8 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, January 21, 1998
'Babylon 5' blasts onto
These are the myriad freaks and aliens from season No. 4 of "Babylon 5."
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By Ted Watts
Daily Arts Writer
"Babylon 5" is back from the dead and more popular than
ever. The science fiction show, now four years old, has been
saved from syndication limbo by cable channel TNT and new
episodes are set for Wednesdays at 10 p.m., starting tonight.
Tonight's episode will mark the beginning of the rebuild-
ing of Earth and the galaxy 300 years after a rash of destruc-
That doesn't even include the bitter cast problems that led
to actress Claudia Christian's unexpected departure from the
After the show's old local outlet WXON shamefully moved
the show, without warning, into a 3 a.m. time slot for its last
three episodes, TNT's prime time placement is a welcome
"Babylon 5" has, in the face of tremen-
dous odds, survived to its fifth season. P A
It's a good thing, too, because the show
had always been planned as a five-year
story by creator J. Michael Straczynski.
There has never been a sci-fi television
series with a planned beginning, middle
and end, but tonight's season premiere
makes the concept a fait accompli.
The short version of the concept, used to sate nervous TV
execs: "Casablanca" in space.
This label is wholly insufficient to describe the show, but
is still a good tagline. "Babylon 5" is an extended saga of
wars between species, the rise and fall of various individuals
to and from power and an extended dissertation on a philos-
ophy for mankind's future.
But it's also set against a backdrop of a space station called
Babylon 5, a place where humans and aliens meet for busi-
ness and diplomacy. Day to day life is shown episode-to-
episode in a way that the limitations of movies don't allow.
While individual episodes are worthwhile by themselves,.
the greater the commitment to watching consistently. the
greater the reward in terms of fundamental issues that can be
As the fifth season begins tonight, a lot has happened. In
the last season humans and aliens have waged a war against
the most ancient beings in the galaxy and driven them out;
Earth has just fought a civil war and barely survived the
scorched Earth policy of its last leader; and Babylon 5's
Captain John Sheridan (Bruce Boxleitner) has formed the
Interstellar Alliance, it combination of many alien races
designed to insure peace and improve all involved planets.
And that's the vastly oversimplified version.
That was essentially the role of the Babylon 5 station in
In the following season you can bet that the Alliance is
going to have as many problems as the station itself had. And
the new season means that there are new players, as well.
Tracy Scoggins is joining the cast as Captain Elizabeth
Locksley, the new commander of Babylon 5 who will appar-
ently be at odds with Sheridan.
There are also quite a few hints about what is going to hap-
pen in the series that were dropped in the final episode of sea-
son four, and the year looks to be violent
and full of twists.
E V I EW But if you feel bad that you may have
missed out on everything up to this
Babylon 5 point, TNT is rerunning the first four
TNT seasons weeknights at 7.
That makes a total of six different
Wednesdays at 10 p. episodes to watch every week, not
including the times the pilot or the pre-
quel movie "In the Beginning" is aired.
So what will the future hold for the characters of "Babylon
5"? As one character has said: reflection, surprise, terror. And
all you have to do is watch.
So what's so great about B5?
Little known facts about TNT's newest acquisition:
The show just won a sci-fi Hugo Award for Best
Dramatic Presentation for the second year running.
in September 1994, "The Parliament of Dreams"
episode won the Emmy for Best Makeup,
The show proves that cartoons transcend time
and space. One of the main characters is obsessed
with Daffy Duck'
The cast of the dismal "Ask Harriet"
By Steve Paruszkiewicz
Daily Arts Writer
The concept of the new Fox televi
sion series "Ask Harriet" may seem
tad bit familiar to television viewers of
the early 1980s or viewers of Nick At
Nite. The entire concept of the cross-
dressing guy who fooled everyone
originated all the way back in "Some
Like It Hot"
tedious with a
" B o s o m
Scolari and a
Thursdays at 8:30 pm.
- -- . ..
0'I IN. C
What profit is there in agreeing that universal friendship is good, and
talking of the solidarity of the human race as a grand ideal? Unless
these thoughts are translated into the world of action, they are useless.
The wrong in the world continues to exist just because people talk only
of their ideals, and do not strive to put them into practice. If actions
took the place of words, the world's misery would very soon be changed
Our appeal is addressed primarily to the
Racism is the most challenging issue individual American, because the
confronting America. A nation whose transformation of a whole nation ultimately
,ancestry includes every people on Earth, depends on the initiative and change of
whose motto is E Pluribus Unum, whose character of the individuals who compose it.
ideals of freedom under law have inspired No great idea or plan of action by the
millions throughout the world, cannot government or other interested organizations
continue to harbor prejudice against any can hope to succeed if the individual neglects
racial or ethnic group without betraying to respond in his or her own way as personal
itself. Racism is an affront to human circumstances and opportunities permit.
dignity, a cause of hatred and division, a Excerpt from The Vision of Race Unity by
disease that devastates society. the NSA of the Bahd'is of the U. S.
Presented by the U-M Baha'i Club. We invite you to a discussion on race unity and
the Baha'i Faith on Sunday, January 25 at 2:00 in the Pond room in the Union.
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Aside from a
"Ask Harriet" is___________
same show. In it, Jack Cody(Anthony
Tyler Quinn), an arrogant sportswriter,
writes an article that causes his paper to
be sued for $21 million, and lead to4his
subsequent termination from the pay
Jack concocts a scheme in which-he
dresses up as a woman named Syia
Coco, and pleads for his job back. lie
ends up writing an advice column. The
owner of the newspaper (Ed Asner)
loves it, and invites him to a hocke
game. Jack goes back to clear out is
desk, and meets Asner's promiscueus
granddaughter, Joplin (Julie Ben
He thinks that he can erase his alter
ego Sylvia, and have Joplin secure his
job after he invites her back to his
apartment for dinner.
After the dinner, Jack goes to-he
hockey game, and his boss (big sur-
prise) hits on him. They end up back a
Jack's apartment and Joplin conic tW
the door to get something she had'for-
gotten there earlier. Asner goes ballis-
tic, and demands why she was there at
Cody's apartment. Sylvia then fells
him that she is Jack's girlfriend and
they were throwing a party for Joplin.
Asner, being so taken with Sylvia,
gives her a five year contract, ard
decrees that Cody will never work for
him again. With this, the rest of the
show is spelled out in black and whit
for the viewer.
The show itself is weak in plot, weak
in story, and weak in characters. It goes
along with the same mishaps that befell
the Bosom Buddies duo (i.e. talking in
their normal deep voices while in drag,
being hit on by men, etc.) The show
attempts to find humor in a warmed-
over plot and win over the audience
with its risque behavior.
To say the least, it is almost as it Fo
hopes we forgot about "Bosom
Buddies," and will find their new show
hilarious. The bad news for Fox is that
the audience, thanks to Nick At Nite's
syndicated reruns, hasn't forgotten.
WIMPU I EK JuL~Ivet~KUU* LVMPUT EK SIENCE * PH YICS * CHEMICAL ENGINEERING
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Daly Arts and Dimens 1
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want to oin s nthe *ighte.
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