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Warning! Season Finale / Premiere details below! Possible spoilers for readers outside the USA or Canada

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Xposé #58
Stargate SG-1 premiere here

3-star ratingXena: Warrior Princess – Season Six
22 • A Friend in Need II

Syndicated • Teleplay by RJ Stewart • Story by Rob Tapert and RJ Stewart
Directed by Rob Tapert • TX: June 18 2001 • Reviewed by Ian Atkins
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Episodes 17 – 19, 21 & 22 inclusive reviewed in this issue

Xena; Friend in NeedIt’s been a bad year for genre females; after Buffy forgot to put a swimming pool under her diving board, now we have Xena taking a walk in a shower (of arrows) and then losing her head. All within the first 15 minutes. So how will she get out of it this time? Well, maybe she won’t. The story which ends her epic journeys really should have been stronger, and although it has the same amazing look and directing of the first part (also reviewed), once you see the direction it’s heading, you hope that things are going to drastically improve.

Sadly, they don’t. Still in Japan attempting to defeat The Lord of the Dark Land, Xena has, through engineering her demise, teamed up with a lover’s ghost to confront this foe on his own terms. Despite some nifty FX with the villain, you do notice how much Gabrielle’s pushed to the background, and the last minute twist which prevents Xena’s resurrection is a complete narrative cheat, coming out of nowhere and making it hard to feel sad rather than angry. So what are you left with? Little more than the realization that Xena was finally killed by an unconvincing samurai who even Gabrielle was able to beat three times! Somehow, the warrior princess deserved a better ending. And so did we.

3-star ratingStargate SG-1 Season Five
01 • Enemies Reviewed by Paul Spragg

Showtime • Story by Brad Wright, Robert C Cooper, Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie
Teleplay by Robert C Cooper • Directed by Martin Wood • TX: June 29 2001
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Also in this issue: • cover feature interview with Christopher Judge (Teal'c)

O'Neill and Teal'c in the season 4 finaleLast season, after O’Neill had seen Teal’c shot in the back and apparently killed, SG-1 blew up a sun in an attempt to wipe out Apophis’s increasingly large fleet. As a result, they were swept across space and left 150 years of journey from home. As this story picks up, we discover that Apophis’s ship has survived the explosion and been swept with them, but Replicators are taking it apart, and it’s only a matter of time before they wipe out everyone on board.

Somehow, this episode just feels half-hearted. With four writers plotting it out, there doesn’t seem to be an original idea among them, settling instead for bringing back two recurring enemies who have had their time. The Replicators have lost their fright factor and Apophis never does anything of note except get easily beaten time and again. Therefore, you quickly realize that this episode is shooting and chasing and little in the way of actual plotting.

The one surprise is Teal’c’s return to Apophis’s side, and it’s good to see a risk taken by not changing him back miraculously by the end. Even Richard Dean Anderson is looking a little tired of cracking wise, and the malaise transfers to the viewer, which isn’t a good thing. It’s still pretty watchable stuff with some great effects, but it feels as though everyone involved is running on empty; not a good sign for a season premiere.

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Images © Renaissance Pictures / Showtime
Reviews © Visual Imagination Ltd 2001. Not for reproduction.
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