April 2001

selected from
Cult Times #67

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Week One: 1st – 6th April
Now and Again • Angel
Week Three: 14th – 20th April
Buffy the Vampire Slayer • Charmed
Week Two: 7th – 13th April
Angel • Earth: Final Conflict
Week Four: 21st - 27th April
To follow

All highlights this month by Paul Spragg (PS)

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

Traci Lords as First Wave's Jordan Highlight of the Month First Wave
Mabus
Monday 2nd, 21.00
Sci-Fi logo

Remember how Season Two ended? Cade Foster was shot dead by best friend Eddie in front of a nation of believers. Want to know how it was done? Well now’s your chance, as the first episode of the new season flashes back to the days leading up to the shooting when Cade discovers the arrival of a Gua leader, Mabus, a leader the Nostradamus prophecies refer to as the coming of the Antichrist...

Hiking the tension up another notch, it’s not clear how much (if any) of this episode was worked out when the Season Two cliffhanger was being made, but it fits together perfectly. With a difficult job to do (explain last season’s cliffhanger, introduce Mabus, Jordan and the Raven Nation) it succeeds very well, with Cade gaining a stronger position and more help in his fight against the aliens. Roger R Cross, still playing evil Gua Cain, is on fine form as well working with Mabus, Traci Lords makes a creditable and mysterious opening appearance and there’s a sense of freshness that seems to re-energize the series once again. Definitely one to keep an eye on.

1st – 6th April • Back to top

Cult Times LogoSelected from
Cult Times #67

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NOW AND AGAIN
Disco Inferno
Tuesday, 21.00

First UK showing

After several cases of spontaneous human combustion, Michael’s curiosity infects Dr Morris and he tries to find out what is happening. Meanwhile, Heather is in urgent need of driving lessons...

As the series progresses, the relationship between Michael and Morris continues to develop, with a reversal here as Michael manages to prod Morris’s pride into an investigation the doctor doesn’t want to be involved in. The answer, when it comes, is unsettling yet very much based in reality, but it allows for some great moments between the pair as Michael gets the chance to do the controlling for a change. It’s also good to see that the other Wisemans don’t lose out. Heather’s driving lessons are predictably but amusingly handled, particularly when she describes her mother’s reaction to her ‘skills’ behind the wheel...

 
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ANGEL
The Thin Dead Line
Friday, 21.00

First UK showing

Angel must deal with a group of rather over-dedicated cops who are enforcing stern justice after death.

Greatly helped by its realism, leaving aside the zombie premise, The Thin Dead Line is a story that draws in all the regulars and Kate Lockley. Watching police officers beating and shooting anyone they see, regardless of any crime, is pretty scary, especially when they take out one of the main characters. Claustrophobic and tense, it’s a fine piece of gritty drama.

7th – 13th April • Back to top

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Cult Times #67

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ANGEL
Reprise
Friday, 21.00

First UK showing

While the Angel Investigations splinter group tries to recover from the events of last week, Angel hears that one of the senior partners at Wolfram & Hart will soon be manifesting in LA, something he’s determined to take advantage of.

If you’re of a miserable disposition, this episode could push you over the edge, laced as it is with depression, anxiety, loneliness and some hard truths about life in the big bad world. The reason it works so well is because you think you know what will happen – you’re wrong, almost certainly – and that you can predict Angel’s reaction to events. In his current frame of mind he’s never been more separated from Humanity and further from his mission to champion the innocent.

For added power, Reprise also features an emotional reunion between Angel and his former colleagues – but again, not the kind you’d expect – and a conclusion that terrifies when you realize what may have just happened. Can things get any worse? You’ll just have to tune in the following week and find out, won’t you?

 
Sky One logo

EARTH: FINAL CONFLICT
Dark Matter
Saturday, 18.00

First UK showing

When a piece of dark matter collides with the Taelon mothership, it slows the energy of all the aliens on board to a mere crawl. Unable to protect themselves against Sandoval, he seizes his chance for revenge.

It’s been too long coming, but it’s time to finally see the extent of Sandoval’s rage. As he tries to work out the best way of ridding the world of all Taelons, with a special fate in sto’or for Zo’or (sorry), it’s up to Liam to save his enemies.

There’s plenty of intrigue going on here, as we discover the Atlantic National Alliance isn’t quite as humanitarian as it’s seemed, what can happen if a Taelon touches a human, and the destiny of Liam Kincaid. Building on past plotlines, plenty more are worked into the mythology here, making the future look interesting...

14th – 20th April • Back to top

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Cult Times #67

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BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
The Body
Friday, 20.00

First UK showing

Suffice it to say – someone is dead. I’m not telling you who, I’m not telling you how, but this episode deals with the aftermath.

Joss Whedon, moving into experimental mode again as he did so well with Hush last season, writes and directs an incredibly powerful and moving story. With no music used, it’s carried entirely by the realistic reactions of the main players, with each one getting a fine scene dealing with their grief.

The core cast have the best-written material arguably since the start of Season One, but the newer members are the ones with the most emotional moments. If this episode doesn’t affect you, you clearly have no soul. Be warned: it will leave you upset and shaky by the end.

 
Living logo

CHARMED
Blinded by the Whitelighter
Monday, 20.00

First UK showing

Has Leo been shirking his responsibilities? Are the Charmed Ones in danger more or less often thanks to him? Are they well-trained or maverick witches who think they know best? That’s the premise as a new White Lighter arrives to knock the Halliwells into shape, just in time to investigate a dangerous demon with an extremely troubling plan to improve his place in the grand scheme of things.

For once there’s a major threat for the Power of Three as the girls find themselves attacked on all fronts, and then rendered powerless when they try to fight off their latest enemy. The new White Lighter is as you’d imagine: a stuffy hard-nosed woman, but it makes for a fascinating insight into Leo’s life when she takes him to task in their own language.

With the stakes as high as you can get, only our feisty trio can halt a disaster. Plus, with the usual mix of action, witty put-downs and romantic complications, all the elements are present for a fine episode.

hIGHMore highlights, with full UK broadcast and merchandise listings for
April , in Cult Times #67
Cult Times