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Week of October 29, 2001

Staff Editorial: Robert Heyman checks in from the Hamilton/Trenton, New Jersey area, which you've almost certainly heard about in the news in the past week.

Furlan makes rare TV appearance. Mira Furlan, who played Ambassador Delenn on Babylon 5, has seldom been seen anywhere except on stage since the show's final episode in 1998. But the week of November 5th, she'll be making a rare TV guest appearance on the syndicated series Sheena, Queen Of The Jungle alongside Xena alumnus Alexandra "Aphrodite" Tydings. What's more, Furlan's husband, Goran Gajic, is directing the episode, titled The Treasure of Sierre Mende. Gajic is also a B5 veteran, having directed the pivotal episode And All My Dreams, Torn Asunder. And if that's not enough of a B5 flashback for you, Patricia Tallman will be guest starring the following week on Sheena. Source: submitted by Mark Holtz

Xena's definitive finale. The cable network Oxygen, which caused a stir several months ago when it acquired the exclusive cable rerun rights to Xena: Warrior Princess despite not being carried in many markets, is hitting Xena fans with another first: a rebroadcast of June's two-hour season finale with 16 extra minutes of footage provided by series creator Rob Tapert. There's no word on what is contained in the quarter-hour of footage that wound up cut from the syndicated broadcast, but fans will be able to find out for themselves by watching the "director's cut" on Saturday, November 3rd at 9pm ET. Source: Oxygen

Mars Odyssey arrives at the red planet. NASA's Mars Odyssey probe has reached Mars and settled into an orbit which will gradually be corrected by aerobraking (using the friction of the planet's atmosphere to slow the vehicle down). Unlike the Mars Surveyor mission, Odyssey does not contain a landing probe, but will instead look at the planet from orbit. Another unique feature of Odyssey's mission plan is the fact that it won't be shut down when its scientific investigation has come to an end; it will be left in Mars orbit to serve as a communications relay satellite for future missions. Source: NASA

Finn-ish on a song. Proof once again that Finn fans in the U.S. are just plain out of luck, late November will see the release of a Neil Finn concert DVD in Region 2 only. Neil Finn: Seven Worlds Collide, Live At St. James was filmed during the tour supporting Finn's new album, released earlier this year, and includes songs spanning Finn's entire career, from Split Enz to Crowded House to Finn Brothers and beyond. A VHS edition and a CD, will follow in 2002, though there don't seem to be any plans for a U.S. release of any of these as yet. However, there is some good news - word has it that One Nil, Finn's latest album, may be released during 2002 in the U.S. with an extra track or two thrown in to compensate for a nearly year-long wait.

Neil Finn - Seven Worlds Collide: Live At St. James

Me and Sarah Jane. Big Finish Productions, the makers of the Doctor Who and Dalek Empire Audio Adventures, have announced yet another audio series featuring a character from the Doctor Who mythos. Work has begun on five single-CD stories starring Elisabeth Sladen as intrepid reporter Sarah Jane Smith, who traveled with the Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker's incarnations of the Doctor. Sladen already starred in the one and only official Doctor Who spinoff, 1981's K-9 & Company, which, to put it charitably, wasn't well received (and didn't lead to the hoped-for regular series for which it was a pilot); however, Big Finish stresses that the Doctor and K-9 will not be showing up in these adventures, and that they will be somewhat more gritty Earthbound tales focusing on Sarah's adjustment to life after the TARDIS. The Sarah Jane Investigates series is set to begin in 2002. Source: Big Finish Productions

Santa Who? The Sci-Fi Channel has scheduled yet another U.S. broadcast of the 1996 Doctor Who TV movie starring Paul McGann, Eric Roberts and Sylvester McCoy. But you may have to be up wrapping your kids' Christmas presents to catch this rare repeat of the movie - it's slated for an 11pm ET airing on Christmas Eve. Source: Outpost Gallifrey

All hell breaks loose. The ultimate evil has finally shown its true colors and claimed its throne - but enough about Windows XP already. We're talking about The Desecration, the ninth book in Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins' Left Behind novel series. At the end of the eighth book, The Indwelling, the assassinated self-proclaimed leader of the one-world state was taken over by Satan himself, and as prophesied, he declared his resurrection to be the Second Coming. The Desecration is now available from In other news, Cloud Ten Productions - the production company behind both the Left Behind movie and the upcoming TV series based on the novels - has announced that numerous factors, including a still-pending lawsuit with one of the books' authors, have pushed back production on both the series and the sequel movie based on the second book in the series, Tribulation Force.

Left Behind: The Desecration

If you thought Monty Python was bleedin' demised, you're well wrong. They're very much alive - and live! - in this week's 2-disc extravaganza, Monty Python Live!. A double helping of legendary Python on-stage antics, Monty Python Live! features - in their entirety - Monty Python Live At The Hollywood Bowl, their 29th anniversary reunion at the 1998 Aspen Comedy Festival, and much more. If you thought you had every famous Python sketch down pat, fasten your seatbelts and brace yourself for the bizarre variations they introduced on stage. This parrot isn't quite dead yet.

Monty Python Live!

ELO Part II reorchestrates itself. Many fans felt that when Jeff Lynne assumed the ELO mantle for the first time since 1986, and when original ELO drummer Bev Bevan abandoned ship on his own attempt to revive the band, ELO Part Two was probably history. But not so, says the band - now touring and releasing a new album under the name of The Orchestra (hearkening back to original members Kelly Groucutt and Mik Kaminski's original post-ELO cover band, OrKestra). No Rewind, their new album, was recorded over the past two and a half years with new guitarist Parthenon Huxley, and even features songs co-written by Bevan prior to his departure. Groucutt, Kaminski, and Eric Troyer are still in the lineup, and are launching a new tour to support the album. We'll have pre-order information as soon as it's available. Source: Face The Music Online

11. If there's anything the Sept. 11 attacks on New York have taught us, it's that anything is possible. That heroes can be made in a day and that life does imitate art - at times, painfully so. It also reminded us that no one is immune to tragedy and that death doesn't discriminate. Rich, poor, black or white - we all got a powerful lesson in mortality.

Living in New Jersey, I feel at times like I'm at center stage in this on-going tragedy. Not that I like being in the middle of the action. As a resident of Hamilton Township in central Jersey, life has been difficult lately. A month ago, when I'd tell someone I was from Hamilton, I would get a puzzled look followed by the usual "Where's that?" No longer do I have to go through the trouble. Since the anthrax scare began, Hamilton (along with nearby Trenton) has now become one of the most recognized cities, up there with New York and Washington, D.C.

Hamilton is where the letter sent to Tom Brokaw and Senator Daschle was postmarked. The Hamilton-Trenton area is where postal employees are developing anthrax. It has become a sort of new ground zero in this tragedy.

Living here, you can't escape Sept. 11 no matter how hard you try. There are reminders everywhere. On any given day, your chances are better than 50 percent you'll bump into or meet someone at the local Burger King or grocery store who knew someone or had family who died that day in New York. Flags are everywhere and on everything. The patriotism is overwhelming. I knew no one personally who died but hearing the stories and reading the daily newspaper biographies on the deceased, I feel like I knew these people. Sometimes it's the last thing I think about when I go to bed and the first thing on my mind when I wake up.

I've had my share of nightmares too. I'll spare you those details.

Sometimes I simply want to escape and think about something else. But it's impossible, and then there's the guilt. The guilt of having fun and diverting myself and knowing that so many out there are not able to. Terrorism has done more than take lives. It has crippled us psychologically, made us afraid and insecure. It has taken the most innocent things in our lives - mailboxes and letters - and turned them into weapons. No one will ever think of box cutters and white powder the same way again.

Most Americans will probably never have to stare this evil directly in the face. I will probably never succumb to anthrax, even though this crisis is unfolding practically in my back yard. I do wonder though how all of this will change me. What kind of person will I be in a year or two from now? What kind of country will we be after this? Somehow, I think we'll all move on, the flags will come down and life will return to normal. But I don't think normal will have the same meaning as it did before Sept. 11.

However it's defined, I don't think it will ever again include the word invulnerable.

Robert Heyman staff writer

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