SOS Archive Excerpts Mast


Last Updated: 18 October 2000



Following the conclusion of the Nagano Olympic Games coverage, Channel 7 has brought The Sentinel back to Australian television. This time, however, the first run second season episodes are on Saturday nights at 8.30pm in Sydney and Brisbane and Thursdays at 10.30pm in Melbourne (Melbourne has to make way for football replays).

The Sydney Morning Herald TV Guide, Monday February 23, featured the following review of the latest episode:

The Sentinel and Millennium
Seven, 8.30pm and 9.30pm

Theme nights seem to be just what the scheduler ordered on Saturday nights. Ten has lined up the mighty warriors of Hercules and Xena, Warrior Princess. Meanwhile, over at Seven, more mortal men battle modern evils on Millennium and The Sentinel.

Millennium, back with its second season, is set to become more humorous, more suspenseful and less gory. Tonight's episode, however, is in the darker spirit of the first series, as Frank Black (Lance Henriksen) searches for the man who kidnapped his wife. At the end though, Frank leaves the marital home, setting the stage for change.

Millennium is a quality show that somehow never achieved the ratings expected of it. The Sentinel is, in a way, its antithesis: a show that exceeded expectations. Although at first sight it was just another laughably cheap cop show, it attracted a following that indicated it had *something* that lifted it out of its class.

Jim in shades Detective James Ellison (Richard Burgi), "a sentinel in the fight for justice", can see, hear and smell bad guys a mile off. All this is explained before the credits by the single line: "In the jungles of Peru,the fight for survival heightened his senses." Now, back in the urban jungle, Ellison can hear a whispered drug deal going on across a crowded stockcar rally, and smell drugs on a delivered pizza.

This week's episode begins with a hallucinating teenager falling to her death. Ellison and his offsider, Blair (Garett Maggart), find out she has been using Golden, a new designer drug that "makes angel dust look like light beer".

Ellison poses as a drug distributor's go-between, but is blinded when he accidentally rubs some Golden into his eyes. Naturally, he continues to fight crime in the dark.

Viewers know when Ellison's heightened senses are being used because the sound goes echoey and the pictures goes feathery. Still, low-budget special effects have a certain appeal, and The Sentinel has a cockiness that bodes well for its continued ratings success.

Review by Jenny Tabakoff (It's about time they let a woman review the show :) - and that stuff about continued ratings success sounds promising too.)
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