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Featured reviews below are one of the six Crusade episodes reviewed in this issue, and a rather unusual Buffy book.

Also reviewed in this issue: the final three episodes of The X-Files Season Six, the lead-up to Earth: Final Conflict's Season Two finale, and three episodes of Highlander: The Raven.

Plus the latest books or videos from or about:
Doctor Who • Scooby Doo (on Zombie Island) • Star Trek • Ultraviolet


The Lost Tribe

As soon as Gideon receives orders from General Thompson of Earthforce, which are, at best, questionable, you know that the General has a secret to hide. It’s actually quite an interesting one from an ethical point of view (which echoes back to Dr Franklin’s behaviour in Babylon 5’s In the Beginning), but not sufficient a one to build an entire episode around.

Dureena and the old one of her race (Carrie Dobro & Curt Lowens) : on-set picture from Crusade  Joe Nazzaro

The colonists on Theta 49 escaped from Earth just before the seeding of the Drakh plague but, Thompson argues, they may not have escaped uninfected. Therefore they must be captured and quarantined. And – against reason – it transpires that they are infected.

And they are not the only ones, for Theta 49 is playing host to another race. When Dureena discovers a tribal Elder, for a terrible moment it looks like she’s found a Native American. In fact the tribe of some 100 souls are all that remain of Dureena’s own race from Zander Prime – they just look like Native Americans! And the irony that they too have become infected by the plague is too close an analogy to what happened when White settlers arrived in America to be easily swallowed.

Episode A6
First Aired: 7 July 1999 TNT)
More Crusade reviews in this issue:
Episodes A2 - A7
(The Long Road, The Well of Forever, The Path of Sorrows, Ruling from the Tomb, The Rules of the Game)
Reviewed by Deanne Holding
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Naturally, Gideon eventually finds a way to save the colonists, and the existence of the tribe is also kept under wraps when Max Eilerson suffers an attack of conscience between his heart and his wallet. However, the trick the captain plays on Thompson is one that has been done before, leaving the outcome in no element of doubt.

Yet again Crusade falls into the ‘cringingly predictable’ category.


Have a great summer!
A Good Year for the Scoobys?

Christopher Golden and Nancy Holder’s previous non-fiction Buffy title, The Watcher’s Guide was seen by many as the definitive companion to a television series. Period. It was always going to be a hard act to follow. Rather wisely, the authors have deferred that particular challenge until next year’s Volume Two and offer us instead this lavishly illustrated and often hilarious facsimile of Buffy Summers’ 1999 Sunnydale High Yearbook.

From the wonderfully knowing introduction by Mayor Wilkins and Principal Snyder’s implied ‘Go away and never come back you losers’ foreword, to the ads from local businesses (Go Razorbacks! We hope we never see you again – Cemetery Council of Sunnydale) the book is packed with great in-jokes and detailed research of its subject matter.

n keeping with the coffee table book styling, the inclusion of a wealth of previously unseen third season photos are a major selling point here. Thirty-two pages of these are in full colour, mainly focussing on the Scooby Gang’s prom night and graduation ceremony. The bulk of the text is made up of small but punchy ‘items’ summarizing events in the school year; sports teams, special interest clubs and the like. Many of these manage to weave a sly reference to a Buffy incident into the text (or have the articles doctored in biro by Buffy’s friends). Those with a solid working knowledge of the series will benefit most here.

Written by Christopher Golden and Nancy Holder
Reviewed by Rob Francis, webmaster of top UK Buffy fan site The Watcher's Web
Simon and Schuster Books
Price: £12.99 UK
Out: now (US), 4th Oct (UK)
ISBN: 0 671 03541 X
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These references, however, can at times be a little too obscure for those fans who have only seen the BBC2 episodes. Being primarily intended for the US market, Season Three spoilers abound too. So, if you haven’t made alternative arrangements to see the remaining US episodes this year – and have strong willpower – buy this now and save it for yourself as a Christmas Day treat. You will get a lot more out of both the book and this stunning series if you wait until then.

© Visual Imagination Ltd 1999. Not for reproduction
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