Blake’s 7: Aftermath

Blake's 7BBC1 premieres the 27th episode of Terry Nation’s science fiction series Blake’s 7. This episode kicks off the third season and a running story arc through the third season regarding the Federation’s severe loss of manpower and territory during the intergalactic war that happens off-screen between seasons. Josette Simon and Steven Pacey are introduced as new guest stars, and Paul Darrow as Avon is established as the show’s new lead actor. Richard Franklin (Doctor Who) guest stars.

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Doctor Who: The Horns Of Nimon, Part 4

Doctor WhoThe 525th episode of Doctor Who airs on BBC1. Graham Crowden guest stars. Due to the cancellation of the six-part season finale Shada, this episode becomes the closing chapter of season 17. Both producer Graham Williams and script editor Douglas Adams leave the series, which will return in the fall with a radically new look and feel.

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Split Enz shows its True Colours

Split EnzMushroom Records releases the first Split Enz album of the 1980s, True Colours. Produced by future Prince protege David Tickle, the album gives the band a new sound and includes what will become its signature worldwide hit, “I Got You” (written by Neil Finn, who now alternates songwriting and lead vocal duties with his older brother, Enz co-founder Tim Finn). The album is released with eight different color variations, and is the first laser-etched LP. The album also suddenly draws the attention of American labels, resulting in A&M signing up to issue the band’s future output in North America.

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The Martian Chronicles: The Expeditions

The Martian ChroniclesNBC airs the first installment of the lavish three-part miniseries based on Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles. Adapted for TV by respected SF author Richard Matheson, the miniseries has already taken an embarrassing public beating by none other than Bradbury itself, inspiring NBC to yank the heavily-publicized off of the fall 1979 schedule and burn off the miniseries in January 1980 prior to the 1980 Winter Oympics. Rock Hudson, Bernie Casey, and Robert Beatty star. The miniseries is a co-production between NBC and the BBC (who won’t air it until later in 1980).

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Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy: Episode 8

Hitchhiker's Guide To The GalaxyThe eighth episode of Douglas Adams’ breakthrough radio science fiction comedy series The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy is first broadcast on BBC Radio, continuing the second series of the now-hit cult science fiction phenomenon. (Some elements of the second radio series will go on to form the basis of Adams’ novel The Restaurant At The End Of The Universe.) Valentine Dyall (Doctor Who’s Black Guardian) guest stars.

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Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy: Episode 9

Hitchhiker's Guide To The GalaxyThe ninth episode of Douglas Adams’ breakthrough radio science fiction comedy series The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy is first broadcast on BBC Radio, continuing the second series of the now-hit cult science fiction phenomenon. (Some elements of the second radio series will go on to form the basis of Adams’ novel The Restaurant At The End Of The Universe.)

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The Martian Chronicles: The Settlers

The Martian ChroniclesNBC airs the second installment of the lavish three-part miniseries based on Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles. Adapted for TV by respected SF author Richard Matheson, the miniseries has already taken an embarrassing public beating by none other than Bradbury itself, inspiring NBC to yank the heavily-publicized off of the fall 1979 schedule and burn off the miniseries in January 1980 prior to the 1980 Winter Oympics. Rock Hudson, Darren McGavin, Fritz Weaver and Roddy McDowall star. The miniseries is a co-production between NBC and the BBC (who won’t air it until later in 1980).

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Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy: Episode 10

Hitchhiker's Guide To The GalaxyThe tenth episode of Douglas Adams’ breakthrough radio science fiction comedy series The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy is first broadcast on BBC Radio, continuing the second series of the now-hit cult science fiction phenomenon. At this point, the story diverges into material that will not be repeated in later iterations of Hitchhiker’s Guide; Rula Lenska and John Le Mesurier guest star.

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Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy: Episode 11

Hitchhiker's Guide To The GalaxyThe 11th episode of Douglas Adams’ breakthrough radio science fiction comedy series The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy is first broadcast on BBC Radio, continuing the second series of the now-hit cult science fiction phenomenon. At this point, the story has diverged into material that will not be repeated in later iterations of Hitchhiker’s Guide; Rula Lenska guest stars.

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Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy: Episode 12

Hitchhiker's Guide To The GalaxyThe 12th episode of Douglas Adams’ breakthrough radio science fiction comedy series The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy is first broadcast on BBC Radio, ending the second series of the now-hit cult science fiction phenomenon. The conclusion of this episode effectively ends the series, though this ending is ignored by all later Hitchhiker’s Guide media, including the 21st century revival of the radio series, which will take its cues from Adams’ post-radio-series novels. Jonathan Pryce, Rula Lenska, and Ken Campbell guest star.

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Galactica 1980: Galactica Discovers Earth I

Galactica 1980The first episode of a vastly retooled Battlestar Galactica (or, depending on how you look at it, the first episode of the show’s second season) premieres on ABC, with an almost completely new cast. Kent McCord, Robin Douglass and Barry Van Dyke take over as the series leads; the only holdovers from the original season are Lorne Greene as Adama and Herb Jefferson as Boomer.

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The Martian Chronicles: The Martians

The Martian ChroniclesNBC airs the third installment of the lavish three-part miniseries based on Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles. Adapted for TV by respected SF author Richard Matheson, the miniseries has already taken an embarrassing public beating by none other than Bradbury itself, inspiring NBC to yank the heavily-publicized off of the fall 1979 schedule and burn off the miniseries in January 1980 prior to the 1980 Winter Oympics. Rock Hudson, Barry Morse (Space: 1999) and Bernadette Peters star. The miniseries is a co-production between NBC and the BBC (who won’t air it until later in 1980).

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Solar Maximum Mission

Solar MaxNASA launches the unmanned Solar Maximum Mission satellite atop a Delta 3910 rocket, to study cyclical solar flare activity from Earth orbit. Built by Fairchild and relying on a magnetic reaction wheel system to maintain precise aim at the sun, “Solar Max” suffers malfunctions in orbit, and will be able to carry out only limited observations by November 1980. In 1984, Solar Max will become the first satellite to be repaired in-orbit by a visiting space shuttle crew. After repairs, the satellite will be released, with its life span in orbit having effectively doubled. It will remain in orbit, and functional, through 1989.

Hard drives at home

Corvus OmniNetCorvus Systems introduces its Winchester hard disk drive for the Apple II computer, available with five or ten megabytes of storage. A bulky device requiring its own power supply independent of the computer to which it’s connected, the Winchester drive carries a $5,000 price tag and an unconventional data backup system, Corvus Mirror, which uses videocassettes (also a fairly new technology). As the investment in this new mass storage technology is fairly daunting, Corvus will introduce a networking system the following year to allow multiple computers access to a single hard drive.

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Space Invaders invade homes

Space InvadersAtari releases the home version of Space Invaders as a cartridge for the Atari 2600, the first time that a video game company has licensed another company’s game for home play. (All of Atari’s arcade ports up to this point have been home versions of Atari arcade games.) It turns out to be an astute move: Space Invaders is the “killer app” of the VCS, becoming so popular that the cartridge boosts sales of the system needed to run it.

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