TV Wasteland: Who’s Coming Back - Mania.com



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TV Wasteland: Who’s Coming Back

Matt Smith takes the Tardis for another spin

By Rob Vaux     August 22, 2011


Doctor Who (Matt Smith) returns again to the TV Wasteland
© BBC America/Bob Trate

 

Doctor Who returns to our fair shores once again, for the conclusion of Series 6 of the reboot (which is actually Series 40 bajillion or thereabouts for the world’s longest-running science fiction series). Good news for Whovians and sci-fi fans in general. As summer series begin to wind down, there will be a bit of a pause until the fall season and a healthy dose of Time Lord goodness feels like the perfect way to fill the gap. With Matt Smith now firmly ensconced in the role, the show seems to be firing on all cylinders. The new episode, which features the Doctor facing the possibility of killing Adolf Hitler, sounds terrific: hopefully leading the way for a strong run this September.
As always, Mania’s officially sanctioned Doctor Who blog – “Confessions of a Neowhovian” – has all the action on the good Doctor. Check it out at www.neowhovian.com . Doctor Who kicks back into high gear on BBC America this Saturday at 9:00 PM EDT.
 
Monday
Eureka (Syfy, 8:00 PM EDT)
We continue to rain a shower of vicious boos on Syfy for cancelling Eureka, certain that it will crush their craven spirits flat. In the meantime, Tiny returns to Eureka, bringing with him the threat of asphyxiation for all.
Warehouse 13 (Syfy, 9:00 PM EDT)
Bering has a score to settle with the man who killed her ex-partner… someone who may be linked to the U.S. government. Nah, they never kill anyone for shadowy or nebulous reasons.
Alphas (Syfy, 10:00 PM EDT)
The team seeks to protect an Alpha who creates wondrous inventions that the wrong people could turn into terrible weapons… like the Death by Chocolate-inator or the Fluffy Kitten gas.
Jurassic Park (AMC, 8:00 PM EDT)
Those are some fine-ass dinosaurs, Mr. Spielberg. Well done.
Predators (HBO, 8:00 PM EDT)
That’s a fine-ass sequel, Troublemaker Studios. Well done.
Diary of the Dead (IFC, 8:00 PM EDT)
George A. Romero attempts to update his classic zombie apocalypse for the Facebook age, with decidedly mixed results.
Near Dark (IFC, 10:00 PM EDT)
Kathryn Bigelow has no such problems delivering a fundamental re-invention of the vampire myth, complete with the supporting cast of Aliens to boot.
 
Tuesday
Jurassic Park III (AMC, 8:00 PM EDT)
When Spielberg isn’t directing, things get a lot less cool. Luckily, Sam Neill manages to more or less hold the line here.
Avatar (Cinemax, 10:00 PM EDT)
The big blue cat people return to save us from ourselves in James Cameron’s mega-hit.
Star Trek Generations (Syfy, 7:00 PM EDT)
Malcolm McDowell arranges for perhaps the most by-the-numbers death of a sci-fi icon ever.
Blade Runner (Syfy, 9:00 PM EDT)
With renewed attention on Ridley Scott’s masterpiece, Syfy has decided to dust it off for an airing… thus causing their channel name to actually make sense for an entire evening!
The Hands of Orlac (TCM, 8:00 PM EDT)
TCM airs a little-seen German expressionist film about a concert pianist who has his hands replaced with those of a killer after an accident. Yeah, nothing’s going to go wrong with that plan…
The Thief of Baghdad (TCM, 10:00 PM EDT)
The 1940 version of the tale features solid visual effects for the time, and the always engaging story still holds up.
 
Wednesday
Ghost Hunters (Syfy, 9:00 PM EDT)
We’re back to the domestic version of the show, as a family in Rhode Island is haunted by a mysterious black cat and its owner.
Strange Days (FMC, 8:00 PM EDT)
O Kathryn Bigelow, how do we love thee? Let us count the ways…
Saw (IFC, 8:00 PM EDT)
The original franchise starter – otherwise known as “the one that doesn’t completely suck” – lands tonight to remind us that there was an actual original idea in these films once upon a time.
 
Thursday
Burn Notice (USA, 9:00 PM EDT)
Michael goes undercover with a group of terrorists, who then take hostages at an airport. Holy Compromising Positions, Batman!
Futurama (Cartoon, 10:00 PM EDT)
Fry brings back an oldie but goodie – the common cold – in an era where it had been wiped out.
Ugly Americans (Cartoon, 10:30 PM EDT)
Mark’s college girlfriend re-appears, causing problems for him and the supposedly open-minded Callie.
Wilfred (FX, 10:00 PM EDT)
Dwight Yoakam arrives to tell Ryan what most of us already knew: Wilfred’s presence in his life may not be a positive thing.
Species (Cinemax, 10:00 PM EDT)
Not every movie featuring an HR Giger-designed monster is a masterpiece… though we do get to see Natasha Henstridge without a stitch on her.
Pan’s Labyrinth (IFC, 8:00 PM EDT)
Guillermo del Toro is pretty much the king of the horror movie cage these days. (He didn’t direct the terrific Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, but his fingerprints are all over it.) Pan’s Labyrinth remains his undisputed masterpiece… a near perfect grown-up fairy tale that only gets better over time.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (IFC, 10:30 PM EDT)
This adaptation of the Douglas Adams classic loses some of the author’s anti-humanist bite, but remains a fresh and respectful film regardless.
Lake Placid 2 (Syfy, 7:00 PM EDT)
Not even the great Cloris Leachman can save this limp and uninspired direct-to-cable sequel.
Deep Blue Sea (Syfy, 9:00 PM EDT)
I’m willing to forgive Sam Jackson a lot solely because of his priceless moment in this otherwise by-the-numbers shark movie.
 
Friday
Torchwood: Miracle Day (Starz, 10:00 PM EDT)
As the world teeters on the brink of collapse, Jack faces off with a man he thought was dead. Business as usual over at the Torchwood Institute.
Haven (Syfy, 10:00 PM EDT)
Children are disappearing from a Haven house, prompting Our Heroes to head on over and take a look.
ThunderCats (Cartoon, 8:30 PM EDT)
The team takes on a deadly maze in search of the Book of Omens.
Face/Off (Cinemax, 7:30 PM EDT)
The sheer level of performer-based craziness in this movie may prove toxic to small children and the elderly. Please monitor your household closely before viewing.
Predator 2 (FMC, 8:00 PM EDT)
Danny Glover sure knows how to deliver the words “pussy face,” doesn’t he?
Zardoz (FMC, 10:00 PM EDT)
This is, officially, the weirdest movie I’ve ever seen… except for that Saul Bass thing about the super-intelligent ants.
 
Saturday
Doctor Who (BBC America, 9:00 PM EDT)
The Doctor is in as the second half of Series Six kicks off. And hey, why not kill Hitler? Tarantino did. See the top of the article for more.
Kill Bill (AMC, 5:30 PM EDT)
Speaking of Tarantino, AMC is running the entire Kill Bill saga this evening… and isn’t it better shown back-to-back?
The Fury (FMC, 8:00 PM EDT)
Brian De Palma’s silly, but fun paranormal thriller follows Kirk Douglas as he attempts to keep his telepathic son safe from the government.
The Lost Tribe (Syfy, 7:00 PM EDT)
The title refers to a band of prehistoric monsters residing on a tropical island. As they do.
Killer Mountain (Syfy, 9:00 PM EDT)
The mountain itself is not the killer… though with Syfy, you never know. In this case, it’s the monster on the mountain that does most of the killing.
 
Sunday
True Blood (HBO, 9:00 PM EDT)
Sookie needs to rescue Bill, even as a band of vampires seeks to up the ante in the burgeoning war.
Saw IV (Syfy, 7:00 PM EDT)
Since we’ve already had an airing of the original earlier in the week, showing us the incredibly crappy 4th entry is kind of redundant, isn’t it?
P2 (Syfy, 9:00 PM EDT)
Wes Bentley shows what we always suspected his American Beauty character was capable of, when he stalks a hapless office worker in an abandoned parking lot.
Batman (BBC America, 9:00 PM EDT)
The first in the Tim Burton Batman series: long on atmosphere and star power, short on actual plot.

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

Showing items 1 - 7 of 7
1 
Wiseguy 8/22/2011 6:29:36 AM

Hey syfy had a great mini-marathon of actual sci/fi last week with Blade Runner, The Fifth Element and Total Recall. I think that's the most syfy I've ever watched in a month and I did it all in 1 day

I can count in 1 hand may be 2 the times I agree with Rob but his comments on Guillermo Del Toro's Pan Labyrinth are my exact thoughts. The movie is an under-appreciated masterpiece

NDorado 8/22/2011 8:41:39 AM

I think Kathryn Bigelow is a fantastic director and love most of her movies, but Strange Days has to be one of the most over-rated movies of all time.

Bryzarro 8/22/2011 10:09:19 AM

 Has anyone watched the new Thundercats Cartoon yet?  I just caught the first four this weekend.  

I must say it is a huge departure from the original in terms of story.  It wasn't too bad but there are some major plot holes that I hope are fished out.  As well this series has a bit of a ST Voyager theme where there is no clear goal they are just exploring 3rd Earth for the Book.  

I'm going to continue watching as my kid is really digging it.  

LadyBrowncoat 8/22/2011 10:42:37 AM

 For some bizarre reason, our DVR never recorded the Headless Monks episode.  We're going to have to find it!

hanso 8/22/2011 1:17:29 PM

 Predators is balls, how can that be a fine ass sequel?  

lusiphur 8/22/2011 2:11:24 PM

 "Is balls" ... that's a positive thing, right?  

I'm really liking the new Thundercats.  I don't remember a lot about the original because I saw so few of them.  They aired when I was at that "too old for cartoons" age.  I thought the goal of finding the Book of Omens, defeating/thwarting Mum-Ra and avenging Lion-o's father was a pretty sound theme.  We tend to forget these are still considered "children's programming" and aren't really aimed at us.  Therefore I'll let them slide on plot complexity.  But it's been a fun show so far.

hanso 8/22/2011 4:36:57 PM

No its not positive.  Well, i guess it would depend on one's feelings about balls.

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