The Week (And A Half) In Sci-Fi

The turkey is all gone and as the countdown to 2012 begins, SFX answers the question on everyone’s lips: what’s on telly?

The cast of Eternal Law.

(opens in new tab)

Eternal Law, the new show from the makers of Life On Mars, starts on Thursday 5 January.


Due in UK bookshops today: David Moody’s latest zombie book, Autumn: Disintegration , and standalone Brandon Sanderson fantasy Warbreaker .

The audio adap of The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe continues with part 2 (of 3) on Radio 4 Extra at 10am (repeated at 3pm).

Saruman reads Ambrose Bierce in Christopher Lee’s Fireside Tales , 11am on Radio 4 Extra (repeated at 9pm).

Brandon Routh straps his pants on over his trousers in Superman Returns , 3:35pm on BBC One.

The Rock arches his eyebrow and cooks up a storm of fantasy action in The Scorpion King , 4:20pm ITV2.

There’s classic ex-Python fantasy with Terry Gilliam’s Time Bandits, Film4 at 4:40pm.

Deadly yet charismatic greenery sets up shop in Little Shop Of Horrors , 5pm on ITV3.

Tom Baker’s still reading Doctor Who And The Pyramids Of Mars (part 4 of 6) on Radio Four Extra at 6pm (repeated at midnight).

Part 5 (of 6) of fantasy sitcom Elvenquest is on Radio 4 at 6.30pm.

Arnie returns in threequel Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines at 6:50pm on Watch.

He’s green, he’s mean, he’s always on the screen (over the festive period, anyway): Shrek is on BBC Three at 8pm.

Argue until you’re blue in the face about which deserves the top spot in 50 Greatest Harry Potter Moments , ITV2 at 8pm.

Oscar Wilde adap Dorian Gray gets an airing on Channel 4 at 9pm.

David Lynch does his best to freak you out in Eraserhead , Horror Channel, 9pm.

Spooky show Weird Tales concludes with a dose of “Night Terrors” at 11pm on Radio 4.

Men nationwide will be crossing their legs thanks to vagina-dentata-horror Teeth , Horror Channel, 00.40am.


The audio adap of The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe concludes on Radio 4 Extra at 10am (repeated at 3pm).

Saruman reads classic story “The Monkey’s Paw” in Christopher Lee’s Fireside Tales , 11am on Radio 4 Extra (repeated at 9pm).

An amazing cast including everyone from Sir Ben Kingsley to Ken Dodd give Lewis Carroll’s classic a remix in Alice In Wonderland , 3:15pm on Channel 5.

Will Farrell proves that fully grown men can rock green tights when they need to in Elf , Film4 at 5:05pm.

Tom Baker’s still reading Doctor Who And The Pyramids Of Mars (part 5 of 6) on Radio Four Extra at 6pm (repeated at midnight).

Tim Burton classic Edward Scissorhands provides a timely lesson on the dangers of sharp implements, 7pm on Film4.

It’s Sixth Doctor Who Colin Baker’s turn to rustle up the grub in Come Dine With Me: Celebrity Christmas Special , 7.30pm on Channel 4.

Family fantasy CS Lewis style, The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe hits BBC Three at 7:55pm.

What? Everyone has stopped having kids? But Clive Owen is on it, right? Oh good. Children Of Men is on ITV4 at 9pm.

The Statue Of Liberty takes a pounding as New York comes under attack in Cloverfield , 9pm on Film4.

A cinema descends into gory chaos in Italian horror Demons , Horror Channel, 9pm.

Christopher Lee stars in Dennis Wheatley adap To The Devil A Daughter , Horror Channel, 00.50am.

There’s understated chills in 1944 Cat People sequel The Curse Of The Cat People , on BBC2 at 1.25am.


Raquel Welch slips into a fur bikini for One Million Years BC , Film4 at 11am.

It’s far from the best Trek movie, but so what – wave goodbye to 2011 in the company of Jean-Luc and the crew in Star Trek: Generations , 1:15pm on E4.

A Terra Nova double bill on Sky One from 4pm signals the close of series one, which draws to a suitably dino-heavy end.

Colin Salmon stars in Blake’s 7 The Early Years: Point Of No Return , on Radio 4 Extra at 6pm (repeated at midnight).

Pirate fetishists, your New Year’s Eve is complete: Pirates Of The Carribean: At World’s End swashes some buckles on BBC One at 7:25pm.

Need a slice of low-budget alien nonsense to see you through to midnight? Then Starship Troopers 3: Marauder is the one for you, from 9pm on 5USA.

Over on 5*, Alphas concludes from 9pm, while there’s a double-bill of Hammer House Of Horror on the Horror Channel.

Spurn underwhelming parties in favour of heavy drinking, TV and Mel Gibson – Mad Max 2 is on at 10pm on ITV4, followed by Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome at midnight.

If you have BBC HD there’s a spooky Christmas treat for you at 10.35pm – the 2006 adap of MR James tale Number 13 .

What were they thinking? We may never know – usher in 2012 with horrific remake The Wicker Man from 10pm Fiver. Thanks TV people, you’re really spoiling us.

There’s sapphic bloodsucking in Hammer’s Lust For A Vampire, Horror Channel, 11.10pm.

Hammer time continues with Satanism classic The Devil Rides Out , 1am on the Horror Channel.

If you stagger in from a party at 1.10am, why not watch Don Siegel’s 1956 classic of paranoia, Invasion Of The Body Snatchers? (Channel 4)


Hello 2012! Get that hangover moving on with Terry Pratchett’s Going Postal from 9am on Sky 2.

Timothy Dalton does his best not to be the rubbish Bond in Licence To Kill , 11am on ITV1.

The hard-to-describe (so read our review ) A Town Called Panic is on Film4 from 11am.

Everyone agrees that The Muppet Christmas Carol is the best version of the story, right? It’s on Film4 at 12.30pm.

First-class kiddie fantasy Bridge To Terabithia is on CBBC from 1pm.

Bring a shovel and join Brendan Fraser on his Journey To The Centre Of The Earth , 2:10pm on Film4.

Return to Narnia at 2:50pm on BBC One in The Chronicles Of Narnia: Prince Caspian .

Click those heels, Dorothy – The Wizard Of Oz is on Channel 5 from 2:50pm.

As good as the Gene Wilder version? No. As good as the book? Nope, not that either, but it’s easy enough bubblegum fare for the crushing headache you’re no doubt enduring at this point – Charlie And The Chocolate Factory is on ITV2 from 4:45pm.

Feel the need to mentally scar your children with incredibly dark sequel Return To Oz ? Then you’d best head to Channel 5 at 4:55pm.

Transformers brings the extra-terrestrial robot pain at 6:05pm on Film4.

The late Nicholas Courtney stars in The Scarifyers: The Secret Weapon Of Doom (part 1 of 4), on Radio 4 Extra at 6.30pm (repeated at 00.30).

Harry brings the fight to Voldemort in Harry Potter And The Half Blood Prince , 7pm on ITV1.

Earth’s last remaining inhabitant makes a change in Wall-E , 7pm on ITV3.

Will Smith is oh so very lonely as the only survivor after a vampire-like infection takes hold in I Am Legend , 9pm on ITV2.

Nicole Kidman puts the frighteners on in creepy horror The Others , 9pm on More4.

Arguably Arnie’s finest hour, Terminator 2: Judgment Day hits ITV 2 at 11pm.


Out on shiny disc today: offbeat zombie road movie Dead Heads and a new Blu-ray edition of Frankenhooker .

If you have Sky Arts 1 make sure to catch surreal French/Czech animation Fantastic Planet (aka La Planète Sauvage) , on at 9.05am.

The Rock is perhaps the defining ex-wrestler turned actor this Christmas, popping up for the umpteenth time in family fantasy Race To Witch Mountain , 1:10pm on BBC One.

Old people and aliens, a winning combination in any situation: Cocoon is on Film4 from 2:20pm.

Martin Short gets miniaturised in Joe Dante’s Innerspace , 2.30pm on ITV2.

You can probably guess what biopic Magic Beyond Words: The JK Rowling Story is all about – 2.35pm on Channel 5.

Oh no! Potter clash! Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone starts at 3:55pm on ITV1. Thank god you’ve already got it on DVD, eh?

The movie spin-off of classic ’70s show Doomwatch is on the Horror Channel at 4pm.

Tom Baker’s reading of the novelisation of Doctor Who And The Pyramids Of Mars concludes at 6pm on BBC Radio 4 Extras (repeated at midnight).

They’re nuking the fridge on BBC One at 6:05pm in Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull .

The composer of countless Bond themes is discussed in Don Black On John Barry , 7pm on Radio 2.

The likes of Doctor Who and Quatermass will be discussed in documentary Mad And Bad: 60 Years Of Science On TV , BBC4 at 9pm.

Richard E Grant stars in ’80s fantasy Warlock , Horror Channel, 9pm.

Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome gets another run out, 9pm on ITV4.

Jet-black musical comedy Little Shop Of Horrors gets another outing, ITV3 at 9pm.

Whizzing metal testicles are the order of the day in Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen , 9pm on Film4.

After a short Christmas break, American Horror Story continues with the eighth episode, 10pm on FX.

There’s late-night Bond action on ITV1 in Die Another Day , 11:15pm.

The so-stupid-it’s hilarious Slugs is on the Horror Channel at 00.50am.

Mel Brooks spoofs horror in Young Frankenstein , 1.20am on Film4.


The Christmas telly dries up today as everyone trudges back to work, but the Doomwatch movie is getting another airing on the Horror Channel at 10am.

Holy Tuesday morning scheduling! The ’60s movie of Batman is on Film4 at 11.

Chris Barrie reads part 1 (of 6) of Red Dwarf: Better Than Life , on BBC Radio 4 Extra at 6pm (repeated at midnight).

The Chronicles Of Narnia: Prince Caspian is on at 7pm on BBC Three.

Catch the last two episodes of Falling Skies from 9pm on FX.

Come the evening, the schedules are so bare that Escape From LA (ITV4, 9pm) may start to look genuinely appealing. If it does, give yourself a slap in the face and read a book or something.

A mysterious signal turns people kill-crazy in The Signal , Horror Channel, 10.55pm.


Part 1 of Oz-reworking The Witches Of Oz gets a repeat on Channel 5 at 1.35pm.

Brendan Fraser yomps off on his Journey To The Centre Of The Earth again at 5pm on Film4.

Chris Barrie reads part 2 (of 6) of Red Dwarf: Better Than Life , on BBC Radio 4 Extra at 6pm (repeated at midnight).

Game of Thrones fans, if you have Sky Arts 1, George RR Martin is interviewed in a Game Of Thrones Book Show Special , 6.30pm.

WALL-E ‘s on BBC3 again at 7.30pm? That’s an offer to good to refuse! Refuse … it’s a word for rubbish, you see and… oh, forget it.

Angelina Jolie and Ray Winstone are plugged into the matrix for the mo-capped re-telling of Beowulf at 9pm on Channel 5.

Peter Cushing stars in 1971 Amicus horror And Now The Screaming Starts , Horror Channel, 9pm.

Will Smith is the last man on Earth again in I Am Legend , ITV2, 10pm.

Fancy some monochrome French animation? Ooh, get you Mr Cultured. Renaissance should fit the bill: Film4 at 1.20am.


Due out on CD today: the Beeb’s latest 11th Doctor audio reading, Doctor Who: The Art Of Death .

Hitting bookshop shelves today: the first in a new Dune trilogy, The Sisterhood Of Dune ; the second book in Rod Rees’s Demi-Monde series, Spring ; Madeleine Roux follows up zombie tale Allison Hewitt Is Trapped with Sadie Walker Is Stranded . Plus, skinflints delight: China Miéville’s Embassytown is out in paperback.

Sky Arts 1’s Game Of Thrones Book Show Special is repeated at 9.30am.

Ray Harryhausen provides the stopmotion effects in the 1951 film of Jules Verne’s Mysterious Island , More4 at 11.40am.

Oz-reworking The Witches Of Oz concludes with part 2 on Channel 5 at 1.35pm.

It’s back to the days when preparing dinner meant dragging a dead brontosaurus back to your cave in One Million Years BC , Film4 at 4.50pm.

Chris Barrie reads part 3 (of 6) of Red Dwarf: Better Than Life , on BBC Radio 4 Extra at 6pm (repeated at midnight).

The last part of this series of fantasy sitcom Elvenquest is on Radio 4 at 6.30pm.

Eternal Law , the new drama about angelic barristers from the folks behind Life On Mars and Ashes To Ashes , spreads its wings at 9pm on ITV1.

Will Smith takes on naughty robots in I, Robot , 9pm on Film4.

It’s Smithapalooza at the Fresh Prince continues his dominance of slightly boring Thursday nights with Men In Black , 9pm on Comedy Central.

Sky Arts 1 continue their mission to ensure no-one ever watches the brilliant Fantastic Planet (aka La Planète Sauvage) , by sticking it on at 1.15am.


Klaatu borada nikto! The classic, Keanu-free 1951 version of The Day The Earth Stood Still is on Film4 at 11am.

Magic Beyond Words: The JK Rowling Story is repeated at 1.25pm on Channel 5.

It’s a day with a Y with it, so naturally The Wizard Of Oz is on, 5.15pm on TCM.

Chris Barrie reads part 4 (of 6) of Red Dwarf: Better Than Life , on BBC Radio 4 Extra at 6pm (repeated at midnight).

Try as you might there’s no getting away from those Men In Black , 7pm on Comedy Central.

Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory is on for the gazillionth time this month – ITV3, 8pm.

Scare yourself before bedtime with horror sequel Jeepers Creepers 2 , 9pm on Film4.

Comedian Jason Manford’s specialist subject on Celebrity Mastermind is Quantum Leap, BBC1 7pm.

Summat horrible is washed up in Brit-horror Salvage , Horror Channel, 9pm.

Everyone’s favourite ginger Karen Gillan is on The Graham Norton Show from 10.35pm on BBC1.

Gruesome Alien knock-off Inseminoid is on the Horror Channel at 10.55pm.

Involve yourself in a bit of immortal swordplay in Highlander , 11pm on ITV4.

Alan Moore hates it, but don’t let that put you off Watchmen , 11:05pm on Film4.

Kurt Russell and John Carpenter team up again for Big Trouble In Little China , 00.05am on Channel 4.

Hammer gives Robert Louis Stevenson a sex-change spin in Dr Jekyll And Sister Hyde , Horror Channel, 00.50 am.

Kristen Stewart stars in The Messengers , a horror from the directors of The Eye, 2.10am on Film4.


There’s a pre-Apollo lunar mission in 1950 classic Destination Moon , Film4 at 11am.

Animated fantasy fun for the afternoon – with a slice of signature darkness, of course – is par for the course in Tim Burton’s The Corpse Bride , 1pm on Comedy Central.

Take a trip back to the swinging ’60s with the Batman movie, 2:55pm on Film4.

Dino danger abounds in Jurassic Park , 3:40pm on ITV1.

If you’ve never seen Alphas and are wondering if it’s any cop, 5* are showing the first 5 episodes back-to-back from 3.40pm.

Classic Harryhausen fantasy Jason And The Argonauts hits BBC2 (and BBC HD) at 5:35pm.

Does Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen constitute a highlight? Probably not (Film4, 9pm).

Ghostbusters gets an airing on Gold again at 9pm.

Arnie has problems with booger extraction and meets a woman with three breasts in Total Recall , 10pm on Sky 1.

Ingrid Pitt stars in Hammer’s Countess Dracula , Horror Channel, 11.10pm.

Roger Corman takes on Edgar Allen Poe in Masque Of The Red Death , Horror Channel, 1am.


Drew Barrymore stars in girly fairytale fantasy Ever After: A Cinderella Story , 12.50pm Channel 4.

Grim, freaky sequel Return To Oz is repeated on Channel 5 at 12.55pm.

Daniel Craig heads up the cast in Philip Pullman adaptation The Golden Compass , Film4 at 1pm.

Roddy McDowall brings a Golem to life in 1966’s It! , Horror Channel, 4pm.

There’s another Alphas marathon on 5* from 5.05pm, with episodes 6-11 getting another airing.

Financial journalist Martin Lewis’s specialist subject on Celebrity Mastermind is the Superman films, BBC1 5.35pm.

Blake’s 7 audio The Early Years: Flag And Flame is on Radio 4 Extra at 6pm.

Narnia tale Prince Caspian is on BBC3 at 7pm.

Steve Carell is re-cast as a modern day Noah in Evan Almighty , 8pm on ITV2.

Cme 11pm, those of you who are multi-channelled up have a choice between Total Recall on Sky 2 and The Shining on TCM.

Things get pretty damned timey-wimey in Donnie Darko , 11:35pm on BBC Three.

Got an event you want to tell us about (or just spotted an error?) Email or, you silly billy!

About Fox

Check Also

PS5 Pro and new Xbox Series X consoles launching in 2023 according to Chinese tech giant

New PS5 Pro and Xbox Series X consoles are expected to arrive from 2023, according …

Leave a Reply