Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes! Blogger John Cooper copes with change all round by looking to his favourite shows
Change can come when you least expect it, good, bad, unwanted or indifferent - whether you like it or not change will happen. From the lovely new SFX website, Doctor Who's cheekbones and a zombie's average running speed, to a phone call from your landlord telling you he's moving back into his flat, and you've got three months to move out - yikes! Change is sent to try us and it's as much about the event itself as it is about how you cope with the fallout and your instinct to fight or flee.
Last week with four new painted walls and a mortgage over me, I unpacked the last box of my blessed DVD collection and reflected on how my favourite shows have dealt with big changes - for better or worse.
Primeval: Season 3, Episode 2
Okay, we kind of knew Douglas Henshall was leaving, but for such a strong lead to be shot dead in the second episode was a shock to the system. Was it the end for the show? No, as it turned out. It was just the kick up the pants the show was in need of as the rest of the cast all tried to step up and stop a rampaging T-Rex with a small helicopter, while new hanger-on Danny Quinn's chin made a play for leadership.
Star Trek: DS9: Season 2, Episode 3 - “The Siege”
DS9 was all about change. While there are more obvious examples in later seasons - four's arrival of Worf or the Dominion war in season six - DS9's remit for dramatic consequences (instead of just flying on to the next planet) was in evidence early on. This fine example of upheaval in season two, when non essential crew were evacuated from the station, created a situation with no easy resolution and not a reset button in sight.
Babylon 5: Season 3, Episode 10 - “Severed Dreams”
Some episodes of B5 haven't aged as well as others, but when it hit the highs it really did it with style. On Captain Johnny 'Starkiller' Sheridan's orders the entire station secedes from the Earth federation and a large war ensues. Noticeably the post still gets through.
Angel: Season 1, Episode 10 - “Parting Gifts”
After establishing the character of Doyle over 9 episodes, he's suddenly killed off, passing his powers on to Cordelia and being replaced in the next episode by posh watcher and vampire hunter Wesley. Adding a much needed dimension to the show as he did, you can't help feeling it must been a bad day for poor old Glenn Quinn, being slaughtered for the crime of being too much like the main star.
SeaQuest DSV: Season 3
It might have been a bit on the slow side, but I had a lot of time for SeaQuest, in particular Roy Scheider's Nathan Bridger and the attempt to take on weighty environmentally conscious 'what-if' stories. Series two gradually went into fantasy, then like a small child drawing a big explosion with chunky crayons, the whole show became all about action without caring to resemble anything even faintly recognisable. Michael Ironside was always watchable though.
Robin Hood (2007): Season 2, Episode 13 - “We are Robin Hood”
They killed off Marion. Bit of a game changer that. For all it's flashy faults you can't accuse the modern take on the hooded man of not taking risks. Better was to come in season three when Robin's long lost half-brother, the astoundingly conveniently named 'Archer' turned up and was just as good a shot as Robin himself. Come back Jason Connery, all is forgiven!
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