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 Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope 
 
 SG-1 1-01: Children of the Gods 
 
 DS9 2-02: The Circle 
 
 B5: A Race Through Dark Places 

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Babylon 5 2-08: A Race Through Dark Places

Episode:30|Writer:J. Michael Straczynski|Air Date:25-Jan-1995

This week on Sci-Fi Adventures I'm back to Babylon 5 season two, writing about A Race Through Dark Places. My DVD's telling me I should be watching Soul Mates now, but I'm following the Lurker's Guide Master List which reorganises the stories into a more chronologically logical order, and it says that A Race Through Dark Places was always meant to come first.

What happened was the network, PTEN, planned to finish off 1994 with six new season two B5 episodes in a block (following straight on from the season one finale Chrysalis, which had been held back two months because... I don't even know why.) But then they decided to increase the block to seven episodes and Race Through Dark Places just wasn't going to be ready in time, so Soul Mates was aired in its place. They were aired in the correct order for me in the UK though... eventually.

Anyway the end result of this schedule shifting is that this is the first episode of Babylon 5 to air in 1995. It also means that there's another weird Babylon 5/Deep Space Nine coincidence for the ever-expanding list: both series aired exactly 29 episodes during their first year, which is a ridiculous number. Especially as one of DS9's episodes was feature length.

If you're wondering what else was going on in 1995, it was the year that Voyager, Sliders and Space: Above and Beyond started. Also they're not science fiction, but it says here on the internet that Hercules and its spin-off Xena both got a series this year and that's weird. Meanwhile in cinemas, sci-fi movie fans got to enjoy Johnny Mnemonic, Species and Sylvester Stallone's Judge Dredd. Yay.

Warning: I'll be sharing SPOILERS for this episode with my words and screencaps, and earlier episodes are fair game for spoilers too (aside from Soul Mates). I won't spoil anything that comes after though.

Monday, 7 August 2017

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine 2-02: The Circle

Episode:21|Writer:Peter Allan Fields|Air Date:03-Oct-1993

This month on Sci-Fi Adventures, I'm watching The Circle, which is the very first episode of Deep Space Nine to have a 'previously on' clip at the start. That's because it's the second part of the The Homecoming, though you wouldn't know it from the title.

Up until this point, two-parters in Star Trek have been clearly labelled, so we've had The Menagerie, Part II, The Best of Both Worlds, Part II, Chain of Command, Part II etc. and Voyager would later continue the tradition. DS9 just had to be different though... except for the couple of times when it wasn't.

This is Peter Allan Fields' first story for the series after Duet last year, which was an oasis of awesome in that desolate wasteland of a season. I'm hoping that this is a: better, and b: pretty average for season two, because the series could really use a sharp increase in quality.

I'll be recapping the whole episode with beautiful SD screencaps from the Region 2 DVDs and throwing in some of my commentary along the way. This means that there'll be SPOILERS for the whole episode and I'm considering anything else with the Star Trek name on it released before October '93 to be fair game too. I won't spoil what comes after though... or things that came before in prequel.

Friday, 21 July 2017

Babylon 5 2-06: Spider in the Web

Episode:28|Writer:Lawrence DiTillio|Air Date:07-12-1994

Today on Sci-Fi Adventures I'll be figuratively talking all over Babylon 5 episode Spider in the Web (or A Spider in the Web according to the DVD box). I wouldn't worry about seeing any actual spiders turn up though judging by the current run of episode titles, as A Distant Star had nothing to do with stars, distant or otherwise, The Long Dark only lasted 42 minutes, and The Geometry of Shadows had a disappointing absence of... geometry.

This is the first episode of season two to be written by executive story editor Larry DiTillio and I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not. The guy's episodes were all over the place on my entirely subjective season one rankings, as I placed Eyes up near the top, and TKO and Born to the Purple way way down at the bottom. But only one person wrote more Babylon 5 episodes than DiTillio and that's creator JMS himself, though after this I've only got two more stories of his left to watch before his boss took ever entirely.

It's also the first episode of any season to be directed by Kevin G. Cremin and I'm not sure if that's a good thing either. Though after scrolling through the episode list and checking out the other four stories he directed I'm thinking that signs are promising.

I'll be writing commentary under screencaps from the DVD, so there'll be SPOILERS here for this whole episode and probably a few of the ones that lead up to it. That's as far as the spoilers go though, I'll not give away anything that happens afterwards.

Friday, 7 July 2017

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine 2-01: The Homecoming

Episode:21|Writer:Ira Steven Behr|Air Date:26-Sep-1993

This week on Sci-Fi Adventures, I'm watching the first episode of Deep Space Nine season 2! It's also the first part of the first three-parter in Star Trek history, and the first multi-part story in the franchise where each part has a different title.

It's not the first episode by Ira Steven Behr though, as he wrote that bloody The Nagus episode last season. But that's fine, even the best writers have their off days. Though if I ever see more than three Ferengi on screen at once I'm turning it off.

I'll be screencapping the entire episode and writing my thoughts underneath as I go, so expect SPOILERS. I'm considering any Star Trek episode made before it to be fair game, but I won't be spoiling anything that aired after it.

Friday, 30 June 2017

Babylon 5 2-05: The Long Dark

Episode:27|Writer:Scott Frost|Air Date:30-Nov-1994

This week on Sci-Fi Adventures it's episode 27 of Babylon 5! I'm going to watch it, take some screencaps and write stuff underneath them, same as usual. Well rewatch it really, as I've seen this whole series before.

The Long Dark is both the first and last Babylon 5 episode written by a guy called Scott Frost who I know nothing about. Wikipedia tells me he wrote two episodes of Twin Peaks, which may be a good sign, and two episodes from the last seasons of Andromeda, which probably isn't. It's also the first episode directed by Mario Di Leo, who didn't do a whole lot of B5 either.

There will be SPOILERS past this point for this episode and earlier ones, but I won't spoil anything that comes after it. Though I might spoil a tiny bit about the movie Aliens.

Friday, 23 June 2017

Stargate SG-1 1-01: Children of the Gods, Part 2

This is the second and final part of my Children of the Gods article. You can go to part one by clicking the text that says 'part one' here: Part one.

Beware of SPOILERS for both this episode and the movie.

Stargate SG-1 1-01: Children of the Gods, Part 1

Episode:1|Writer:Jonathan Glassner & Brad Wright|Air Date:27-Jul-1997

This week on Sci-Fi Adventures, I'm kicking myself for not realising that it'll be Stargate SG-1's 20th anniversary this year! If I'd held onto this post for another month it would've worked out perfectly, but I already promised I'd write about this next and I'm two weeks late, so I decided to click publish on it today and hope I do better with the next anniversary.

What else came out in 1997 anyway? It seems like it was a good year for fantasy movies to get their own wildly successful semi-faithful TV franchises, as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Stargate SG-1 both kicked off within a few months of each other. I have to admit that I'm more of a Buffy fan, but Buffy's about vampires and Stargate's about stargates so this is the one I'm writing about on my sci-fi site. Other science fiction series starting in '97 include Deepwater Black, Earth: Final Conflict and Timecop and I've got even better reasons for not writing about them. Meanwhile Star Trek: Deep Space Nine finished off its 5th season, Babylon 5 got done with year 4 and Voyager wrapped up season 3.

They may have chosen the least exciting shot possible to put the title over, but Children of the Gods is the beginning of an epic TV franchise to rival Star Trek, that lasted for 354 episodes and 2 DVD movies! It also rivals Star Wars with how much it got screwed with years after the fact, as co-creator Brad Wright decided to have it re-cut to replace visual effects, tighten up the storytelling, restore the original Joel Goldsmith score and use a slightly more exciting shot for the title. Oh plus his revised Final Cut also removes the nudity that Showtime apparently made them put in, because it didn't exactly suit the family friendly 90s TV sci-fi tone they were going for.

But I don't have the Final Cut, so I'm watching whatever version came in my season one DVD box set, and I'll be writing all kinds of SPOILERS as I go. I'll also be spoiling the Stargate movie, but I won't say a word about what happens in the rest of the series. Or any other series.