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Warning! Probable spoilers ahead for
readers outside the USA or Canada

selected from
Xposé #55
SG-1 finale review here

3-star ratingThe Lone Gunmen: Season One
01: Pilot

Fox • Written by Chris Carter, Vince Gilligan, John Shiban and Frank Spotnitz • Directed by Rob Bowman
TX: March 4 2001 • Reviewed by Paul Spragg
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First two episodes reviewed in this issue, plus Tom Braidwood and Dean Haglund in a joint interview

After being caught trying to steal a computer chip and body searched, the Gunmen return to base where Byers is told his father is dead. However, it may be that Bertram Byers was killed by the government when he refused to keep silent.

The Lone GunmenAn unusual pilot episode, this one doesn't really make any effort to explain the background of the Lone Gunmen, assuming that people watching will either pick it up or already know. With no need for exposition, it's straight into a tangled conspiratorial web for this opening salvo. What's odd is that it demonstrates a rather restrained sense of humor in a story which doesn't seem to set the right tone for the series, dealing as it does with an emotional storyline in the death (or not) of Byers' father.

That said, it's well-written with a fun opening sequence and a series of plot twists that take the story from the theft of a computer chip to an exciting finale with a plane about to crash. It's lighter than The X-Files, that's for sure, but not sufficiently different yet to stand out from the crowd. The Gunmen themselves are much the same as ever, which leads to a suspicion that they're going to need the support of the wonderfully sexy Yves to make the show work, but it's early days yet.

3-star ratingStargate SG-1 – Season Four
22: Exodus

Showtime • Written by Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie • Directed by David Warry-Smith • TX: February 23 2001 • Reviewed by Paul Spragg
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Episodes 19 – 22 inclusive reviewed in this issue,
plus Amanda Tapping, Don S Davis and Teryl Rothery in a joint interview

Teal'c, itching for a spot of revenge, is reunited with an old foe who the Tok'ra have been using to keep Apophis misinformed. However, the escape of this mole leads Apophis to bring forth an attack squad and there's only one very dangerous way to stop him.

O'Neil asks directions in the desert in season finale ExodusYes, after four years O'Neill has finally become captain of his own starship, having liberated it from Chronus after last week's episode. This allows for an episode featuring plenty of Outer Space action rather than the usual Earth setting, making a welcome change of scenery and a chance for the effects guys to show off with some superb space sequences.

The opening episode of a two-parter is always tricky, because it's difficult to know how far to go in part one to satisfy your audience. This one doesn't get it quite right. There's some action, there's follow-up on several key points from earlier in the season, but the return of Apophis isn't particularly trumpeted (possibly fairly) and the tension level should be greater. The end of the story delivers a fine set of problems that hold the traditional amount of difficulty in finding a solution, but considering the universe-changing events unfolding, it seems a little restrained rather than gung-ho, which is a shame.

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Images © Fox, Showtime / MGM
Reviews © Visual Imagination Ltd 2001. Not for reproduction.
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