selected from TV Zone #109

Time travel extravaganza explodes onto the screen

A tv pilot has to fulfil several functions. It must define the premise of the show, giving viewers (and network chiefs)
Seven Days
a clear indication of what they can expect from subsequent episodes. It must also introduce the regular players, serve up a little back story, and set in motion the inter-personal relationships. Most importantly, it has to be entertaining, and function as a stand-alone story.
In all these respects, the pilot of Seven Days is a resounding success, as executive producer Christopher Crowe proves without doubt that there is infinite life yet in stories about Time travel. Forget TimeCop, ABC’s cliché-driven embarrassment from last year; forget even such charming but insubstantial fodder as The Time Tunnel. Seven Days breathes new life into a tired genre, marrying realistic scenarios with effectively drawn characters, fast-paced action and an agreeable hard edge.

It’s one hour and five minutes into the pilot before we’re taken back in Time. In those first 65 minutes, we meet Frank Parker (Jonathan LaPaglia), a war veteran who has been interred in a mental institution since he was tortured in Somalia. Deemed to be expendable, Parker is offered a deal. Terrorists have bombed the White House, killing the President and Vice President. The event can be undone using BackStep, a device built from technology recovered from Roswell, which can travel back just one week. Parker must pilot the sphere – and defeat the terrorists before they complete their mission.
It’s a simple idea, but Crowe’s script is so exquisitely layered that the ride never becomes wearing. There’s a genuine sense of tragedy as the White House bombing unfolds, and Parker’s crusade becomes personal when he discovers that his son was a victim of the blast. Too much of a coincidence? Perhaps, but the scenes in which Parker pours out his grief effectively dispel any cynicism on the viewer’s behalf.
More than just a pilot, this boasts the qualities of a big budget feature:
Episode A1/A2
Reviewed by David Richardson
First aired 7 September 1998
there are great effects, some extensive location filming (including Washington and Las Vegas, no less), and the BackStep set is absolutely vast. And, like a good movie, you can watch it again and again.


Back with a bang

E:FC returns
‘William Boone’s life has been destroyed’; prophetic words, as they’re now literally true. So where does Earth: Final Conflict go from here? A brief recap: at the end of Season One (The Joining), Beckett got pregnant by an alien using Sandoval’s form, the Liberation were almost found, and Boone was apparently killed by Zo’or
Now, Beckett gives birth to baby Liam Kincaid who grows to adulthood within hours, and handily agrees to fill in for Boone, the Taelons receive a major shake-up, an alien visits, and more of the Taelon plan is revealed.
The Joining was an extremely fast-moving episode, and First of its Kind continues the trend. It very effectively wraps up some loose ends, and introduces a new character. However, there isn’t quite enough room to squeeze all this in with the episode’s ‘A’ plot. Every main and supporting cast member makes an appearance, with the prize for ‘Most Pointless Scene’ going to Joshua Doors, who appears for no other reason than to annoy the Taelons a bit. Rayna (saved from the alien probe during Season One) also appears just in time to be taken over by a Jaridian. This race are apparently not big Taelon fans, and when they discover inter-dimensional travel, they’ll be heading to Earth, ostensibly to wipe everyone on the planet out. Apart from finally revealing where the probe was from and why, this plot is utterly superfluous to the episode, and could have been held back. Also, no-one seems to care that the alien has taken over Rayna, and are very keen to despatch it with full force. Maybe none of the Liberation liked her much.
The rest of the episode consists mainly of ‘shuffling the pieces’, as Lili is assigned to Sandoval, Kincaid saves Da’an’s life in a Boone-like fashion and is appointed his Companion, Doors gets more stroppy and Zo’or and Da’an continue their power play. And this is where the episode excels, with some great interaction, especially between Doors and Liam and Da’an and Zo’or, with Zo’or particularly making his feelings known. It’s a new era, but thankfully it is the same show.

Episode B1
First aired 26 September 1998
Reviewed by Paul Spragg
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