Michael Crichton Would Have Turned 71: Today In Science & Science Fiction

By David Wharton | Updated

CrichtonMichael Crichton is one of those writers in the same camp as Philip K. Dick or Stephen King. It’s not that their style or material is similar at all, but rather that Hollywood has gone gaga over it throughout the years. How gaga? Here’s a list of movies and miniseries adapted from Critchton’s books: The Andromeda Strain, The Terminal Man, The Great Train Robbery, Jurassic Park (and its sequels), Rising Sun, Disclosure, Congo, Sphere, Coma, The 13th Warrior, and Timeline. And I’m sure I missed a few. Just as with Dick and King, most of those adaptations are forgettable, with a few true gems sprinkled among them. Still, Crichton is definitely one of the writers who had a huge impact on movies in the latter half of the 20th century, and without him we wouldn’t have gotten Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park, so we’ve got to thank the guy for that. Hell, he even wrote and directed Westworld in 1973. Crichton was born on this day in 1942, and passed away on November 4, 2008.

BehrIra Steven Behr (October 23, 1954)
Turning 60 today is veteran genre TV writer/producer Ira Steven Behr, pictured above with a blue goatee, because apparently that’s his thing. Beginning with Star Trek: The Next Generation, pretty much every other entry on Behr’s resume is a genre show. After having become a producer on TNG, he transitioned over to executive producer on Deep Space Nine for pretty much that show’s entire run. From there, he went on to work on James Cameron’s Dark Angel, the 2002 Twilight Zone resurrection hosted by Forest Whitaker, USA’s The 4400, and, most recently, Syfy’s Alphas. Happy birthday, Ira!

Today’s Television

Revolution (NBC, 8/7c) — “One Riot, One Ranger”

MYSTERIOUS SCIENCE IS ABOUND AND ALMOST NO ONE IS IMMUNE FROM SURPRISES – Aaron (Zak Orth) and Rachel (Elizabeth Mitchell) speculate on the extreme effects of Nano technology, while he also confides in Cynthia (Jessica Collins). Meanwhile a figure from Miles’s (Billy Burke) rugged past, Texas Ranger John Fry (Jim Beaver) reemerges. Fry could be Miles’ chance to bring down the Patriots in a big way, however Fry will need convincing. Charlie (Tracy Spiridakos) has a surprise for Miles and her mother, while Secretary Allenford (Nicole Ari Parker) holds a secret important to Neville (Giancarlo Esposito).

Nova (PBS, 9/8c) — ”Making Stuff Wilder”

What happens when scientists open up nature’s toolbox? In “Making Stuff Wilder,” David Pogue explores bold new innovations inspired by the Earth’s greatest inventor, life itself. From robotic “mules” and “cheetahs” for the military, to fabrics born out of fish slime, host David Pogue travels the globe to find the world’s wildest new inventions and technologies. It is a journey that sees today’s microbes turned into tomorrow’s metallurgists, viruses building batteries, and ideas that change not just the stuff we make, but the way we make our stuff. As we develop our own new technologies, what can we learn from billions of years of nature’s research?

The Tomorrow People (The CW, 9/8c) — “Girl, Interrupted”

GETTING INVOLVED — Stephen (Robbie Amell) reluctantly attends a party with Astrid (Madeleine Mantock), but is startled when he hears that one of his classmates is in peril. Desperate to help, Stephen turns to John (Luke Mitchell) and Cara (Peyton List), but they make it clear that they do not help humans. Stephen secretly tries to enlist Cara’s help, which brings up her own feelings about her traumatic past. Meanwhile, John gives Stephen a mission to infiltrate Ultra’s main computer to help give them an advantage in finding new break-outs.

How the Earth Works (Science, 10/9c) — “Will Iceland Poison the Skies?”

Martin and Liz explore Iceland to see if its volcanoes could spread global chaos in the future. Martin samples an insane motorsport on ashy slopes and Liz has the dive of a lifetime between the continental plates of North America and Europe.

Today’s Comics

FuturamaFuturama Comics #69 (Bongo Comics)

After too many years of running MomCorp without a soul, it’s finally Mom’s heart that is beginning to fail. But what is a multi-millionaire magnate supposed to do when her cryogenically frozen, designated organ donor is defrosted and delivering packages across the galaxy as part of the Planet Express crew?

Mass Effect: Foundation #4 (Dark Horse Comics)

Far away from Earth, on Gagarin Station — or “Brain Camp,” as its students call it — a young Kaidan Alenko undergoes his biotic training. During an exceptionally grueling lesson, Kaidan steps in to defend the lovely Rahna from the brutal Commander Vyrnnu — but his rash actions have tragic consequences!

TrekStar Trek #26 (IDW Publishing)

The conflict between the Klingon and Romulan Empires erupts, with Captain Kirk and the crew of the Enterprise trapped in the middle! Don’t miss the newest chapter of the ongoing series overseen by Star Trek Into Darkness writer/producer Roberto Orci!

Star Wars Legacy II #8 (Dark Horse Comics)

Ania Solo and Imperial Knight Jao’s search for Sith leads to the poisoned Mon Calamari homeworld of Dac — where their ship is boarded by pirates who have taken over the planet’s orbiting shipyards. Jao senses the dark side at work — especially when he and Ania are marked for death!

Sith, pirates, and the planet of the dead!