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Xposť Reviews

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

Selected from
Xposé #61
Stargate SG-1
100th ep. here

2-star ratingWolf Lake – Season One
01• Original Pilot Reviewed by Grant Kempster

CBS • Written by John Leekley • Directed by Rupert Wainwright • TX: n/a
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Lou Diamond Philips also interviewed in this issue

John KaninWithin the mist-covered mountains, lakes and forests of Wolf Lake there lies a secret. Hidden deep within the small-town community, there are two clans which have managed to live separately in peace for centuries. Now war is looming, and while the clans prepare for their skirmish, the innocent townspeople are blissfully unaware that they will be caught in the middle.

But this is genre TV, people, and these clans aren't your everyday, run-of-the-mill clique. They're wolves, or more importantly 'Skin-walkers', which is just a cool way of saying that we're dealing with a bunch of werewolves.

This is more of a curiosity than a real TV series pilot review, because since this original 45-minute show was created, the producers et al have gone back to the proverbial drawing board to hammer out a few kinks in the program's concept. So what's wrong with this original idea? Well, frankly, it's just not very interesting.

Those expecting hulking seven-foot lycanthropes with gnashing teeth and claws that would give the X-Men's Wolverine a run for his money will be truly disappointed. Instead, the show's producers have taken the step of having the shape-changing protagonists flip from human into normal wolves conveniently off camera. So not even any cool transformation sequences.

Aside from the fact that the episode finishes just as any sign of action begins - with John Kanin (Lou Diamond Phillips) being chased through the woods by the furry critters - there are few signs of anything to either provoke interest or excitement. It's a sad fact which also infects the back-story of the clans, as Sherman Blackstone describes their beginnings with a throwaway line about a peace treaty between humans and wolves.

The subsequent changes made to this show - giving Kanin a personal reason to investigate the lycanthropic situation, cutting the clans down to one and expanding the werewolf backstory - should make for a more interesting series. Just be grateful the producers were wise enough to cut this particular bloodline off here.

4-star ratingStargate SG-1 - Season Five
12 • Wormhole X-treme! Reviewed by Paul Spragg

Showtime • Story by Brad Wright, Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie
Teleplay by Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie
Directed by Peter DeLuise • TX: September 8 2001
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Episodes 10 and 11 also reviewed in this issue

A spaceship's arrival relates to Martin Lloyd, a man who is really an alien SG-1 has met before. Tracking Martin down, SG-1 finds him with no memory of his real self and acting as creative consultant on a TV show called 'Wormhole X-treme', featuring an oddly familiar cast of characters...

For the hundredth episode, the Stargate SG-1 team has settled on this tongue-in-cheek offering, taking one of last season's dafter premises and making it even sillier by the addition of a Stargate take-off. The production team makes cameos throughout, which is a nice touch, and director Peter DeLuise plays the highly-strung director of 'Wormhole X-treme', blurring the lines of fantasy and reality. Throw in his brother Michael as the O'Neill-a-like and Martin talking to the camera and you've got the oddest story yet attempted by the series. Yet somehow it works, the highlight coming right at the end with a behind the scenes look at 'Wormhole X-treme'.

As a fun romp and a chance to make knowing jokes (my favorite is when the 'Carter' actor asks why, when her character is 'out of phase' she doesn't fall through the floor), it works nicely, with the only let-down being that the plotting doesn't make a lot of sense under close inspection. Thankfully, the laughs paper over this well enough that it is irrelevant.

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Images © CBS
Reviews © Visual Imagination Ltd 2001. Not for reproduction.
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