REVIEW: BABYLON 5 – SEASON 3

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Starring

Bruce Boxleitner (Supergirl)
Claudia Christian (9-1-1)
Jerry Doyle (Open House)
Mira Furlan (Lost)
Richard Biggs (Strong Medicine)
Bill Mumy (Lost In Space)
Jason Carter (The Duel)
Stephen Furst (Animal House)
Jeff Conaway (Grease)
Andreas Katsulas (The Fugitive)
Peter Jurasik (Tron)

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Tucker Smallwood (Space: Above & Beyond)
Ardwight Chamberlain (Swiss Family Robinson)
Patrick Kilpatrick (Minority Report)
Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (Mortal Kombat)
Stephen Macht (Graveyard Shift)
Marshall R. Teague (Armageddon)
Anne Betancourt (Mission Impossible III)
Brad Dourif (Child’s Play)
Patricia Tallman (Dead Air)
James Black (Out of Sight)
Walter Koenig (Star Trek)
Kim Strauss (Million Dollar Baby)
Vaughn Armstrong (Star Trek: Enterprise)
Merrin Dungey (Alais)
Majel Barrett (Star Trek)
Lewis Arquette (Little Nicky)
Rance Howard (Small Soldiers)
Phil Morris (Smallville)
Bruce McGill (Timecop)
James Parks (The Hateful Eight)
Michael O’Hare (The Promise)
Time Winters (Sneakers)
Tim Choate (Blow Out)
William Morgan Sheppard (Transformers)
Melissa Gilbert (Little House on the Prairie)
Erica Gimpel (God Friended Me)
Robin Sachs (Buffy: TVS)
Robert Englund (A Nightmare On Elm Street)
Thom Barry (Cold Case)
Erick Avari (Stargate)
Mel Winkler (Coach Carter)
Jeff Corey (Beneath The POTA)

Jerry Doyle in Babylon 5 (1993)Nothing encapsulates the power of the epic science fiction series Babylon 5 better than its voiceover for the credits. In Season 3 it is Commander Ivanova who speaks: “The Babylon Project was our last, best hope for peace. It failed. But in the Year of the Shadow War, it became something greater: our last, best hope… for victory.”Bruce Boxleitner in Babylon 5 (1993)Setting the traditional episodic format of television science fiction on its head, the five-year continuous story arc of Babylon 5 built up a fascinating and captivating story through Season 1 and Season 2. The Narn and Centauri at each others’ throats… the lurking danger of the Shadows… the growing darkness in the Earth government… the unrest on the Mars colony… all these elements have been building up and sending off sparks. The question has been, what is going to blow first? It’s for good reason that the season as a whole is titled “Point of No Return.” There is no reset button on Babylon 5… and actions taken in the past are having the most dramatic of consequences.Mira Furlan and Andreas Katsulas in Babylon 5 (1993)Season 3 packs the most punch of any season of Babylon 5 so far… and that’s saying a lot, given the series’ strong start in Season 1 and escalating drama and tension in Season 2. In Season 3, several story lines come to the forefront, with events that have been picking up steam now coming to an explosive level. The political conflict back on Earth has resulted in increasing social repression even on the station, as we see in the appearance of the Night Watch organization; a string of tense episodes like “Messages from Earth,” “Point of No Return,” and “Severed Dreams” shift that story line into high gear. At the same time, the war with the Shadows goes from being a vaguely disturbing threat to a terrifying reality, in episodes like “Interludes and Examinations,” the two-part “War Without End” that picks up on certain mysterious events from Season 1, and, of course, the season finale “Shadow Dancing” and “Z’ha’dum.” It’s a clear sign that Straczynski’s techniques of foreshadowing and careful buildup are effective, when just the title of the final episode is chilling…Bruce Boxleitner in Babylon 5 (1993)The focus may be on the Shadows and the troubles on Earth, but in the background, other storylines continue to develop. The Narn-Centauri war continues to build up pressure, with late-season episodes like “And the Rock Cried Out, No Hiding Place” leaving us eager for Season 4. The continuing thread concerning the telepaths also finds its place into Season 3’s episodes; in addition to the return of Lyta Alexander, we also see Psi Cop Bester (Walter Koenig) once again.Richard Biggs and Jason Carter in Babylon 5 (1993)For this season, all 22 episodes were written by series creator J. Michael Straczynski: with so many plot threads being developed, along with others being foreshadowed for the future, this was the only way to manage all the material properly. Given the impressively high quality of the episodes throughout Season 3, this was an excellent decision on the part of the series creator.Bruce Boxleitner, Claudia Christian, and Jerry Doyle in Babylon 5 (1993)Of course, not every single episode is up to Babylon 5’s high standard: Season 3 does include “Grey 17 Is Missing,” with a lamentable monster called a Zarg making an appearance. Straczynski himself has commented (as quoted in the Lurker’s Guide to B5) that “I just have this constant desire to go to everyone’s house and personally apologize…” Once you see the Zarg, you’ll see why. But even in this episode, the other storyline interwoven with the Zarg storyline is handled satisfactorily, and as a whole it merely serves to underline just how good the rest of the episodes are.Andreas Katsulas in Babylon 5 (1993)On a more individual level, Babylon 5 continues to develop its characters very effectively: these are not static personalities, but real, changing people. I’ve always considered the duo of the Centauri ambassador Londo Mollari (Peter Jurasik) and his nemesis, the Narn ambassador G’Kar (Andreas Katsulas) as being the characters with perhaps the most depth in the series, and this is borne out as we see them each traveling his (perhaps foreordained) path. Another instance of character development is Dr. Franklin; while earlier seasons hinted at tensions beneath his professional demeanor, it’s here that those tensions finally come to the boiling point, as we see in episodes like “Walkabout.” The cast of “main characters” is slightly fluid, with various figures naturally moving into the limelight or out of it as the overall story arcs dictate: in Season 3, the characters of Zack Allen, the down-to-earth security officer, and Mr. Morden, the very shady “associate” of Ambassador Mollari, are brought more into the action. In Season 3, we are also introduced to several new characters who will prove to be important contributors to the story as it develops: Lyta Alexander (Patricia Tallman), who is not exactly new (having appeared in the pilot), and one of my favorite secondary characters, Marcus Cole (Jason Carter).Season 3’s powerful storylines draw extensively on the material presented in the first two seasons, both in plot and in character development, so for maximum enjoyment, viewers who are new to Babylon 5 should start with Season 1 or at most Season 2. But whatever you do, don’t miss out completely! Babylon 5 is the cream of the crop of science fiction television. If you thought Season 2 was exciting… Season 3 is even better.

 

REVIEW: BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES – VOLUME 3

Starring

Kevin Conroy (Justice League Doom)
Loren Lester (Red Eye)
Bob Hastings (General Hospital)
Robert Costanzo (Total Recall)
Efrem Zimbalist Jr. (Hot Shots)

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Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Mari Devon (Digimon)
Melissa GIlbert (House on The Prairie)
John Vernon (Animal House)
Richard Moll (Scrry Movie 2)
Tim Matheson (The West Wing)
Diana Muldaur (Star Trek: TNG)
Lloyd Bochner (Point Blank)
Jeff Bennett (Enchanted)
Paul Williams (Battle For TPOTA)
John de Lancie (Star Trek: TNG)
Manu Tupou (Payback)
Helen Slater (Supergirl)
David Warner (The Lost world)
Frank Welker (Transformers)
George DiCenzo (She-Ra)
William Sanderson (Blade Runner)
Pat Fraley (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Steve Susskind (Star Trek V)
Vernee Watson (The Big Bang Theory)
Bess Armstrong (Jaws 3D)
George Dzundza (Crimson Tide)
Earl Boen (The Terminator)
Neil Ross (Back To The Future – Part II)
Marilu Henner (Taxi)
Roddy McDowall (Planet of The Apes)
LeVar Burton (Star Trek: TNG)
Aron Kincaid (Transformers)
Brad Garrett (Ratatouille)
Jeffrey Jones (Howard The Duck)
Gregg Berger (Transformers)
Mark Hamill (Star Wars)
Arleen Sorkin (Days of Our Lives)
Stephanie Zimbalist (A Timeless Love)
Diane Pershing (Gotham Girls)
Nichelle Nichols (Star Trek)
Megan Mullally (Will & Grace)
Peter Scolari (Gotham)
Bill Mumy (Lost In Space)
Hector Elizondo (The Princess Diaries)
Dick Miller (Gremlins)
Alan Rachins (Dharma & Greg)
Alan Oppenheimer (He-Man)
Tress MacNeille (Futurama)
Roscoe Lee Browne (Logun’s Run)
Henry Silva (Above The Law)
Diane Michelle (Robotech: The Movie)
Alison La Placa (Fletch)
Adrienne Barbeau (Swamp Thing)
Jason Marsden (A Goofy Movie)
Robbie Rist (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Alan Young (The Time Machine)
Kate Mulgrew (Star Trek: Voyager)
Malcolm McDowell (Halloween 2007)
Michael Bell (Transformers: The Movie)
Elizabeth Montgomery (Bewitched)
Bill McKinney (First Blood)
John Glover (Smallville)
Peter Mark Richman (Friday The 13th 8)
William Katt (Carrie)
Linda Gary (He-Man)
Nicholas Guest (Trading Places)
Henry Polic II (Mighty Max)
Bruce Weitz (Half Past Dead)
Andrea Martin (SCTV Network)
Michael Ansara (The Message)
Dan O’Herlihy (Robocop)
Edward Asner (Elf)

MV5BYzBmZjM1MzItNzU2Ny00MzcxLTg2YWYtZmM1NWQ4NzExMmE0XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTQ0NjQzNTE@._V1_One of the things Batman: The Animated Series does particularly well is infuse its villains with personality. They’re not a rotation of thugs with a different gimmick and costume each week — the writers go to great lengths to humanize these characters, and although they’re still unambiguously the bad guys, they still manage to be sympathetic at times. “His Silicon Soul”, following up on the two-part “Heart of Steel” from the previous collection, features a robotic duplicate of Batman unable to come to grips with the realization that he’s a machine. It’s surprisingly moving.MV5BYTFiODEyZDQtNmRmZi00ZjlhLWE1NDQtOTY3OWE2ODM0OWQ3XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTQ0NjQzNTE@._V1_The title character of “Baby-Doll” was created especially for the series. Think Webster with the race and gender reversed; Mary Louise Dahl was in her twenties but looked like a three-year-old, and she cashed in on that rare disability with a successful and hopelessly bland sitcom. An ill-advised career move derailed her as an actress, and a decade later, she’s systematically kidnapped all of her former co-stars in an attempt to reclaim those happy years. Again, as outlandish as the premise might sound, it really does work. You might smirk at reading about a teary-eyed Baby Doll attempting to fire an already-emptied doll-shaped pistol into a funhouse mirror, but the immeasurably talented writers are gifted enough to eke more pathos than I ever would have thought possible out of that.MV5BOTEwMmFhM2MtN2NmOC00ZGQ2LThmMGMtYTc4YWFjOTllOTY5XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTQ0NjQzNTE@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1344,1000_AL_Redemption, whether seized or tossed aside, is also frequently touched upon. “Sideshow” opens with a grueling chase between Batman and an escaped Killer Croc, who manages to stumble upon a remote farm that’s home to a group of former sideshow acts. They offer Croc a chance at an honest life, but old habits die hard. Another example is “House and Garden”. When a poisonous plant-creature starts a reign of terror in Gotham, Batman naturally turns his sights towards the recently-released Poison Ivy. She insists that she’s rehabilitated, and by all accounts, Ivy is happily married and living the mundane suburban life. The investigation continues to point back to her, and the final revelation involves some of the creepiest imagery ever seen in the series.MV5BY2U0ZTAwZDYtNjZjNC00YzVhLWJjMGItZDg5MTMzYTM1MjhjXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTQ0NjQzNTE@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1334,1000_AL_Harley Quinn is also featured in a couple of episodes centered around her attempts to stick with the straight ‘n narrow. She’s a fan favorite for a reason, and these appearances are some of the most memorable episodes in this collection. “Harlequinade” is a chaotic team-up with Batman in an attempt to track down The Joker, who’s managed to get his hands on a bomb that’ll turn Gotham into a smoldering mushroom cloud. “Harley’s Holiday” documents her release from Arkham Asylum, and even though she’s determined to leave that life of crime behind her, an attempt to legitimately buy a pretty pink dress at a store spirals into a bad day…a really, really bad day, culminating in being chased by Batman, an underground gambling kingpin, Detective Bullock, and…gulp!…the military.MV5BMWNjYWJmNjQtNzQ3Ny00ZGQ2LTkzNjEtNmQ5OTcyM2EwYzBkXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTQ0NjQzNTE@._V1_It’s particularly great to see the villains interact with one another. That’s part of the fun of “Trial”, which has a reluctant prosecutor attempting to defend Batman in an insane trial when the inmates take over the asylum. The flipside of that coin is seen in “Lock-Up”, when a cruel jailer’s overzealousness gets him fired from Arkham and compels him to hunt down the left-leaning scum he blames for the state of the world. Another stand-out is “A Bullet for Bullock”, an episode in which the slovenly detective is rattled by death threats and reluctantly teams with Batman, and the ending is just one example of how clever the show’s writers can be. “Clever” is also the first word that instantly springs to mind for “Make ‘Em Laugh”, an episode where The Joker co-opts a fellow criminal’s technology to create a small army of fumbling costumed criminals with inane gimmicks.MV5BMmIzZTQ4NmItMjRlMS00ZDBiLTllNzktNDUwZTAyNjI3MWI3XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTQ0NjQzNTE@._V1_These episodes introduce a couple of recurring villains ripped from the pages of the comics. Most notable among them is Ra’s al Ghul, who makes his first appearance in a two-parter penned by Len Wein and Denny O’Neil, familiar names to longtime readers of Batman’s four-color incarnation. The centuries-old Ra’s has virtually unlimited resources at his disposal, equally intrigued by Batman’s boundless skills as a detective as he is frustrated by his foe’s determination to disrupt his machinations. Ra’s often lends a Saturday morning serial flavor to the show, from the globe-trotting in his first few appearances to the flared pants of “Avatar”. The charismatic character has such a presence that he’s able to carry “Showdown” largely by himself in an episode that barely features Batman or Robin in any capacity. “Showdown” is set during the westward expansion of the mid-1800’s as Ra’s’ opposition to the sprawling railroads is pitted against scarred bounty hunter Jonah Hex (one of the few DC characters not connected with the Batman mythos to appear on the show). The other noteworthy recurring villain is The Ventriloquist, a fairly timid-looking middle-aged man who seems more likely to be a CPA than a ruthless crimelord. Taken by himself, that seems to be the right impression, but when he has his puppet Scarface on the end of his arm… The Ventriloquist’s first appearance, “Read My Lips”, is one of my favorites of the season, and he returns twice after that.MV5BMjI2OTQ0NTMwNF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNTM4MTg3MjE@._V1_Several other characters from the comics briefly appear, including Maxie Zeus, the back-breaking, Venom-fueled Bane, and the fairly obscure masked criminals of The Terrible Trio. The majority of Batman’s rogue’s gallery is present and accounted for, with The Penguin, Killer Croc, Poison Ivy, The Mad Hatter, The Joker, Harley Quinn, The Clock King, Catwoman, The Riddler, The Scarecrow (though only as a supporting character; no “fear!” episodes this time around), Two-Face, and Mr. Freeze all wreaking havoc throughout Gotham City at some point or another. Even with the opening titles shifting on disc three from Batman: The Animated Series to The Adventures of Batman and Robin, there’s no discernable drop in quality.MV5BNGI1YTBiYzYtODI2ZS00NzUzLThkMjktMDhkMzI3Yzk5ODAxXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTQ0NjQzNTE@._V1_Batman: The Animated Series does everything right. It doesn’t dumb itself down or resort to hyperkinetic editing to try to appeal to a younger crowd. The retro-styled art design and dark visuals contribute immeasurably to the overall tone of the show, as does the award-winning music. The writing’s consistently impressive, avoiding falling into some formulaic “villain of the week” trap, and the casting choices for its voice actors is incredibly inspired. Henry Silva, LeVar Burton, Dick Miller, Megan Mullally, Brad Garrett, Bill Mumy, David Warner, Elizabeth Montgomery, Jeffrey Jones, Adam Ant, William Katt, and Robert Pastorelli are just a few of the familiar voices contributing to the series for the first time, joining the usual favorites like Paul Williams, Mark Hamill, and Roddy McDowall. These three collections are required viewing for anyone with an interest in Batman, and fans who have picked up the first two collections should certainly consider buying this third set as well.

REVIEW: BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES – VOLUME 2

Starring

Kevin Conroy (Justice League Doom)
Loren Lester (Red Eye)
Bob Hastings (General Hospital)
Robert Costanzo (Total Recall)
Efrem Zimbalist Jr. (Hot Shots)

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Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Julie Brown (Clueless)
Paddi Edwards (The Little Mermaid)
Diane Pershing (Defenders of The Earth)
Diana Muldaur (Star Trek: TNG)
Roddy McDowall (Planet of The Apes)
Adrienne Barbeau (Swamp Thing)
Bud Cort (Coyote Ugly)
John Rhys-Davies (Lord of The Rings)
Eugene Roche (Soap)
Thomas F. Wilson (Legends of Tomorrow)
Brion James (Blade Runner)
Linda Gary (He-Man)
George Dzundza (Crimson Tide)
Mark Hamill (Star wars)
Arleen Sorkin (Gotham Girls)
Mari Devon (Digimon)
Buster Jones (Transformers: The Movie)
Robert Ito (Midway)
Edward Asner (Elf)
Brock Peters (Star trek IV)
Ingrid Oliu (Real Women Have Curves)
Mary McDonald-Lewis (G.I. Joe)
Treat Williams (The Phantom)
Frank Welker (Transformers)
Paul Williams (Smokey and The Bandit)
Ray Buktenica (Heat)
Melissa Gilbert (Little House on The Prairie)
William Sanderson (Blade Runner)
Jeff Bennett (Johnny Bravo)
Leslie Easterbrook (Police Academy)
Lloyd Bochner (Point Blank)
John Glover (Smallville)
Ernie Hudsdon (Ghostbusters)
Harry Hamlin (Clash of The Titans)
Marc Singer (V)
Jim Cummings (Christopher Robbin)
Peter Scolari (Gotham)
Meredith MacRae (Bikini Beach)
Rene Auberjonois (Star Trek: DS9)
Aron Kincaid (Transformers)
Sam McMurray (Raising Arizona)
Neil Ross (An American Tail)
Marilu Henner (Taxi)
Seth Green (Family Guy)
Brian George (The Big Bang Theory)
Sal Viscuso (Spaceballs)
Barry Dennen (The Dark Crystal)
Helen Slater (Supergirl)
David Warner (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II)
Michael York (Cabaret)
Matt Frewer (The Order)
John Vernon (Dirty Harry)
Robert Picardo (Star Trek: Voyager)
Maurice LaMarche (Futurama)
Ron Perlman (Hellboy)
Marcia Wallace (The Simpsons)
Joseph Campanella (Mannix)
Vincent Schiavelli (Ghost)
John de Lancie (Star Trek: TNG)
Paul Winfield (The Terminator)

MV5BODY3Mjk5ZWYtMWE5MC00MjdmLTkxZWItZTdhYWI0ZTkzNmRjXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTQ0NjQzNTE@._V1_Having starred in radio shows, serials, a succession of movies, live action television shows and cartoons, Batman remained a consistently hot property since his first appearance in Detective Comics #27 in 1939. One of my favorite incarnations of the Dark Knight Detective was the 1992 cartoon Batman: The Animated Series. Though that initial run has spawned over a dozen other series, it remains my favorite. Though it was positioned as a cartoon for kids, it was easily something that adult fans of the Caped Crusader could enjoy too. The cinematic staging and gothic designs gave it an undeniable visual appeal while the smart writing and first-rate voice acting made the whole show sophisticated and believable. To the great joy of longtime fans and those who missed the show in its initial run, Warner Brothers has just released Volume Two, a four-disc collection of 28 episodes.MV5BMDk1MjFmYjItYjkxNC00NTM1LWIzNWEtYWNlNTVjMWVjMmM1XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTQ0NjQzNTE@._V1_You’ll notice that these DVD sets are labeled “volume” rather than “season.” That’s because Batman: The Animated Series had a very unbalanced production schedule. Though the first season consisted of 60 episodes, the second through fourth seasons had less than half that number taken altogether.  The episodes on Volume Two are taken primarily from the second half of the show’s first season but it still leaves some gaps here and there. MV5BMmU5YjM4ZjEtODkzMC00OGIyLTgxYTktYjRmOWFjYjBjOTU2XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTQ0NjQzNTE@._V1_This volume has my all-time favorite episode, “The Man Who Killed Batman,” in which a small-time hood finds himself the hero and target of Gotham’s underworld after he apparently kills Batman. In “Almost Got ‘Im” some of Batman’s main enemies reminisce over poker about the times each of them almost killed the Caped Crusader. “The Mechanic” has the Penguin targeting the man who designed and built the Batmobile. “Harley and Ivy” is a great team-up story between Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy. In “I Am the Knight,” Batman begins to question his effectiveness after Commissioner Gordon is shot.MV5BNmZlODI1ODktMzU2ZC00MTI5LThlNGItNjcxM2IwMTAzZWZkXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTQ0NjQzNTE@._V1_You also get the first Riddler episode with “If You’re So Smart, Why Aren’t You Rich?” and the first Ra’s Al Ghul episode, “Off Balance.” This volume also includes two great two-part episodes. “Robin’s Reckoning” delves into the origin of Robin’s character and “Heart of Steel” introduces us to HARDAC, a computer that’s been replacing key figures in Gotham with look-alikes.MV5BMmQ2MjM3ZGUtNjg1MC00ZTQ2LWFlYTktNDBlZjIyMzFiNjk0XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTQ0NjQzNTE@._V1_Since Warner has decided to release the episodes without regard to their production or airdate order, it would at least be nice to have more thematic continuity within this volume. HARDAC is introduced here but the final HARDAC episode, “His Silicon Soul,” isn’t included in this volume. Ditto for the introduction of Ra’s Al Ghul; his story won’t be wrapped up until the two-part “The Demon’s Quest.”MV5BZDc1NDM0MDItODEzZC00NDcwLTgwZTUtODc4MmU3YWNlZDc2XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTQ0NjQzNTE@._V1_Dr. Langstrom is here in “Tyger, Tyger” and “Terror in the Sky” but his first episode, “On Leather Wings,” is on Volume One. You do get a few story arcs started and wrapped up on this disc, as with the story of Bruce’s old nemesis, Kyodai Ken, but you’ll still have to wait for the resolution of some of the more important story threads.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

REVIEW: ZOYA

CAST

Bruce Boxleitner (Babylon 5)
Melissa Gilbert (Little House on The Prairie)
Denise Alexander (Days of Our Lifes)
David Warner (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II)
Diana Rigg (Game of Thrones)
Julie Cox (Children of Dune)
Jennifer Garner (Alias)
Samuel West (Van Helsing)
Cameron Bancroft (Cedar Cove)
Maxim Roy (October Faction)

165770_fullAs the cousin to Czar Nicholas II, Zoya Konstantinovna Ossupov (Melissa Gilbert) has had not only a sheltered life but one of privilege. But it is a life which is taken from her when along with her grandmother Evgenia (Diana Rigg) they flee Russia for Paris, France due to the Russian revolution. With no money Zoya against her grandmother’s wished finds work as a ballet dancer where again against her grandmother’s wishes meets and falls for American GI Clayton Andrews (Bruce Boxleitner). Following WWI they marry and head to America where Zoya’s journey through life is dealt many blows as she has to deal with the Great Depression and a Second World War as well as meeting a wealthy business magnate. It may not have the detail and camera work of a big budget, big screen movie but it does have a semi-impressive look. As to how accurate that is I have no idea as I am no historian although going on gut instincts I would say the authenticity is minimal with Steel using the back drop of the Russian Revolution as the vehicle for one of her familiar romantic fairytales.1458804971

Both Diana Rigg and Don Henderson are good in supporting roles but the star of Zoya is Melissa Gilbert who whilst delivering a good performance works more because she is so likeable. In fairness in the early scenes Gilbert brings to the screen the carefree abandon of a young woman born in to privilege but as the drama really starts the script lets her down with it frequently being a case of looking a certain way at a specific moment of drama. There is also the fact that at the time Melissa Gilbert and Bruce Boxleitner were a couple in real life which means the scenes they share together have believable chemistry.UntitledWhat this all boils down to is that Zoya is a typical Danielle Steel TV Movie/ mini-series with its impressive production, romantic rollercoaster and plenty of melodrama. It isn’t for everyone and in truth you either need to love Danielle Steel movies or be a big fan of Melissa Gilbert to really enjoy it.

REVIEW: SEEDS OF DECEPTION (AKA The Babymaker: The Dr. Cecil Jacobson Story)

CAST

Melissa Gilbert (Little House on The Prairie)
Shanna Reed (The Night Caller)
George Dzundza (Superman: TAS)
Tom Verica (Zodiac)
Tim Progosh (Net Worth)

500px-The_Lost_World_revolver_1_1The film starts in 1985. Cecil Jacobson is a successful doctor, running his own reproductive genetic center. He is earning the respect of other doctors and is even nicknamed ‘The Babymaker’. Nobody knows that he secretly uses his own sperm to impregnate his patients. One of his patients is Mary Bennett, a woman desperate to have a baby. She is unable to become a mother, however, because her husband Greg underwent a vasectomy. She is directed there by her friend Nita, who also had artificial insemination. Greg isn’t enthusiastic about the idea, but Mary convinces him to talk to Dr. Jacobson, explaining it might be their only chance. Greg has trouble accepting that the insemination requires an anonymous donor and admits he isn’t ready to be a father.bhrNPMMb851EJd7R3eKs8iaZBcsMary’s mother instincts make her decide to still have the insemination and, yet again, Dr. Jacobson uses his own sperm samples. Meanwhile, Mary’s friend Sue thinks she is thirteen weeks pregnant, when she suddenly bleeds. She contacts Dr. Jacobson, but he assures her there is nothing wrong and he even shows her the shape of the baby on the ultrasound. Sue, still thinking that there is something wrong, contacts a second doctor, who reveals that she is not pregnant and that the so-called shape of the baby is actually fecal matter. She discovers that there are several cases of people who have received a false-positive pregnancy test at Dr. Jacobson’s facility. She wants to confront him, but her husband pressures her to pretend as if nothing has happened, to see how far Dr. Jacobson will go with the lies. She does inform Mary, however, but she is reluctant to believe her, because she has just had her pregnancy confirmed. Sue and Bill later confront Dr. Jacobson, and he blames the false results on the equipment. However, he does insist that there is fetal matter in her body, which means that she was indeed pregnant. Sue warns Mary about the doctor, but she refuses to believe her and they are soon estranged. It turns out that Mary was indeed pregnant, and she eventually gives birth to a boy. Five years later, Dr. Jacobson is charged with making people believe that they are pregnant. Mary thinks that they are false charges and blames it on Sue and Bill. A trial ensues and soon rumours are spread that he used his own sperm for inseminations. Mary is determined to find out if he is the donor and soon starts to notice similarities between her son and the doctor.imagesWMJ4VFV1Greg advises her to leave it behind her, explaining that he doesn’t want their son, Jesse, to get involved with the trial. The hatred Mary feels for Dr. Jacobson starts to grow, but Greg forbids her to testify against him. She doesn’t listen to him, however, and with the help of Sue, she goes to court in disguise. After giving an emotional testimony, Dr. Jacobson admits to the charges, but insists he did it for health reasons. He is eventually found guilty on all charges. In the end, Mary and Greg make up and Sue announces that she is pregnant. In the after-titles, it is announced that Dr. Jacobson was sentenced to jail for five years after being found guilty on 46 counts of fraud and 6 of perjury and was recently freed on bail pending appeal, and that Sue gave birth to a healthy boy.the lost world 98_2

I Enjoyed this film. There are always people who try to make money off of poor innocent people and who abuse their professional positions. Good Film for people interested in true crime.