Fringe Faces The End Of All Things This Week In Science Fiction
No, despite the title, this isn’t the season/series finale. It is, however, the last episode before their winter hiatus. Here’s the official synopsis, which somehow manages to take up 15 words without providing any actual information. The Fringe team should investigate that mystery. “Peter and the Fringe team take extraordinary measures in an attempt to stop life-threatening events.” There’s still no word on whether Fringe will be returning for another season, so we’d best enjoy this wonderful show while we still can. After a rocky pilot, the show has grown into something reminiscent of the best of Warren Ellis, mixing insane scientific concepts with grotesqueries, bleak humor, and a marvelous cast of characters. Hell, Joshua Jackson has even managed to erase all memories of Pacey from my mind. Watch Fringe while you still can! (And be sure to check out Saralyn’s weekly Fringe episode recaps!)
Alcatraz (Fox, 9/8c) — “Johnny McKee”
Madsen and Hauser are on the trail of a murderous chemist who plans to unleash poison attacks on the city. In related news, I think I’ve finally figured out what Alcatraz needs to shake this tedious “inmate-of-the-week” syndrome. The convicts need to start adopting Batman-style costumes and codenames. This guy could be Dr. Chlorine or something like that.
Battle Beyond the Stars (Available on Netflix Instant Watch)
I have not seen this movie in probably 25 years, so I’m guessing my fond memories of it will be dashed by any future viewings. Nevertheless, the Roger Corman SF cult classic, inspired by Seven Samurai/The Magnificent Seven is now available on Netflix. Revisit at your own peril, but I think curiosity may just get the better of me.
“Inside” by Maria V. Snyder
This edition collects both volumes of Snyder’s “Inside” series — Inside Out and Outside In — between the same cover. The books, targeted at the young adult market, are set in a dystopian world where the world has fallen into the familiar divide between the haves and the have-nots. Trella is a “Scrub,” tasked with cleaning the pipes and air vents that provide the wealthy residents of “Inside” with fresh, clean air. After meeting a mysterious stranger known as Broken Man, Trella begins a quest to find the portal between Inside and her world. [see cover art]
The River (ABC, 9/8c) — “A Better Man”
Still on the trail of the missing Emmet, the crew of the Magus finally finds a solid lead: one of Emmet’s cohorts, still alive and kicking. Unfortunately, he’s also been stricken with a terrible curse. Ain’t that always the way?
Timecop (Available on Netflix Instant Watch)
Netflix’s Instant Watch catalogue is, if nothing else, a great place to revisit old shows you had forgotten existed. Case in point: they’ve just added this 1999 series adaptation of the Jean-Claude Van Damme movie that had previously vanished entirely from my memories.
WWE Smackdown: Supersmackdown Live #3 (Syfy, 8/7c)
Ha ha, just kidding. Why the hell would a network devoted to science fiction be showing wrestling? That would just be silly.
Face Off (Syfy, 10/9c) — “Alien Interpreters”
LeVar Burton guest stars and invites the contestants to take a look, it’s in a book, a reading rainbow. Actually they’re making aliens this week. But the Reading Rainbow thing still might happen.
Prophets of Science Fiction (Science, 10/9c) — “Jules Verne”
The rather fun documentary series turns its lens on the man who took us to the center of the Earth, from the Earth to the Moon, 20,000 leagues under the sea, and around the world in 80 days. Not to mention, he provided Doc Brown’s sons with their names.
Person of Interest (CBS, 9/8c) — “Risk”
Reese goes undercover as a wealthy investor in order to investigate his latest POI, an investment banker. We should probably expect bailout references or “the 1%” commentary of some sort.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars (Cartoon Network, 8/7c) — “Massacre”
“Count Dooku is determined to have revenge against the Nightsisters of Dathmoir after their betrayal. General Grievous launches an all-out droid attack against the magic-wielding witches, and Mother Talzin and Asajj Ventress lead the defense with all the dark powers at their command.” And I have no idea what about 85% of that means.
An Idiot Abroad (Science, 10/9c) — “Route 66″
Karl travels to America to experience one of the most famous stretches of road in the world first-hand.
Comic Book Men (AMC, 10/9c) — “Episode 3″
Bryan directs the shop’s first ever commercial (isn’t this whole series basically a commercial for the shop?) and a customer brings in “a fanboy’s dream.” Boy, that leaves a lot open to interpretation, and many of those interpretations could get very disturbing…
Stephen Hawking’s Sci-Fi Masters (Science, 10/9c) — “The Awakening”
They don’t go out of their way to advertise this, but this series is just the Masters of Science Fiction anthology series from 2007. Each episode is based on a science fiction short story by one of the genre’s masters. This week, the show adapts Howard Fast’s story about an alien message of peace that may be nothing of the sort. Lost‘s Terry O’Quinn stars.
The Walking Dead (AMC, 9/8c) — “18 Miles Out”
“The appearance of an outsider puts Rick and Shane at odds; Hershel’s youngest daughter faces a momentous decision and Andrea steps in to help.” Wait…when have Rick and Shane <I>not</I> been at odds? Either way, there’s only four episodes left in the season, so let’s hope they’re more eventful than the first two-thirds of the season.