Out of the Box UK TV highlights for May 2001

selected from
Cult Times #68

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Week One: 5th - 11th May
Earth: Final Conflict • The Lost World
Week Three: 19th – 25th May
Invisible Man • Simpsons • X–Files
Week Two: 12th – 18th May
Charmed • Now and Again
Week Four: 26th – 31st May, see issue
Roswell • First Wave • Invisible Man

All highlights this month by Paul Spragg (PS)

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

This is not Happening Highlight of the Month The X-Files
This Is Not Happening Thursday 10th, 21.00 Sky One logo

When one of Mulder’s fellow abductees is found, almost dead, the manhunt kicks into high gear. Can Doggett, Scully, Skinner, newcomer Agent Reyes and the resources of the FBI find the missing agent? Yes, of course they can, especially as David Duchovny must feature in all the remaining episodes of the season to fulfil his contract. But it’s how they find him that’s important here.

After Per Manum’s dip into the mythology, it’s all go here as Jeremiah Smith returns and there are aliens everywhere. The story continues in Deadalive and Three Words (those words being, of course, Fight the Future), which see many of the concepts from the movie being brought back into the light, with alien viruses and the ongoing covert invasion being featured. Alongside this, there’s the welcome return of Krycek, the first meeting of Mulder and Doggett and the début of Annabeth Gish as the rather unusual agent Monica Reyes, a wild card who looks like being a fascinating addition. It also looks as though from here on it’s building to a major mythology climax. Stay tuned...

Photos © 20th Century Fox; The X-Files can be seen on Sky 1 and BBC2.

5th – 11th May • Back to top

Cult Times LogoSelected from
Cult Times #68

Sky One logo

EARTH: FINAL CONFLICT
Atonement
Saturday, 18.00

First UK showing

Sandoval leaves the Taelon mothership with data proving the aliens have committed crimes against humanity. Seeking sanctuary with the Atlantic National Alliance, Sandoval finds that not everything is always going to go his way... A bold step for the producers of the show as arch-villain Ronald Sandoval makes a stand (although hoping to get at least a small island in the Bahamas out of it).

The smuggling of the FBI man to his court hearing is inventive, tense and, in places, fun, but the real drama comes when he takes the stand and must confront his own past before he is allowed to accuse the Taelons. A bevy of familiar faces and a towering enraged performance from Von Flores makes this a superb episode, and things will, for once, never be the same again.

 
Sci-Fi logo

THE LOST WORLD
The Journey Begins
Tuesday, 18.00

First UK showing

Starting this week:
The Invisible Man

First UK showing of Season One starts a Monday-Thursday run on Bravo at 21.00, repeated at midnight.
See cover feature

When an explorer dies, he leaves behind a notebook containing a remarkable secret: the existence of a time-lost realm where prehistoric times never ended and the dinoaurs still roam free. Intrigued, a group sets off on an expedition to find this lost world and all the promise and danger that it holds.

Thus begins a new series based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous book (and not the Jurassic Park film of the same name). Providing a little something for everyone, The Lost World is a high adventure journey through a lush and beautiful landscape... and it features Gaby from Neighbours. Probably aimed more at kids than adults, its budget is obviously being spent on dinosaurs rather than decent CSO, but considering its second season is currently concluding Stateside, it’s clearly a formula that works. (PS)

12th – 18th May • Back to top

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Cult Times #68

Living logo

CHARMED
Just Harried
Monday, 20.00

First UK showing

It’s Piper and Leo’s wedding day at last, and Piper claims that if one more thing goes wrong, it’s not going to happen. So when Prue’s astral self goes traipsing off with a hunksome biker, she’s none too impressed...

As the girls’ dad, Victor, tries to cope with his daughters’ supernatural boyfriends, more magical mayhem is unleashed when Patty Halliwell comes back from the grave for one day to see her daughter’s happy event. The sparks between Victor and Patty provide some welcome humour as they come to terms with their life and afterlife respectively and give Piper the push she needs to go through with the wedding. The Prue plotline takes up a little too much time in the episode, but all’s well that ends well and the final wedding scene stays on the right side of mushiness with some neat touches. (PS)

Starting this week: Sheena
First UK showing of Season One, starting on ITV2 on Saturday at 17.10

Starting this week: Secret Agent Man
First UK showing of Season One, all eight episodes of it, from Sunday, 15.15, ITV2

Sci-Fi logo

NOW AND AGAIN
Lizzard’s Tale
Tuesday, 21.00

First UK showing

Morris is reunited with old friend Freddie Lizzard after giving a talk on creating the human body. Naturally, the doc has pretended he’s millennia away from building a complete man, but when a meal leads Michael to unintentionally reveal his nature, Dr Lizzard spots an opportunity.

Jumping from silliness to deadly serious, this episode demonstrates that people aren’t what they seem. As Morris discovers the grotesque business his old friend is in, so we discover that the doc isn’t quite as well-meaning as he seems on the surface. Suddenly his threats become all too likely, and even Michael’s joyful overeating can’t conceal the seriousness...

19th – 25th May • Back to top

Cult Times LogoSelected from
Cult Times #68

Bravo logo

THE INVISIBLE MAN
The Other Invisible Man
Tuesday, 21.00

First UK showing

When The Official is attacked in his office and brutally beaten, Darien is told of the first quicksilver project, a man who Darien makes it his mission to track down when he discovers his quicksilvered eyes can see him...

It had to happen. But luckily, a series of clever concepts make this episode more than the traditional tale of the evil prototype. Invisibility fans need not fear: Darien doesn’t go chasing off after Neil Morrissey, but the ability to see other invisible objects is a clever twist.

Keeping the viewer guessing throughout, the ending is a real shock as we learn just who is responsible for The Official’s condition, and it also leads to an eroding of the trust between the main characters. A good sign that the show was developing in the right direction.

 
Sky One logo

THE SIMPSONS
Hungry, Hungry Homer
Tuesday, 21.00

First UK showing

Homer makes a shocking discovery: his local baseball team are going to be moved to another town. But when no one will believe his warnings, he goes on hunger strike to make them listen.

Homer on hunger strike? Surely not. Despite the great temptation to gorge copious amounts of food, Homer stands firm for his principles, even taking on the awesome power of Duffman. It’s surreal in places and, despite the rather serious subject matter, frequently hilarious. Homer goes through all manner of pains in his protest, and there’s something strangely rousing about his lap of victory.

 
BBC2 logo

THE X-FILES
Je Souhaite
Sunday, 21.00

First Terrestrial UK showing

If you had three wishes, what would they be? Some trailer trash brothers get the opportunity to find out when they chance upon a genie, but this wish-granter doesn’t give them quite what they want...

It’s an old idea, the genie that finds the unfair loophole in every wish, but Vince Gilligan makes it work beautifully in this story as the brothers fail to realize what a difference they can make to their lives. Then, while Scully is enjoying the first piece of palpable evidence she’s ever had, Mulder manages to acquire three wishes of his own. Thought-provoking, fun and downright silly in places, it’s a shame there aren’t more X-Files like this.

hIGHMore highlights, with full UK broadcast and merchandise listings for
May , in Cult Times #68
Cult Times