Coleco shuts down video game division

ColecovisionColeco Industries formally announces the complete discontinuation of its Adam computer and the Colecovision home video game console, after revealing a $55,000,000 loss for 1984, a loss incurred largely by the market failure of Adam; only the hugely popular Cabbage Patch Kids dolls, another Coleco product, keep the company from losing any more money. Coleco’s remaining game and computer stock is sold to closeout retail chain Odd Lot, and the video game market crash claims another victim.

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Doctor Who: Attack Of The Cybermen, Pt. 1

Doctor WhoThe 629th episode of Doctor Who airs on BBC1, premiering the 22nd season of the series. Maurice Colbourne, Brian Glover and Faith Brown guest star in a story tying into both the first Cybermen story (1966’s The Tenth Planet) and the public’s fascination with the close approach, in 1985, of Halley’s Comet. This is also the first episode in Doctor Who’s new format for the 22nd season, which aired one 50 minute episode on the show’s more “traditional” Saturday night time slot.

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Doctor Who: Attack Of The Cybermen, Pt. 2

Doctor WhoThe 630th episode of Doctor Who airs on BBC1, premiering the 22nd season of the series. Maurice Colbourne, Brian Glover and Faith Brown guest star in a story tying into both the first Cybermen story (1966’s The Tenth Planet) and the public’s fascination with the close approach, in 1985, of Halley’s Comet.

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STS-51C

DiscoverySpace Shuttle Discovery lifts off on the shortest shuttle flight since the 1981 test flights, lasting only three days. A classified Defense Department payload is delivered to orbit, with the help of the first Inertial Upper Stage booster developed by the U.S. Air Force. This mission is the first time that shuttles had to be swapped out prior to flight – thermal tile issues on Challenger prevented that shuttle from being used for this mission – as well as the first instance of a shuttle launch scrubbed because of concerns over freezing weather and ice at the launch site. Discovery returns via the Kennedy Space Center runway, with Commander Ken Mattingly, Pilot Loren Shriver, mission specialists Ellison Onizuka and James Buchli, and payload specialist Gary Payton aboard.

Doctor Who: The Two Doctors, Part 1

Doctor WhoThe 635th episode of Doctor Who airs on BBC1. Patrick Troughton and Frazer Hines return as the second Doctor and Jamie, and the Sontarans appear for the first time since the Tom Baker era. Jacqueline Pearce (Blake’s 7) guest stars. Where previous “multi-Doctor” stories have been tied to a major anniversary of the show, this story is merely a celebration of the second Doctor, and marks Troughton’s final appearance in the series before his death.

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Doctor Who: hiatus or cancellation scare?

Doctor WhoThe BBC announces that production of its popular science fiction series Doctor Who is to be paused to 18 months, allowing the show’s production staff to make alterations to the show’s content and style (at the request of BBC upper management following complaints of excessive depictions of violence), and affording the network an opportunity to redirect funds – temporarily – toward its new daytime TV service and the newly-started prime time soap opera EastEnders. Fans of the series rally to support the show, especially since several close to the production – including actor Colin Baker – reveal that the “18 month hiatus” is a cover for a complete cancellation of the show. Not helping matters is BBC1 Controller Michael Grade’s stated dislike for the series and its star.

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Doctor Who: The Two Doctors, Part 3

Doctor WhoThe 637th episode of Doctor Who airs on BBC1. Patrick Troughton and Frazer Hines return as the second Doctor and Jamie, and the Sontarans appear for the first time since the Tom Baker era. Jacqueline Pearce (Blake’s 7) guest stars. This is Patrick Troughton’s final Doctor Who episode, and the last original series appearance of the Sontarans.

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The first .com

InterwebsMassachusetts computer manufacturer Symbolics Inc., a maker of LISP-based computers with customers ranging from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to movie studios, registers the first .com internet domain name, symbolics.com. Ironically, despite being further ahead of the internet curve than nearly any other commercial entity, Symbolics struggles to last into the 1990s; both the company’s assets and its domain name will be sold off in the 21st century.

Doctor Who: Revelation Of The Daleks, Pt. 2

Doctor WhoThe 641st episode of Doctor Who airs on BBC1. Eleanor Bron, Alexei Sayle (The Young Ones), Trevor Cooper (Star Cops) and William Gaunt guest star; Terry Molloy reprises the role of Davros. This is the final episode of season 22, and is the last new Doctor Who episode for over a year. It is also the end of the experimental episode length of 50 minutes (though a 45 minute episode length will become standard in the 21st century revival of the series).

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Atlantis complete

AtlantisAfter four years of construction and an additional year of testing and checkout, the Space Shuttle Atlantis rolls out of the Rockwell International facility at Palmdale, California – the last of the current space shuttle fleet, to the best of anyone’s knowledge at the time. Over three tons lighter than Columbia, Atlantis doesn’t have long to wait for her first mission, lifting off for the first time in October 1985.

Robin Of Sherwood: The Swords Of Wayland

Robin Of SherwoodThe 11th and 12th episodes of Richard Carpenter’s fanciful retelling of the Robin Hood legend, Robin Of Sherwood, air on ITV, starring Michael Praed, Mark Ryan, Judi Trott, and Nickolas Grace. Rula Lenska (Rock Follies, Coronation Street) guest stars. (The two parts of this story will be shown individually in both UK and international repeats.)

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STS-51D

DiscoveryAfter a month of delays due to damage and a change in the flight schedule, Space Shuttle Discovery returns to orbit for a week-long flight. A Canadian communications satellite and the LEASAT-3 satellite are redeployed, but LEASAT continues to malfunction despite multiple attempts to active and launch it. Discovery’s crew on this flight consists of Commander Karol Bobko, Pilot Donald Williams, mission specialists Rhea Seddon, Jeffrey Hoffman and David Griggs, and payload specialists Charles Walker and Senator Jake Garn, the first member of the U.S. Congress to fly in space while in office. This flight’s return to the runway at Kennedy Space Center marks the first time a shuttle orbiter experiences significant damage upon landing, including a blowout of one of its landing gear wheels.

Robin Of Sherwood: The Greatest Enemy

Robin Of SherwoodThe 13th episode of Richard Carpenter’s fanciful retelling of the Robin Hood legend, Robin Of Sherwood, airs on ITV, starring Michael Praed, Mark Ryan, Judi Trott, and Nickolas Grace. Jeremy Bulloch (The Empire Strikes Back, Chocky) and John Abineri (Doctor Who, Blake’s 7) guest star in the second season finale. Due to scheduling conflicts with a role he has taken on Broadway, Michael Praed has opted to leave the show, hence the fatalistic ending, but showrunner Richard Carpenter weaves hints into this episode of a replacement for both the character and the lead actor.

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STS-51B

ChallengerSpace Shuttle Challenger lifts off on a week-long mission to perform experiments in the cargo-bay-mounted Spacelab laboratory module. Aboard Challenger for the Spacelab 3 flight are Commander Robert Overmyer, Pilot Frederick Gregory, mission specialists Don Lind, Norm Thagard, and William Thornton, and payload specialists Lodewijk van den Berg and Taylor Wang. Following the landing gear damage experienced by Discovery on its last flight, Challenger makes its landing at Edwards Air Force Base.