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Futurama And Doctor Who Launch Festive Marathons: Today In Science & Science Fiction

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FutureXWith this being the week of Christmas, it’s not surprising that the TV landscape is barren. If you’re not into watching It’s a Wonderful Life for the 800th time, your options are going to be seriously limited. Thankfully, GFR has got your back. While there’s not much of interest happening this week, there are marathons of two of our favorite shows, Doctor Who and Futurama.

First up is Futurama, which kicks off a short “mini-marathon” this afternoon at 4:56 p.m. Eastern time on Comedy Central. Curse their stubborn refusal to begin right on the hour. At any rate, beginning with the season 4 episode “Future Stock” you’ll get five episodes total. “Xmas Story” will air at 5:27 Eastern, followed by the series finale “Meanwhile” at 5:58 p.m., “A Tale of Two Santas” at 7:30 p.m., and “The Futurama Holiday Spectacular” at 8 p.m.

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Beyond Caesar: Our Eight Favorite Sci-Fi Primates

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Now that Matt Reeves’ upcoming Dawn of the Planet of the Apes has given us an ominous look into the future of Caesar and his army of apes with the film’s first trailer, we’ve got apes on the brain. But I swear we don’t have the Simian Flu! While we’ve still got some time to go before we take a trip to that planet, let’s take a vine-swing down memory lane for a visit with eight of the most memorable primates science fiction has given us. If you’ve got some other examples that we didn’t get to, they’re more than invited to swing with us. It was just starting to smell really bad is all. (And yes, we intentionally avoided all references to the Planet films.) Somebody toss out a banana, for away we go.

2001 tribe leaderTribe Leader (2001: A Space Odyssey)
It’s impossible to hear the song “Also sprach Zarathustra” without thinking of Stanley Kubrick’s seminal sci-fi film 2001: A Space Odyssey. And it is in turn impossible not to think of that film without remembering the epic prehistoric opening sequence that either blew your mind or made you want to blow your brains out. Say what you will, of the millions of violent acts that have been portrayed on film, few have managed to pack as much subtext and importance as those that occur once the Monolith enters the picture. And it’s when our friend seen above throws his prize bone into the air that the movie begins its trippy trek into the world of HAL and Dave. Put your dukes up for the all-out battle seen below.

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Cross The Streams: Futurama’s Last Episodes And Teenage Mutant Ninja Rappers Will Rule Your Week

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Everyone stop what you’re doing and pay very close attention! Today’s Cross the Streams, beyond a slew of awesome space-related material, has brought a true celebrity to the proceedings. I’m not talking Tom Cruise or Nick Frost. I’m talking Vanilla Ice. Go ninja, go ninja, go! It doesn’t get better than this, folks. But first…

FuturamaWeddingFuturama: Season 10 (Netflix Instant)
Sad news, everyone! Futurama is no more, since the powers that be at Comedy Central were perfectly happy to piss fans off by splitting two seasons up over multiple years and then cancelling it. But now the entire series is available to watch on Netflix now that the second part of the seventh season has been added. (Pay no attention to that “10th season” business.) While it has its share of weak moments, this half-season marked the return of Calculon, Günter the monkey, and Fry’s dog. There are also spoofs of Scooby-Doo and G.I. Joe, Flatland references and a series finale that is touching, interesting, and hilarious all at once, and which features one of the strangest weddings in TV history. R.I.P. Futurama, until FXX or IFC decides to put forth the money to bring it back once more.

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Futurama: Our 32 Favorite Moments

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futuramaSince first premiering in 1999, Futurama has become a touchstone for comedy and animation over the last 14 years. Although it was originally canceled in 2003, it made a comeback in 2007 with the first of four straight-to-DVD movies: Bender’s Big Score, The Beast with a Billion Backs, Bender’s Game, and Into the Wild Green Yonder. The DVD sales of the Futurama movies were so positive that Comedy Central picked up the airing rights and ordered more episodes of the animated series. In mid-2010, Futurama officially returned to television with its sixth season.

This past year, Futurama was canceled again after three years and two seasons that were split into two parts on the cable network. At first it seemed that the new episodes were a bit shaky when compared to the classic episodes. However, once Futurama found its groove, the writers produced some of the animated series’ greatest and most creative episodes, especially with its series finale, “Meanwhile.” Although the series’ executive producers Matt Groening and David X. Cohen have no plans to mount another Futurama revival at this point, the crew of the Planet Express delivery service will live on in comic book form.

Now that all seven seasons of Futurama are available on DVD and Netflix streaming (yes, every episode of Futurama is on Netflix!!), Nick Venable and I decided to put together a list of our 31 favorite Futurama moments from 140 episodes that were aired over the last 14 years. Here we go!

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A Giant Freakin’ Thanksgiving 2013

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Brent’s Thankful For…

AHumanAlmost Human
Fringe may be dead and buried, but showrunner J.H. Wyman wasted no time getting back on the broadcasting horse with his new robo-buddy-cop series Almost Human. On the surface these two shows have little in common aside from their procedural nature and sci-fi leanings, but the two are similar in the way they approach the well-worn tropes of a cop drama and use speculative fiction to turn them on their head. We’re only three episodes into our relationship with Almost Human, and I don’t want to jump the gun, but guys, this could be the one. There’s a grim future, mismatched partners who push each other, sex ‘bots, mysterious criminal networks, and action. What else can you ask for? This year we’re definitely thankful that there’s good, gritty sci-fi on TV, and that we get to see Karl Urban (Dredd) on a weekly basis.

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

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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.