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TorchwoodAn attempted robbery in urban Cardiff ends with one of the criminals dead with a vicious wound left by some kind of blade, and the other in a coma – and a traumatized couple who seem to know nothing about what happened. Torchwood takes over the investigation from the police, and their interest quickly homes in on Beth, one of the couple who was attacked. Her statements don’t seem to add up, but her reactions to being in Torchwood custody seem perfectly normal for a scared civilian. When Jack insists on scanning her with a mind probe, only then does Beth’s true nature emerge – she’s not human at all, but an alien sleeper agent in human form, gathering intelligence and preparing to clear the way for an invasion. When the probe is discontinued, Beth’s seemingly human personality reasserts itself, but her alien physiology makes it impossible to isolate her by something as mundane as stasis or cryogenic freezing. She escapes the Torchwood hub with Jack and Gwen on her trail, but massive explosions, brutal murders and other incidents in and around Cardiff reveal that Beth isn’t the only sleeper agent there. The entire cell has reverted to a single-minded drive to complete the mission – and begin the invasion ahead of schedule.

Order the DVDsDownload this episodewritten by James Moran
directed by Colin Teague
music by Ben Foster

Guest Cast: Kai Owen (Rhys Williams), Nikki Amuka-Bird (Beth), Dyfed Potter (Mike), Doug Rollins (David), Claire Cage (David’s Wife), Sean Carlson (Mr. Grainger), Victoria Pugh (Mrs. Grainger), Luke Rutherford (Burglar 1), Alex Harries (Burglar 2), Dominic Coleman (Police Officer), Paul Kasey (Weevil), William Hughes (Boy), Millie Philippart (Girl), Matthew Arwel Pegram (Driver), Derek Lea (Paramedic)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Episode 1

Survivors (1970s series)A routine day in Abby Grant’s cozy world starts to unravel slowly. Her son is away with friends as news of an unprecedented virulent flu outbreak grips the UK. As news – and evidence – of the spreading flu worsens, some people grow panicked while others sink into their own oblivion. Abby falls ill and her husband desperately tries to nurse her back to health while the medical and emergency services are overwhelmed. Convicted killer Tom Price sees the spreading sickness as an opportunity to shorten his 20+ year sentence, while millionaire playboy Al Sadiq ignores the news as best he can…until he wakes up in his penthouse, his latest conquest having died of the virus overnight. The virus isn’t limited to England, and soon modern conveniences are a thing of the past. Power stations and other critical services are disrupted because the people manning them have died. Overnight, the human race is reduced to foraging for its survival.

It’s into this world that Abby awakens three days after she falls ill. Her husband has died in that time, as has everyone in her neighborhood. With phone service gone, she has no way to check on her son, and so she sets out to find him. Along the way, she runs into Greg Preston, who seems to have very clear ideas on what he’ll have to do to survive, and has stocked up on fuel, food and other necessities. They soon encounter more survivors, including a disheartened doctor named Anya Raczynski, and the unlikely pair of Al Sadiq and an 11-year-old orphan, Najid. Tom Price, having murdered his last surviving jailer to escape, is also a survivor – though no one yet knows what he is capable of.

written by Adrian Hodges
based on the novel by Terry Nation
directed by John Alexander
music by Edmund Butt

Cast: Julie Graham (Abby Grant), Shaun Dingwall (David Grant), Joanne Rowden (Linda Pope), Matt Lanigan (Joe Pope), Freema Agyeman (Jenny Walsh), Amber Herod (Tina Styles), Guy Hargreaves (Mr. Styles), Christine Anderson (Marion Sturges), Max Beesley (Tom Price), Tim Dantay (Gary Wilson), Joe Jacobs (Tony Coyne), Nikki Amuka-Bird (Samantha Willis), Jamie Belman (Mark Carter), Flo Wilson (Helen Crawley), Trevor Dwyer-Lynch (Driver at petrol station), Phillip Rhys (Aalim “Al” Sadiq), Sophia Di Martino (Simone), Bryony Afferson (Patricia Kelly), Zoe Tapper (Anya Raczynski), Hazel Cadman (Hospital Receptionist), Ian Champion (Journalist 1), Sagar Arya (Journalist 2), Tom Lloyd-Roberts (Sir Brian Tilston), Geoffrey Kirkness (General Mike Stone), Rohit Gokani (Najid’s Father), Chahak Patel (Najid Harif), Francis Magee (Callum Brown), Robert Boulter (Neil), Sophie McShera (Cathy), Paterson Joseph (Greg Preston), Jimmy Allen (Man at petrol station), Nicholas Gleaves (Whitaker), Ronny Jhutti (Sami Masood)

Notes: Though it’s the equivalent of The Fourth Horseman, the first episode of the original Survivors series, this untitled pilot of the new series subtracts and adds numerous characters and changes many of the details in the name of modernizing the story. Oddly, the writers’ credit for the pilot only credits Survivors creator Terry Nation for his novel, which was in fact a novelization of the original series; as such, writer and executive producer Adrian Hodges is credited as the show’s creator. Both Shaun Dingwall and Freema Agyeman had recently appeared in Doctor Who, and much was made of their appearances in Survivors, though neither of their characters survive this episode; Paterson Joseph – who had appeared in the first season finale of the new Doctor Who – was also a hot topic as Survivors premiered, as many considered him a likely contender for the role of the Doctor, which David Tennant had recently announced he would be vacating. Another Doctor Who universe veteran prominent in the first season is Nikki Amuka-Bird, who also appeared in the second season of Torchwood.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

I Was Flying

Star Trek: The Next GenerationIn the late 21st century, high-end passenger travel has extended into the stars, thanks to Judd Galaxy’s space luxury liners. The newest member of that fleet, the Avenue 5, has embarked on its maiden voyage, which will loop out toward Saturn, grab a gravitational assist from its large moon Titan, and return to Earth in the space of eight weeks. The eccentric (and very rich) founder of Judd Galaxy, Herman Judd himself, is aboard for this first voyage, though he leaves the running of the ship to Captain Ryan Clark, and the running of his business to his right-hand woman, Iris Kamura. When a gravity glitch throws everyone in the ship up against one of the walls, Avenue 5‘s course shifts unexpectedly, turning its eight-week cruise into a loping three-year tour of the solar system – a longer journey for which there aren’t enough consumables aboard. The passengers learn of this development and begin to protest, and Captain Ryan Clark has to privately admit to Judd that he’s not actually a captain – he was hired by the ship’s actual, socially-deficient captain to present an acceptable point of contact for the passengers, but has no knowledge of how to run the ship…and the actual captain who hired him was the singular fatality of the gravity incident.

Download this episode via Amazonteleplay by Armando Iannucci & Simon Blackwell & Tony Roche
story by Armando Iannucci
directed by Armando Iannucci
music by Adem Ilhan

Avenue 5Cast: Hugh Laurie (Captain Ryan Clark), Josh Gad (Herman Judd), Zach Woods (Matt Spencer), Rebecca Front (Karen Kelly), Suzy Nakamura (Iris Kimura), Lenora Crichlow (Billie McEvoy), Nikki Amuka-Bird (Rav Mulcair), Ethan Phillips (Spike Martin), Andy Buckley (Frank Kelly), Matthew Beard (Alan), Jessica St. Clair (Mia), Kyle Bornheimer (Doug), Joplin Sibtain (Joe), Julie Dray (Nadia), Adam Pålsson (Bridge Crew), Andrea Pizza (Anthea), Ankur Bahl (Passenger), Vaughn Joseph (John), Simon Connolly (Max), Anne Witman (Lauren), Andrew Boyer (Passenger), Wanda Opalinska (Baily), Eugenia Caruso (Verity), Ako Mitchell (Passenger), Yasmine Akram (Passenger), Sonia Dorado (Yoga Teacher), Oseloka Obi (Dan), Priyanga Burford (Lori Hernandez), Sandra Gayer (Passenger), Daisy May Cooper (Passenger), Sophie Salako (Passenger)

LogBook entry by Earl Green