Kevin Smith, Hercules/Xena actor, dies

Kevin Smith as AresDescribed as one of New Zealand’s leading actors, Kevin Smith – known best to genre fans as Ares, god of war and most persistent (and funniest) foil of Hercules and Xena – dies at the age of 38 in Beijing, China after suffering severe injuries in a fall. He was injured after wrapping production on a film, and spent ten days in critical condition before dying in his sleep. He was due to appear in an upcoming Bruce Willis movie, to begin filming in March; there’s no word on what the release schedule will now be for his final project, Warriors Of Virtue II. He is survived by his wife and three children.

STS-109: Hubble’s new wings

Space ShuttleSpace Shuttle Columbia lifts off on the 108th shuttle flight, the third Hubble Space Telescope servicing mission. Numerous enhancements are carried aboard the shuttle to replace existing parts on the decade-old orbiting telescope, including new cooling systems and a new set of solar power arrays. Aboard Columbia for her 27th flight are Commander Scott Altman, Pilot Duane Carey, Payload Commander John Grunsfeld, and mission specialists Nancy Currie, James Newman, Richard Linnehan and Michael Massimino.

Space Shuttle Columbia makes her final landing at the end of this 11-day mission.

Jeremiah: The Long Road

JeremiahPay cable channel Showtime premieres the first episode of J. Michael Straczynski’s post-apocalyptic series Jeremiah, based on a popular comic of the same name from Hungary. Luke Perry (Beverly Hills 90210) and Malcolm Jamal-Warner (The Cosby Show) star; guest stars in the pilot include Teryl Rothery (Stargate SG-1) and future Battlestar Galactica regulars Tricia Helfer and Kandyse McClure.

More about Jeremiah in the LogBook