Reviews  

STOP PRESS: after giving Journey Into Space 9/10 in his original review, TV Zone contributor Andrew Pixley later changed his judgement after discovering the tapes were not quite as he expected. Andrew writes:
"My caution at the review (T104) of the BBC Radio Collection re-issue of the classic 1950s serial Journey into Space was well founded. A total of six hours is missing (ie, the equivalent of 12 episodes!) Going on my instincts, I feel that I would have to lower my mark of 9/10 to around the 3/10 mark."


Babylon 5
Scene from Strange Relations
Television Review
Babylon 5
Strange Relations
Episode E6, first aired in the USA 25 February 1998

Bester's bloodhounds are on the loose

For once Psi Cop Bester gets a civilized reception when he arrives on Babylon 5 to arrest Byron's telepaths for miscellaneous crimes. As he once helped Captain Lockley, she feels obliged to return the favour although, under pressure from Sheridan, she must find a way to thwart his mission.
The story of the telepath colony continues apace as Lyta lends them her support, firstly by finding them medical supplies and then by using her Vorlon-enhanced powers to protect them from Bester's men. But she is badly outnumbered and as Byron will not resort to any sort of violence, matters look fully sewn up until Franklin inadvertently gives Lochley the lever she needs. It is, however, only a reprieve, and more will follow…
When Delenn and G'Kar ask Franklin to leave Medlab to study the subject of cross-species infection, the doctor readily accepts, leaving G'Kar feeling that he personally is not doing enough for the Alliance. He should know by now that saying this sort of thing to someone with a mind like Delenn's spells trouble, and finds himself presented with his biggest challenge yet. Knowing that he is, unfortunately, the most logical person for the task she has in mind, he decides to embrace the irony with relish - and his decision solves a situation that has been bugging regular viewers for years…
This episode contains so many plot threads that it is a delight to watch - from the revelation of the secret that Sheridan has kept from Delenn, to the growing relationship between Lyta and Bryon, to the moment when Lochley gets to sock Garibaldi on the jaw, to Bester's last words before he leaves the station, it's all fine material. (8/10)
Deanne Holding
 

Star Trek
Star Trek: The Captain's Table #1: War Dragons
Merchandise Review
Star Trek
The Captain's Table #1: War Dragons
Written by LA Graf

Simons & Schuster Books
Price: £4.99
Out: 1st June 1998
ISBN: 0-671-01463-3

Trek's new tales begin at the Captain's Table

The "most exclusive club in the galaxy" is the Captain's Table, a bar that appears magically only to ship captains of all types and eras. Good stories buy the drinks while a gold and green gecko scurries through each of the Captain's Table books. It's an intriguing concept; what stories would the captains themselves choose to tell an audience? Graf is a good choice for the first entry in the series; nobody writes Sulu and Chekov quite like Graf.
The story Captains Kirk and Sulu choose to tell starts when, during Kirk's first command, he encounters the dimorphic Nykkus and Anjiri species, reptiloids governed by a fascinatingly drawn matriarchy. Twenty years later, during his first command of Excelsior, Captain Sulu meets the reptiloids again and needs Kirk's Enterprise to prevent them from wreaking havoc on the Federation. The viewpoints shift rapidly; chapters switch between Kirk and Sulu and between respective flashbacks, often pausing for the other captains at the Captain's Table to interject comments. Graf's touch is sure, the command of Nykkus and Anjiri 'translated' syntax flawless, and the references to Sulu's fondness for lizards gently humorous. It's a good story, and it's well told.
There are, though, several minor yet distracting flaws in the execution of this promising series concept. The teaser for the next entry in the series happens in Chapter 17, implying incorrectly that Picard's story is part of Kirk's and Sulu's tale. A purposeless, badly placed biography of the captains rehashes well-known history in annoyingly vacuous terms. And the series editors get in the way: a felinoid captain lapses, for four jarring and anomalous lines of dialogue, into somebody's terrible idea of a feline accent. The title is uninspired - and the cover art is simply awful. Graf needs those strong storytelling abilities to rise above the dreck: the gecko mascot and the sheer, good natured 'tell us a tale, Jimmy boy' atmosphere make up for the concept's constraints. In spite of the flaws, I liked this entry in the series very much, thanks to Graf's talents. Pull up a chair and enjoy the tale. (7/10)
Megan O'Neill

 
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