January 2003

[Wednesday, 01st] On The Bill [20:30, ITV 1], Okaro was planning to use DS Hunter to get Gregory, the local criminal mastermind. The weird sister knows Nixon is on to her and she predicted another serial killer murder. The prostitute who said Simon was innocent disappeared and Sun Hill's finest went looking for her. Okaro ordered a crackdown on Sun Hill's fences. Nixon went prowling around in the dark chasing Pat via text messages -- like a total idiot. On Luke's stag night, it was Boyden who ended up handcuffed to a lamp post with his trousers round his ankles. Luke got disgusting with Gilmore. The reception was cancelled because the landlord of the pub was arrested yesterday as a fence. Gregory wanted Hunter's wife as compensation for all the busted fences. Gold found Luke in bed with Gilmore. The missing prostitute turned up. And Nixon got whacked over the head at the end. Stupid cow!

[Thursday, 02nd] Spike was being harassed by a shark-headed demon on Buffy, the Vampire Slayer [Tabula Kasa, 18:45, BBC 2] and Tara was bitching about Willow using too much magic. Willow agreed to give it up for a week -- but first, she had to do one more spell, which wiped out everyone's memory. The Slayer didn't know who she was when Sharky arrived with a bunch of vampires and Spike didn't know he's a vamp. Zander broke the spell by accident then Giles headed back to England and Tara split.
There was a hunt going on for DI Nixon on The Bill [20:00, ITV 1] and Inspector Gold wasn't happy with Sgt. Gilmore and Luke. And the wedding plans were all going wrong. Duncan finally realized that the serial killer is Pat, Simon's weird sister. The gangster Gregory was still chasing Hunter's wife. Luke made an arrest in his wedding gear and arrived at the church with a black eye. Nixon was dead dischuffed when Duncan and the cavalry arrived to rescue her because she had been trying to get inside Pat's mind. Gold fixed up a reception at Sun Hill nick. Hunter cut the brakes in his car to persuade his wife it would be a good idea to shag Gregory, Gilmore is getting a transfer and Jim caught Nick sniffing coke.
Serious & Organized [21:00, ITV 1] is another cop show about a squad of misfits who deal with serious and organized criminals. We began with a drug bust then a security van was robbed with ultra-violence on the new DI's first day. The 2 central characters are brothers -- Jack and Tony, the elder one, who fancies Jack's missus -- and their boss thinks they're dinosaurs with guns. Tony is pissed off because Jack is having an affair with a woman on the team but he came through for his little brother in a comic opera showdown involving the head villain and a dodgy banker.

[Friday, 03rd] WWE's Raw was a 'Best of 2002' compilation of the highlights of the year. We started off watching rather doubtfully but the lack of messing about and some good editing held our interest until the end. Not a bad Xmas effort for a change.
Over to UK Gold for Red Sonya (1985) [21:00] featuring Arnold Schwarzenberger in a sword and sorcery fantasy that was pure hokum with quite a lot of laughs and the odd monster. We were expecting the giant spider to have more of a part than it got.

[Saturday, 04th] WWE SmackDown! [22:00, Sky Sports 1] was an actual show, not repeats. Crap rapper Cena started against Rikishi, with B2 helping out when the ref wasn't watching, and we got an unconvincing swindle finish. Dawn threatened to take her wedding dress off then Chuck had a tough battle with Bill DeMott, who notched up another win. Kidman mocked Al Wilson and Dawn backstage for Torrie ahead of his match with the Creep. Cena and B2 strolled out and Chavo got into a rumble with B2 until Rikishi ran out to bash B2 a bit more. The match then continued for quite a long time until Cena bashed the Creep and Kidman flattened him with a Shooting Star.
   The famous wedding was tedious with both participants stripping to their underwear only. Team Angle made a solid debut against the Crappler and Edge, with Kurt Angle joining in and getting his team disqualified. A long rant from Paul Heyman led to a brief brawl with steel chairs featuring the Big Show, the Gorilla, Matt Hardy and Shannon Moore. Nunzio versus Crash was very brief. Finally, the Gorilla massacred Matt Hardy and Shannon Moore got some, too.

Brett Favre[Sunday, 05th] NFL Special [started 07:00, Sky Sports 3] had some big scoring surprises. The Jets are on a roll so their win over the Colts in New Jersey was no surprise, but the score line of 0-41 certainly was. The Falcons did a similar job in Green Bay to demolish Lambeau Field's playoff reputation. Atlanta scored a TD with their opening drive for the first time in the season with a 10 yard TD pass to Jefferson. Carpenter intercepted Favre's 3rd play to set the tone for the match. The Falcons went 3 and out but so did the Packers, and the Falcons blocked their punt and fell on the ball in the end zone for a shock 14-0 lead. The Packers' next drive ended with a sack on Favre by Brady Smith and a missed 47 yard FG try.
    The Falcons were stopped in the 2nd quarter but they got the ball right back when Green Bay tried to fair catch the punt, a Packer was shoved into the catcher and the ball hit the Falcon who was doing the shoving. Atlanta ended up with the ball at the GB 21 and the Green Bay coach DIDN'T CHALLENGE!!! Ducket went in on the ground to finish the drive and give Atlanta a 21-0 lead. The Packers got all the way to the Atlanta 2 but a terrible play call on 4th and goal kept them out of the end zone. Everyone was saying it was a passing down but they ran the ball. Atlanta had enough time left for a 22 yard FG. 24-0 at half time.
   Snow was falling as Atlanta kicked off in the second half. The Packers came out driving and, finally, Favre hit Driver with a 14 yard TD pass. 24-7. Atlanta replied with a 23 yard FG after the Packers stopped them at their 5. 27-7. Favre hit Walker with a 37 yard pass to the Atlanta 26 but the drive stalled there and a 45 yard FG try missed.
   The snow was heavier in the 4th quarter and the Falcons missed a 45 yard FG try. Green Bay failed to make a 4th and 4 at the Falcons' 20. Atlanta had to punt but the 2nd snap sailed past Favre and the Falcons had the ball again. Their drive ended with another missed FG. A 4th down pass by Favre was tipped to Carpenter. Atlanta punted. Favre lost the ball when he was tackled on the Packers' first play, Atlanta recovered the ball and that was it.
   In Conclusion: it was the Falcon's day. Michael Vick was totally elusive and the banged up Packers were terrible on offense, defense, special teams and play-calling.
The Time Team [17:30, Channel 4] opened a new series with some back garden mayhem, looking for Saxon graves in Northamptonshire. The owner of the house had found a (male) skeleton and grave goods while installing a fish pond and she had a huge garden to wreck. Eventually, the team found the burials of a woman and a child, and a badly damaged body in adjoining allotments -- so the site was a Saxon burial ground on the fringes of Iron Age mounds.

The Steelers[Monday, 06th] The NFL Game of the Week [01:05, Channel 5] began with recaps. The first 2 matches of Wildcard Weekend were massacres. The next 2 were both undecided right up to the last second. In a snowy Pittsburgh, the Steelers found themselves 24-7 down to the Browns early in the 3rd quarter. They were 33-21 down in the 4th after Cleveland failed to make a 2-point conversion. The Steelers scored 2 TDs in the last 3 minutes and they were 33-36 up after a 2-point conversion on the second TD. The Browns had one minute to get into field goal range, and didn't manage it.
   The main match was the Giants in San Francisco. The Giants started but Patterson grabbed a batted ball in San Francisco territory and Owens went 76 yard for a TD on the first play. 0-7. After an exchange of punts, the Giants drove to the 49ers' 7, went back 5 yards for a false start and Collins fired a TD pass to Toomer. 7-7. San Francisco punted at the start of the 2nd quarter. Barber rushed 29 yards to the 49ers' 33. Shockey took a pass 28 yards to the goal line and he caught the TD pass. 14-7. Garcia scrambled to the Giants' goal line. The 49ers challenged the spot on 3rd down and Barlow was given a TD. 14-14. The Giants punted after Peterson sacked Collins but the return man lost the ball in the sun and Harris recovered it for the Giants at the SF 8. Collins fired another TD pass to Toomer. 21-14. Garcia was intercepted by Sehorn after the 2 minute warning and Toomer took a pass 24 yards into the end zone. 28-14.
   The 49ers opening drive of the 3rd quarter stalled at a 4th and 1 at midfield. Barber rushed for a 6 yard TD to make the score 35-14. On their next possession, the Giants were stopped at the 49ers' 3 and they kicked a FG. 38-14. San Francisco advanced to field goal range then Garcia fired a TD pass to Ownes. 38-22 after a 2-point conversion. The Giants punted after a sack on Collins.
   At the start of the 4th quarter, Garcia scrambled 14 yards for a TD. Another 2-point conversion made the score 38-30. The Giants went 3 and out. San Francisco made a 4th and 1 and went on to kick a 25 yard FG. 38-33. A 42 yard FG try by the Giants was a miserable failure. With 3 minutes left, the 49ers advanced to the Giants' 13 and Garcia hit Streets with a TD pass. 38-39 after the 2-point conversion try failed. Starting from their 48 with 53 seconds left, the Giants tried a 41 yard FG with 6 seconds left. A bad snap meant that there was no kick. It was 3rd down and the holder had time to spike the ball for another try, but he didn't think of it.
   In Conclusion: This looked like a brilliant come-from-behind win by the 49ers but it was one that the Giants lost rather than the 49ers won.
Enterprise did the final episode of Season 1 and the first episode of Season 2 as a 2-parter, and Sky One showed them both to provide context. At the end of Shockwave Part I [20:00, reviewed 2002/06/24], Enterprise was about to be destroyed by the Suliban and Capt. B. Acula was stranded in the wreck of a 31st Century city.
In Shockwave Part II [21:00], the Suliban searched Enterprise to confirm that the Captain wasn't aboard. The Vulcans were getting stroppy. Daniels, the time cop, built a crude but effective device to let Capt. Acula communicate with T'Pal 800 years in the past. Enterprise's officers sabotaged the ship's drive and the Suliban split. Capt. Acula returned via a device hidden in Daniels' quarters on Enterprise [with one bound] and got the head Suliban to call off his dogs. The Vulcans wanted Starfleet to call off Enterprise's mission, even though they hadn't killed 3,600 colonists in Part I, but T'Pal shamed them into shutting up.
Species II (1998) [22:00, Sci-Fi], a sequel to Species [reviewed 2002/11/18], begins with a Mars mission bringing back alien DNA. Two members of the crew are affected -- one female, who is written off quite quickly, and the male captain, who goes round mating with Earther females and producing alien children in a matter of minutes. There's another experimental female/alien clone in a government laboratory and she just has to mate with the captain. But good old defective human genetic material saves the day. Lots of blood and alien bits, high yecch factor.

[Wednesday, 08th] There was a paedophile priest on the loose on The Bill [20:00, ITV 1]. Jim was hounding Nick over his coke habit, Gary arrested his sister's boyfriend for having a dodgy motor and Nick told Jim he broke the plastic knife in his cell and told Simon to kill himself. A woman wanted to revive a 30 year old rape charge against the priest but she settled for meeting him, when her brother attacked the bloke. Inspector Gold wouldn't let Sgt. Gilmore have a transfer. And at the end, the boyfriend told Gary that his sister's a psycho.

[Thursday, 09th] The 3 nerds robbed a museum and froze a guard, which set Buffy, the Vampire Slayer [Smashed, 18:00, BBC 2] trawling through her books for a freezing, diamond-loving demon! Willow conjured up Amy, another witch who'd been dead since their school days, instead of Tara. Spike's implant seemed to be malfunctioning but the nerds checked it out and he found that it was still working. Only he could fight Buffy without the implant kicking in, which proved that she had come back as not quite human. Willow and Amy went magic-mad in a club while Buffy and Spike started off brawling and ended up doing some serious kissin'.
On The Bill [20:00, ITV 1], Mickey photographed Hunter's wife leaving Gregory's place, where he'd been taking photos of her. Meadows had to tell Okaro that he'd been watching Gregory against orders and they reached a new deal. The Borough Commander was back bitching again about the crime figures and Hunter's wife was mugged at a cashpoint. Gary found that his sister had been battering her kid and the sister headed off to Scotland at the end. An ex-addict wrecked a community centre to have an excuse to see his old mate Okaro and tell him that Gregory is planning to flood Sun Hill with cheap Class A drugs. The bloke was found battered to death later. Okaro decided to go after dealers and at the end, Danny was getting inappropriate with a nun.
The Serious & Organized Finn Brothers [21:00, ITV 1] arrested a hit-man as part of a plan to get major criminal Jerry Fisk, who wanted to watch his cousin being written off. Only the operation turned into a shambles when Fisk recognized one of the coppers, who owed a bundle to bookie, who was receiving 'protection' from Fisk. The hit-man went on the run and, for no apparent reason, tracked down Tony Finn's wife to a safe house, where she was being guarded by Joanne, the member of the squad with whom Tony is having an affair. In the end, the bad guy was blown away and his missus told Tony that she's leaving him.

[Friday, 10th] WWE's Raw [21:00, Sky Sport 3] began with a rant from Bischoff and an assault on the Dudleys which was an inspiring example of American sportsmanship. And that was half an hour wasted. Trash and Jacqui took on Molly and Victoria in a match that was full of cheatin' and Stevie Richards snuck in to tip the balance. A long rant from Y2J and HBK ended in a general brawl. When Booker T and Goldust faced up to Lance Storm and Steven Regal, Regal kicked the first ref in the mush and knocked him out of the ring. Enter as a ref, Chief Valboski who was also kicked in the mush and went down and out. Then we had the tedium of a crude swindle. Yawn. Test(icles) and Nowinski had D'Lo Brown and Stacy messing about at ringside. Then poseur Triple Tedious did some posing with Scott Steiner, who demolished TT's stooges. Finally, Y2J and Christian battled RVD and Kane with HBK and Randy Orton hanging on and the most useless of the WWE's refs turning his back on the cheating.
   Probably one of the worst Raws of all time.

[Saturday, 11th] Taggart [Bad Blood, 21:00, ITV 1] began with a taxi driver collecting protection money being robbed by guys in animal masks and dumped in his dodgy taxi. DCI Burke was landed with DS Fairchild, a pushy fast-tracker. The deceased knew Eddie, the younger brother of Frank Calder, a gangster who chucks petrol bombs at clubs. Someone was muscling in on his protection racket. Jackie found a dodgy restaurant owner hanging from a hook in a butcher's and McLain, the gangster club owner, was trying to start a war with Calder. Jackie discovered that the high-flier was up to no good. Burke busted both gangsters when they arranged a street fight. Eddie Calder was behind all the trouble and Fairchild owed him a favour -- which cost the high flier her career.
Smackdown! [22:30, Sky Sports 1] began with a fairly long match between the Big Show and Rikishi, in which the Show was allowed to show his power with a man of similar size. The inevitable crap rap from Cena ahead of his match with Chavo Guerrero, which included some actual wrestling before it became a brawl with B2 and the Creep joining in. Cena, inevitably, used the ropes to get his pin while the ref's guide dog was looking elsewhere. Mucho messing about then Shannon Moore horned in to Matt Hardy's match with Kidman, so Kidman wiped both of them out with a Shooting Star over the ropes to the outside. Then he outflanked the Mattitude Mob. There was lots of action when Tajiri took on Jamie Noble in one of the best matches we've had for a long time. Noble's losing streak continued.
   Edge took on Charlie Hass with the rest of Team Angle lurking. The Crappler also joined in and Edge drew the short straw, especially after Kurt Angle had battered him with his crutch. The Crappler versus Shelton Benjamin of Team Angle was more real wrestling until we had to have a shambles finish. Shannon Moore stood no chance against Bill DeMott. The Creep versus B2 was lots of bashing and the bigger man lying down to make the Creep look good. Finally, the Gorilla versus Albert looked quite convincing but letting the Gorilla win blew the credibility. Finally, finally -- Al Wilson was carried out of the honeymoon suite on a stretcher.

Tommy Maddox[Sunday, 12th] NFL Special [10:00, Sky Sports 3] began with the Steelers in Nashville. The Titans kicked off but they got the ball back after 2 plays. Rolle intercepted Maddox, whose receiver fell down. McNair converted the turnover into a TD with an 8 yard run. 0-7. Oelhoffen sacked McNair on the next Titans' drive but they went on to send George into the end zone from the 1 foot line after 16 plays. 0-14.
   In the 2nd quarter, the Steelers punted after being backed up by penalties, but George ran into his left guard, dropped the ball and the Steelers recovered it at the Titans' 8. A TD pass to Ward made the score 7-14. Scott then intercepted McNair's 2nd play and the turnover yielded a 33 yard FG. 10-14. The Steelers got the ball back with time running out and a sack on Maddox forced them to kick a 39 yard FG. 13-14.
   A helmet to helmet collison knocked George out (and out of the match) on the 1st play of the 3rd quarter. He fell on the ball, the Steelers dragged it out from under him and the officials ruled that the fumble recovery at the Titans' 31 was okay because George did not have control of the ball (being unconscious). Zereoue then ran 31 yards into the end zone. 20-14. A 39 yard pass to Wycheck took the Titans to the Pittsburgh 3. McNair then got a whole 9 seconds to deliver a TD pass to Wycheck on the next play. 20-21. On the Titans' next possession, McNair hit Kinney with a 2 yard TD pass to extend the lead to 20-28. After an exchange of punts, the Steelers were at the Tennessee 38 as the quarter ended.
   The drive ended in the 4th quarter with a missed 45 yard FG try and a local temperature of 24 degF. The Titans punted away their next possession. Randle El returned the kick to the end zone but Pittsburgh had been holding. Ward caught a 21 yard TD pass and for the 2-point conversion, Maddox threw a lateral to Ward who passed to Burress in the end zone. 28-28. Townsend intercepted McNair's first play and the Steelers got a 40 yard FG out of their turnover. 31-28 with 8:30 left. Tennessee equalized with a 42 yard FG on their next drive (31-31) and as time ran out, they missed a 48 yard FG. Overtime!
    The Titans received the kick off, advanced to the Pittsburgh 13 and tried a field goal on 2nd down. The first kick went over but Pittsburgh had called a time out. The second kick missed but a running into the kicker penalty against the Steelers gave the Titans another try from 5 yards closer. Instead of trying to make a yard for a first down, the Titans kicked again from 26 yards and made the FG. 31-34.
   In Conclusion: Either side could have won this one after the Steelers had recovered from their dreadful start.
   The next match was the Falcons in Philadelphia. Both sides punted away their first possessions. Then Vick was intercepted by Taylor, who returned the ball 39 yards for a TD! 0-7. On their next possession, the Eagles added a 34 yard FG to their score. 0-10. The Falcons were killing themselves with penalties. They made a 3rd and 16 on their next drive but had to punt.
   The 2nd quarter opened with McNabb making a big pass to Thrash and the drive ended in a 39 yard FG. 0-13. Vick was sacked for a second time (Simon) but the Falcons went on to kick a 34 yard FG. 3-13. An on-side kick attempt was recovered by the Falcons but foiled by an Atlanta player straying offside. We got a conventional kick off instead. Philadelphia punted after the 2 minute warning and the Falcons had time enough left for a 52 yard FG with the wind. 6-13.
   The Eagles punted away their first 3rd quarter possession. Vick was sacked again (Walker) and the Falcons punted. Then they sacked McNabb (Brooking) and made the Eagles punt -- but the home team got the ball back, and a 1st down, on a roughing the kicker penalty. The drive ended with a 51 yard FG try, which hit the upright. Vick crashed 21 yards into the Philadelphia end zone, where he took a mighty shot, but the play was called back for holding. Doug Johnson came on briefly and the drive ended with a missed 37 yard FG try (a bad hold).
   The 4th quarter began with an exchange of punts. The Eagles reached a 4th and 1 situation at the Falcon's 35. McNabb fired a pass to Thrash and he stopped running in the end zone. 6-20. And that was the end of the scoring.
   In Conclusion: neither side had much offense -- the Eagles didn't get an offensive TD until Thrash scored with 6:20 left. This one could have gone either way with a shift of luck.
The Time Team [17:30, Channel 4] were in Somerset looking for Roman mosaics. Phil found one about 9" below ground level within minutes and another turned up fairly quickly. The problem for the team was that they were on the site of a villa which covered a vast area and they didn't have the time or the people to explore it properly. Phil was complaining that they needed to dig down, not dig new holes in new areas of the 4th Century structure. And to underline this, another mosaic floor from the 3rd Century turned up in the last few minutes.

[Monday, 13th] The NFL Game of the Week [01:20, Channel 5] was the Jets in Oakland. The Jets started and made the Raider 30 in 2 plays. They were stopped at the 20 and kicked a field goal. 3-0. The Raiders almost went for a 4th and inches at the Jet 6, but they kicked a FG after a false start penalty. 3-3. The Jets punted, and so did the Raiders after Gannon was sacked. They got the ball back by recovering a Pennington fumble at the Jet 27. Garner lost the ball but the Raiders recovered it and the drive ended in the 2nd quarter with Crockett going in from the goal line. 3-10. The Jets missed a 48 yard FG but on their next possession, a 1 yard TD run by Sowell levelled the scores. 10-10.
   The Raiders' opening drive of the 3rd quarter ended with a missed 28 yard FG try. After an exchange of punts, James intercepted Pennington and a 24 yard TD pass to Porter gave the Raiders another lead. 10-17. The Jets challenged an incomplete pass ruling and lost, bringing up a 3rd and 5. Pennington was sacked but a penalty on the Raiders gave the Jets a 1st down. They tried to make a 4th and 3 at the Raider 35 but they were stopped. Then Porter took a pass 50 yards to the Jets' 15!
   The Raiders began the 4th quarter with a 10 yard TD pass to Rice. 10-24. They got the ball back when Romanowski recovered a fumble by Anderson -- and lost it again when Robinson intercepted Gannon's first play. The Jets were stopped by an interception by Barton and the Raiders went on to score a 34 yard FG. 10-27. The Jets returned the kick off to the Oakland 44. Pennington was sacked at midfield (Upshaw). The Jets lost a challenge on an incomplete pass ruling, burning their last time-out, they had to go for a 4th and 16 -- and the Raiders took over on downs. The Raiders kicked a 31 yard FG. 10-30. Pennington was sacked on the Jets' first play (Coleman) and the Raiders took over on downs again and ran out the clock.
   In Conclusion: The Raiders took charge in the second half and their defence did an excellent job.
NFL Special [12:00, Sky Sports 3] began with the remaining match from the divisional playoffs -- the 49ers at Tampa Bay. The Bucs started but soon lost the ball when Johnson was intercepted at the Tampa Bay 40 by Holman (Keyshawn on a blown slant route). Garcia was sacked on 3rd down and the 49ers punted. The Bucs advanced to the San Francisco 2 and Alstott went in on the ground. 0-7. A big play by Streets took the 49ers to the Tampa 4 but they had to settle for a 24 yard FG. 3-7. In the 2nd quarter, Tampa reached the 49ers' 20 and Johnson hit Jurevicius with a TD pass. 3-14. 2 personal foul calls on Bucs players helped the 49ers to the Tampa 22, where the defence stopped them and the 49ers had to kick a 40 yard FG. 6-14. Pass interference got the Bucs to the San Francisco 16 and Johnson finished the drive with a 12 yard TD pass to Dudley. 6-21. Going no-huddle, Garcia was intercepted (Brooks) at the 2 minute warning. Alstott went in from 2 yards out to make the score 6-28. The 49ers had 50 seconds left. They ran one play with 2 time-outs left -- and left the field!
   The 3rd quarter began with Smith intercepting Garcia's first play at the SF 37 -- the ball bounced off the receiver's hands. Brad Johnson scrambled to the 10 and left the field with a cut above his right eye. Rob Johnson took over at QB, the Bucs were stopped at the 1 and they kicked a 19 yard FG. 6-31. After an exchange of punts, Tampa got the ball back when Rice sacked Garcia, he lost the ball and Brooks recovered it. The drive ended in the 4th quarter with a missed FG. Barber almost got an 80 yard TD after intercepting Garcia, but the play was called back for a face mask penalty after the interception. 2:34 left. Pittman gave the ball back to the 49ers via a fumble but the Bucs' defence was up to the job of stopping the visitors. The end.
   In Conclusion: The Bucs scored TDs on their drives and their defence kept San Francisco well contained. A comfortable win for the home team.
Enterprise [Minefield, 20:00, Sky One] was mainly about the relationship between Captain B. Acula and Malcolm, his weapons officer. The ship lost a big chunk and found itself in a field of cloaked mines -- and a mine attached to the hull. Malcolm went out to defuse it and got himself spiked through the leg. While the captain was on EVA helping Malcolm, a bunch of Romulans de-cloaked and told Enterprise to get lost. Malcolm told the captain he's too touchy-feely and good old Malc was prepared to be blown up with the mine to save the ship. But Captain B. Acula came up with a cunning plan to save him.
The film Dragon Fighter [20:00, Sci-Fi] starred TV's Man of Sup as a new security officer at a secret establishment staffed by post Cold War Americans and Russians. Their mission was to perfect cloning to replace species driven into extinction by the human race. But the mad boss-man cloned a mysterious species from 1,000 years ago and set a fire-breathing dragon loose in the facility! So everyone got written off but our hero and a lady scientist, and our hero had to find a way of helping the US airforce shoot down a dragon using missiles to save his ass. And, of course, when the clean-up team arrived at the wrecked research station, they ran into another clone!

[Wednesday 15th] Drug baron Gregory wanted Hunter to arrest a Turkish rival on The Bill [20:00, ITV 1], and Nick nicked a violent husband. Meadows wanted more info from Hunter before he'd play along so Hunter went out hassling informants. Danny was hassling the nun at the needle exchange, which was in a building owned by Gregory, and which was being used as a shooting gallery. The Turk ended up dead after Okaro got the drugs. The wife of the 'violent husband' was a drug addict. The Super told Danny to release a user busted at the needle exchange. He was the bloke who stabbed Bradford with a needle. Gregory gave Hunter some photos of his wife and told him that he could end up dead when he's no longer useful. And Bradford phoned Scotland Yard to protest about Okaro's 'dealers only' arrest policy.

[Thursday, 16th] Buffy, the Vampire Slayer has gone off Spike again and Willow was all magicked out [Wrecked, 18:45, BBC 2]. Amy took Willow to meet Rack, a Warlock, who left her tripping on the ceiling. Dawn ended up parked in Rack's cloaked domain when Willow visited him again and Buffy recruited Spike to find her. A demon chased Dawn and Willow, so Willow magicked a car to get they away -- and crashed. Dawn nearly got kilt and Willow needed Magic Anonymous to cure her addiction. And Buffy surrounded herself with garlic at the end.
Sun Hill nick was surrounded by the meeja, the borough commander was unhappy and the CID were dealing with a bashed teacher. The prime suspect was a violent pupil, but he was just a red herring. Mrs Meadows decided to chuck her husband out. When McAllister told her later that she's not having an affair with the DCI, Mrs. M said wanted him back but he decided the marriage was over.
   Bradford and Brandon confronted the bashed teacher's drinking buddy and he later admitted doing it because the teacher was HIV+ and he'd not told his wife, who was pregnant. Okaro told Bradford that he knew she'd shopped him to Scotland Yard, but it suited his purposes. Bradford told Brandon she's HIV+ after a trip to the hospital, which she ain't, and they took the rest of the day off for some boozing and a shag. Okaro was late for a press conference after he'd attended a drive-by shooting, in which a 7-year-old boy was killed. So he abandoned the official line and said Class A drugs should be decriminalized.
On Serious & Organized, the brothers Finn busted a suspected drug dealer and found themselves with a human heart in a warm transporter. So they delivered the heart and got on the trail of the suppliers -- a bunch of Brazilians, who were using wild street children as donors. Jack got off with a junior doctor on the transplant team, and she saved Tony's kid when he guzzled something at Jack's home, where she'd stayed the night. The father of the boy who was to receive the heart made the surgeon perform the transplant at gunpoint. The surgeon was shot eventually but the junior doctor had already taken over.

[Friday, 17th] Raw [22:00, Sky Sports 3] opened with Trash, Jacqui and Victoria going at it Hardcore style. Stevie Richards was lurking at ringside and he zapped Jacqui then bashed Trash with a trashcan lid. Trash had a go at Victoria afterwards but she needed the Hurricane to save her ass. Backstage, the Dudleys bashed Chief Valboski as a substitute for Bischoff. There was lots of cheatin' by the bad guys when Test and Maven took on D'Lo and Nowinski. A distraction by Stacy and a big boot from Test won it. Backstage, William Regal quote from Jerry 'The Idiot' Lawler's book before their match. Both Regal and Storm were searched at ringside for brass knuckles and Storm got the bum's rush. Lawler had a steel chain wrapped round his fist and one punch put Regal down and got J.L. DQ'd.
   Jeff Hardy and Raven had a proper match, just to give us a change, with Jeff going on to the Royal Rumble. Then Vince arrived to make a big announcement. The Dudleys interrupted him to call Bischoff a piece of crap. Then Y2J had a go at Vince. Bisch trotted out next and he got 30 days to make Raw watchable. Booker T versus Lance Storm was quite a good match until Regal bashed Booker and the Dudleys rushed in to bash Regal and Storm.
   The Hurricane was the surprise winner of his match with Stevie Richards, gaining his victory while Victoria was demolishing Trash at ringside. Triple Tedious chickened out of a weight-lifting contest, so Scott Steiner ripped his suit off and kicked his ass! Finally, RVD, Kane, Batista and Chris Jericho had an 'Over The Top Rope' match, which started as a tag team event, the first 2 versus the second 2. Kane then Batista were evicted, and Y2J evicted RVD. Then the Has Been Kid showed off a bit.
Next up was an unadvertised programme offering The Best of the Last 10 Years of RAW [24:00, Sky Sports 3]. The trip down memory lane went on for an hour then, just as we were about to hear the winner of one of the categories, Sky pulled the plug -- literally in the middle of a sentence -- and we were left looking at a caption saying that the station was currently off the air.

[Saturday, 18th] An impromptu Detective Night began with one from The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes : The Adventure of Shoscombe Old Place [18:00, Granada Plus] involving a concealed death and everything riding on a racehorse. Next up was DI Henry Crabbe in an episode of Pie In The Sky [Brown Bread, 19:00, Granada Plus] in which a bloke croaked in the toilet and disappeared, and the Regional Crime squad was crashing about arrogantly but proved to be no match for Henry and DS Cambridge.
Something new next : Taggart [Half-way House, 21:15, ITV 1] began with young Danny spotting something in a newpaper archive, telling skinhead Peter Bell and getting shot before the opening titles. Bell was set up as the assassin but he was a red herring. Everyone lived in a half-way house, including Danny's sister, and she and the woman running the place (Brenda Johnson) were involved in DSS fraud. Bell was run over by Johnson's car and smothered in hospital. Then Johnson turned up dead for 2 days in the boot of her car. Danny was researching a 10 year old unsolved murder as part of a Sociology course. The crime was committed by the caretaker of the half-way house and Burke arrested him as he was strangling Danny's sister in a car park.
Over to Sky Sports 1 for SmackDown! [started 22:00], where Cena and B2 were battling the Guerreros. Chavo got a pin on B2, which was the cue for Cena and some new bloke to zap B2. A long recap of the recent Angle/Benoit history them some Royal Rumble promo stuff from Steph. Bill DeMott against Rikishi was big versus bigger -- and fixed so that DeMott's winning streak continued.
   After some pointless backstage aggro by the Mattitudes, Tajiri and Nunzio gave us some excellent cruiserweight action. Jamie Noble received a boot in the mush, Nidia got a faceful of green stuff and Nunzio got the pin. Al Wilson didn't have a speaking part this week -- he just lounged around in a coffin while Dawn Marie and Torrie weeped and, later, got physical. The Big Show and Albert versus the Gorilla and Rey Mysterio lasted about long enough for Albert to receive an F5 then a 619, and a pin by Mysterio.
   Funaki versus Matt Hardy had some good moves by Funaki but another swindle win. Finally, Edge and Benoit took on the 3 members of Team Angle, and the ref, in a handicap match, which started while we were doing adverts. The Crappler wanted Angle, who was running away and laying ambushes. After a long period of battering Edge -- shambles. And in the end, Angle was battered by Benoit with his crutch as pay-back.
   By the way : A poll on the WWE website with the question 'Can Bischoff make RAW watchable in 30 days' had received 163,568 votes by Saturday morning and the running totals were YES -- 37.98% and NO -- 62.01%. So will the Bisch be history?

[Sunday, 19th] The Time Team [17:30, Channel 4] was exploring a cave in the Peak District. Remains from prehistoric times (2,500 BC) to Roman times had been found. Phil dug up a barrow on the surface, and had a cow crapping in his trench, while the ladies recovered bones from the caves, dodging rock slides. June in Derbyshire, so Day 2 began with thick fog. The expert said that animal bones in the caves came from creatures which had fallen in. Skulls turned up belonging to a family with huge noses. And the conclusion was that the area had been used for burials from the Bronze Age through to Roman times.
A Touch of Frost returned [Hidden Truth, 21:00, ITV 1], the 1st of 3. A 50-ish skinhead shot a WPC who was protecting a witness. Frost brought in DS Reid, whom Supt. Mullett found obnoxious. The witness saw a drug baron, Flynn, beat a dealer to death with a baseball bat and the bad guy has a mole. Frost was having as much trouble from the prosecutor as from the slimy defence counsel, and he was supposed to have lost a winning lottery ticket worth £5.3M. Armed police pursued a second, younger hit-man but lost him. Then one of the firearms team was killed and his MP-5 submachine gun vanished.
   The female witness decided to bug out at the first chance. When Frost caught the younger hit-man, he denied shooting the copper and having the missing MP-5. He also said that he lost his gun. One of the firearms team killed the other man over an affair with his wife, and Reid found the missing weapon. Frost found the other copper, hanged. The protection team screwed up and the witness legged it with her kid and the police realize that the kid was the witness, not his mum. The mole turned out to be a female counsel on the prosecution team, who had stitched Reid up in the past, and Flynn was the father of her kid. In the end, the older gunman was caught, the killer got his just deserts and the lottery ticket was no good.

[Monday, 20th] The NFL Game of the Week was the AFC Championship match between the Titans and the Raiders in Oakland [00:50, Channel 5]. The Raiders started in a hurry, going no huddle. Gannon's first play was a pass, which Rice took 29 yards. The drive ended with a 3 yard TD pass to Porter. 0-7. McNair took a battering but he hit Bennett with a 33 yard TD pass. 7-7. Gannon did a bit of dashing. Porter made a diving catch, Tennesse challenged and the pass was ruled complete at the Titans' 17. A 12 yard TD pass to Garner doubled the lead. 7-14.
   The Titans started the 2nd quarter by advancing to the Raider 20 after a personal foul and kicked a 29 yard field goal. 10-14. Rolle recovered a fumble by Brown at the Oakland 40 but the Titans had to punt. The Raiders punted after Gannon came under pressure. The Titans drove on, surviving the loss of a 5 yard pass on a Raider challenge, and reached the Oakland 2 courtesy of the 9th penalty against the Raiders (having receive 4 first downs from penalties). They were driven back to the 9 but McNair scrambled in for a TD. 17-14. McKnight returned the kick off to midfield but the Raiders had to punt after the 2 minute warning. They recovered a fumble by Holcombe at the Tennessee 16, Rice recovered his own fumble at the 1 and Gannon hit Jolley with a TD pass. 17-21. The Raiders recovered a fumbled kick return at the Titans' 39 and advanced to the 25. Porter dropped a pass in the end zone. Gannon dropped the ball on 3rd and 10, and the Raiders kicked a 43 yard FG. 17-24.
   The Titans reached the Oakland 22 on their opening drive of the 3rd quarter. Then Parella sacked McNair and they punted. The Raiders punted and they swamped the kicker when the Titans had to punt again. Starting at the Tennessee 19, they went on to kick a 32 yard FG. 17-27. Another personal foul penalty got the Titans to the Oakland 19 and McNair went in for another TD. 24-27.
   In the 4th quarter, the Raiders reached the Tennessee 5 on a personal foul penalty and Gannon went in from 3 yards out. 24-34. The Titans punted after a 2nd sack on McNair. The Raiders advanced to the Tennessee 8 and Crockett rushed in. 24-41. With 3:25 left, the Titans tried to make things more respectable but the Raiders stopped them on a 4th down and that was it. A solid win for the home team.
NFL Special [12:00, Sky Sports 3] gave us highlights of the NFC championship -- the Buccaneers in Philadelphia for the last match ever at Veteran Stadium. Mitchell returned the kick off to the Tampa 25 and Staley took a pass 20 yards to the end zone. 0-7 after less than 1 minute. The Bucs replied with a steady drive which gave them a 48 yard FG. 3-7. The Eagles punted, but got the ball back when Taylor intercepted Brad Johnson. The Eagles punted again -- to the Tampa 4. The Bucs created a bit of room then Johnson hit Jurevicius with a pass which he took 70 yards to the Eagles' 5! Alstott went in on the ground. 10-7.
   The Eagles took their 2nd possession of the 2nd quarter to the Tampa 12 and kicked a 30 yard FG. 10-10. Tampa came right back at them and Brad Johnson hit Keyshawn with a 9 yard TD pass. 17-10. The Eagles were at midfield at the 2 minute warning but they lost the ball when they reached the Tampa 24 -- Rice knocked the ball out of McNabb's hand.
   Tampa Bay punted away the first possession of the 3rd quarter. They got the ball back when it was knocked from McNabb's hand again by Barber but they had to punt again. Next time the Bucs had the ball, they survived relentless blitzing by the Eagles and kicked a 27 yard FG. 20-10. The punters had a lot more work but with 6:30 left in the 4th quarter, the Eagles reached the Tampa 10. But Barber intercepted McNabb and returned the pick for a TD. 27-10 and that was enough to lock things up for the Buccaneers. So the Chucky Bowl is on -- Tampa Bay versus the Raiders next Sunday.
4 days after the Romulan minefield, Enterprise needed help with its repairs [Dead Stop, 20:00, Sky One]. They got directions to a space dock, which metamorphosed to accommodate them. Captain B. Acula thought 200 litres of warp plasma was too low a price for the repairs, and he was proved right when Travis's body was found and the doctor discovered that he'd been replicated. T'Pol and the captain went behind the scenes and found kidnapped crew from repaired ships incorporated into the computer core. So they rescued Travis and blew the space dock to smithereens.

[Wednesday, 22nd] Another dead junkie on The Bill [20:00, ITV 1]. Okaro was in the doghouse for his views on drugs and Meadows took over as Okaro has to play in the Super Bowl on Sunday. Des and Danny were chasing a witness for a court case. Gary and Ruby arrested the clearly innocent mum of Alice, one of Ruby's schoolmates for burglary. Des reckoned that the judge was bent when his trial went belly up. The battered victim in the court case was running a building site and his scaffolding was sabotaged -- by Weston, the thug, Des reckoned.
   Alice was the dead junkie found at the start and her mum was covering for her. CPI Developments want to sew up all council building work and Des reckons the judge is in with the boss of the firm. But Meadows knows Judge Sinclair and he won't listen to accusations against him -- not that Des will let it go.
Drop The Dead Donkey [23:30, Paramount Comedy] was set in the first week of September, 1990, in the phoney war period before the first Gulf War against Iraq. Those watching in 2003 had a strong sense of history repeating itself!

[Thursday, 23rd] On Buffy, the Vampire Slayer [Gone, 18:45, BBC 2], Willow was having her magic gear confiscated and the geeks had built an invisibilizer with their stolen diamond. Buffy was made invisible and took the opportunity to haunt the social worker who was giving her a hard time over Dawn. An invisible traffic cone started to go mushy and Anya and Zander feared that the same would happen to Buffy, who was doing invisible naughty things with Spike. Willow tracked down the nerds and they grabbed her. So Buffy and the nerds had an invisible rumble in an amusement arcade. Exit the nerds, vowing that they'll be back to cause more trouble!
Des confronted Meadows about the dodgy judge on The Bill [20:00, ITV 1] and we had Inspector Gold and DCI Meadows arranging independent investigations. Tony and Gema got to deal with a 44-year with the mind of a child, who was supected of bashing his mother. Gema shopped him to June and the CSU, but it was the bloke who was being bashed by mum because she blamed him for the premature death of her husband. Des got in touch with Kennedy, an informant, who got drunk and taunted the dodgy judge. Brandon won a place in CID and WPC Bradford lost it big time. She's now a candidate for the psycho ward.
   Des took the flak away from Gold when Meadows sounded off about the judge being harassed. Kennedy was beaten to a pulp while Meadows was photographing the dodgy judge meeting the dodgy builder, and Des was transferred to the CSU! And June proposed to Jim.
The brothers Finn busted a Serious & Organized auction racked, which was being used to launder dodgy cash using info from a female accountant [21:00, ITV 1]. The bad guys ripped a suspected squealer apart using 2 Range Rovers instead of the traditional 4 wild horses. A member of the auction family was whacked right in front of the Finns and the female informant. Jack dumped her kid on his brother's missus -- and got inappropriate with his sister-in-law while Tony was hitting the vodka.
   The cover team on the informant screwed up (again) and she was grabbed. Jack found out that she'd ripped off the bad guys for £90-100K and the main bad guy wanted his dosh back. Jack played hard ball with him and lost -- but his brother and a gang of "Armed police!" saved the day.

[Friday, 24th] Triple Tedious showed off his bruises at the start of WWE Raw [21:00, Sky Sports 1]. He had a note from his mom to excuse him from games. So Scott Steiner chucked TT and Ric Flair out of the ring. Jeff Hardy and RVD had a match full of spectacular moves and miscues. RVD scored a surprise sneak-up win and Jeff restrained himself when he collected a steel chair for some post-match 'sportsmanship'. A lengthy piece of WWE drama ended with the Dudleys being swindled out of the tag team belts via a crude assault rather than wrestling. Trash and the Hurricane took on Victoria and Stevie Richards. The match needed more Hurricane, who was the only star present.
   Bischoff announced that Steve Austin is coming back for the next pay-per-view as his career-saving idea. When Booker T and Goldust took on the fat bastards, Goldie didn't get to kick an extra point on Rosie. Booker splatted both opponents together, Freako was wiped out and Booker got the pin. Y2J wasted a bit more time with a rant before taking on Test(icles). Everything was going okay until Jericho hit the ring post while aiming a steel chair at Test. Stacy collapsed, obviously with Munchhausen's Syndrome, and the match was abandoned so that she could be hauled out of the arena.
   Tommy Dreamer had a kendo stick match with D'Lo Brown, who had a rabble rouser with him. We seem to have a rather pathetic black power movement on our hands. Finally, Batista took on Scott Steiner in what became a typical WWE ritual humiliation with Triple Tedious, Mr. Woo! and Randy Orton joining together to form the rat pack. A very thin night -- very evidently the night after the pay-per-view Royal Rumble.

[Saturday, 25th] The Crappler started off SmackDown! [21:30, Sky Sports 1] against Charlie Hass and they did some actual wrestling!!! Benoit's left wrist got a good seeing-to but he prevailed after about 10 minutes of battle. Great stuff. Rikishi versus Bill DeMott was back to the bashing with the angry one being finished off by Rikishi sitting on him from the second rope level. The Undertaker is back. He called out the Big Show but he got Albert instead -- and kicked his ass!
   Shelton Benjamin chalked up a second loss for Team Angle against Edge after a spectacular battle. Kurt Angle sounded off at his team then Nunzio had a brief tussle with Shannon Moore, which had its moments. After the match, Shannon legged it to escape Matt Hardy being obnoxious.
   Rey Mysterio versus Kurt Angle was full of action with Kurt being allowed to come out on top to put him one up with respect to his Team. He was then demolished by the combined forces of Edge and the Crappler, and he suffered a 619 to complete the job. Hulk Hogan is back and the crowd was allowed to cheer him at tedious length. Vince turned up to rain on his parade but in the end, the Hulkster felled Vince. The end.

[Sunday, 26th] The Time Team [17:30, Channel 4] were on Shetland looking at Viking sites. One was a back garden, which was totally destroyed while proving that there was a Viking house on the site. Unfortunately, there was just one end wall left as most of the building had been destroyed during construction of modern buildings. Geophys did detect the possible sites of 3 more houses, however. The other site was a cliff-top mound. Phil was convinced that he had a boat burial, Mick wasn't so sure. Masses of rivets in a boat-shaped pattern turned up. The grave had been robbed but the team found a woman's copper brooch.
Super Bowl 37
Rich Gannon
John (Chucky) Gruden
Brad Johnson
The 'Chucky Bowl' was played in San Diego this year in a starting temperature of 84 deg.F. The Oakland Raiders were the slight favourites but the 'home team', the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, had the league's No. 1 rated defence and the spectators in Romiley were thinking 'the Ravens from 2 years ago with a better offense'.
   Tampa Bay started but Woodson intercepted Brad Johnson's 3rd play and returned the ball to the Bucs' 36. Gannon was sacked at the 23 (Rice) and the Raiders kicked a 40 yard field goal to open the scoring. 3-0. Tampa Bay had to burn a challenge to get the ball back when Stecker was ruled to have fumbled the kick return. His whole body was flat on the ground and he was stretching for extra distance when the ball came out. The Bucs got moving and completed the drive with a 31 yard FG. 3-3. The Raiders went 3 and out when Gannon was sacked again on 3rd down (Spiers). After 2 more punts, the Bucs collected the first penalty of the match (illegal shift) on the play after Woodson nearly made another interception. Tampa Bay had to punt but Jackson intercepted Gannon and returned the ball to mid-field.
   In the 2nd quarter, Tampa Bay advanced to the Oakland 25 and kicked a 43 yard FG. 3-6. The Raiders made only their 2nd first down -- then Gannon was picked again by Jackson. The Bucs punted, and so did the Raiders after Gannon was sacked again by Rice. The kick was returned to the Oakland 27, Pittman took the ball from the 21 to the 3 and Alstott rumbled into the end zone for the first touchdown. 3-13. Another punt by the Raiders. The Bucs were at the Oakland 43 at the 2 minute warning. Stupid penalties helped them on to the 29 and Johnson finished the drive with a 5 yard TD pass to McCardell. 3-20 and things looking bleak for the Raiders.
   The Raiders started the 3rd quarter by going 3 and out. Tampa Bay reached the Oakland 1, went back 10 yards on an illegal hands to the face penalty, and Johnson hit McCardell with another TD pass. 3-27. Dwight Smith turned the screw by intercepting Gannon and running the ball back 44 yards for another Buccaneers' TD. 3-34. Gannon was sacked right away (Wyms) when the Raiders tried another drive but he went on to launch a 39 yard pass to Porter at the back of the end zone. Porter was given a TD after a review. 9-34 after a 2-point conversion try failed.
   Tampa Bay had to punt at the start of the 4th quarter. Tim Johnson blocked the kick and Eric Johnson took it into the end zone for a TD. 15-34 after the Raiders failed on another 2-point try. Tampa Bay got 15 yards on a bad pass interference call (the pass was uncatchable) and Pittman took the ball 24 yards to the Oakland 11. The Bucs went for a 27 yard FG but their holder (Tupa, the guy who had the punt blocked), dropped the snap. No kick. The Raiders struggled on to make things respectable and Gannon hit Jerry Rice with a 48 yard TD pass. Another 2-point try failed. The receiver was pushed out of the back of the end zone, the Raiders challenged and the referee didn't agree that he would have come down in bounds. 21-34.
   Tampa Bay burned a bit of time off the clock. The Raiders got the ball back needing 2 TDs with 2:45 left. Gannon was sacked for the 5th time (Sapp) right after the 2 minute warning. His next pass was intercepted by Derrick Brooks (the defensive player of the year) and returned 44 yards for a TD. 21-41. On the Raiders' next drive, a pass from Gannon was tipped and Dwight Smith made the Bucs' 5th interception -- and ran the ball back 50 yards for another defensive TD. 21-48. And that was it.
   In Conclusion: 'Great defenses win championships'. True! The Raiders' No. 1 rated offense was kept out of the match, John Gruden's current team had an easy win over his previous team, and the former joke team of the NFL won in its first ever Super Bowl. And to add insult to injury, the Buccaneers' defence out-scored the Raiders' offense.

[Monday, 27th] T'Pol told the captain and Tripp a story on Enterprise [Carbon Creek, 20:00, Sky One]. Her great great grandmother's ship crashed on Earth in 1957, long before the official first contact. Out of food, the Vulcans ventured into the small town of Carbon Creek. One of them turned pool shark to get some currency and they all got jobs as they waited for rescue. Granny was the stiff-necked boss of the four survivors but one of the men defied her and used a Vulcan blaster to free some trapped miners. Granny sold the idea of velcro to raise money to send a bright local kid to college. And when the rescue ship arrived, the crewman who had saved the miners decided to stay behind on Earth. T'Pol let the Earthers think that it was just a story, but she had Granny's handbag in her cabin to prove that it was all true.

[Tuesday, 28th] NYPD Blue [23:30, Channel 4] seems to have shed its excess baggage in the first 2 episodes. Andy's kid doesn't have leukemia and the team is no longer under threat from Internal Affairs over matters related to the departed Jill's scumbag ex-husband, which the viewers can barely remember because it's so long since the scumbags at Channel 4 showed the last series! This week, in episode 3, we got a shifting story of robbery with a toy gun which led, indirectly, to the death of a female cop who was the wife of a captain. The squad are also sorting out their personal relationships and Andy's ex-wife is moving back to her own apartment now that the drama over his kid is ended.

[Wednesday, 29th] On The Bill [20:00, ITV 1], June and Jim were still arguing. Luke and Kerry, back from honeymoon, got to deal with reluctant victim Mary Watson, who turned out to be trying to hang on to a homosexual boyfriend, and he had another homosexual pal who made a pass at Luke. Des was rampaging around in the CSU, Bradford was about to have her true HIV blown and Hunter was 'helping' with the case of the bent judge and the property developer Inverdale.
   Luke was surprised to find Gilmore still at Sun Hill. The judge was set up for bribery and duly busted, and he did a 'No comment' interview like a member of the IRA. Meadows fancies McAllister, so he must have gone insane. Jim won't marry June because he doesn't trust himself. Meadows tells Mickey to lay off the judge, Brandon thinks CID stinks after his first day and Mickey isn't about to let go.

[Thursday, 30th] Buffy, the Vampire Slayer [Double Meat Palace, 18:45, BBC 2], got a job in a fast-food joint where the staff keep disappearing. Anya was planning her wedding and Amy gave Willow (uninvited) black eyes and a destructive magic talent. Buffy found a finger in the meat grinder, she told all the customers that they were eating people and she was fired. Then she found a boot with a foot in it. Then she ran into a little old lady with snake growing out of her head! Willow amputated the snake and shoved it in the meat grinder before telling Amy to get lost. Willow had discovered that the secret of the Double-Meat burger is that it's made of vegetables and Buffy blackmailed herself back into a job.
Back with The Bill [20:00, ITV 1], Hunter paid some money into DC Drummond's account then he ran into a drive-by shooting of a man and his daughter. And Bradford bled all over him. And Mickey showed pictures of DCI Meadows with the dodgy judge to Brandon. Nick went to Simon, the dodgy journalist's, funeral and got into a barney with the weird sister. The shot bloke was a bent accountant, who had been keeping two warring, club-owning brothers out of gaol. His obsession with the wife of one of them was behind all the trouble.
   Robbie sussed out that Bradford was lying about being HIV+ and she concocted a story about a mix-up at the hospital. Kerry got friendly with an Aussie trainee copper, who was flashing his neighbour. The CPS dropped the bribery case against the judge (not in the public interest). Kerry is in the club and Drummond found out that his bank account had been enriched mysteriously.
Four Albanian girls died in a fire at the start of Serious & Organized [21:00, ITV 1]. The Finns grabbed a suspect right away but they had to let him go and he gave their tail the slip. He tracked down the 5th Albanian girl and got on with importing some more. Tony told his girlfriend on the squad it's over and he's going back to his wife.
   One of the punters for underage girls was being blackmailed so the Finns set up a trap -- and nicked the woman with whom they'd parked the 5th girl. She'd been involved in a previous racket and she was still up to her neck in the business. The squad staged an 'armed police' raid to nab the bad guys but the dopes didn't send anyone round the back. [No wonder people call them the Frivolous & Discorganized Bunch!] Result -- one bad guy shot dead and another shot in the leg quite deliberately by Jack, which would have been the end of his career in the real world. And Jack and Tony's wife are still friends.

[Friday, 31st] After 5 minutes of messing about, WWE's Raw [21:00, Sky Sports 1] gave us Booker T versus Jeff Hardy. We got 10 minutes of decent wrasslin' before Jeff celebrated another defeat by attacking the Book -- and came of worst. Scott Steiner and a lead pipe saw off Triple Tedious and his gang. The Hurricane did some flying against D'Lo Brown, who managed to concentrate on the job in hand without bitching about imaginary grievances. Y2J almost apologized for bashing Tracy last week, but Christian said it was her fault so Jericho blamed Test instead. Then the Has Been Kid stuck his nose in.
   Trash was jumped Victoria on her way to the ring for a Chicago (where we were) street fight, and she got a faceful of trash can. Stevie Richards squirted Vicky with a fire extinguisher (by mistake) but Vicky went on to keep her belt. So Jazz strolled in to batter Trash some more to let us know she's back from injury. The Dudleys were supposed to have a table match with Storm and Regal for the tag-team belts, but there were no tables at the ring and it was another of Chief Valbowski's swindles. The Dudleys were zapped by the fat bastards, despite Spike's help, and Dvon went through a table supplied by the Chief.
   The Tough Enough III winners started an exhibition match, Nowinski stuck his oar in, Tommy Dreamer saw him off then he felled the lads with a kendo stick as a 'welcome to the WWE' gesture. Bischoff did a promo for 'Raw Magazine' and an article on Steve Austin. RVD and Kane versus Triple Tedious and Batista was a shamble with the ref turning his back on a 3-on-1 assault on Kane, who was unmasked and legged it. RVD was demolished, which as the cue for Steiner to be battered AGAIN by Triple Tedious and his gang. Quadruple Tedious. Yawn. What crap Raw is at times.

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