Featured reviews below are: Futurama and Doctor Who.
Also reviewed in this issue the
final three episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space
Nine, plus new episodes, books or videos of:
3rd Rock From The Sun Babylon 5 Crusade
LEXX Highlander: The Raven Star Trek: Voyager The
Flumps & Fingerbobs
Ending with a
The last episode of Futurama's first
season, Hell is Other Robots, has been condemned by the Space Pope,
possibly because it kicks off with the crew visiting a Beastie Boys concert, in
which the rappers heads manage to bust mad rhymes with an 80% success
rate, thereby qualifying them as ill. When Bender meets old friend
Fender, he heads off to drink till I reboot, little realizing that
deep in the bowels of the stadium a group of whacked-out robots are
jacking on with powerful jolts of electricity.
Joining in, Bender likewise becomes addicted,
resorting to jacking on in the bathroom of Planetary Express headquarters. To
stop his addiction, Bender joins a Robotology sect, but breaking their rules
will result in his being sent to robot Hell forever.
Theres pretty much something for everyone
in this season finale, with music not only from The Beastie Boys but also the
Devil in robot Hell, who plans to make Bender endure tortures, most of
which rhyme,and force the robot to sit through uptempo singing and
dancing. Its not a particularly fantastic song, but the special guest
appearance of Dan Castellaneta (Homer Simpson, but you knew that) helps a
There are also more robot jokes as the viewer
discovers robot pornography and Hookerbot 5000, alongside the superb Robotology
slogan: 10 Sin 20 Goto Hell.
|First Aired: 18 May 1999 (Fox Network)
Futurama reviews in this issue:
Episodes A7, A8
(My Three Suns, A Big Piece of Garbage)
If this kind of clever, fun and witty writing
continues, the second season of Futurama is going to be as good if not
better than the first, and a worthy follow-up to The Simpsons.
Theyre back, and its about
Any reservations I had about this new series of
BBC-licensed audio Doctor Who dramas were blown away when a thrilling
prologue led directly into wonder of wonders the proper
Doctor Who theme. Oh yes, I thought. This is going to be all
The Doctor (Sylvester McCoy) lands the TARDIS
on a jungle planet, where he rescues a damsel in distress and meets an exiled
war-criminal. Meanwhile, Gallifrey, the planet of the Time Lords, is under
attack from a seemingly invincible enemy. Elsewhere in time, the Doctor, in an
earlier incarnation (Peter Davison), materialises on a British naval vessel in
the First World War. A third incarnation of the Doctor (Colin Baker) arrives on
a spaceship near a galactic phenomenon called the Kurgon Wonder. But who is
controlling and directing the Doctors? And to what purpose?
The Sirens of Time is a quintessential
Doctor Who story with something for everyone. There are Quark-like
service-robots, a race of Warrior Knights whose bodies are corrupted by a
decaying disease, giant mutated bacteria and the Temperon, a legendary
time-travelling creature of enormous power. When all three Doctors are brought
together, they work superbly, and theres a tidy little re-enactment of
the Contact! mind-melding scene from The Three Doctors.
McCoy and Baker create a lot of fun with their
bickering, making a fine double act (more please?) while Davison plays the
elder statesman to great effect.
The supporting cast is excellent too, not the
sorry gathering of the producers mates that populate other fan-audio
efforts. The result is as good as a BBC radio play and a good deal better than
Slipback or the recent Jon Pertwee serials. Music and sound effects play
an important part but they are never overpowering, and the musical flavour of
each Doctors era is recreated.
|Story written and directed by Nick Briggs
|Reviewed by David Miller
|Big Finish Productions
|Out 19 July
Doctor Who reviews in this issue:
The Massacre (BBC Audio),
Interference 1 & 2 (BBC Books)
Perhaps there is one continuity reference too
many (artron energy, etc.) and maybe it is a little early in the run to invade
Gallifrey, but the team have captured the spirit of Doctor Who
perfectly. If they keep producing stories like this, I hope the range runs for
another 26 years. At least.