Monday Montage

What’s happening, what’s on and what’s interesting this week …

Best known for her science fiction and Earthsea fantasy series, celebrated author Ursula K. Le Guin has written 21 novels, 12 children’s books, six volumes of poetry and much more. Explore the remarkable life and legacy of this prolific and versatile writer as AMERICAN MASTERS reveals the WORLDS OF URSULA K. LE GUIN – Friday night at 9 on UNC-TV.

Michael Palin (Around the World in 80 Days) is set to undergo heart surgery in September. The Monty Python member informed fans about the upcoming procedure on his website in a post titled “The Machine that Goes ‘Ping!’” Continue reading


Wednesday Trivia Question

What actor – who didn’t play a Time Lord – made the most appearances on DOCTOR WHO?

The British series DOCTOR WHO is considered the longest-running sci fi program in history. It started in 1963 and ended in 1989 after 26 seasons. There was a 1996 TV movie and then the show returned with renewed vigor in 2005. Even though the current series is technically separate from the original, creators and fans consider the it part of the same television universe as it continues the stories and characters of the cult favorite that started over 50 years ago. Continue reading

Wednesday Trivia Question

Name any member of the Zula Patrol.

THE ZULA PATROL was a kid series that debuted in 2005 and ran for three seasons. The program followed the adventures of a group of aliens, the titular Zula Patrol, as they explored the universe. Along the way, viewers learned science and astronomy. The show also promoted tolerance and non-violent conflict resolution.

The Zula Patrol consisted of a crew of five main characters (six, if you count the Patrol’s pet). But what were there names? Continue reading

My Top Five: Science Fiction Shows

Last week, I tackled MY TOP FIVE SCIENCE SHOWS so I thought it might be fun to look at Science Fiction this week. Granted, public broadcasting hasn’t traditionally been home to loads of science fiction but there have been a few quite memorable programs over the years. Keep in mind that “science fiction” covers a host of sins (technically, MARTHA SPEAKS fits the bill) but I tried to keep it close to the genre we all know and love.

And so, without further ado, here are MY TOP FIVE SCIENCE FICTION SHOWS …

5) MY HERO. This clever Britcom with the fish-out-of-water premise was loads of fun from the start. Ardal O’Hanlan’s George Sunday was the heart of the series as a superhero from the planet Ultron struggling to adapt to the customs of our world but Emily Joyce’s Janet Dawkins grounded him as the nurse who captured his heart.

4) TWILIGHT ZONE. Yep, if you can believe it, there was actually a time when UNC-TV ran Rod Serling’s classic anthology series. We were called the UNC Center for Public Television back then but, for a while in the early 1980s, viewers were treated to back-to-back episodes each weeknight at 11. And while the series covered everything from psychological horror to the supernatural and fantasy, classic episodes involving ESP, time travel, immortality and alien cookbooks let us know TWILIGHT ZONE was pure science fiction at its core. Continue reading