Reviews selected from TV Zone #143

Reviews online this month
(ratings are out of 10)
Doctor Who: Grimm Reality, from the BBC
Star Trek: The Eugenics Wars, part one of history
a Stargate SG-1 episode from Season Five
and LEXX episode from Season 4

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Ascension Rating: 8
Episode E3 First aired: July 13 2001, Showtime Reviewed by
Jan Vincent-Rudzki
Time for a Change

AscensionThis production team does not worry about going over old ground, and sensibly diffuses any criticism by simply having the characters themselves comment on previous events. Here we have Sam Carter yet again being the object of attention for an alien, in this case a non-corporeal entity that takes a shine to her and follows her home. It only appears to her, and after all the strain she's been under with all the other recent alien encounters, those around her wonder if she's just snapped. They should know better, and they eventually do.

This episode begins a new dramatic thread for this season with the military/Pentagon taking more of an interest in what's going on and what the increasing number of SG groups finds on other planets. Enter John de Lancie as Colonel Frank Simmons, someone who is quite ready to push and shove for what he thinks are the primary goals of SGC. De Lancie plays the quiet but determined character well, and we are no doubt in for more jiggery-pokery from him.

We have a chance to see Sam's home, in a very suburban area. Her alien friend Orlin is played well by Sean Patrick Flanery, carefully choosing the way he speaks to emphasize his alien origins. The revelation of Orlin's background is a welcome surprise, and also changes our perception of previous events in the series and perhaps has consequences as well. Another character episode, with more bonding and strengthening of friendships, but also with wider implications, keeping our viewpoint of the series constantly changing.

Reviewed in this issue: Episodes 1-3 inclusive of Season 5

P4X Read Cast interviews plus details on Season 4 in TV Zone #142! Rating: 9
Episode D3 First aired: August 03 2001, Sci-Fi (US) Reviewed by
Tom Spilsbury
Prison Rations

P4XAfter being found with the corpses of her three would-be lovers, Xev is arrested and taken to women's prison P4X, run by Red Dwarf's Craig Charles and Hattie Hayridge. Meanwhile, Prince is desperate to obtain the key to the LEXX from Stanley, whom he has suspended on his wall at his base on Earth. Elsewhere on Earth, Kai works with Dr Longbore and an unwilling 790 to attempt to rescue his colleagues.

As ever, there are plenty of small moments that really bring the episode to life. Xev's dispirited realization while in prison - "I'm not a love slave; I'm a loveless slave" - is a sad and tender moment, beautifully played by Xenia Seeberg. Also worth watching out for is the warden's gothic daughter Lomia, who was first seen in Season Two's Twilight. Like Priest, Lomia is a character who appears to have been re-born on Earth. At one point her mother flippantly comments "she's no daughter of mine, she comes from some kind of parallel universe", but perhaps this one line provides the clue to what is really happening on planet Earth...

A further surprise comes from the sudden and unexpected dispatch of the young science student Digby, who has appeared in each of the three episodes so far this season. After 'killing' Prince and going on a murderous rampage around the ATF Bureau, Digby winds up splatted on the floor after he falls to his death from a moth. Who was this child? Is he perhaps another person re-born from Fire? The questions are mounting up.

Reviewed in this issue: Episodes 2-4 inclusive of Season 4
selected from TV Zone #143
© Visual Imagination Ltd 2001. Not for reproduction
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