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Oh Lords, We've Got the Benz

Tracy talks First Wave, Julie talks role reincarnation, plus this week's episodes.

By Steve Ryfle     January 08, 2001

Who could have imagined, all those years past, when she was getting busted by the FBI for making dirty movies when she was just 15 to 17 years old (it seems like ages ago, doesn't it?) that in the year 2001 we'd be talking about Traci Lords, actress. No one is going to attach a prefix like 'great' or 'serious' in front of the word 'actress,' of courseit's not like Lords is going to blow you away with her on-screen presence.

But let's face it: The woman has been paying her dues for many years now, occasionally getting a high-profile break like Blade (and don't forget her awful, early-1990s stint on Melrose Place) but usually toiling in low-rent productions. That's why it's cool to see Lords finally reaping the fruits of her long labors on the Sci-Fi Channel's First Wave, joining the show in its third season as Jordan Radcliffe, a newfound ally to the show's man-on-the-run-from-aliens, Cade Foster (Sebastian Spence).

This is the perfect role for Lords, now 31, who claims to have a brown belt in some sort of martial arts. She gets to kick ass on the Gua aliens, and she handles the stunts and fighting scenes admirably. And, as with all Sci-Fi Channel productions, the acting in First Wave is, well, not the greatest in the world anyway, so there's no reason to single her thespian skills out here. The show can only help cement her growing reputation as a B-movie action queen, something Lords has no problem with.

'I love it,' she says in an interview with Gist.com. 'Especially right now, [when] the strongest [female] characters seem to be in sci-fi...I saw Jordan [as] sort of a cross between Sigourney Weaver in Alien, Linda Hamilton [from Terminator 2] and maybe a little Lara Croft from Tomb Raider thrown in...and some Traci Lords in there somewhere.'

WILL JULIE BENZ RISE AGAIN?

TV Guide Online has an interview with actress Julie Benz this week, in which they ask a rather interesting question. If her Darla character from Buffy the Vampire Slayer can be brought back to live on Angel, why not resurrect her other prime-time alter-ego, the high school guidance counselor and FBI alien hunter, Ms. Topolsky, from Roswell?

'I guess I could get that call, says Benz in the interview. 'A WB exec recently told me they're still working on a way to bring me back. I was like, 'Okay.' I don't see how they could do it.' But, what about this: Even when Ms. Topolsky died, her body was never found. That's always an out-clause for bringing a character back! ''They're so far removed from that storyline that to get back to it now would be really hard,' surmises Benz. 'So I think at this point Topolsky's really dead.'

THIS WEEK'S EPISODES

* On Roswell (WB, Monday @ 9 p.m. Eastern and Pacific, 8 p.m. Central), this week's episode is a repeat of 'Ask Not.' The story: 'Max deals with the pressure of being the aliens' chieftain in this well-scripted episode that examines the burden of leadership. The extraterrestrial teens look to Max for guidance after they discover that a murderous alien entity is pursuing them and that a potential new threat has taken over the UFO Center. Max's plan is for them to stay put and not draw attention to themselves, but Michael fears that inaction could be fatal. As Max holds firm to his decision, the severity of their dilemma gives him a special appreciation for his history class's study of the role that JFK played during the Cuban Missile Crisis.'

* There's a new episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (WB, Tuesday @ 8 p.m. Eastern and Pacific, 7 p.m. Central), titled 'Triangle.' The story: 'Buffy's post-Riley emotional turmoil is interrupted by a malevolent troll accidentally set loose on Sunnydale by Anya and Willow as a result of their bickering. The Scoobies team up to take him down, but the little monster's magic hammer packs a mean wallop.'

* The latest episode of Dark Angel (FOX, Tuesday @ 9 p.m. Eastern and Pacific, 8 p.m. Central) is 'Out.' The story: 'Max and Logan's growing attraction is put to the test as he breaks their first date to bust a flesh-peddler (James Kidnie), who makes it his sole mission to silence 'For Eyes Only' forever. Meanwhile, the Jam Pony kids catch on to Normal's new lady after he sends a delivery to her domicile.'

* This week's Angel (WB, Tuesday @ 9 p.m. Eastern and Pacific, 8 p.m. Central) is 'Untouched.' The story: 'Unaware of Lilah's plans to cultivate her as an assassin, femme fatale-magnet Angel offers to help a runaway (Daisy McCrackin) who possesses uncontrollable telekinetic powers. Also unbeknownst to the vampire, Darla continues to visit him while he sleeps.'

* This week on Star Trek: Voyager (UPN, Wednesday @ 9 p.m. Eastern and Pacific, 8 p.m. Central), the episode is 'Repression.' The story: 'Tuvok spearheads the investigation when several Maquis members of the Voyager crew are found unconscious, and uncovers a disturbing truth about the culprit and his intentions.'

* On Charmed (WB, Thursday @ 9 p.m. Eastern and Pacific, 8 p.m. Central), this week's episode is 'Coyote Piper.' The story: 'An evil spirit existing in the form of a gas escapes an alchemist who wants to control it and enters the body of a man to hunt for one of the Halliwell sisters. Meanwhile, Prue helps Piper prepare for the middle sister's 10 year high-school reunion, an event Piper dreads attending.'

* On the rejuvenated Freakylinks (FOX, Friday @ 9 p.m. Eastern and Pacific, 8 p.m. Central), the latest contractual-obligation episode is 'Subject: Still I Rise.' The story: 'Derek (Ethan Embry) investigates the mystery of a dead hip-hop singer believed to have risen from the grave as a zombie.'

* On Futurama (FOX, Sunday @ 7 p.m. Eastern and Pacific, 6 p.m. Central), this week's episode (again) is 'Amazon Women in the Mood.' The story: 'Zapp Brannigan gets Leela to join Amy and Kif Kroker on a double date, which ends with all stranded on a planet of Amazonian women.'

* Then, on The Simpsons (FOX, Sunday @ 8 p.m. Eastern and Pacific, 7 p.m. Central), it's 'Pokey Mom.' The story: 'Homer hurts his back at a prison rodeo, where Marge meets an artistic inmate (Michael Keaton) whom she takes under her wing.'

* Finally, on this week's X-Files (FOX, Sunday @ 9 p.m. Eastern and Pacific, 8 p.m. Central), the episode is 'Salvage.' The story: 'Whatever stoppedand splita moving car is nowhere to be found (though the driver is), but evidence suggests the obstacle was a manwhose funeral was earlier that day.'

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