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Meet the Real Fox Mulder

Plus: Xena Petition Update; This Week's Episodes

By Steve Ryfle     November 20, 2000

Who says the big-time, respectable journalists of the major TV networks are adverse to a little Weekly World News-style sensationalism? Who thinks the members of the nation's Fourth Estate are so addicted to facts that they're not tempted to delve into a little bit of fictionmake that science fictiononce in a while?

Surf over to ABCNews.com and you'll be treated to the first installment of 'UFO2000,' a three-part report unspooling today (Monday) through Wednesday on Chris Wallace's Internet Expose, a Web-only news magazine program. Each of the three episodes features an interview with a well-known authority on the extraterrestrial debate. But today's one-on-one with Nick Pope promises to be the most interesting. Perhaps you're familiar with Pope, an official with the British Ministry of Defense who monitors reports of flying saucers and the like, and who's been quoted as saying stuff like, 'I am a firm believer that some UFO's are almost certainly extraterrestrial spacecraft.'

The media likes to brand Pope 'the real Fox Mulder,' to give him some sort of on-camera credibility and mystique, but it's a moniker that hardly applies. Y'see, the TV Mulder is a secret agent kind of guy, with no public profile and the constant threat of being rubbed out by a vast conspiracy. Nick Pope, on the other hand, embraces his own celebrity, and he speaks so freely and openly on the UFO topic that his job seems to have no high stakes at all. Pope has published a number of best-selling books, and he writes a monthly column called 'Weird World' for a British Website called Hot Gossip (www.hotgossip.co.uk), whereinamong other thingshe reviews UFO books and professes his admiration for the WB TV show Roswell which is apparently called Roswell High in the United Kingdom.

Day 2 of 'UFO2000' features a viewing of that much publicized videotape taken on Aug. 6, 1997, in Mexico City by two guys with a camcorder, showing a dome-shaped flying saucer hovering over some apartment buildingsa UFO that was reportedly witnessed by dozens of people. Then Chris Wallace will roll out the naysayers, those James Randi types who enjoy nothing more than deflating and debunking UFO stories. The featured interviewee is Dr. Michael Shermer, head of the Organization of Skeptics and founder of Skeptic magazine, who plans to take the wind out of every UFO believer's sails by showing just how easy it is to make a phony UFO video.

On Day 3, Wallace will interview Dr. Michio Kaku, author of two best-selling UFO-related books, Hyperspace and Visions, who'll discuss the real-life physics behind the UFO debatein other words, is it even possible for flying saucers to fly, or to travel through time and space? Says Kaku: 'We earthlings are too primitive right now to analyze what's on the other side of a wormhole, but this could be a way by which you could leap across distant galaxies and perhaps even distort time itself.'

'UFO2000' will be Webcasted live at 2 p.m. (EST) today through Wednesday, and all three episodes will be archived for viewing-on-demand.

WE LOVE LUCY

What's the latest with that Internet petition drive to bring Xena: Warrior Princess back for a seventh season? The list of concerned fans continues to grow. Just the other day, it surpassed 13,000 names, even though the people organizing the campaign said two weeks ago that they were ready to send it off to the sponsors of the show, Studio USA and all that. We all know the story: Exec producer Rob Tapert has said he'd like to bring the show back, provided that Lucy Lawless and Renee O'Connor felt likewise, but eroded ratings have led the sponsors and the studio to cut the budgets. If you still want to join the petition, for what it's worth, click here. And if you want to read the latest on Lucy Lawless, check out the Q&A she just did with E! Online readers by clicking here.

UPCOMING EPISODES

In this week's Roswell, 'Meet the Dupes' (WB, Monday @ 9 p.m. Eastern and Pacific, 8 p.m. Central), 'Duplicate versions of Isabel (Katherine Heigl), Michael (Brendan Fehr) and Tess (Emilie de Ravin) come to Roswell to try and convince Max (Jason Behr) to go back to New York with them for an interstellar summit that could get them all back to their home planet.' You can check out photos of all the duplicate kids (Hey! They look just like the real kids!) at the WB Network website (www.wbnetwork.com).

On the latest Buffy the Vampire Slayer, titled 'Shadow' (WB, Tuesday @ 8 p.m. Eastern and Pacific, 7 p.m. Central), here's the deal: 'In order to protect her sister Dawn (Michelle Trachtenberg), Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar) must face a horrible beast that has been conjured by the powerful demon Glory (guest star Clare Kramer) to help seek out The Key.'

The latest episode of Angel is 'The Shroud of a Rahmon' (WB, Tuesday @ 9 p.m. Eastern and Pacific, 8 p.m. Central). The plot: 'Angel (David Boreanz) poses as a flashy vampire hoodlum, and with the help of Gunn (J. August Richards) prevents a mind-altering shroud from falling into the wrong hands.'

On this week's Dark Angel, titled 'Prodigy' (FOX, Tuesday @ 9 p.m. Eastern and Pacific, 8 p.m. Central), 'Max gets closer to Lydecker than she ever wished when she attends a conference on genetic engineering.'

There will be two episodes of Charmed airing this week (WB, Thursday @ 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. Eastern and Pacific, 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. Central). The first, 'Astral Monkey,' goes like this: 'A doctor (guest star Matthew Glave) who treated Piper (Holly Marie Combs) when she was dangerously ill has been trying to uncover the reason for her miraculous recovery and accidentally acquires the powers of all three Halliwell sisters, Prue (Shannen Doherty), Phoebe (Alyssa Milano) and Piper, during a blood transfusion.' In the second episode, 'Prue, Piper and Phoebe try to relax and enjoy singer Paula Cole's performance at P3, but they soon find themselves back in action against the legendary Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, who are causing violent fights and road rage incidents all over San Francisco. When Prue and one of the Horsemen are sucked into a vortex between good and evil, Phoebe and Piper are forced to choose between saving their sister and saving the world.'

Check your local listings for this week's Xena: Warrior Princess (USA, airing Saturday in most markets), titled 'The Ring.' In it, 'Xena must battle a monster of her own making to recover the destructive Rheingold ring she forged in her days as an evil warrior.'

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