The first Telstar communications satellite is launched, the first attempt to forge a permanent trans-Atlantic telecommunications link with an satellite that both receives and actively retransmits signals. A multinational venture between communications companies and government agencies in America, England and France, Telstar relays the first live trans-Atlantic television broadcast, bringing together the three major American networks of the time and the BBC for a one-of-a-kind joint news broadcast. Live intercontinental telephone calls and other TV broadcasts are also handled by Telstar. Though it’s an experimental satellite, Tesltar is expected to remain in service for some time, but its operational life is reduced to less than a year by, among other things, the effects of high-altitude nuclear weapons tests. Telstar shuts down in February 1963, but remains in orbit to this day.
The 79th episode of Doctor Who airs on the BBC. This is part two of the story now collectively known as The Time Meddler. This is the first time we meet another one of the Doctor’s people, with his own TARDIS, and the last Doctor Who story to be produced by the series’ original producer, Verity Lambert.
Better known for making jukeboxes and speakers, Rock-Ola dips its toes into the video game industry by releasing Warp Warp in the United States. The arcade game, originated in Japan by Namco, features cute, colorful characters in a maze setting, not entirely unlike Pac-Man, but fails to catch on in American arcades.
CBS airs the 34th episode of a revival of Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone. Gina Gershon (Showgirls, Tripping The Rift, Riverdale), Martin Balsam (The Six Million Dollar Man), Jenny Agutter (Logan’s Run), Tim Russ (Star Trek: Voyager), and Dennis Haskins (Saved By The Bell) star in two half-hour stories combined to fill an hour time slot, as CBS has already cancelled the series (but will revive it under a different production team to produce more episodes to make the Twilight Zone revival viable for syndication).
The week-long national syndication window opens for the 88th episode of George A. Romero’s Tales From The Darkside anthology series. Nile Lanning and Eric Jason guest star.
The week-long national syndication window opens for the 24th episode of Friday the 13th: The Series, starring John D. LeMay, Wendy Robie and Chris Wiggins. Michael Constantine (My Big Fat Greek Wedding) guest stars.
The week-long national syndication window opens for the 46th episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Armin Shimerman (Star Trek: DS9) guest stars.
The 22nd episode of George Lucas’ historical adventure series The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles airs on ABC, starring Sean Patrick Flanery. Ian McDiarmid (Return Of The Jedi, Star Wars Episode I) and Jacqueline Pearce (Blake’s 7) guest star in an episode written by Carrie Fisher (Star Wars).
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La-La Land Records releases David Arnold’s 2-CD complete soundtrack from the 1998 American-made version of Godzilla.
BBC1 premieres the 31st episode of Russell T. Davies’ science fiction series Torchwood. Peter Capaldi and Susan Brown guest star. The experimental five-episode season proves to bit a hit with critics and viewers, particularly in America, where it’s hailed as one of the television events of the year, imported or not.
Varese Sarabande releases Penka Kouvena’s soundtrack-style instrumental concept album The Woman Astronaut. A veteran orchestrator for game soundtracks to software titles that have sold a combined billion dollars, Kouvena’s semi-autobiographical concept mirrors her struggles for equality as a soundtrack composer.