Eureka Returns For Its Final Season This Week in Science Fiction
Eureka — “The Lost”
Syfy, Monday 9/8c
Syfy’s eccentric town of geniuses returns for its fifth and final season tonight. The season premiere finds the crew of the vanished Astraeus mission finally returning home after four long years. Needless to say, things have changed a bit during their absence, and according to the episode logline the friendly robotic town deputy, Andy, has become a “more oppressive” version of himself. Sounds like Eureka might be taking a dark turn (although not too dark; this is still freakin’ Eureka, after all). I bailed on Eureka last summer after growing weary of the “Somebody invented something/ Something’s happening to the town/That something is related to the something somebody invented” formula the show seemed to be locked into. Still, I’m considering returning for the show’s final episodes simply because I stuck with it most of the way already. Even with its faults, Eureka is such a big-hearted and charming show that it’s easy to like. Sure, it’s fluffy and silly and disposable, but sometimes you’re just really in the mood for comfort food, know what I mean? That may be damning with faint praise, but there’s little enough science fiction on TV at the moment, and I have to appreciate anything vaguely science fictional on Syfy’s lineup, since normally it’s just a barrage of fantasy and “reality” shows. If you’re in the mood to move back to Eureka for one last tour before they lock the gates, tune in to the fifth season premiere tonight.
The Divide (Blu-ray and DVD)
A group of Manhattan residents take shelter in their apartment building’s basement as nuclear war devastates the surface world. The strangers battle against claustrophobia, hopelessness, and the darker elements of human nature as their supplies dwindle. Karl Muller’s bleak script landed on the annual Black List of the best unproduced screenplays back in 2007. This version has since been retitled and rewritten by Eron Sheean, but hopefully the already strong story has only been improved. Michael Biehn plays the building’s unstable superintendent, and anybody who remembers his performance in The Abyss knows that’s bound to be a good time.
Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files (Syfy, 9/8c) – “The Grim Sleeper/The Real Mr. Freeze”
I’m a sucker for cheesy paranormal “documentaries,” but I’m often able to love Fact or Faked in a non-ironic way. While the show does occasionally cop out and declare the investigated footage unexplainable, it’s nevertheless fun and fascinating when they expose UFO/paranormal/crypto-zoological footage as hoaxes or cases of mistaken identity.
Starman: Complete Series (DVD)
Wow. I grew up voraciously consuming science fiction in every form during the ’80s, but I had no idea there was a Starman TV series. The show takes place in 1986 but purports to pick up 15 years after the events of the movie (which came out in 1984). Timeline headaches aside, the Starman series finds the alien visitor (played by Robert Hays) returning to Earth to meet his now teenaged son and hit the road in search of the missing Jenny Hayden. I’ve never seen an episode, but I’m sure somebody out there has been waiting a long time for this to hit DVD. So, good on you, hypothetical Starman fan!
“White Horse” by Alex Adams
They say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, and that definitely seems to be the case here. The arty black-and-white cover definitely doesn’t suggest post-apocalyptic fiction, but that’s just what you’ll find inside. Zoe is an average thirty year old, working a job cleaning the floors at a pharmaceutical company, when the end of the world arrives. While the end of the world is an inherently depressing subject, RT Book Reviews described White Horse as “McCarthy’s The Road on hope steroids.” Hopefully without the shrunken testicles and backne.
Awake (NBC, 10/9c) – “Nightswimming”
Ratings aren’t good for Awake, so if you’ve been enjoying Jason Isaacs as Michael Britten, you’d better enjoy him while you can. Tonight Britten prepares for a move to Oregon with his wife, and helps a couple entering witness protection.
Touch (Fox, 9/8c) – “Lost and Found”
It’s more inexplicable connections between strangers and a frustrating lack of Kiefer Sutherland torturing anyone for information. I’m sorry, Kiefer, you’re a decent enough actor, but I’m afraid I simply can’t accept you in any non-torture-y roles. You were just so good at it.
Fringe (Fox, 9/8c) – “Letters of Transit”
This is supposedly the episode that will include huge hints at how a hypothetical fifth season would unfold, so tune in and pay attention. Tonight Fringe leaps ahead to the year 2036, with “the Fringe team and the Observers as participants in an epic battle.” Are they fighting each other? Are they united against some greater threat? If so, what could be a threat to the time-and-dimension-hopping Observers?
Alien Tornado (Syfy, 9/8c)
Alright, at this point I’m convinced that Syfy’s original programming department is generating movie concepts using software that randomly pairs unrelated words. They settled on “Alien Tornado” after first dismissing “Senatorial Banana” and “Flatulent Census.”
MythBusters (Discovery, 9/8c) – “The Battle of the Sexes”
The team pits man versus woman as they put five gender myths to the test. Hopefully, for Kari Byron’s sake, they’ll bring in a few other ladies to even out the sides. Lot of testosterone up in Mythbusters HQ.