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Welcome to Paradox is a science fiction television series aired on the Sci Fi Channel in the U.S. and on Showcase in Canada. Despite being filmed in Canada, the series was broadcast first in the United States. It first aired on August 17, 1998, and ran for one season, ending on November 9, 1998. As this was part of a crop of new shows produced in 1998 by Sci Fi Channel and it was not successful beyond the first season, it was never placed in syndication. Betaville was the original title for the series.

Welcome to Paradox
Country of originUnited States
Canada
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes13 (list of episodes)
Release
Original networkSci-Fi Channel (U.S.)
Showcase (Canada)[1]
Original releaseAugust 17 –
November 9, 1998

The series is an anthology hybrid. The stories all took place in the fictional future city of "Betaville", a nod to Jean-Luc Godard's Alphaville.[citation needed] However, the majority of the stories were adapted from short stories that originally didn't have anything to do with the fictional city. The stories were adapted from older works by famous science fiction authors which explored the impact of certain technologies on the human body and psyche, and the theme of humanity being overwhelmed by hostile technologies. Each episode had a host—originally to be named "Paradox" until the concept was dropped—that served as a narrator, adding a prologue and epilogue to the show as with The Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits. The Volkswagen New Beetle was chosen to be the transportation of Betaville. Any time it was called for a car to be featured in an episode, a New Beetle was used.

Contents

SettingEdit

Betaville is the setting for all the stories of Welcome to Paradox. Set in an unspecified time in the future, Betaville is a city of Utopian ideals. There is no crime, violence, disease, or any other problems of modern society. However, there is a dark undercurrent in Betaville that impacts some citizens directly. Technology has invaded daily life to the point that simulated reality is preferred to actual reality, perfect machines are wresting control from their wealthy and pampered owners, and humanity is challenged by genetic engineering and social engineering programs that push the limits of arrogance and sanity. Famous Guest stars include Steven Bauer, Roma Maffia, Ice-T, A Martinez, Nicholle Tom, Rodney Rowland, Justine Priestley, Mayim Bialik, Lochlyn Munro, Channon Roe, Henry Rollins, Alice Krige, Justin Lazard, William McNamara, Dana Ashbrook

EpisodesEdit

No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
1"Our Lady Of The Machine"Clark JohnsonAlan Dean Foster & Miguel Tejda-FloresAugust 17, 1998 (1998-08-17)

A fully 3D hologram of the Holy Madonna is being used by someone to extort money from the citizens of Betaville. Luckily Detective Angel Cardenas is on the case. His intuition comes in handy at what looks like an easy case, but in reality he will soon discover that the hologram is not a hologram at all and the Holy Madonna may be real.

Cast
  • Steven Bauer as Detective Angel Cardenas
  • Conan Graham as Guard
  • Suzy Joachim as Virgin Mary holograph
  • Brandy Ledford as Sergeant Darcy
2"Research Alpha"Charles WilkinsonJames H. Schmitz, A. E. van Vogt & Jeremy LippAugust 24, 1998 (1998-08-24)

At a secure facility for genetic research the scientists are getting bored with the simple and unexciting new genetic therapies they have come up with. That is when one of the scientists decides to test his human evolution acceleration therapy on himself. This of course is going to be fraught with undesirable consequences.

Cast
3"The Winner"Charles WilkinsonDonald E. Westlake & George MelrodAugust 31, 1998 (1998-08-31)

The maximum security prison of the future has arrived. The nice thing is that the prison needs no bars. Pain inducing implants can control the prisoner's will thus locking the prisons inside their minds any time they try to leave the electronic perimeter. But like all prisons there is always one inmate that has a plan to get out.

Cast
4"News from D Street"Guy MagarAndrew Weiner & Miguel Tejda-FloresSeptember 7, 1998 (1998-09-07)

Another detective story set in Betaville, however this time the P.I. must find a missing person. It soon becomes apparent to him that he and the citizen he is looking for are living in an alternate reality. A simulated reality of advanced cybernetic design

Cast
5"The Girl Who Was Plugged In"Jorge MontesiJames Tiptree Jr. & Jeremy LippSeptember 14, 1998 (1998-09-14)

A suicidal girl has come to realize that her existence is worthless because of her lack of beauty. She is given a second chance when her brain is used as an advanced remote control for an artificially grown beautiful young bio organic robot who will become a media sensation. The only question is can she now handle all the freedom she has never known?

Cast
6"The Extra"Rod PridyGreg Egan & William HarrisonSeptember 21, 1998 (1998-09-21)

A wealthy old man has himself cloned so that he can transplant his brain into younger versions of himself. This would insure him perpetual youth and perhaps eternal life. His life gets an unexpected turn when the target clone begins to realize who he is and what he was created for.

Cast
7"Alien Jane"Jorge MontesiKelley Eskridge & Rick DrewSeptember 28, 1998 (1998-09-28)

A girl that has the uncanny ability to feel no pain tries to hold on to her sanity when she becomes a human test subject. As the tests intensify she finds herself trying to hold on to her humanity.

Cast
8"Hemeac"Paul ZillerE.G. Von Wald & Micheal ThomaOctober 5, 1998 (1998-10-05)

Hemeac is a student at a school run entirely by machines. Computer controlled androids teach the students mind expanding educational material as well as mechanical precision and computer logic. Unfortunately the Dean of Students is breaking down thus forcing Hemeac to react beyond his learning, but is the time to act too late?

Cast
9"All Our Sins Forgotten"Bruce McDonaldDavid Ira Cleary & Miguel Tejada-FloresOctober 12, 1998 (1998-10-12)

A therapist develops a device that can erase the bad memories of his patients. But at what cost?

Cast
10"Acute Triangle"Jorge MontesiRob Chilson & Micheal ThomaOctober 19, 1998 (1998-10-19)

A wealthy scientist falls in love with a biologically enhanced robot (Biorobe). His marriage failing, his wife struggles with the fateful decision to leave him. The Biorobe however desires to be much more than a compliant companion and in the end she could be just what the husband and wife need.

Cast
11"Options"John GreysonJohn Varley & Scott FrostOctober 26, 1998 (1998-10-26)

Technology has enabled the populace of Betaville to change ones sex as easily as changing ones clothes. So when Cleo Lawson finds that her husband is a philanderer she takes the opportunity to change her sex as a means to understanding what it is to be a man, and perhaps why her husband is the way he is.

Cast
12"Blue Champagne"John GreysonJohn Varley & Jeremy LippNovember 2, 1998 (1998-11-02)

Q.M. a worker in a futuristic healing resort called "Blue Champagne" becomes smitten with virtual reality superstar Megan Galloway when she arrives for some convalesence. The relationship takes a passionate turn but soon fails after he realizes that his emotions are sold to the VR producers as part of her performance contract.

Cast
13"Into The Shop"Jorge MontesiRon Goulart & Andrew McEvoyNovember 9, 1998 (1998-11-09)

The future of law enforcement has arrived in Betaville. Called "Lawagons" the black artificially intelligent vehicles patrol the streets with their human partners dispensing justice throughout the city. Federal Police Marshal Stu Clemens' Lawagon however has developed a glitch in its systems and now at the behest of his human partner has become judge, jury and executioner.

A prop of a green squeezable alien head stress toy that was played with by the episode's lead is a promotional item given at trade shows by the Sci Fi Channel, complete with the channel's name written on it.

Cast

Home releaseEdit

Though an Australian PAL (Region 4) box set of the entire series exists, the series was never released in any format in North America or Europe.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "S H O W C A S E: Active Program Schedule (27 January - 2 February 1999)". Showcase Television Inc. Archived from the original on January 28, 1999. Retrieved February 27, 2012.

External linksEdit