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Happy Birthday To Firefly’s Morena Baccarin & Jewel Staite

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InaraKayleeWe’ve got not one but two Firefly-related birthdays happening today. We’re lighting (space) candles on a pair of (space) cakes for Morena Baccarin and Jewel Staite, who turn 34 and 32 today, respectively. GFR wishes you ladies a spectacular day!

Morena Baccarin is beloved by Firefly fans for playing the elegant companion Inara, one of several female members of the Firefly crew with a particular talent for putting Mal in his place. (It didn’t hurt that he was usually crushing on her pretty hard.) While Firefly is definitely the science fiction role she’s best known for, it’s hardly the only one Baccarin has played. After her stint on Joss Whedon’s sci-fi Western, she appeared as Adria, leader of the armies of the Ori, in Stargate SG-1 and the Stargate: The Ark of Truth TV movie. She was the deceptively beautiful leader of the Visitors in ABC’s V reboot, and she even voiced Black Canary in the Justice League cartoons. More recently, she played Jessica Brody, wife of the conflicted and traitorous Nicolas Brody on Showtime’s Homeland, and did further voice work as Talia al Ghul in the Son of Batman animated movie. We’ll always miss her love/hate banter with Mal the most…

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Farscape Celebrates 15 Years: Today In Science Fiction

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FarscapeMan, there’s nothing worse than your favorite shows making you feel oooooolllllllllld. At least the anniversary of Farscape, which premiered 15 years ago today on what was still then called the Sci-Fi Channel, isn’t quite as painful as the realization that it’s been over 20 years since Babylon 5’s pilot TV movie The Gathering first aired. Thankfully, while B5 continues to dwindle into obscurity because Warner Bros. refuses to put the damn thing on Netflix already, Farscape is available for streaming on both Netflix Instant and Amazon Prime Instant Video. If you’ve been meaning to give the show a look, what better time to start?

But even if you’re not feeling it after the first couple of episodes, just stick with it — trust me. I gave it only a couple of episodes initially before losing interest. Why was this show’s tone all over the map? What was with all the Muppets? Why was it all so…weird? Thankfully a few episodes down the line a friend talked me into giving it another shot, and that’s when I got well and truly hooked on a series that became one of my all-time favorites. And that weirdness? That’s one of the best things about the show.

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Marvel’s Assembling A Universe Special Is Tonight’s Must-See TV

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We’re currently about halfway through the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s so-called “Phase 2,” a grouping of movies that began with Iron Man 3 and will culminate in The Avengers: Age of Ultron in 2015. Along the way we saw Thor tussling with dark elves in The Dark World, and we’ve still yet to see this year’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy. If you’re craving every bit of information you can get about Marvel Studios’ future, you’ll definitely want to set the DVR for the Marvel Studios — Assembling a Universe TV special, which premieres tonight on ABC at 8/7c. Here’s a trailer.

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The Tomorrow People Evolves A New Time Slot, But Will It Be Enough To Survive?

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TomorrowMondays have become approximately 50 times less interesting now that Almost Human has wrapped up its first — and hopefully not final — season. Still, if you’re craving science fiction in any form tonight, you do have a few options. We’re not saying any of those options are very good, but hey, that’s network television for you.

The big news for the night is that The CW’s The Tomorrow People is shifting from its Wednesday-night berth after Arrow to Monday nights, pairing it with another freshman series, Star-Crossed. Shifting time slots often bode ill for a show that isn’t a breakout hit, and the fact that The Tomorrow People is moving in next to Star-Crossed, another show that isn’t exactly tearing up the ratings, is definitely telling. I’m not saying the two shows are dead on their feet, but I sure as hell won’t be surprised if both become one-season wonders. In the mean time, both shows remain “on the bubble” until The CW makes a yea or nay announcement. And honestly, I can’t see many people jumping into them at this point when they could instead wait a few weeks to find out if they have a future or not.

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Believe It Or Not, Believe Is Finally Hitting The Airwaves: Today In Science & Science Fiction

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BelieveDirector Alfonso Cuarón just recently took home an Oscar for Best Director, and his film Gravity cleaned up in other areas as well, winning seven Academy Awards, including Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, and Best Visual Effects. Needless to say, it’s a good time to be Alfonso Cuarón. Tonight Believe, a show co-created by Cuarón, premieres on NBC, and there’s one big question in the air: can Cuarón’s winning streak translate to the small screen?

Believe is playing around with a time-honored science fiction trope: an innocent female possessed of amazing powers, and those trying to protect her from the forces that would exploit them. We’ve seen it with River Tam in Firefly, and with Leeloo in The Fifth Element, just to name a couple This time around the innocent in question is Bo (Johnny Sequoyah), whose mental powers are only increasing as she ages. Filling out the other half of the equation is Tate (Jake McLaughlin), a wrongly convicted death row inmate who is broken out of prison and tasked by a mysterious group to protect Bo as if his life depended on it.

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Dean Stockwell Turns 78, Dr. Sam Beckett Still Hasn’t Returned Home: Today In Science Fiction

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AlIf you’re old enough to have been hooked on Quantum Leap back in the day, actor Dean Stockwell will always be the amusingly lecherous Al Calavicci. He was Dr. Sam Beckett’s guide through the timestream, tasked with helping Sam maintain his sanity and figure out why he had been dropped into a given time and place. He was also the comic relief to Scott Bakula’s straight-man Sam, forever arguing with Ziggy, ogling at any female that wandered into his field of vision, and delivering a barrage of double entendres whenever Sam found himself trapped inside a woman’s body. But Stockwell made Al more than just a vehicle for exposition and cheap jokes. At times his performance carried enormous emotional weight, especially during the leaps where Sam found himself involved in Al’s tragic past — he was held as a POW during the Vietnam War, during which time his wife believed him dead and remarried. Seriously, if you made it through the scene where he holographically danced with his wife to “Georgia on My Mind” without tearing up, you’re a cold-hearted monster. (Annoyingly, I can only find the clip in Spanish, but the feels are still there.)