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NASA Renews Seven Planetary Missions

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Mars Odyssey

Mars Odyssey Orbiter

Here’s an all to rare thing: a post to celebrate the extension of seven planetary missions. I’m exercising cautious optimism regarding NASA, but I’m happy to hear that some of the agency’s most famous (and most awesome) programs won’t be getting the axe any time soon.

The space agency just finished the 2014 senior review of its currently operating planetary science missions and decided not to cancel any of them. Color me surprised—and delighted. Still, NASA’s Planetary Science Division Director Jim Green did say that some of the missions will have to operate “leaner and meaner” as they deal with some cutbacks. A report of their findings will be released sometime this week.

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The Doctor Has A Merry Adventure With Robin Hood: This Week’s TV Picks

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Things have been a bit heavy in the first two episodes of Doctor Who’s new season. The premiere may have had the freshly regenerated Doctor (Peter Capaldi) running about being wacky, but it also had companion Clara unsure if she could trust this new Doctor, especially with her life. Last weekend’s episode took a page from Innerspace and had the Doctor and Clara shrinking down and clambering around inside an actual Dalek, but it also explored the Doctor’s question of “Am I a good man?” A question that Clara, for her part, wasn’t sure how to answer. Well, this week we’ll be getting a more light-hearted romp with “Robot of Sherwood,” wherein the Doctor shares an adventure with Robin Hood.

Or does he? After all, the Doctor is quick to insist to Clara that there was no such person as Robin Hood — he’s a myth, nothing more. And while the Doctor has met quite a few historic personages during his journeys, he can’t very well hang out with a fictional construct. Except…who’s that dude in the tights shooting arrows at the TARDIS? “Robot of Sherwood” premieres this Saturday night at 9/8c on BBC America. You can check out a gallery of pics from the episode below, followed by all our picks for this week’s must-see TV!

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Arthur C. Clarke’s Childhood’s End Gets The Greenlight From Syfy

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childhood's endIf science fiction’s most popular writers were still alive today, they’d be pulling in truckloads of money at this point. (Not that some of them weren’t already wealthy, but still.) Syfy is getting into the Arthur C. Clarke business with an official order for the miniseries Childhood’s End, first announced a couple of weeks ago. Is anybody else besides me just waiting for Syfy to announce that of all their recent pickups have been a joke and they’re actually just going to air Scare Tactics and wrestling for 24 hours a day?

Childhood’s End will be presented as a six-part miniseries executive produced by Oscar-winning screenwriter Akiva Goldsman (A Beautiful Mind) and mega-producer Mike De Luca (Dracula Untold). To direct the project, the team nabbed British filmmaker Nick Hurran, arguably most notable around these parts for directing The Day of the Doctor, as well as a few other Doctor Who episodes. He was also recently recognized with an Emmy nomination for his work on Sherlock: The Last Vow. Taking on screenwriting duties is Life on Mars co-creator Matthew Graham.

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Dead Snow 2: Red Vs. Dead Gives You A Heads Up With This New Poster

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Dead Snow 2Tommy Wirkola’s upcoming sequel Dead Snow 2: Red Vs. Dead pays homage to one of my favorite subgenres in all of horror, the Nazi zombie film. (My favorite is still the Nazi zombies emerging from bodies of water sub-subgenre, typified in movies like Shockwaves and Zombie Lake, but Nazi zombies in snow is also pretty great.) The film is finally going to see a release later this fall, and now they’re back with another funny new poster.

Like the last poster we saw, this one sheet plays up the tongue in cheek nature of the film. They just want to give you a heads up that there are Nazi zombies on the way, and how better to express that sentiment than with a severed head in a military helmet? See what they did there? It’s hard to go wrong on that front.

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BBC’s Intruders Outpaces Orphan Black’s Premiere Ratings

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IntrudersLast year BBC America established itself as a force to be reckoned with in the world of original scripted entertainment. That was when they launched Orphan Black into the world, and in the process gave us one of the most entertaining and addictive science fiction series in ages, not to mention a spectacular talent in the form of lead actress Tatiana Maslany. But BBCA wants to become a true power player on the cable landscape, they’ll need more awesomeness on their lineup. Now it looks like they’ve found a worthy new contender in Intruders, which is already boasting impressive ratings as part of BBCA’s “Supernatural Saturday” block.

As reported by Variety, Intruders had some 790,000 same-night viewers for its premiere on August 23, and that number jumps up to 1.5 million when you factor in the “Live-Plus-3” numbers. So what the hell is “Live-Plus-3?” Nielsen’s Live Plus service tracks DVR viewing of shows, an increasingly important metric as fewer and fewer people are watching things live. Live-Plus-Same-Day sorts out who watched the show live plus all the viewers who watched it time-shifted both on the day of original airing and the day that followed. Live-Plus-Three and Live-Plus-Seven do the same thing, but expand the DVR window to three days and seven days, respectively. So, when you factored in how many people watched Intruders’ first episode in the three days after its August 23 premiere, its numbers jumped up 54% (427,000 viewers).

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David Hasselhoff Reunites With A Jealous KITT In This New Commercial

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We’re still a long way out on that Chris Pratt-starring Knight Rider reboot—if it even happens that way now that he’s in the process of becoming a huge movie star and with what are sure to be extensive Marvel commitments—but the staple of 1980s television is never too far from our hearts and minds. And in that spirit, we’ve got a reunion of sorts on our hands, as stars David Hasselhoff and KITT get back together for this commercial, and it feels so right.

Hasselhoff’s slide into wing-nut lunacy has been well documented by the paparazzi, reality TV, and even his own videos that show his occasionally questionable eating habits, but it’s been a while since we caught up the Knight Industries Two-Thousand, better known as KITT. And apparently over the years, he’s become a wee bit kooky in his own right. If this video, a commercial for Samsung’s new “Smart Home,” is to be believed, he’s gone down a jealous, jealous path, one that apparently places him squarely in stalker territory if you ask me.