Leonid Kadeniuk, astronaut, dies

Leonid KadeniukUkrainian-born Space Shuttle astronaut Leonid Kadeniuk, who entered the Soviet-era cosmonaut corps in 1976 but didn’t fly in space until 1997, dies at the age of 67. The first Ukrainian national to fly in space, Kadeniuk was a member of the STS-87 crew, a microgravity science mission aboard Columbia during which he performed experiments on vegetation in zero gravity. Following his single flight into space, Kadeniuk spent a few years continuing to try to build Ukraine’s space program, before becoming involved in politics in the 21st century.

Professor Stephen Hawking, physicist, dies

Professor Stephen HawkingWidely regarded as one of the 20th and 21st centuries’ finest minds in the fields of theoretical physics and cosmology, Professor Stephen Hawking dies at the age of 76, having suffered from ALS (better known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease) for over 50 years. He far outlived the few years he was expected to live when he was diagnosed in 1963. In that time, he co-authored a 1970 paper which referred back to Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity to lend great credibility to the then-new (and not widely accepted) theory of the universe’s origins in a “big bang”. Later that same year he began working on research that would eventually lead to the theory that black holes would emit a signature radiation, dubbed Hawking radiation, though those emissions had yet to be observed directly at the time of Hawking’s death. His best-selling 1988 book, “A Brief History Of Time”, propelled Hawking (and his remarkable survival story) into the public eye, though by this time he was wheelchair-bound and reliant on a speech synthesizer to communicate with others.

Star Trek: Discovery: Welcome To Section 31

Star Trek: DiscoveryA very brief untitled extra scene following on from the season finale of Star Trek: Discovery is made available on YouTube by CBS All Access, starring Michelle Yeoh and Alan Van Sprang in a setup for a storyline in Discovery’s second season. The short scene also serves as a trial run for an upcoming series of short stories set in the Star Trek universe, Short Treks, which will debut later in 2018.

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Steven Bochco, writer, dies

Steven BochcoLegendary television writer/producer Steven Bochco dies at the age of 74. Widely associated with TV police dramas, including the genre-changing shows Hill Street Blues and NYPD Blue, Bochco created numerous popular series, including L.A. Law and Doogie Howser M.D. He also had numerous genre credits, ranging from co-writing the 1972 sci-fi cult classic Silent Running (a very early entry in his career), to co-creating (with Harve Bennett) two 1970s TV iterations of H.G. Wells’ timeless story, The Invisible Man and Gemini Man. He also wrote an episode of the 1980s revival of The Twilight Zone, and created a series pilot, NYPD 2069, which aired as a one-off TV movie in 2004. (Another series pilot, Vampire, went no further than the pilot stage in 1979.)

Soon-Teck Oh, actor, dies

Soon-Teck OhKorean-born actor Soon-Teck Oh dies as a result of a chronic illness at the age of 85. Arriving in the United States in 1959 as a college graduate with a degree in international relations, he was drawn into show business, gaining high visibility in the 1974 James Bond film The Man With The Golden Gun. He guest starred on countless American TV series, including The Invaders, The Wild Wild West, Night Gallery, Search, Logan’s Run, The Greatest American Hero, Highlander, Time Trax, Babylon 5, Stargate SG-1, and Seven Days, to name just some of his genre credits.

Chuck McCann, actor, dies

Chuck McCann in Far Out Space NutsComedian and actor Chuck McCann, a familiar TV face from his start in children’s television in New York in the 1950s to his near-ubiquity in both television shows and commercials in the 1970s and 1980s, dies of congestive heart failure at the age of 83. He continued to be a fixture on children’s television nationally, including a stint on the Sid & Marty Krofft Saturday morning kids’ sci-fi comedy Far Out Space Nuts in 1975, of which he was also co-creator. McCann’s voice could also be heard in numerous animated TV series, including Pac-Man and Animaniacs; he was the voice of The Thing in the animated Fantastic Four series.

Lost In Space returns

Lost In SpaceThe first season of a reimagined Lost In Space series premieres on the Netflix streaming service. As with the 1960s series, the new show follows the exploits of the Robinson family as they are stranded on an alien planet with a shifty passenger known only as Dr. Smith, though the story is generally given a more serious, mysterious tone than the light-hearted family-hour viewing of the original show. Molly Parker, Toby Stephens, Maxwell Jenkins, Mina Sundwall, and Parker Posey star. The new series gains enough of a following for Netflix to quickly green-light a second season, which will not premiere until late 2019.

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