It's Crunch Time On Stargate Atlantis

The big news on TV this week is the return of Stargate Atlantis. (Plus, a new season of Burn Notice, which sadly may not be scifi enough for us to mention. Except we just did.) Other big news: new eps of The Middleman, Charlie Jade, Doctor Who, Ben 10: Alien Force and Venture Bros. Don't kill your TV, kill your computer instead - after you finish reading this listing.

Tonight

Superhero action-comedy The Middleman is having its most scifi episode to date at 10 PM on ABC Family. This would be a hot contender for the best show on TV during the fall season, but in the summer it's simply unmissable. "A group of peaceful aliens with an addiction to plastic surgery are being hunted down by a homicidal entity. Meanwhile, Ben puts his and Wendy's break-up video on the internet: Wendy is not thrilled." Okay, just take a moment and let that sink in: plastic-surgery-addicted aliens, plus Ben being more of a dick than ever. Equals ruleage. If you don't believe me, here's a new featurette to back me up:

Why is The Middleman banished to 10 PM? Why, so ABC Family can show the all-important Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed. Which may actually have some scifi content to it, especially since it features a "mad scientist" named Jonathan Jacobo. Did you know Freddie Prinze Jr. and Sarah Michelle Gellar made a Scooby sequel? I didn't. Wikipedia says Seth Green and Ruben Studdard are in it. And apparently, a direct-to-DVD Scooby 3 is in production. Really?

And at 3 AM, Sci Fi has a new Charlie Jade: "And Not A Drop To Drink." Here's what happens:

Charlie's leads draw him further into the series' dark world, Reena undergoes torture, Jasmine wants to remain free, we get a glimpse of Gammaverse politics, and we finally witness 01 Boxer travelling between worlds.

Movies: AMC has the original Escape From New York at 6 PM, so hurry home from work. Spike is still showing the Star Wars movies. The Sci Fi Channel is showing Lawnmower Man 2 at 3:00 Tuesday morning. I've never seen it, but I bet there's trippy VR sex. But no Pierce Brosnan (sob).

Tuesday

The History Channel has a rerun of The Universe, about stars beyond the Milky Way, at 8 PM. Followed by a new Mega Disasters, about a "deadly jet collision," at 10 PM.

Movies: TCM is showing 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea at 9 AM. HBO has the Simpsons Movie at 8 PM. And TMC has Mission: Impossible III at 2:40 Wednesday morning, written and directed by J.J. Abrams. And at 5:00 AM Wednesday, there's Hold On!, a 1966 British comedy about a rock group who are going to have a spaceship named after them.

Wednesday

The Sci Fi Channel is bringing back a long-canceled show called Scare Tactics, which uses Hollywood special effects to frighten and confuse people. Tonight at 9, a medical assistant thinks she's delivering Satan's baby. Yeah. I know.

There's a new Nova ScienceNOW at 9 PM on PBS, tackling various topics including saving the Hubble Space Telescope, the first primates, and whether we're going to run out of effective antibiotics. Here's a clip:

Or you could watch a new MonsterQuest on the History Channel at 9, all about the "Black Beast of Exmoor." Your call.

Movies: HBO has Galaxy Quest at 2:45, and Encore has the original Stargate at 4:05 PM, just in case you want to bone up on all things Gate-y before Friday's Atlantis premiere.

Thursday

HBO has a half-hour special about the new Batman movie The Dark Knight, at 10:30 PM. Also, we're totally not mentioning that spy show Burn Notice is starting its second season on USA at 10 PM. Even though it does have scifi hero Bruce Campbell in it. And Battlestar Galactica's Tricia Helfer. And there are some pretty scifi-ish MacGyver-y gadgets. Anyway, not mentioning it. Moving on.

Movies: FX has Hellboy at 8 PM and 10 PM. And at midnight, USA is showing The Nutty Professor - the Eddie Murphy version. Isn't that so much better than sleeping? Also, it's not really scifi, but I have to mention Witches of Breastwick 2, another midnight movie, just for the title. Apparently it's about "seductive women." Speaking of seductive, Jeff Goldblum is on fire in The Fly, on Cinemax at three in the morning, and that's followed by Children Of Men at 5:10 AM.

Friday

At 9 PM, the Sci Fi Channel has the best Doctor Who episode of 2008, "Midnight." Without giving away spoilers, it's an episode that looks like it was made for about 50 pence, and it substitutes freakish drama for special effects. I was blown away, as you can see from the link above. Here's the first few minutes:

And then at 10, Stargate Atlantis returns, picking up where it left off last season. Can they rescue Teyla's baby? Also, Robert Picardo from Star Trek: Voyager joins the cast as a regular and immediately starts making everybody's life difficult. We reviewed the first episode a while back, and you can read our write-up here.

Movies: The Disney Channel is showing the live-action Thunderbirds movie, starring America's favorite polygamist Bill Paxton, at 8 PM. And at the same time, the Cartoon Network has Ben 10: Secret Of The Omnitrix.

Saturday

The Cartoon Network has a new Ben 10: Alien Force at 10: the Forever Knights find themselves unable to capture an escaped dragon, so Ben tries to help. Only to feel conflicted when he hears both sides of the story.

Movies: The CW has X-Men at 1 PM. And USA has Jurassic Park at 8.

Sunday

At 11:30 PM, there's a new Venture Bros.: "The Ant Farm, or What Goes Down Must Come Up." And that's about all I can find out about it. It's followed by a new Metalocalpyse at midnight: "Dethdad." Toki hears that his dad is dying, so he journeys to Norway, and the rest of the band comes along to get "album inspiration" and put off actually working on their album.