Da Vinci’s Demons
Starz, Friday 10/9c
As near as I can tell, this new series from Man of Steel screenwriter David S. Goyer is basically going to be Assassin’s Creed II: The Show. I’m totally okay with that, so I’m hoping the show is good and can help fill the void that’s about to be left by the end of Starz’s Spartacus. Da Vinci’s Demons stars Tom Riley as a young, photogenic Leonardo Da Vinci as we explore the “untold story” of his life as a dashing inventor of things and a man far ahead of his time.
Da Vinci’s Demons is set during his early years in Renaissance Florence, and will have Da Vinci getting involved in all manner of intrigues, conspiracies, and power plays, caught up in the struggle between the schemes of the corrupt, elitist powers that be and his own desire to let reason and knowledge change the world. From the look of things, we’ll get to see plenty of the original Renaissance Man’s more incredible inventions. This is a guy who spent the 15th and 16th centuries conjuring up designs for such seemingly anachronistic creations as parachutes, machine guns, diving suits, and a friggin’ armored tank. If Da Vinci’s Demons can have as much fun with the character as the AC games did, you can bet I’ll be sticking with this one for the long haul.
The Making of Defiance (Syfy, 11/10c)
If you’re eager to check out the anomaly of an actual science fiction show appearing on Syfy, hopefully this behind-the-scenes special will make the remaining week before the premiere a little less painful.
Revolution (NBC, 10:01/9:01c) — “The Song Remains the Same”
Neville is no longer Monroe’s golden boy, and Rachel decides to split once again to try and restore power to the world, possibly using a hand-crank generator.
“Code White” by Scott Britz-Cunningham
Ali O’Day, a dedicated young neurosurgeon, might have a Nobel Prize in her future—if she can survive the next eleven hours.
Under the glare of live television cameras—and with her lover, Dr. Richard Helvelius, and her estranged husband, Kevin, both looking on—Ali is about to implant a revolutionary mini-computer into the brain of a blind boy. If it works, he will see again. But someone wants to stop her triumph. No sooner has she begun to operate than the hospital pagers crackle with the chilling announcement, “CODE WHITE.” A bomb has been found in the medical center.
But this is no ordinary bomb—and no ordinary bomber. As minutes tick off toward the deadline, Ali suspects that a vast, inhuman intellect lies behind the plot—and that she herself may be the true ransom demand.
Naked Lunch: Criterion Collection (Blu-Ray)
David Cronenberg’s deeply weird adaptation of William Burroughs’ deeply weird book is getting the snazzy Blu-ray Criterion treatment. Bonus features on the disk include audio commentary with Cronenberg and actor Peter Weller, a making-of documentary, an audio recording of Burroughs reading from his novel, and more.
Robot Combat League (Syfy, 10/9c) — “Wild Card Fight”
Sadly, this episode has nothing to do with the George R.R. Martin-edited shared-world superhero books. Instead the episode will see an eliminated team return as “wild cards” with a chance to win the $100,000 prize.
Sexy Evil Genius (DVD)
“A group of people are lured to the same bar in downtown Los Angeles by Nikki, an ex-girlfriend they all have in common. Beautiful, conniving and downright insane, Nikki has one last surprise in store for her ex-lovers…” This flick features several sci-fi staples, including Katee Sackhoff (Battlestar Galactica), Seth Green (Mass Effect, Robot Chicken), Anthony Michael Hall (The Dead Zone), and Harold Perrineau (Lost).
Womb (Blu-Ray & DVD)
Eleventh Doctor alert! Matt Smith stars with Eva Green (Casino Royale) as a man who is killed in a car accident shortly after rekindling a romance with Green’s character. Unwilling to accept his loss, she orders up a clone of him, which science fiction has taught as will always end well.
Nova (PBS, 9/8c) — “Australia’s First 4 Billion Years: The Awakening”
Tonight launches a four-part exploration of the continent’s strange landscape and history.
Of all the continents on Earth, none preserves a more spectacular story of our planet’s origins than Australia. NOVA’s four-part “Australia’s First 4 Billion Years” takes viewers on a rollicking adventure from the birth of the Earth to the emergence of the world we know today. With help from host and scientist Richard Smith, we meet titanic dinosaurs and giant kangaroos, sea monsters and prehistoric crustaceans, disappearing mountains and deadly asteroids. Epic in scope, intimate in nature, this is the untold story of the land “down under,” the one island continent that has got it all. Join NOVA on the ultimate Outback road trip, an exploration of the history of the planet as seen through the window of the Australian continent.
The Spies of Warsaw, Part Two (BBC America, 9/8c)
The second and final installment of this miniseries that casts David Tennant as an aristocratic World War II spy.
Cult (The CW, 9/8c) — “The Devil You Know”
“Stuart invites Roger to a weekend getaway. Meanwhile, Skye discusses the past with her mom over lunch.”
Eve of Destruction (Reelz, 8/7c)
A pair of scientists are working on a technology that could provide unlimited energy, but wouldn’t you know it, some eco-terrorists attack the experiment and accidentally create a black hole that could kill us all. Awkward.
Doctor Who (BBC America, 8/7c) — “Cold War”
The Doctor and Clara pop up inside a Russian nuclear sub in the year 1983. As if that wasn’t enough drama to deal with, they also soon discover that the sub is carrying an alien critter who is up to no good.,
Orphan Black (BBC America, 9/8c) — “Variation Under Nature”
Still pretending to be Beth, Sarah is assigned a new investigation: that of a body she herself buried.