Seriously, it's been a tough time for science fiction on network TV lately — but that losing streak ends tonight, with the summer's one must-see new show, Under The Dome. Plus Syfy gives us the crazypants over-the-top summer movie you'll never admit you crave. Check out clips and details for all of this week's TV shows!
Top image: Under The Dome
Looks like a return to outright batshit surrealism for this kookiest of TV shows. And also, the return of Lumpy Space Princess! And here's what to expect from this episode: "Lumpy Space Princess is robbed and faints before she can tell Finn and Jake who robbed her." After that, there's a brand new Regular Show and a new Mad.
While we're singing the praises of the summer's one great must-watch show (see below), let's spare a moment to appreciate this past spring's great new addition, which is still chugging along and staying amazingly fun and watchable. Defiance hasn't been the mega-hit Syfy was hoping for, but it's still managed to keep surprising us. This week: "The wedding of Alak and Christie is threatened when a businessman's corpse is discovered in the walls of Need Want."
And meanwhile, here it is: Your must-watch of the week. And, really, of the summer. It only took Stephen King and Brian K. Vaughan collaborating, but we finally got a decent science fiction show on network television, after a bit of a dry spell. We watched the pilot, and our spoiler-free review is here. Here's the official synopsis for the pilot:
When the residents of Chester's Mill find themselves trapped under a massive transparent dome with no way out, they struggle to survive as resources rapidly dwindle and panic quickly escalates.
Looks like Artie and the gang are teaming up with Charlotte, and it's not going very well — perhaps not surprisingly. It's gratifying that we won't have to wait long to see the fallout of Claudia taking the spy kid into the fold. Here's the synopsis: "Pete and Myka are hot on the historical trail of pirate Roaring Dan Seavey, who engineered the theft of artifacts from Warehouse 12."
Teen Wolf (10 PM, MTV):
Here's what's up in "Unleashed": "While Scott tries to keep Isaac from engaging in a deadly confrontation with the Twins in school, Stiles attempts to prove his theory that the killings have nothing to do with werewolves."
Johnny Test/Teen Titans (7:00 PM, Cartoon Network):
As usual, we got some clips from the latest episodes, in which Bling Bling is grounded and Johnny has to teach him to be a normal kid, and then Beast Boy gets fired from the Titans and the crew has to audition some replacements before settling on a pair of shape-shifting twins.
Also on TV tonight: Another episode of Bang Goes The Theory on BBC America at 9 PM. Also at 9 PM: a new Crash & Bernstein on Disney XD.
Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman (10 PM, Science):
Another week, another huge question that we only wish we knew the answer to. This time: "Can our minds be hacked?" "Our minds store our entire lives, our memories and our deepest desires. Tell no one, and our thoughts remain our own. But our brains are biological computers. Computer hackers can tamper with our email. Could brain hackers someday be able to rewrite our thoughts?"
Futurama (10 PM, Cartoon Network):
The last remaining episodes of Futurama are a precious, dwindling resource. This time around, we're doing a spin on E.T. where Fry is the alien who crash-lands on another planet and is taken in by an alien child. Hopefully including lots of alien product placement.
Also on TV tonight: Cartoon Network has Annoying Orange and Amazing World of Gumball, starting at 7. There's a new Mythbusters on Discovery at 9 PM.
Roland Emmerich has a new film in theaters this week — but White House Down can't possibly be as "throwing everything out there" bonkers as this film, which borrows from Emmerich's own Independence Day along with a ton of other alien invasion films. Watch this trailer and tell me you're not kind of jazzed for an evening of tequila and computer-generated aliens blowing computer-generated shit up. In this film, "an alien invasion cripples America's conventional defense forces. When the President's helicopter is shot down, his brother (a small-town hero) and a renegade scientist must find the aliens' weakness and defeat them." As long as there's a renegade scientist, and we don't run out of tequila, I'm in.
Also on TV tonight: At 8 PM, there's a new The Hero on TNT. There's a new Burn Notice on USA at 9 PM. At 10 PM, there's a new Wilfred on FX at 10 PM.
Cult (8 PM, The CW):
Remember this show? Yes, it's joining Zero Hour and 666 Park Avenue in the "summer weekend" graveyard, with two new episodes airing back-to-back on Friday night. Maybe we'll finally learn who Steven Rea was? Here's the episode descriptions:
ERICA GIMPEL (“NIKITA,” “VERONICA MARS”) GUEST STARS — Jeff (Matt Davis) and Skye (Jessica Lucas) struggle to find evidence against Sakelik (guest star Aisha Hinds, “Weeds”) to use as leverage to gain information on Nate. Stuart invites Roger (Robert Knepper) to a weekend getaway at his Santa Barbara estate. Skye has lunch with her mother (guest star Erica Gimpel) and the two discuss the past. Meanwhile, on the television show, Kelly (Alona Tal) strikes a deal with Billy (Robert Knepper) to get her sister Meadow back.
Jeff (Matt Davis) and Skye (Jessica Lucas) learn about a new initiates meeting of the True Believers. Skye plans to infiltrate the meeting with Jeff following close behind. While Skye and her fellow newbie’s are being driven to the meeting location, Jeff unknowingly follows a decoy vehicle. Meanwhile, on the television show, Kelly (Alona Tal) suspects that Billy’s (Robert Knepper) followers kidnapped Andy (guest star Christian Michael Cooper).
Speaking of decent science fiction shows, this Canadian series continues to hit its stride in the second season, and I hear it just keeps getting more exciting. I just really hope they don't fumble the all-important time-travel mythology. Here's what's up this week: "Liber8 and Agent Gardiner interfere with Kiera's pursuit of someone she believes is another time traveler."
Also on TV tonight: The Hub Network probably has a new Kaijudo: Rise of the Duel Masters at 3:30 PM and a new Transformers Prime at 7:30 PM.
This time around, we're delving into the Colin Baker era — and let's hope they spend a generous amount of time on his second stint as the Doctor, in the Big Finish audios and other assorted tie-ins. He was definitely a Doctor who was better the second time around. Here's the details:
BBC AMERICA celebrates the Sixth Doctor, Colin Baker, in a new special of Doctor Who: The Doctors Revisited. Baker played the part from 1984 to 1986. Prior to being cast as the Doctor, Baker guest starred as Commander Maxil in the Peter Davison story Arc of Infinity, the only actor to have done so prior to taking the role. The special begins with Colin Baker, lead writer and executive producer Steven Moffat, Sixth Doctor companions Nicola Bryant (Peri Brown) and Bonnie Langford (Mel Bush), among others, examining the Sixth Doctor’s adventures and discussing his famous foes, including the universe’s most slippery business man, Sil. The special also includes the Sixth Doctor story Vengeance on Varos, in which the Doctor visits the planet Varos to obtain the rare ore Zeiton-7, vital to the functioning of his TARDIS.
Zero Hour (8 PM, ABC):
Is this show going to wind up making sense if you watch to the end of its one and only season? All signs point to... yes, actually. Here's this week's synopsis:
Laila reaches out to Hank to share her side of the story and hopes he will forgive her. Still not totally trusting his wife, Hank teams with Laila to achieve a major breakthrough in their search for the True Cross. The Shepherds also know Hank is too valuable an asset and that they must enlist his help to get to the True Cross before the Pyrates do. Meanwhile, White Vincent, still under the employment of "Mother," discovers a clue of his own that also brings him even closer to the end.
666 Park Avenue (9 PM, ABC):
And then we're back to the apartment building where nobody ever just clashes over people leaving their clothes in the washer/dryer:
Sasha/Laurel Harris lays out her plan to get Henry elected, which includes his speaking at the Dorans' local church. She secretly offers Father Douglas a disturbing arrangement to rid himself of the demons who have tormented him since being tempted to open Gavin's red box. Meanwhile an enigmatic new tenant who may have ulterior motives moves into the Drake. Brian is still upset with Louise for her relapse into substance abuse while, simultaneously, Alexis plots her revenge on Louise after she discovers they've crossed paths in the past. Finally, Sasha and her parents have a bizarre showdown.
Sinbad/ Primeval: The New World (9 PM, Syfy):
And finally, the last batch of "shows that are already canceled." On Sinbad, the crew finds a ghost ship with just one old man on it, and there's more to him than meets the eye, not surprisingly. And on Primeval, Evan and Dylan are investigating an anomaly when they get arrested by drug dealers. Thus proving, yet again, that Vancouver is the most dangerous city in North America.
Also on TV today: The Hub Network has a new Pound Puppies at 9:30 AM, and a new SheZow! at 12:30. There's a new Fairly Oddparents at 9:30 AM on Nickelodeon. Also at 11:30 AM: a new Monsters Vs. Aliens on Nickelodeon. Also, there's a new Aquabats! Super Show! on Hub Network at 1 PM. And at 7:30 PM, Hub Network has a brand new Wizards Vs. Aliens.
Ultimate Spider-Man (11 AM, Disney XD):
Just when you thought this show couldn't get any more wacky, Spidey is teaming up with... Stan Lee? Or at least, with Stan the Janitor, the usually minor character voiced by Stan Lee. This episode is called "Stan by Me," and that pretty much says it all, I think.
True Blood (9 PM, HBO):
The "humans strike back against vampires" plot heats up, and it sounds pretty interesting:
Irate over Burrell's blatant aggression towards vampires, Eric takes matters into his own hands. After dangerously testing the limits of his powers, Bill enlists a TruBlood innovator to synthesize a new type of blood - but has difficulty finding the right donor. Sookie begins to learn why Warlow is after her. Sam receives unexpected help from Nicole and her Vampire Unity Society (V.U.S.) associates. Steve Newlin (Michael McMillian) finds his past ideals turning into a current nightmare.
Falling Skies (9 PM, TNT):
I watched the first half of this season in basically one or two sittings, and this week's episode stood out as the best of the bunch, by a long chalk. Here's what's up:
When a mission goes terribly awry, Tom and Pope must rely on each other to survive. Meanwhile, Weaver and company search desperately for two members of the 2nd Mass who have gone missing. And Marina (guest star Gloria Reuben) takes matters into her own hands in Charleston, disregarding Tom's authority.
Venture Bros. (Midnight, Adult Swim):
This week's episode is "O.S.I. Love You," and here's what's going on: " Brock and the O.S.I. come under fire; high-value, super-criminal prisoners escape."
Also on TV today: Nicktoons has two new Yu-Gi-Oh! Episodes at 11 AM, followed by a new Monsuno at noon. AT 9 PM, Showtime has the season opener of Dexter.