Saucer Country Touches Down And Ben Browder Visits Doctor Who This Week In Science Fiction
Saucer Country (Vertigo)
On comic shelves and digital formats on Wednesday
Tired of hearing about nothing but politics no matter where you turn? Why not distract yourself from the weary trudge toward election day with the far more enjoyable story of a state governor who is faced with the greatest challenge of her life: the belief that she was abducted by aliens. New Mexico Governor Arcadia Alvarado is a rising star in the political arena, and she’s the leading candidate to run as the next Democratic nominee for President of the United States. But when she begins to recall strange events that happened on a lonely stretch of rural highway, her staff is left trying to figure out how to cover up or spin the fact that their candidate, in every other way a normal and respectable politician, is absolutely convinced that she was abducted by aliens for some unknown purpose. If the story were to leak, it could ruin her career, but there’s an even more daunting possibility: what if she’s right?
Saucer Country‘s seventh issue hits comic store shelves this week, so it’ll still be easy to catch up if you haven’t already discovered Saucer Country. The series is being penned by Hugo-nominated British writer Paul Cornell, also known for several novels and for writing the Doctor Who episodes “The Family of Blood,” “Human Nature,” and “Father’s Day.” He’s in fine form in Saucer Country, penning a very down-to-Earth look at an out-of-this-world premise. The mystery of Arcadia’s abductions and the motives of her abductors are intriguing and addictive, but the series’ political side also entertains, using the far-fetched concept as a lens through which to satire the modern political landscape and the 24-hour news cycle. Saucer Country is highly recommended, and it’s our SF Pick of the Week.
Alphas (Syfy, 8/7c) – “Gods and Monsters”
“A young Alpha exhibits dangerous mind-control skills, providing further proof of Parish’s malicious intentions. Parish and Rosen then have a confrontation.” Does the young Alpha look like Patrick Stewart? Because we could have a crossover on our hands.
Warehouse 13 (Syfy, 9/8c) – “Endless Wonder”
“Pete and Myka face a curious executive from a drug company as they deal with a pill that may increase people’s height. Meanwhile, Artie, Steve and Claudia follow Brother Adrian to the place where he’s hiding.” I’m guessing this one has something to do with either Lewis Carroll or Jefferson Airplane.
Collection Intervention (Syfy, 10/9c) — “No More Arigato, Mr. Roboto”
One of the show’s hoarders has a thing for Japanese robots; the other needs a visit from Battlestar Galactica‘s Richard Hatch to help shake his collection addiction.
Doctor Who: Planet of Giants (DVD)
The TARDIS malfunctions and lands on 1960s Earth…with just one problem. The Doctor (William Hartnell) and his companions — Ian, Barbara, and Susan — soon realize both they and the TARDIS have been shrunk, Rick Moranis style.
Doctor Who: Vengeance on Varos Special Edition (DVD)
The Doctor’s adventures hitting DVD today have a theme: TARDIS malfunctions. “Vengeance on Varos” finds the Sixth Doctor and companion Peri forced to land on the planet Varos. Unfortunately they land in a place with the ominous name of “the Punishment Dome.” I’d have steered around that one, me.
Face Off (Syfy, 9/8c) — “Alice in Zombieland”
There’s nothing TV networks love more than a marketing tie-in. Tonight Syfy’s makeup competition rides the coattails of the upcoming Resident Evil: Retribution with a zombie challenge and an appearance by Resident director Paul W.S. Anderson.
Fringe: Beyond the Fringe (DC Entertainment)
Craving more Fringe but can’t wait until the September 28th premiere date? Sate yourself with this comics collection containing several stories of the Fringe-verse, including a look at what happened between seasons three and four penned by none other than Peter Bishop himself, actor Joshua Jackson.
Terra Nova (DVD)
Fox’s ambitious, Spielberg-produced epic joins the ranks of the many, many one-season-then-canceled SF series that came before. While the show rapidly became a punching bag for critics, I’m sure there are folks out there that enjoyed Terra Nova. So here you go, TN fans! Granted, it’s not even getting a Blu-ray release, which is kind of a dick move in this day and age…
Doctor Who Annual 2012 (IDW Publishing)
The new Who annual includes stories by “legendary writer-editor Len Wein, Doctor Who novelist Richard Dinnick, and writer Tony Lee, with art by Matthew Dow Smith, and Mitch Gerads.” It also sets up a new ongoing comic series focusing on the further exploits of the Eleventh Doctor, to be penned by writer Andy Diggle (Hellblazer, Daredevil).
The Master (In theaters Friday)
While the production has repeatedly denied that Paul Thomas Anderson’s new film is based on the founding of Scientology by pulp science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard…there do seem to be several suspicious similarities, not least that actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman looks a bit like Hubbard. Covert biopic or pure coincidence? Either way, I look forward to watching what may or may not be the story of how one man turned a science fiction career into the founding of an entire freakin’ religion.
Resident Evil: Retribution (In theaters Friday)
Yes, they made another one. No, it’s probably not going to be any better than the previous ones. Yes, a bunch of Resident Evil fans are going to see it anyway. And wait a minute, I just realized there are two movies directed by “Paul Anderson”s opening today. That has to mean something, doesn’t it?
Doctor Who (BBC America, 9/8c) – “A Town Called Mercy”
Ben Browder alert, people! The man who played Farscape‘s John Crichton is entering the Whoniverse, and he’s sporting a truly epic moustache. It’s the sort of moustache that would kill a lesser man, but not Ben Browder. He carries it with a swagger in his step and a cloud of testosterone in his wake. Now if only the Doctor would invite him along in the TARDIS for a season or two or twenty-five.