Star Trek: TNG Boldly Goes Blu This Week in Science Fiction
Star Trek: The Next Generation – Season One
(On Blu-Ray Tuesday)
I’ve spent the past couple of months slowly making my way through Star Trek: The Next Generation via Netflix, and it’s been an interesting experience. While many aspects of the haven’t aged terribly well, it’s been surprising how many good episodes I’ve discovered that I only slightly remembered from their original airings, back when I was but a wee lad. Then again, there are some real stinkers, too (“The Naked Now”). If you’ve been wanting to make a return visit to Picard and company, now you’ve got a better excuse than ever before, because Star Trek: The Next Generation – Season One hits Blu-ray tomorrow.
The show has been remastered from the original 35mm film, and it’s never looked better. Aside from impressive improvements to sharpness, color, and detail, the team behind the Blu-Rays have also replaced many of the dated, low-res special effects. While season one is still easily the weakest of the show’s run, there are still plenty of gems to be found on this set: “The Big Goodbye,” “Skin of Evil,” and an episode I’m still annoyed that they never followed up on, “Conspiracy.” And I still get choked up at McCoy’s cameo in “Encounter at Farpoint.”
Star Trek: The Next Generation – Season One is still available on Amazon for a pre-order discount price of $59.99. You can also read our full review of the set right here.
Alphas (Syfy, 10/9c) – “Wake Up Call”
Eureka bowed out last week, and tonight one of Syfy’s best original shows returns, no doubt chockablock with superheroics and twisty conspiracies. In the second-season opener, the team is reassembled in response to a hostage situation. This season is serving up several exciting guest stars, including the lovely Summer Glau and Samwise himself, Sean Astin.
Warehouse 13 (Syfy, 9/8c) – “A New Hope”
It will be interesting to see what course this show’s fourth season charts, seeing as how last season ended with the destruction of the titular warehouse. All the synopsis has to offer is that the team races around the globe in search of a dangerous artifact. Now with added Brent Spiner!
Destination Truth (Syfy, 9/8c) – “Alien Invaders/Swedish Lake Monster”
I don’t know if clumsily hunting aliens can be nearly as entertaining as clumsily hunting monsters in faraway jungles. But at least they’re throwing in a lake monster to tide me over.
“Technomancer (Unspeakable Things: Book One),” by B.V. Larson
A new kind of alien invasion…
When Quentin Draith wakes up in a private sanatorium, he has no memory of who he is or how he received the injuries riddling his body. All he knows is that he has to get out, away from the drugs being pumped into him and back to the real world to search for answers. His first question: How did his friend Tony’s internal organs fill with sand, killing him in a Las Vegas car crash?
After a narrow escape, he tracks down the basic facts: he is an investigator and blogger specializing in the supernatural—which is a good thing, because Quentin’s life is getting stranger by the minute. It seems he is one of a special breed, a person with unusual powers. He’s also the prime suspect in a string of murders linked by a series of seemingly mundane objects. The deeper he digs and the harder he works to clear his name, the more Quentin realizes that some truths are better off staying buried…
Futurama (Comedy Central, 10/9c) – “The Six Million Dollar Mon”
Well, right off the bat, I feel the need to award the Futurama peeps some sort of trophy for that title. Tonight’s episode finds Hermes deciding he can’t keep up with machines, so he decides to start replacing his body parts with cybernetics.
Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman (Science, 10/9c) – “Mysteries of the Subconscious”
Tonight’s episode examines, well, the subconscious. Specifically things such as “snap decisions,” where we seem to be acting on instinct without having time to consciously examine the situation. Like when you fumble a butcher knife while working in the kitchen, and your hand goes to grab it before you realize what’s happening. Boom, twenty stitches. Stupid subconscious…
Misfits (Logo, 10/9c) – “Episode Two”
If you like Syfy’s Alphas, give this import from across the pond a chance. Tonight one of the Misfits discovers that people other than them were affected by the storm that gave them their powers. Best part: if you get hooked on Misfits, the show has already aired its third season in the U.K., so there’s plenty more to come.
The Watch (In theaters)
Formerly entitled The Neighborhood Watch before the Trevon Martin incident forced the studio to do some quick P.R. realignment, The Watch finds Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill, and The I.T. Crowd‘s Richard Ayoade as a well-intentioned band of neighborhood defenders. They’re totally out of their depth, however, when they discover their suburban streets are ground zero for an alien invasion. Based on the trailers, this one could go either way. If it sucks, well, at least we can go back and watch episodes of The I.T. Crowd.
Dark Matters: Twisted But True (Science, 10/9c) – “Dr. Lobotomy, Voodoo Rx, Killed by Kindness”
Fringe‘s John Noble is our tour guide through the odd, with stopovers in the land of lobotomies and geneticist George Price’s studies of altruism.
The Nerdist: Comic-Con/ Tribute to Toys and Games (BBC America, 9/8c)
Nerdist podcast host Chris Hardwick is back with not one, but two Nerdist TV specials, one dedicated to the recently wrapped event known to some as the Nerd Prom, and a second special focusing on the sort of merchandise that likely caused some Con-goers to max out their credit cards.
The Philadelphia Experiment (Syfy, 9/8c)
I actually have some fond memories of the 1984 movie exploring the alleged happenings aboard the U.S.S. Eldridge during an experiment to render it invisible. This Syfy version is actually a sequel of sorts, beginning when a secret government experiment brings back the Eldridge from wherever it had vanished to back in 1943…and people soon wish they’d left it there. It’s up to the sole survivor (The X-Files‘ Nicholas Lea) of the original Philadelphia Experiment to save the day.
William Shatner’s Get a Life! (Epix, 8/7c)
Riffing off Shatner’s famous Saturday Night Live dig at the fanboys, this new documentary finds The Shat looking back at the legacy of Star Trek and why it inspires such passion in its fans. Check out the trailer: