Reviews selected from TV Zone #137

Reviews online this month (ratings given are out of 10):
Doctor Who's Delta certainly doesn't give us the blues
Voyager's B'Elanna contemplates gene therapy in Lineage
• A Next Generation book with a post-DS9 Ambassador Worf
and The X-Files is still firing rather off-target in Surekill

SUREKILL Rating: 6
Episode H8 First aired: January 7 2001, Fox
First UK airing: 30th March 2001, Sky One
Reviewed by
Gareth Wigmore
X-ray X-File. About X-terminators.

ScullySome episodes of The X-Files are about such obvious Sci-Fi subjects that you can’t quite believe the series hasn’t dealt with them before. Most of these episodes revolve around a person who has somehow (it’s rarely explained how) acquired some sort of superpower. Surekill slots neatly into the established mould, with its tale of two brothers who run an exterminating company.

One, Dwight, has brains and bad eyesight, the other, Randall, seems less bright, but is blessed with the ability to see through walls. Randall uses his power to eye up the company secretary – and also to assassinate drug dealers when Dwight tells him to, so that they can steal their money and sell on their drugs.

In itself, Surekill is competent, though its lack of humour makes it often seem dismal and leaden. What’s worrying about it is the questions that it raises about how the series is coping without Mulder. It’s fine for Skinner to jump to paranormal explanations and conclusions; he’s suddenly a believer, and is almost evangelical about it. But when he’s not around, as in this episode, Scully has to make dramatic leaps of faith towards unusual theories, if the narrative is to keep bouncing along. Unlike Skinner, her character hasn’t undergone a recent revelation to justify such a change.

The producers really ought to recognize that they can’t just give Mulder’s dialogue to Scully as and when they feel it necessary. The episode’s ending isn’t exactly hard to see coming, either. More near miss than bang on target.

Also reviewed in this issue: Redrum and Via Negativa,
the previous two X-Files episodes

LINEAGE Rating: 9
Episode G12 First aired: 24 January 2001, UPN
First UK airing: May 7 2001, Sky One
Reviewed by
Johnny Ryder
Cling onto your heritage

B'ElannaStarting her day off in an unusually good mood, our beloved B’Elanna Torres heads off to work. Things take an unexpected turn, however, as the feisty Chief Engineer soon finds out that she’ll be getting a new day job. No, she hasn’t been demoted purely because Janeway was a bit miffed that she decided against the perm in the long run and instead opted for a return to the imitation Captain Kathy straight-flow look. No, would you believe it, but the ever-tempered Klingon is preggers!

But as the news travels around the ship faster than a bad case of food poisoning from one of Neelix’s gourmet concoctions, the Doctor informs the parents – at this point it’s believed that Tom is the father and not some wondering alien, though the difference is sometimes hard to tell – that their child needs gene therapy to treat a curved spine. Realizing that her daughter (as it is to be) has inherited a quarter of her Klingon traits, ridged forehead included, this triggers some unpleasant memories for B’Elanna as she remembers the difficult time she had as a child.

The dilemma arises, of course, when she decides that if gene manipulation can be used to cure her daughter’s natural spine condition, then why not go one step further and rid the child of all her troublesome Klingon DNA?

The resulting drama as B’Elanna acts on her desperation is extremely involving, and the concluding confrontation between herself and Tom as she confides her true feelings is an emotional peak not often witnessed on Voyager. This is a triumph from conception to delivery!

Also reviewed in this issue: Shattered; Repentance (G11, G13)
selected from TV Zone #137
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