There's pretty much only one big science fiction show on the schedule for this week: the long-awaited return of Battlestar Galactica on Sci Fi. And the other big news of the week is Spike's huge Star Wars marathon, including the first time one of the prequels has ever been televised. But there's some other worthwhile stuff going on, including a decent Torchwood, the end of Legion of Superheroes, and a major turning point for the animated Transformers. Oh, and you can learn how to live to be 150. What can television not do for us? Minor spoilers ahead.
Tonight, there's a new New Amsterdam on Fox at 9 PM. John investigates the death of a young man who resembles the son he lost in the early 1900s, and he starts questioning his past actions and the consequences they have on the people around him.
Also, FX is showing Terminator 3 at 8 PM, in case you want to compare its timeline with that of The Sarah Connor Chronicles.
It's also worth mentioning that as you read this, the Sci Fi Channel is having a Battlestar Galactica marathon that's going to carry on all week, from 8 AM to 6 PM every day. For some reason, the only episodes Sci Fi isn't showing are the first miniseries and the start of season one. Why, Lords of Kobol, why?
Tuesday, Nova investigates the possibility of life on Saturn's moon Titan, with "Voyage To The Mystery Moon," on PBS at 8 PM. (Check your local listings.) And in the companion website, NASA's Carolyn Porco (an advisor to the new Star Trek movie) discusses the water plume on another moon, Enceladus. And in case you need more Moon action, some PBS stations are also showing a rerun of American Experience: Race To The Moon.
And at 9 PM, the History Channel features a new The Universe, all about "Nebulas," which are the "crown jewels" of the universe, and the places where stars are born and die.
But that's not the end of Tuesday's science fictional documentary action. At 10 PM, ABC News has a special called Live To Be 150... Can You Do It? The bad news: Barbara Walters is going to live to be 150 as well, and she'll keep lisping at you from the nursing home TV set.
During the day, AMC is showing Escape From The Planet of the Apes, followed by Beneath The Planet of the Apes and the Poseidon Adventure. It all starts at 8 AM. And in the evening, FX has Terminator 3 again, followed by The Day After Tomorrow.
I'm not going to make any snarky comments about how Flip That House should be considered science fiction in today's housing market.
Wednesday there's more documentary action with a new UFO Hunters on the History Channel at 10. This time around, it's "Alien Contact." We meet people who claim to have had intimate contact with aliens, and then the experts determine what, if anything, really happened. Somehow it lasts a whole hour.
And at 1 AM Weds. morning, AMC has Species. Although honestly, I'm sort of intrigued by the probably-not-scifi Mother, May I Sleep With Danger?, on Oxygen at the same time. Also, at 8 PM, FX has Terminator 2. And The Day After Tomorrow is on FX once again, at 5:30 PM.
Thursday there are Smallville and Lost reruns. It's your chance to get caught up on Smallville, if you've been skipping it. This is the episode featuring superhero Black Canary as a New Wave, knife-throwing, leaping Ann Coulter clone. That's got to be worth a look, right?
And for those of you who telecommute or have a TV in your office, AMC is at it again, with Enemy Mine followed by The Thing, starting at 8 AM. And then at 5 PM, AMC has Terminator 2 again. Also, FX has Jonathan Demme's Manchurian Candidate twice, at 8 and 11 PM.
At midnight, FX is showing White Chicks, possibly the most disturbing scifi movie of all time.
And then on Friday at 10 PM, you finally remember why you even own a television set. Battlestar Galactica returns to Sci Fi with "He That Believeth In Me." The episode picks up right where season three ended, and it's a pretty intense ride from beginning to end. To recap: Starbuck is back from the dead and claims she's been to Earth. Two beloved characters, and two not-so-beloved ones, have turned out to be Bob Dylan-loving Cylons. And the other Cylons are about to trash the humans once and for all. Here's a promo clip:
Meanwhile, Spike has the basic cable premiere of Star Wars Episode 1 at 8 PM, part of a Star Wars marathon that carries on this weekend and next weekend.
Also, AMC has the original Planet of the Apes at 11 PM and FX is once again showing the retina-scorching White Chicks at 9.
Saturday morning, there's the final ever episode of Legion of Superheroes, "Dark Victory Part 2," at 9:30 on CW, followed by a new Spectacular Spider-Man, featuring the Rhino. And then at 10:30 on Cartoon Network, there's a new Transformers Animated: "Megatron Rising, Part 2." Which sounds like good news for Megatron, and maybe not such great news for Optimus Prime. The Autobots fail to protect Earth from the Decepticons, and have to fight harder than ever to safeguard the Allspark.
And then in the evening, Torchwood bounces back from its circus lowpoint, with a really quite decent episode. Gwen is determined to investigate the disappearance of a teenager, even after Jack tells her to leave it alone. What she discovers makes her see Torchwood in a whole new light. That's on BBC America at 9 PM.
Meanwhile, Spike continues its celebration of having bought the rights to the Star Wars movies, re-running The Phantom Menace at 5 PM and then showing the basic cable premiere of Attack of the Clones at 8 PM.
And on Sunday, Spike finishes its first weekend of Star Wars, showing Clones again at 4:30, followed by the broadcast premiere of Revenge of the Sith at 8 PM. And here's a nifty trailer: