Space: Above and Beyond (Pilot)

Space: Above And BeyondIn the year 2063, the newly established Vesta Colony stands as the furthest human settlement in deep space. But not long after Vesta Colony is inaugurated, a mysterious alien force – the first extraterrestrial life ever encountered by mankind – attacks and destroys it.

The attack – though Earth still doesn’t realize why their colony has dropped out of contact – comes on the eve of the launch of a new group of colonists to settle the planet Tellus. But a Senate directive forces the colony’s governor to drop ten colonists to make way for ten in vitros – artificially-gestated humans – forcing two of the colonists, an engaged couple, to separate. Nathan West tries to stow away aboard the Tellus colony ship, but is arrested and thrown off the ship prior to launch. His only hope to get anywhere near the Tellus Colony is the join the U.S. Marines’ Space Aviators wing in hope of landing colonial security duty. West’s explusion turns out to be his salvation, for unknown to him, the Tellus Colony ship is attacked before it can even land.

Upon enlisting, West meets some of his fellow cadets – the determined but angry Shane Vansen, the naive Paul Wang, erstwhile Mike Pagodin (who really just wants to get into a plane), and an in vitro named Cooper Hawkes who was sentenced to Marine boot camp after retaliating violently against a racially-motivated assault by naturally-born humans. This diverse and conflicting group of wet-behind-the-ears future pilots isn’t a promising combination. But when the news finally breaks that the Vesta and Tellus Colonies have fallen to alien attack, the shadow of an impending war draws the cadets closer…and convinces West that the love of his life has been lost forever.

With war on the horizon, the cadets are rushed into a training mission to Mars. The mission seems almost routine until they make a horrifying discovery – the enemy has already gained a foothold in Earth’s solar system. The Marine cadets defend themselves admirably in their first real combat situation, but Pagodin – who has become the only friend Hawkes has ever made in his life – is killed. And the first alien prisoner of war is taken. With no means of translation or any kind of significant communication, the cadets learn nothing from the alien, aside from the fact that water will kill it. But the technology and battle plans from the aliens’ ship proves to be a valuable find.

However, the human war effort is still falling behind. Every engagement has ended with the aliens victorious. Plans taken from the alien ship found on Mars indicate a major alien offensive being planned at the Groombridge star system, several light years away from Earth, but as the cadets, newly assigned to the 58th Squadron, arrive for their first space combat assignment, they discover that the plans were planted deliberately. A massive alien force already headed for Earth…while the majority of Earth’s firepower has been diverted to Groombridge. The future of mankind depends on the ability of West, Vansen and the others knowing when to follow orders …and when to break them.

Season 1 Regular Cast: Morgan Weisser (Lt. Nathan West), Kristen Cloke (Captain Shane Vansen), Rodney Rowland (Lt. Cooper Hawkes), Lanei Chapman (Lt. Vanessa Damphousse), Joel de la Fuente (Lt. Paul Wang), James Morrison (Lt. Colonel T.C. McQueen), Tucker Smallwood (Commodore Glen Ross)

Order the DVDwritten by Glen Morgan & James Wong
directed by David Nutter
music by Shirley Walker

Guest Cast: Bill Hunter (Secretary General Chartwell), Amanda Douge (Kylen), Michael Edwards-Stevens (Maxwell), Bartholomew John (Richard West), Colin Friels (Lt. Colonel Fouts), Gennie Nevinson (Anne West), Charles Anthony (Nelson), James Campbell (John West), Peter Kent (Mike “Pags” Pagodin), Angus Grant (Neil West), Theresa Wong (Michelle Low), Melissa Bullock (young Shane), Anja Coleby (Bartley), Colin Handley (Sgt. Vansen), Darrin Klimek (Carter), Rebecca Riggs (Mrs. Vansen), Ric Anderson (Slayton), Chris Kirby (Lt. Stone), Robert Coleby (Governor Overmeyer), Alan Dale (Governor Borman), F. Lee Ermey (Sgt. Bouguss)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Farthest Man From Home

Space: Above And BeyondA shell-shocked survivor of a Chig attack is brought to the Saratoga, and his claims to being “the farthest man from home” bring up the possibility that he may have been on the doomed Tellus colony. West questions the man on the whereabouts of his fianceè, who was forced to fly to Tellus alone, and to his astonishment the survivor actually seems to know who he’s talking about. Determined to save the woman he plans to marry, West undertakes a very unauthorized and ill-advised rescue mission…but if anyone plans on rescuing him, they too will have to disobey orders.

Order the DVDwritten by Glen Morgan & James Wong
directed by David Nutter
music by Shirley Walker

Guest Cast: French Stewart (Survivor), Linda Carlson (Theresa Ashford), Michael Mantell (Howard Sewell), Bok Yun Chon (Yuko Kayaguest), Thomas Mills (Captain Joyner), Leslie Pratt (Squad Leader), Tedd Taskey (Soldier)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Dark Side of the Sun

Space: Above And BeyondThe 58th is sent on a no-frills patrol assignment to a mining colony called Bunuel, which has been beset in the past by conflict between humans and AIs – the same kind of conflict that cost Shane Vansen both of her parents. When a sneak attack on the Bunuel installation wreaks havoc, the routine mission becomes much more dangerous, and Vansen finds herself reliving her worst real-life nightmare.

Order the DVDwritten by Glen Morgan & James Wong
directed by Charles Martin Smith
music by Shirley Walker

Guest Cast: Kimberly Patton (Feliciti OH 519), Paul Keeley (Justin EB 774), Susan Priver (Lt. Nelson), Iva Franks (Sabrine EW 117)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Mutiny

Space: Above And BeyondThe 58th is forced to tag along on a non-military cargo ship to avoid being marooned on Groombridge 34. The freighter’s payload, however, alarms the young soldiers – hundreds of human beings trapped in stasis, and a shipment of unborn in vitros intended for a life of slave labor. Hawkes finds that one of the in vitros could grow into the closest things he’ll ever have to a brother. To make matters worse, a Chig ambush inflicts critical damage on the cargo ship, and the only way to redirect enough power to escape is to deactivate the stasis unit which keeps the in vitros intact …but will Hawkes allow a wholesale slaughter of his own kind to be the salvation of a ship full of natural born humans?

Order the DVDwritten by Stephen Zito
directed by Stephen Cragg
music by Shirley Walker

Guest Cast: Robert Louis Kempf (Sgt. Monk), Tony Amendola (Captain Lewelyn), Calvin Levels (First Mate Potter), William Forward (Mercer), Tom Everett (C.P.O. Keats), Ping Wu (Ashby), Christopher Michael Moore (Sorrel), Thom Barry (Chief Mechanic), Jeffrey Howard (Harris), Steven Hack (Harkin), Lisa Dinkins (Triage Nurse)

Notes: Tony Amendola is well-known in SF circles for his recurring Stargate SG-1 role of Master Bra’tac; William Forward made an equally memorable series of appearances on Babylon 5 as the scheming Refa.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Ray Butts

Space: Above And BeyondA vehicle forces its way into the Saratoga, and its sole pilot, thought to be dead, renders the majority of a security team helpless before finally being taken prisoner. But this pilot is no Chig – it’s Lt. Colonel Ray Butts, and he has orders for the 58th. He also has a problem with the 58th in just about every respect, and makes this fact known quite clearly. Butts plans to take the 58th deep into enemy territory on what seems like it must be a suicide mission…and he plans to do so over McQueen’s objects, or his dead body, if necessary.

Order the DVDwritten by Glen Morgan & James Wong
directed by Charles Martin Smith
music by Shirley Walker

Guest Cast: Steve Rankin (Raymond Butts), John Voldstad (Sailor), David Prudhomme (Cochran), Lar Park-Lincoln (Bowman), John L. Bennett (Master of Arms)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Eyes

Space: Above And BeyondThe Saratoga makes its way back to Earth, but before the troops can spend much time fantasizing about a week’s liberty on their home planet, a new bulletin announces that U.N. Secretary General Chartwell has been assassinated – and the killer is an in vitro. A number of world leaders on both sides of the in vitro rights movement hold a summit aboard the Saratoga, resulting in a declaration that all in vitros in the military must submit themselves to a degrading series of tests which supposedly will determine their loyalty to the human race. McQueen flatly refuses to undergo these tests, jeopardizing his military career. What no one seems to realize at first as that the tests could be legitimized racism under the guise of national security.

Order the DVDwritten by Glen Morgan & James Wong
directed by Felix Alcala
music by Shirley Walker

Guest Cast: Harriet Sansom Harris (Diane Hayden), Josie DiVincenzo (Lt. Susan Posarick), George Delhoyo (Nicholas Chaput), James Leisure (Lt. Charlie Stone), John Verea (Cwirko), Ken Takemoto (Kurosawa), Kimberly Patton (Feliciti OH 483), Mark Lentry (Man), Michael Harney (Questioner), Daniel Stewart (Thompson), John L. Bennett (Master of Arms), Robin Curtis (Andrea Wilkins)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Enemy

Space: Above And BeyondDamphousse is facing an inquiry and possible court-martial following a harrowing event which nearly caused the soldiers of the 58th to kill each other while on assignment. Her career rests on her ability to remember what happened – which turns out to be no easy task when she’s trying to remember a new mind-altering Chig weapon.

Order the DVDwritten by Marilyn Osborn
directed by Michael Katleman
music by Shirley Walker

Guest Cast: Bob Koherr (Crazy Marine), Danny Goldring (Sergeant)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Hostile Visit

Space: Above And BeyondA pitched battle is fought in the Saratoga’s immediate vicinity, and the ship narrowly escapes. Another ship, however, doesn’t escape – the 58th captures a Chig fighter intact. Careful examination of the alien ship reveals that it takes its orders directly from its pilot’s nervous system, and that it came from a system outside of the Chigs’ usual territories. McQueen thinks that the 58th can learn to pilot the Chig ship and use it to attack the Chigs from within, and training begins immediately. But even though they manage to get the ship as far as the Chig planet of Kazbek, things go disastrously wrong and the Wild Cards are forced to ditch their ship. And if Commodore Ross plans on taking the Saratoga to Kazbek to rescue them, he can expect heavy resistance.

Order the DVDwritten by Peyton Webb
directed by Thomas J. Wright
music by Shirley Walker

Guest Cast: Michael Mantell (Howard Sewell), David Gardner (Klein), Melissa Bowen (Lt. Stroud), Randy Mulkey (Donne), Steve Lanza (Loading bay crewman), Sharon Washington (Crew Chief), Dan Rice (M.P.), Jim Anzide (Krantz), Wiley Pickett (Marine #1), Billy Mayo (Webb), John Carlos Frey (“Now” Marine), Steven Jang (Connor), Garon Grigsby (Aerotech engineer), Susan Vee (Gates)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Choice or Chance

Space: Above And BeyondThe Kazbek raid has ended in a shambles, with the 58th’s Chig ship escape pod setting down on the planet itself. Everyone except McQueen and Hawkes is captured by what appear to be AIs, one of whom claims that the human race encroached on Chig space first, not the other way around. West is hauled off to a labor camp, where he sees Kylen. Meanwhile, the Saratoga is closing in on Kazbek…but even if Ross manages to retrieve his wayward soldiers, their spirits may be broken by AI torture.

Order the DVDwritten by Steven Zito
directed by Felix Alcala
music by Shirley Walker

Guest Cast: Michael Mantell (Howard Sewell), David Gardner (Klein)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Stay With The Dead

Space: Above And BeyondNathan West is returned to the Saratoga, the rest of his squadron missing and presumed dead. Despite offers of therapy and repeated evidence to the contrary, West insists that the rest of the 58th is alive and well and needs his help. But the ship’s doctors have other ideas – namely, a radical therapy which will return him to duty at the cost of erasing every memory he has of his teammates. And if they are, as he insists, still out there, they certainly won’t be for long if their only hope of rescue has no memory of them.

Order the DVDwritten by Matt Kiene & Joe Reinkemeyer
directed by Thomas J. Wright
music by Shirley Walker

Guest Cast: Edmund L. Shaff (Chaplain)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

River of Stars

Space: Above And BeyondWhen the troop transport carrying the 58th is severely damaged, Vansen and West find themselves barely able to calm their soldiers’ fears. Oxygen and other vital consumables are running low, and all communication with the Saratoga is lost. Using an ancient sextant, Wang spots an opportunity – a comet will be passing perilously close to the transport very soon. There may be just enough thruster power left to push the transport into the comet’s tail, making it visible to the Saratoga, but there may not be enough thruster power left to keep the transport from crashing into the comet moments later…

Order the DVDwritten by Marilyn Osborn
directed by Tucker Gates
music by Shirley Walker

Guest Cast: Tasia Valenza (Lt. Winslow), Tyrone Batista (Lt. Leslie O’Neil), Sharon Annett (Communications officer), Billy Maddox (Larkin), J. August Richards (Lt. Thomas), Christopher Wiehl (Ensign), Chris Kirby (Kelcher), Robert Arevalo (Horn), Robert Crow (Reynolds)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Who Monitors The Birds?

Space: Above And BeyondHawkes takes on a dangerous undercover assignment without the permission of McQueen or Commodore Ross. He accompanies Major Colquitt to the planet Tigrus, occupied by the Chigs, on a mission to kill the Chig commander who ordered the destruction of the Vesta Colony. They succeed in this mission, but Colquitt is killed during the escape, leaving Hawkes alone and injured on a world crawling with the enemy. To make matters worse, Hawkes repeatedly hallucinates a beautiful woman – and he follows her as she leads him into more and more dangerous encounters with his pursuers.

Order the DVDwritten by Glen Morgan & James Wong
directed by Winrich Kolbe
music by Shirley Walker

Guest Cast: Dale Dye (Major Colquitt), Denyn Pysz (Invitro friend), Brian Cousins (?), Robert Thomas (Friendly alien), David Botrell (Monitor #2)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Level of Necessity

Space: Above And BeyondDuring a desperate retreat through subterranean caves on Daedalus, the 58th meets up with another Marine unit. Though they initially follow the other unit toward an escape route, Damphousse warns them not to after witnessing an inexplicable halo of light around the other Marines – who are then killed, leaving only one survivor. Though she saved her comrades, Damphousse falls under suspicion, and finds herself receiving the attention of an officer who intends to test her for psi abilities – for possible use as a weapon.

Order the DVDwritten by Matt Kiene & Joe Reinkemeyer
directed by Thomas J. Wright
music by Shirley Walker

Guest Cast: Richard Kind (Colonel Burke), Kane Picoy (Lubin), Tasia Valenza (Lt. Winslow), Timothy Dale Agee (Captain Kremens)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Never No More

Space: Above And BeyondReports begin to filter in of a new Chig “ace” ship which has destroyed almost every Earth fighter to come in contact with it…but these reports come in the form of unsubstantiated rumors rather than official news. The Wild Cards are frustrated by the lack of any official denial or confirmation. When the latest victim turns out to be the lover of an old high school sweetheart of Vansen’s, she fills the empty slot when the same squadron is sent on a recon mission. Then, and only then, does McQueen break with orders to warn Vansen that “Chiggy Von Richtoven” does indeed exist.

Order the DVDwritten by Glen Morgan & James Wong
directed by James Charleston
music by Shirley Walker / “Never No More” by Patsy Cline

Guest Cast: Michael Reilly Burke (Captain John Oakes), Heinrich James (Fenris), Tasia Valenza (Lt. Winslow), David Jean Thomas (Alcott), Michael Raynor (Admiral), Randy Stone (Spud), Rob Elk (Mr. Saber), Xavier Montalvo (Sullivan), Jacquelyn Houston (Hadden), David St. James (Broden), Ashley Smock (Curran), Jonathan Williams (Burnett), Michelle Clunie (Jennifer Brandt), Will Schaub (Paterno), Julio Dolce Vita (Ensign)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Angriest Angel

Space: Above And BeyondThe rumors about Chiggy Von Richtoven have fast become fact – the alien flying ace is all to real and far too deadly. When a potential new weapon to use against the alien’s stealthier-than-usual fighter is developed, McQueen personally volunteers to take the point, going head to head with Chiggy Von Richtoven. Ross refuses permission, and McQueen takes it upon himself to perform this duty anyway…but is he prepared for the possibility that this new weapon may not work, and he could become the latest victim of the alien warrior?

Order the DVDwritten by Glen Morgan & James Wong
directed by Henri Safran
music by Shirley Walker

Guest Cast: Doug Hutchison (Elroy EL), Robert Crow (Controller), Tasia Valenza (Winslow), Randy Stone (Spud), Michael Mantell (Howard Sewell), David Ramsey (Supervisor), Charmin Lee (Colonel Schrader), James Black (Security Operator), Gunther Jensen (Engineer), David St. James (Broden), John L. Bennett (Guard), Edmund Shaff (Chaplain), Dane Farwell (Technician), David Jean Thomas (Alcott), William Bradberry Jr. (Gunnery Sergeant), Rob Elk (Mr. Saber)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Toy Soldiers

Space: Above And BeyondNathan West is appalled when a lineup of new recruits includes his younger brother, Neil, who enlisted without saying a word to his older brother. To make matters worse, Nathan quickly finds out for himself that Neil’s CO is gunning for glory – even if it costs him the lives of those under his command.

Order the DVDwritten by Marilyn Osborn
directed by Stephen Posey
music by Shirley Walker

Guest Cast: Marc Worden (Neil West), Al Garrett (Donovan), David Barrera (2nd Lt. Herrick), Steven Jang (Intelligence Officer Connor), Michael Malota (Young Nathan), Christian Hoff (Miller), Adam Sutton (Young Neil), P.J. Ochlan (Eichler)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Dear Earth

Space: Above And BeyondIn the midst of a mail call, Hawkes and McQueen resign themselves to being left out of the festivities – there are no families to write letters from home to in vitros. But the two then face an even worse dilemma. In an effort to bring order to the ranks, the top brass have decided to make a motivational film about the efforts of in vitros fighting alongside natural born humans in the war against the Chigs. Hawkes buys into the idea of becoming a role model for his people, but McQueen wants nothing to do with the documentary.

Order the DVDwritten by Richard Whitley
directed by Winrich Kolbe
music by Shirley Walker

Guest Cast: Steve Hytner (Reporter), Robert Crow (Crow), Charles Carpenter (Cameraman), Gibson Frazier (Ed), Loren Chase (Mrs. West), Darren Gray Ward (Lt. John Hill), Kate McCalley (Doctor), Bob Clendenin (Mank), Scott Heath Dorel (Sailor #1), John Battle (Supply sergeant), Jermaine Mentell (Sailor #2), Jennifer Burns (Ann), Michael Wachtel (Marine #1), Rock Reiser (Armed guard), Ted Mann (Slow Talker), Carl Gilliard (Ophthalmologist)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Pearly

Space: Above And BeyondUnder fire on the planet Minerva, the 58th take shelter in a tank dubbed “Pearly,” piloted by the only surviving member of its original crew. With the Chigs hot on their trail, the Marines’ only hope of survival is the well-worn tank. But a small group of AIs is also on Minerva, and they see Pearly’s power supply as their own salvation – and even if it means forcing the humans to sacrifice their own safety and their only means of defense, the AIs won’t hesitate to take it.

Order the DVDwritten by Richard Whitley
directed by Charles Martin Smith
music by Shirley Walker

Guest Cast: Doug Hutchison (Elroy El), Martin Jarvis (Major Cyril MacKendrick), Adam Goldberg (Sgt. Louie Fox), Guy Garner (Marine), Kimberly Patton (Feliciti)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

R & R

Space: Above And BeyondA disastrous meeting with Chig fighters on a routine patrol leaves Hawkes seriously wounded – and leaves Ross with only one conclusion: the 58th has reached a point of total burnout. The Wild Cards are given a weekend of R&R aboard Bacchus, a mobile pleasure center. Some of the 58th find it hard to resist the temptation to stay there, but one of them is even worse off. Injected with human drugs by a doctor who didn’t realize he was an in vitro, Hawkes becomes a danger to himself, his career, and his comrades in arms.

Order the DVDwritten by Julie Selbo
directed by Thomas J. Wright
music by Shirley Walker

Guest Cast: Janet Gunn (Suzie), Jennifer Crystal (Nurse Larlee), Coolio (Host), Julius Branca (Bartender), Vincent Guastaferro (Man), David Scott Gordon (Guy), David Duchovny (Alvin)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Stardust

Space: Above And BeyondWhen the 58th is forced to scrub a mission because their fighters haven’t been prepped, they begin to feel uneasy. This suspicion grows as stranger things begin happening – including a surveillance device found in the cockpit of Vansen’s ship. The presence of high-level visitors aboard the Saratoga adds to their paranoia. All of their ships have been bugged, as it turns out, but when those bugs are removed, a routine escort mission becomes a firefight. Is someone in the command ranks trying to take out the 58th?

Order the DVDwritten by Howard Grigsby
directed by Jesus Trevino
music by Shirley Walker

Guest Cast: Ronald G. Joseph (General Oliver Radford), Tim Hutchinson (Military Officer), David A. R. White (Ensign Lewis), Edmund L. Shaff (Chaplain), Eric Whitmore (Commando), Pato Hoffmann (James Dark Moon), Christopher Kirby (Technician), Robert Crow (Officer Crow), Onico Edain (Colonel)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Sugar Dirt

Space: Above And BeyondThe 58th is assigned to play just a small part of a massive Earth effort to take a Chig airstrip on Demios. Though seemingly insignificant, control of that installation guarantees control of the surrounding sector. Though the invasion is expected to come at the price of a great loss of life, the airstrip is taken with great ease and very little resistance. Only when the 58th sets up shop at the airstrip do they realize that their target is a trap designed to lure as many Earth carriers to this sector as possible for a Chig ambush – and help may never come.

Order the DVDwritten by Matt Kiene & Joe Reinkemeyer
directed by Thomas J. Wright
music by Shirley Walker

Guest Cast: Granville Van Dusen (General Weirick), Iqbal Theba (General Siraj), Jennifer Balgobin (Lt. Rice), Bill Kalmenson (Commander Preising), Mark Adair Rios (Lt. Smith), David St. James (Admiral Broden), Josh Abramson (Lt. Nelson), David Jean Thomas (General Alcott), David Cooley (Lt. Feeley), Edmund L. Shaff (Chaplain), Keith Rosary (LIDAR Operator), James Kiriyama-Lem (General Ming), Chrisopher Villa (Marine), Nancy Linehan Charles (Admiral Vetter)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Doctor Who (1996 TV Movie)

Doctor WhoBefore he is executed by the Daleks for crimes against them, the Master asks that his remains be given to the Doctor for transport to Gallifrey. En route in the Doctor’s TARDIS, the Master’s remains break free of their container, still pulsating with malevolent life. The Master sabotages the TARDIS, forcing an emergency landing in San Francisco on December 30, 1999. The moment he steps out of the TARDIS, the Doctor is caught in the middle of a gang shooting. One young survivor of the shootout, Chang Lee, calls an ambulance for the Doctor, unwittingly providing an escape for the Master as well. Cardiologist Grace Holloway ignores the X-rays which show the Doctor’s two hearts and tries to operate on him. The operation and the anasthetics end the Doctor’s seventh life. The Doctor regenerates in the morgue as the Master takes over the body of a paramedic. Grace resigns after losing her patient, but the newly reborn Doctor, suffering from amnesia, escapes the hospital and follows her home. After convincing Grace of his alien nature and regaining his memory, the Doctor discovers that his future regenerations are the Master’s targets. Aided by Chang Lee and a hypnotized Grace, the Master captures the Doctor and tries to use the TARDIS’ Eye of Harmony to transfer the Doctor’s life energy into the paramedic’s decaying body, but opening the Eye on Earth will destroy the planet at midnight on December 31. When Chang Lee rebels against the Master’s dominance, the Master kills him and releases Grace to help him. Grace escapes and sets the TARDIS into motion, freeing Earth from danger. The Master’s scheme fails, but he kills Grace after she releases the Doctor. The Master falls into the Eye of Harmony and vanishes from existence, while the TARDIS restores Grace and Chang Lee to full health. The Doctor brings his passengers back to Earth just after the dawn of the year 2000. Grace turns down the Doctor’s offer to accompany him on his travels, and the Doctor departs in the TARDIS.

written by Matthew Jacobs
directed by Geoffrey Sax
music by John Debney, John Sponsler and Louis Febre

Click here for a video previewClick here for a video previewClick here for a video previewClick here for a video previewCast: Paul McGann (The Doctor), Eric Roberts (The Master), Daphne Ashbrook (Dr. Grace Halloway), Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Yee Jee Tso (Chang Lee), John Novak (Salinger), Michael David Simms (Dr. Swift), Eliza Roberts (Miranda), Gordon Tipple (The Old Master), Dave Hurtubise (Professor Wagg), Jeremy Badick (Gareth), Dolores Drake (Curtis), Catherine Lough (Wheeler), William Sasso (Pete), Joel Wirkkunen (Ted), Mi-Jung Lee (TV Anchor), Joanna Piros (TV Anchor), Bill Croft (Cop), Ron James (Motorbike Cop/Driver), Dee Jay Jackson (Security Guy), Darryl Avon (Gangster), Byron Lawson (Gangster), Paul Wu (Gangster), Johnny Mam (Gangster), Michael Ching (Chang Lee’s Friend), Dean Choe (Chang Lee’s Friend), Danny Groesclose (Driver)

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green Read More

And If They Lay Us To Rest…

Space: Above And BeyondAn elaborate mission to draw a large portion of the Chig defense away from their home planet is falling right into place. The Wild Cards are sent in to place landing beacons on a Chig-occupied moon which will be the Earth forces’ next target. Not only do they fend off a Chig ground patrol, but they discover a new life form of a kind never seen. Suddenly, the attack on this moon brings up the possibility of genocide…but even if a way can be found to warn the seemingly gentle, harmless creatures of the impending assault, nobody knows if the beings can be trusted not to share that information with the enemy.

Order the DVDwritten by Glen Morgan & James Wong
directed by Vern Gillum
music by Shirley Walker

Guest Cast: Don Pugsley (Colonel Rabwin), Derek Mark Lochran (Pasty), Robert Crow (Communications officer)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

…Tell Our Moms We Done Our Best

Space: Above And BeyondThe war takes a turning point when a Chig ambassador arrives aboard the Saratoga, ready to talk about the possibility of peace. As the members of the 58th idly fantasize – or worry – about returning to peacetime life, the negotiations grow more intense. The survivors of the Tellus colony – Nathan West’s lover among them – become a bargaining chip, and are launched back toward Earth space. But when the talks break down and the war resumes, the Tellus colonists are now easy targets within easy reach of both Earth forces and the Chigs. West is determined to get there first, no matter the cost.

Order the DVDwritten by Glen Morgan & James Wong
directed by Vern Gillum
music by Shirley Walker

Guest Cast: Richard Fancy (E. Allen Wayne), Elliot Woods (Weapon specialist), Chris Ellis (Admiral Stenner), Steve Monroe (Engineer), Amanda Douge (Kylen), Marlon Chopper Young (Sentry), Harriet Sansom Harris (Diane Hayden), Lisa Talerico (Sgt. Parker), Don Pugsley (Colonel Rabwin), Amy Loubalu (Sentry #2), Reggie Hayes (Wallace), J. Patrick McCormack (Frank Shaffner), Tom Ayers (German Colonist), Derek Mark Lochran (Chig envoy), Christopher Boyer (Colonist), David Jean Thomas (General Alcott), Lawrence T. Wrentz (Sims), Robert Crow (Lt. Pruitt), Nilla Westerlund (Reporter)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Train Job

FireflyRiver is plagued by bad dreams of her time at the Alliance academy, as well as bouts of seeming incoherence where she mutters about men with hands of blue, coming two by two. Mal continues an annual tradition by getting into a bar fight with Alliance supporters on Unification Day, the celebration of the final defeat of the Independents. With that taken care of, the crew moves on to its real job, a train heist on behalf of Adlai Niska. Their employer leaves no doubt in Mal’s mind as to what he does to people who fail to meet his expectations. Mal and Zoe ride the train and discover that a number of Alliance troops are on board, which only makes the job more appealing for him. Jayne breaks into the train from above, with the plan being for Serenity to haul the cargo and the three of them up. When one of the troops gets the jump on them, Jayne calls for an early pull-up, leaving Mal and Zoe behind. They blend back in with the other passengers, all of whom are held for questioning at the train’s next stop. Jayne wants to proceed to the rendezvous point immediately, while the rest of the crew tries to figure out a way to save Mal and Zoe first. Even if their cunning plan succeeds, questioning from the local sheriff is enough to give Mal second thoughts about completing the deal.

Order the DVDsDownload this episode via Amazon's Unboxwritten by Joss Whedon and Tim Minear
directed by Joss Whedon
music by Greg Edmonson

Guest Cast: Tom Towles (Lund), Andrew Bryniarski (Crow), Michael Fairman (Niska), Gregg Henry (Bourne)

Notes: This was the first episode of Firefly broadcast by Fox. It was written as a replacement for the original pilot, Serenity. An introduction to the overall setting, narrated by Book, began appearing before the teaser with this episode. These opening narrations do not appear on the DVD release.

LogBook entry by Dave Thomer

Bushwacked

FireflyThe crew finds a derelict colony ship; Mal decides to check it out to look for survivors and potentially valuable loot. At first, the ship appears to be simply deserted, but when Mal and Zoey enter the cargo hold, they not only find the would-be settlers valuable supplies – they find their bodies as well. Mal recognizes the bodies as Reaver victims. They find a single survivor and bring him back to Serenity; Shepherd Book tries to lay the victims to rest while Kaylee works to bypass a booby trap that could destroy Serenity. All these chores take time, and before they can leave the derelict behind, an Alliance ship appears and boards them. The doctor and River hide outside Serenity, which unnerves him as much as it delights her. The Alliance captain suspects Mal of killing the crew as an act of spite and vengeance . . . until the tormented survivor demonstrates that he’s left his sanity behind and become a threat to both crews.

Order the DVDsDownload this episode via Amazon's Unboxwritten by Tim Minear
directed by Tim Minear
music by Greg Edmonson

Guest Cast: Branden Morgan (The Survivor), Doug Savant (Alliance Captain Harken)

Notes: This episode features Book’s opening narration.

LogBook entry by Dave Thomer

Our Mrs. Reynolds

FireflyThe crew of Serenity helps a small town on Triumph fend off a group of bandits, and are rewarded with an evening of celebration. When they depart the next day, they discover that they have another passenger on board: a girl named Saffron who claims to be Mal’s wife. Book confirms that part of the party the night before was actually a wedding ceremony. At first the crew is amused by Mal’s plight. But as he tries to maintain his composure and reassure Saffron that she shouldn’t take his negative feelings toward marriage personally, tension starts mounting aboard the ship. Jayne seems desperate to trade for Mal’s “prize,” Zoe is none too pleased with Saffron’s matrimonial example, and Inara is considerably tenser than usual. When Saffron almost seals Mal’s fate with a kiss, the truth comes out. The innocent bride is playing them all, and leading them right into a trap.

Order the DVDsDownload this episode via Amazon's Unboxwritten by Joss Whedon
directed by Vondie Curtis-Hall
music by Greg Edmonson

Guest Cast: Christina Hendricks (Saffron), Benito Martinez (Boss), Erik Passoja (Bree)

Notes: This episode features Book’s introductory narration.

LogBook entry by Dave Thomer

War Stories

FireflyFrustrated by the bond between old war vets Mal and Zoe, Wash insists on going on a job with Mal. Mal figures a sale of some of the medicine they stole from Ariel will be a safe enough milk run to indulge his pilot. Unfortunately, Niska’s men get word that Mal is in the area; they kill the buyers and kidnap Mal and Wash. As Niska tortures the two men, Mal tries to keep Wash distracted by continuing the argument about Zoe; Zoe, meanwhile, arrives on Niska’s station to try and ransom the two. Niska will only free one; Zoe chooses Wash, but Niska is nice enough to give her Mal’s ear as well. When they return to Serenity, the entire crew chooses to mount a rescue, a plan that has no right to work – but thanks to unlikely contributions from two of the crew, it just might.

Order the DVDsDownload this episode via Amazon's Unboxwritten by Cheryl Cain
directed by James Contner
music by Greg Edmonson

Guest Cast: Michael Fairman (Niska), Katherine Kendall (Councillor), Rolando Molina (Black Market Buyer)

Notes: Mal drew Niska’s ire in The Train Job. This episode festures Mal’s opening narration.

LogBook entry by Dave Thomer

Jaynestown

FireflyWhen Serenity lands on the mud-farming planet of Canton, Jayne is unusually cautious. A job of his a few years back didn’t quite go smoothly, and he’s concerned the local magistrate hasn’t let go of the grudge. The ruler of this company town has other things on his mind for the moment, like hiring Inara to help his son “become a man.” Mal, Jayne, Kaylee and Wash head into town to meet their contact. They bring Simon along to pose as a would-be buyer; they leave River in Book’s care, which raises its own issues. In town, Mal and the crew run into two obstacles. For starters, their contact has been killed by the magistrate. That wouldn’t be too much of an issue, since an associate has stepped in to finish the deal. But it turns out that botched job turned Jayne into a folk hero, when he dumped a considerable sum of money into the impoverished townspeople’s lap. And when those folks see their hero is back, it puts the kibosh on any chance of Serenity sneaking out of town quietly. Especially when the magistrate lets loose a man who holds an even bigger grudge against Jayne than he does.

Order the DVDsDownload this episode via Amazon's Unboxwritten by Ben Edlund
directed by Marita Grabiak
music by Greg Edmonson

Guest Cast: Gregory Itzin (Magistrate Higgins), Daniel Bess (Mudder), Kevin Gage (Stitch Hessian)

Notes: This episode features Book’s introductory narration.

LogBook entry by Dave Thomer

Out of Gas

FireflyA bleeding Mal collapses onto the deck of Serenity‘s cargo bay, one hand desperately clutching a catalyzer for the ship’s engine. As he struggles through the deserted ship to the engine room, he recalls the circumstances that got him into this predicament: Simon’s birthday party interrupted by an explosion that injured Zoe and damaged both the main and auxiliary life support systems; Kaylee unable to repair the systems because of the blown catalyzer; the ship adrift in empty space; the rest of the crew setting out in shuttles in a desperate effort to find help. He also thinks back to the moments that initially brought his crew together. Zoe, first to join up, initially didn’t take a liking to Wash, but that might have been the moustache. Mal’s first engineer brought about his own unemployment when he brought Kaylee aboard for a quick fling. Inara drives a hard bargain for use of her shuttle, but Mal display his own bargaining skills in getting Jayne to come on board. As Serenity‘s oxygen ticks away, a miracle appears – another ship, with the catalyzer Mal needs. But it’s no great surprise when the miracle comes with a catch.

Order the DVDsDownload this episode via Amazon's Unboxwritten by Tim Minear
directed by David Solomon
music by Greg Edmonson

Guest Cast: Steven Flinn (Captain), Ilia Volok (Markov), Lyle Kanouse (Salesman)

Notes: According to the commentary on the series DVD, the flashbacks to Mal’s purchase of Serenity and initial gathering of the crew take place five years in the past, about one year after the end of the war. This episode features Mal’s opening narration.

LogBook entry by Dave Thomer