With the video game industry crash taking its toll, and Atari’s financial status in free-fall, CEO Ray Kassar resigns from the company shortly after a disastrous earnings report showing two straight quarters of multi-million dollar losses – the first Warner Communications suffered since the year before it bought Atari and installed Kassar as CEO. Kassar has also drawn fire for accusations that he sold thousands of shares of his Warner stock minutes prior to the fateful December 1982 announcement that heralded the beginning of the industry’s downturn. Kassar is replaced by former Philip Morris marketing VP James Morgan, who has no prior experience in the consumer electronics field; his previous experience has been in tobacco marketing.
The Soviet Union launches the first of two unmanned Phobos space probes, designed to investigate the largest of Mars’ two asteroid-like moons and deliver a lander to analyze that moon’s surface. With multiple nations pitching in resources to help the mission succeed, including the United States, the Phobos program is intended to be the definitive Mars exploration program of the 1980s, as well as the debut of a new Soviet interplanetary vehicle to take over from the Zond/Venera design in use since the 1960s.
BBC1 premieres the 28th episode of Russell T. Davies’ science fiction series Torchwood. Unlike previous seasons, this season – subtitled Children Of Earth – is only five episodes long, broadcast at a rate of one installment per night, with the implication that the story is unfolding more or less in real time. Peter Capaldi and Paul Copley guest star.