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Sci Fi Central
Black Women in Science-Fiction.
Black Women are beautiful. So how come you don't see them in Science-Fiction?

Ways I'd improve the Sci-Fi Channel.
Believe me, it wouldn't be too hard.

Star Trek: Voyager "End Game" review.
Only the truth is funny.

Science-Fiction is Universal.
Babylon 5 airs in Russia? Yeap.

My Rogue Squadron Screen Shots.
Loaded with Graphics!

Roll Call!
The Death Toll runs high in the Science-Fiction Universe.

Never Forget!
Every Science-Fiction Series screwed over by Hollywood.

Ways I'd improve the Sci-Fi Channel.

By Richard Whettestone.

Sci-Fi Channel Logo

Continued from Page One.

Air the complete version of "Stephen King's Golden Years".
The Sci-Fi Channel version is identical to the Video cassette version. Both are edited, missing entire episodes, and feature an alternate ending than what first aired on CBS.

Obtain Science-Fiction series NOW. Don't wait.
They lost Babylon 5 to TNT because they didn't think it was going to go anywhere so they didn't bother (because it wasn't a "Star Trek" series). When they finally realized it was going to last awhile, it was too late. TNT got it. Now Sci Fi Channel is buying more than 100 episode orders for some shows before they even finish their first season. The problem is most of these shows are the cheap crappy cable shows that don't have any quality to them at all (New OuterLimits for example). Remember, these are the people who discovered they couldn't save "Babylon 5: Crusade" and fund the remaining TNT canceled season because they had already spent all their money buying the next two seasons of "Poltergeist: The Legacy" in advance. When they finally got Babylon 5, they had to obtain the Letterbox version to have a promotional advantage over TNT.

Quit being a year behind the real world.
The Sci-Fi Channel is beginning to fall greatly behind in broadcasting Science-Fiction programming. And because Science-Fiction is Universal and sells better all over the world than other programs, this is a problem that is very, very big. Lexx, First Wave, and The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne are three shows that aired in the rest of the world first. Recently they premiered Black Scorpion in Januray 2001, yet the closing credits date the series in 1999. The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne also premiered in January 2001, and it actually says 1999 in the opening credits and the clock counter.

By the time First Wave was ready to go into production of a fourth season, Sci-Fi Channel was just beginning to air the third. Without their commitment to a new season, successful shows could be canceled for the only reason of the Sci-Fi Channel being incompetant.

Quit that "I am Sci Fi" crap.
It doesn't mean a damn thing. Richard Branson, Ex-Porn Star Tracy Lords, Tennis Players, Rappers and Basketball Players have nothing to do with Science-Fiction. Duh! Why do they do this?

Quit that "Sci Fi Me" crap, too.
If you'd actually try to please the fans instead of talking down to them at the same time you're trying to please the Corporate Executives, you wouldn't need to waste all of that money coming up with silly promotions like "Ever Wonder?". Ever Wonder about what? Wonder why you're so stupid? Wonder why you canceled "Mystery Science Theatre 3000"? Wonder why Battlestar Galactica is missing 9 minutes of footage? Wonder why the old "Doctor Who Hour" ran only 34 minutes long? Wonder why you promoted "The Twilight Zone" as a Sci-Fi Channel Exclusive at the same time your sister station USA Network aired a day long Marathon? Wonder why "Good vs. Evil" was promoted as a USA Network Exclusive even though Sci-Fi Channel aired a special preview of the Pilot one week later? Wonder why you air "SeaQuest 2032" out of order? Yeah, I wonder. But not for the reasons you want me to.

Terminator 2

Terminator 2
Terminator 2 in Letterbox.

Air as many movies as you can in the Widescreen Letterbox format.
Sure, many aren't available. But hundreds, if not thousands of Letterbox versions of Movies that you currently air do exist. AMC and the Sci-Fi Channel are the best place for them. Both AMC Network viewers and the Science Fiction fans are the most aware of what Letterbox is. And the Hardcore fans are who you want to have watching your Network, because they're extremely loyal. You air 1953's "War of the Worlds" in its original Widescreen Letterbox Format, and I'll be taping that baby in LP Mode.

Blake's 7
I wonder who Avon is
pointing his gun at.
Air "Blake's 7".
You would have to expand the hour (or edit out 20% of the footage. Please don't do that), but Blake's 7 is classic Science-Fiction.

But of course they will never air it. Why? It's British. It's cheesy. It airs on PBS. There's no computer animation. It's not "main stream". It doesn't have the word "Trek" in the title. It doesn't have 65 episodes (most of the shows they air don't anyway, but they'll still use that as an excuse). Blake wasn't in it that much. It's over two decades old. You can't make a profit off a co-production deal . . .

Babylon 5
"There's a hole in your
head", says the Minbari
to the SFC Executives.
Air the original Babylon 5 pilot movie, not the "Special Edition".
"Special Editions" are for "special people" who are slow and can't handle the original version unless there's lots of mindless explosions and glittering trinkets. Go ask the Star Wars fans if they like it when Greedo shoots first and misses.

If you MUST air it, are you that dumb you can't let people know it's the Special Edition? Why did you remove the title "Special Edition" from it? Did Straczynski do this? Don't let him. I don't care if it's his show, that doesn't justify lying to us and tricking the viewers.

Babylon 5
Delenn contemplates the
reasoning behind fake
black bars.
Remove Babylon 5's pilot movie fake Letterbox format.
Letterbox is great. Lying about the Babylon 5 pilot movie being in Letterbox is NOT great.

The fact is, the two hour pilot movie ("The Gathering") was NOT filmed in Letterbox. So in order to make the pilot look like it was in Letterbox the Sci-Fi Channel took the regular version, slapped black bars across the top and bottom of the screen and CALLED it Letterbox. And in the process of doing so blocked out 30 to 40 percent of the footage. This is the equivelant of taking an old "I Love Lucy" episode and slapping black bars across it trying to claim it's in Letterbox too. They're morons, I swear.

Babylon 5
Fix Babylon 5's Letterbox Format.
Is Babylon 5 really in Letterbox? Yes and No.

Babylon 5's footage was filmed in the Letterbox format. But their special effects were not. B5 in Letterbox is a fluke. They discovered they could take the original live-action footage and re-do it in Letterbox, but they can't with the special effects. This means the scenes go back and forth. If the actors are just standing around talking, it's in Letterbox. But any scene with special effects are NOT in Letterbox, but rather are the regular pan & scan version with fake black bars covering the top and bottom to match the rest of the episode.

And since Letterbox adds as much as 30 to 50% more footage, adding black bars over the regular footage removes as much as 30 to 50% of the footage in every scene that has a special effect. So in case you didn't realize this, all those cool space battles on the Sci-Fi Channel broadcasts actually are missing the top and bottom of the scenes.

In addition, nobody ever expected it to air in Letterbox either. As if lacking Letterbox special effects weren't a big clue, often many regular scenes have to be "fixed" with fake black bars when the original version couldn't be converted for one reason or another, usually because of the appearance of a stage-hand or production equipment in the shot. One episode, "Babylon Squared", slipped through the cracks and you can actually see the stage-hand sitting on a box of crates in one shot. However the fans informed Straczynski of this so Warner Brothers may have fixed it since.

Continued on Page Three.

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