Alien’s Screenwriter Was Born And Serenity Hit Theaters: Today In Science Fiction

By David Wharton | 8 years ago

DanWe’re trying something a little different here at GFR. Rather than the regular “This Week in Science Fiction” column, I’m going to be doing daily (or semi-daily) updates highlighting not just what’s going on in film, TV, comics, and the rest, but noteworthy science fiction landmarks on this date in earlier years. Here we go!

Legendary science fiction screenwriter Dan O’Bannon (seen above) was born on September 30, 1946. If the name doesn’t ring a bell, O’Bannon is the chap who wrote the script for a little-seen flick called Alien. Along with director Ridley Scott and artist H.R. Giger, he helped shape the foundation of a franchise that continues being explored to this day. That credit alone would earn him a place in sci-fi history, but he also co-wrote Total Recall and the cult-classic Dark Star (the latter penned with director John Carpenter). O’Bannon passed away in 2009 at the far-too-young age of 63.

The film follow-up to Joss Whedon’s beloved but short-lived Firefly opened in theaters on this date in 2005. Sadly, it failed to spawn a successful film franchise, but it did provide fans some small amount of closure, even if that closure involved ripping our hearts out and doing a happy dance on top of them. Thankfully, there’s a happier coda coming our way: Dark Horse Comics has announced a new, in-canon Serenity comic series that will pick up after the events of the movie, following in the same template as the successful post-finale Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel comics. Here’s the official synopsis:

As the series begins, Mal and the crew are recouping from their recent strike against the sinister interplanetary government, The Alliance, in which they exposed government agencies as those responsible for the creation of the Reavers — the scourge of the universe. With River Tam in the co-pilot chair and a very pregnant Zoe reeling from the death of her husband, Wash, Mal is finding himself and his ship in greater danger than ever.

Monsters Inside Me (Animal Planet, 9/8c) — “The Flesh-Eating Monster”
The boob tube is pretty barren when it comes to science or science fiction tonight. If you’re not squeamish, this dry-heave-inducing series tonight follows a woman who thinks she has the flu, but instead gets a much more ooky diagnosis. (And yes, “ooky” is an official doctorly term that I learned watching Grey’s Anatomy in medical school.

Check back tomorrow for new episodes of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Person of Interest!