In theaters Friday
Even if Prometheus didn’t find director Ridley Scott returning to the Alien universe that made him a household name, it would still be the biggest science fiction event of the week. Even if you don’t like Scott’s Alien and/or Blade Runner (and yes, those people are out there), there’s no question that he’s had an enormous impact on both the cinematic genre and on filmmaking as a whole. Set in the late 21st century, Prometheus follows the crew of the titular vessel as they travel to a distant world in search of more information about mankind’s origins. How do the mysterious “space jockey” aliens figure into that conundrum? What do they really want from us? And will we find out how that crashed space jockey vessel wound up on LV-426? I have no idea, and I’m doing my darnedest to continue having no idea, right up until I purchase my ticket and plant ass in seat later this week. Early reviews are mixed, but our own Josh Tyler gives Prometheus four out of five stars. Just remember, in space no one can hear you scream, but in the theater they can hear just fine, so keep it down, will ya?
E3 2012 Live: Day 1 (G4, 3/2c)
If you’re a gamer and can’t wait for all the videos and presentations to show up online, you can watch much of the E3 coverage on G4 starting today. (Assuming you can actually get G4…) Expect news about HALO 4 and more.
Eureka (Syfy, 9/8c) – “Ex-Machina”
Fargo attempts to retrieve Holly’s consciousness from virtual Eureka, but a security program is standing in his way.
“Amped” by Daniel H. Wilson
The writer of Robopocalypse is back, this time imagining a near-future world where a new device can grant people extraordinary powers. Unfortunately, this also creates a new underclass and generates new laws as society scrambles to deal with the dramatic changes.
“The Broken Universe” by Paul Melko
Following up on Melko’s previous novel, The Walls of the Universe, The Broken Universe follows a group of “universe-hopping entrepreneurs” who attempt to forge a “transdimensional company.” Imagine the paperwork…
Fact of Faked: Paranormal Files (Syfy, 9/8c) – “Florida Woodland UFO/Black Forest Entity”
The team investigates UFOs in Florida and purported hauntings in Colorado.
Falling Skies: The Complete First Season (Blu-Ray and DVD)
If you missed this surprisingly good show when it premiered under the radar last summer, this is the perfect time to catch up on the show about a ragtag human resistance trying to get by in the aftermath of an alien invasion. Season two premieres on Sunday, June 17th on TNT.
Inversion (Xbox 360, Playstation 3)
After Earth is attacked by aliens using gravity-controlling weapons, a young cop must use the enemies’ weapons against them in a quest to track down his missing child. This one has some interesting gameplay concepts, but it hasn’t been generating much buzz, so make it a rental or wait for a reviews before you throw down sixty bucks.
Hollywood Treasure (Syfy, 10/9c) – “Hunger for District 12”
One of the few Syfy “reality” shows that I’m thoroughly addicted to, Hollywood Treasure follows California appraiser Joe Maddalena as he tracks down rare Hollywood memorabilia for auction. Tonight’s episode features a visit to the site that served as “District 12” in the Hunger Games movie.
John Carter (Blu-ray, DVD, and On Demand)
Sadly, most moviegoers didn’t give John Carter a shot in theaters, so we’re hoping it will find an audience on DVD. While it’s far from a perfect movie, it is good old-fashioned fun.
“Judgment at Proteus” by Timothy Zahn
Zahn, who penned the acclaimed “Thrawn Trilogy” of Star Wars novels way back when, is back to wrap up the Quadrail series, which began with 2005’s Night Train to Rigel. Here’s the description from Amazon:
In Timothy Zahn’s Judgment at Proteus, the Quadrail that connects the twelve civilizations of our galaxy has been the flashpoint of a battle for dominance fought mostly unnoticed by humankind. But Frank Compton of Earth, aided by the enigmatic woman Bayta, has fought on the front lines, using every bit of his human ingenuity and secret agent skills to outwit the Modhri, a group intelligence that would control the minds of every sentient being it can touch.
Following a trail of deception and death to Proteus Station, Compton has discovered a conspiracy that threatens all life in the galaxy: the Shonkla’raa, an ancient enemy thought to be long dead, is rising again. So serious is the danger that the Modhri, the enemy of his enemy, may now be his friend, as the burgeoning threat of a race of invincible soldiers emerges.
If Compton and Bayta can’t stop them, the Shonkla’raa will decimate all who oppose them, destroying the Quadrail and billions of lives throughout the galaxy.
“Redshirts” by John Scalzi
The author of Old Man’s War takes a look at the perils of space through the eyes of one of the galaxy’s most imperiled sub-classes: the lowly, red-shirted Ensign Andrew Dahl. Think the Sam Rockwell storyline from Galaxy Quest only expanded into a novel.
The Twilight Zone: The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
The classic series is surprisingly pretty when spiffed up for Blu-ray, but far more important are the stories, many of which have become indelible pop-culture milestones. If you don’t already have The Twilight Zone in your personal collection, this one is submitted for your approval…
Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman (Science, 10/9c) – “Is There a Superior Race?”
The Man Who Narrates Everything is your guide through the Big Questions in this returning series. In tonight’s episode, the question is posed as to whether there really is a “superior race”…and what the implications might be of creating one. Khaaaaaaannn!!!
TRON: Uprising (Disney XD, 9/8c) – “The Renegade, Part 1”
Set between the original film and TRON: Legacy, Uprising features gorgeous design work and a solid voice cast. But will it live up to its potential? Watch the first episode online and decide for yourself.
Safety Not Guaranteed (In Theaters, Limited Release)
The big SF release hitting theaters this week is obviously Prometheus, but this little flick might be worth seeking out if it’s playing in your area. Based on an infamous classified ad that went viral a few years back, Safety Not Guaranteed follows three magazine employees sent to investigate an ad seeking assistants for a trip back in time.
Stephen Hawking’s Grand Design (Discovery, 8/7c) – “The Meaning of Life”
If you prefer a brainier host than Morgan Freeman, check out this new series that examines such tiny, inconsequential subjects as the Meaning of Life.
Stephen Hawking’s Grand Design (Discovery, 9/8c) – “The Key to the Cosmos”
This second episode examines string theory and the laws of the universe. No actual, gigantic cosmic keys will be involved, although that would be awesome.
MythBusters (Discovery, 9/8c) – “Duel Dilemmas”
Synopsis info for this episode is annoyingly hard to come by as I’m putting this column together, so I’m just going to speculate that they’re investigating myths about pistol duels and something will probably blow up. Or something. (I got nothin’…)