selected from TV Zone #110

A Shadow of a Shadow

Although an episode of three seemingly disparate threads – the Cult of G’Kar, Garibaldi’s drinking and Lyta’s involvement with terrorism against the Psi Corps – it all combines neatly at the end, although not completely satisfactorily.
B5's Wheel of Fire
This is because there is an unhappy trend towards amnesia, as Sheridan has an imperfect recollection of what Delenn said to him in War Without End and the ‘Asimov’ in Garibaldi’s brain is not working as implied in Phoenix Rising.
Devoid of scenes of any action, the strongest plotline belongs to Lyta, who has been using the money G’Kar paid her for their DNA deal to finance an anti Psi Corps campaign, forcing Lochley to have her arrested. Patricia Tallman’s character is developing by leaps and bounds into something rather sinister as she begins to learn more about her ‘adjustments’ and about just how much power she can wield. Garibaldi’s alcoholism finally comes out into the open and – this is where the episode loses a lot of points – leads to a hackneyed revelation from Lochley which is telegraphed so early that about 10 minutes of dialogue could easily have been excised.
Poor G’Kar is placed in a quandary over the escalating numbers joining the cult engendered by his book alongside pressure to return to Narn.
Episode E19
First aired 4 November 1998 • TNT
Reviewed by Deanne Holding
And this is where it all dovetails – both Garibaldi and G’Kar can help Lyta, who in turn can help Garibaldi. The twist is that Garibaldi will have a long wait. The goodbyes start in earnest here and evoke much sadness.


Deity Who

Doctor Who: Salvation
Doctor Who fans eternally cling to the sacred notion that the show will be rescued from limbo. Yet if it were resurrected, the new producers would find it stifling – not to say impossible – if they were forced to consider the wishes of all those fans. Crammed into the gap – such as it is – between The Massacre and The Ark, Salvation is constructed around a similar, if less narrow-minded, idea. Reduced to its basic premise as a didactic statement about the foolishness of either playing God or deifying others, it could seem unoriginal.
The potentially hackneyed notion of aliens impersonating gods begins to unfold impressively, though, the implications having been well thought through in terms of the diverse responses of the humans and the subsequent reactions of the aliens themselves. Perhaps Dodo’s involvement relies a little on coincidence, but disregarding this, the early scenes are increased in effectiveness by the efficiently simple prose employed to convey how things are likely to develop, presenting a promising forward path.
Sadly, Salvation stumbles along the way. This is partly due to the abstruse origins and purpose of the aliens, but mainly because of the presentation. Most significantly, once the location shifts from London to America and events come under public scrutiny, the author fails to persuade the reader that any of it is really happening. Slickness and intermittent weak humour dominate the tone, to the extent that a plot with potential global significance and fairly spiritual themes comes across as a minor prank, and consequently the book falls short of the same author’s The Witch Hunters in terms of emotional impact, despite even the apparently mandatory sadistic treatment of Dodo.
Although few of the people we meet are very interesting – with one particular familial relationship never developing into very much –
Written by Steve Lyons
Reviewed by David Darlington
BBC Books • Price: £4.99
Out: 7 January 1999
ISBN 0-56355-566-1
I would have to admit that the revelation of the motives of one secondary character was beautifully executed. So Salvation is certainly not a total failure, but it’s not the triumph the central idea deserved, and despite the promise of its first few chapters, redemption is ultimately not forthcoming.
TV Zone footer