Reviews selected from TV Zone #136
.

Reviews online this month (ratings given are out of 10):
• The Daleks' first Doctor Who story remastered on VHS
Voyager's Harry Kim is let off the leash in Nightingale
• Four seasons in - one day Buffy's quality may start to flag...
and The X-Files fails to sparkle without Mulder

X-FILES
PATIENCE Rating: 6
Episode H3 First aired: 19 November 2000, Fox
First UK airing: 22nd Feb 2001, Sky One
Reviewed by
Gareth Wigmore
Tired of just hanging around?Doggett and Scully

David Duchovny and Mulder have gone, for now: the character only appears on the title sequence to remind you that he’s still around, but the actor’s name has been removed. And Patience, the first ‘normal’ episode after the excitement of Doggett’s arrival, makes it clear that he will be sadly missed.

You see, Mulder, for all his heroism and leading-man status, could be an extremely funny character, with his porn habit and his deadpan jokes. Duchovny’s performances could always generate a laugh from a wry look or an ironic arch of the eyebrow. And although Robert Patrick’s performance as Doggett is fine, the actor and character don’t seem to have the same comic abilities.

Patience requires someone like Mulder to take the mickey out of it. It’s a Chris Carter written-and-directed episode about murders committed by something that isn’t quite human, but isn’t quite a bat either. Some of the visuals are great, there’s one stunning moment where the camera pans up to reveal the man-bat hanging from a rafter, but the episode is uninspiring, very badly thought out and average.

What really worries me is that Carter wrote the first two Doggett episodes as well, and I thought that he was making the new boy comically pompous and cliché-ridden, but that’s a dangerous game. Here, when Doggett tells Scully, ‘Maybe I’m just an old-fashioned cop,’ if it’s meant to be funny, it isn’t, and if it’s meant to be good dialogue, it isn’t. I only wish I could be more enthusiastic.

Also reviewed in this issue: Roadrunners and Invocation,
the next two X-Files episodes

.
STAR TREK: VOYAGER
NIGHTINGALE Rating: 7
Episode G3 First aired: 22 November 2000, UPN
First UK airing: March 5 2001, Sky One
Reviewed by
Johnny Ryder
Captain Kim, I presume?

Harry Kim calls the shotsHe’s been shouted at, shot at, used for and done for, but does the poor lad ever receive anything in return? Well, after six years of sitting behind the Operations console staring at the ever-evolving hair-do of the gallant Captain Kathy, young Harry Kim finally gets the chance to call the shots as the opportunity arises for him to take command of his own ship. It’s not the cream of the crop of Starfleet vessels, but it’s the next best thing.

With Voyager having touched down on an alien planet to carry out ship-wide repairs, our eager-to-please ensign, the taste bud-challenged Talaxian and the body-beautiful Borg take the Delta Flyer out for a quick spin and go in search of that all-important Dilithium. It’s not long before things turn the shape of one of Neelix’s organically-grown vegetables, and our trusty threesome find themselves embroiled in an interspecies conflict, leaving a Kraylor transport ship damaged and defenceless. Enter the heroic Harry, as he is asked to escort the remaining survivors of the ship back to their homeworld so they can safely deliver medical vaccines to their people. Or so they say…

Nightingale is the episode that the always-underrated Garrett Wang has been waiting for since his tour of duty began aboard the Starship Voyager. Free from the confines of the lower ranks, and thanks largely to Wang’s capability as an actor, we witness Kim travel a steep learning curve as he tackles the responsibilities of sitting in the Captain’s chair. All in all, another simple, yet effective character-based story, helped along by a sub-plot involving Icheb’s attraction towards B’Elanna; delightful.

Also reviewed in this issue: Flesh & Blood (H5/6)
selected from TV Zone #136
© Visual Imagination Ltd 2000. Not for reproduction
TV Zone footer