A For Andromeda: The Message

A For AndromedaThe first episode of the British science fiction series A For Andromeda, created and written by John Elliot and astronomer Fred Hoyle, premieres on the BBC, starring Esmond Knight and Julie Christie. Despite being considered a seminal early British science fiction series, much of A For Andromeda, including this episode, no longer exists in the BBC’s archives.

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Mercury 8

Mercury 8Astronaut Wally Schirra is the third American to orbit Earth, aboard the Mercury 8 capsule (nicknamed Sigma 7). He remains in orbit for just over nine hours in the cramped quarters of the Mercury spacecraft before splashing down.

The Invaders: The Enemy

The InvadersThe 22nd episode of Larry Cohen’s science fiction series The Invaders, starring Roy Thinnes and produced by Quinn Martin’s QM Productions, is broadcast on ABC. Richard Anderson (The Six Million Dollar Man, The Bionic Woman) guest stars.

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NOAAThe United States government reorganizes ESSA (the Environment Science Services Administration) into NOAA or the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, an agency responsible for weather prediction and research and for functions involving oceanic conditions, coastal fisheries, and then-current investigations of a potential Alaskan oil pipeline.


BerzerkPinball manufacturer Stern Electronics establishes a firm foothold as a maker of video games with the paranoia-inducing coin-op Berzerk. Featuring voice synthesis disturbingly similar to the voices of Battlestar Galactica’s Cylon warriors, and a bouncy, smiling killer named Evil Otto who appears with little or no warning, Berzerk becomes a cult classic (even meriting a serenade on Buckner & Garcia’s 1982 album Pac-Man Fever).

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STS-51J: the first flight of Atlantis

Space ShuttleThe inaugural flight of Space Shuttle Atlantis takes the newest orbiter on a four-day Defense Department mission (the specifics of which remain classified). Manning Atlantis for this flight are Commander Karol Bobko, Pilot Ronald Grabe, and mission specialists David Hilmers, Robert Stewart and William Pailes.

Soyuz TM-20

Soyuz TM-20Russia launches the Soyuz TM-20 mission to space station Mir, carrying cosmonauts Alexander Viktorenko and Yelena Kondakova, and German astronaut Ulf Merbold, who will remain for only a month to conduct experiments in orbit. A glitch in the automated docking system forces Viktorenko to assume manual control for the docking with Mir, a problem which will plague future Mir crews. Viktorenko and Kondakova remain aboard Mir for 169 days, returning to Earth in March 1995 with the new space endurance world record holder, Dr. Valery Polyakov, who has spent 420 days in orbit.

Deadly Games: The Camp Counselor – Part 1

Deadly GamesThe fifth episode of science fiction series Deadly Games is broadcast on UPN, starring James Calvert, Cynthia Gibb, and Chrstopher Lloyd (Taxi, Back To The Future); Leonard Nimoy serves as the series’ executive producer. Anthony Michael Hall and Kathy Ireland guest star.

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Neverwhere: Blackfriars

NeverwhereThe fourth episode of Neil Gaiman and Lenny Henry’s modern-day fantasy series Neverwhere airs on BBC2, starring Gary Bakewell, Laura Fraser, Hywel Bennett, and Paterson Joseph. Peter Capaldi (The Thick Of It, Doctor Who) guest stars.

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Creating Babylon 5

Babylon 5Ballantine Books releases a slightly revised American edition of David Bassom’s non-fiction behind-the-scenes book “Creating Babylon 5“, originally published in 1996 in the UK. The book features an introduction by series creator J. Michael Straczynski, extensive interviews with the show’s cast and crew, brief episode synopses, and numerous photos. A sticker is affixed to the cover after printing (but before nationwide distribution) to remind purchasers that the series is moving to cable network TNT in 1998.

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Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Real Me

Buffy The Vampire SlayerThe 80th episode of Joss Whedon’s supernatural series Buffy The Vampire Slayer, starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, airs on the WB network. James Marsters, Anthony Stewart Head, and Alyson Hannigan also star. Amber Benson guest stars.

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Dark Angel

Dark AngelThe first episode of James Cameron & Charles H. Eglee’s cyberpunk series Dark Angel, starring Jessica Alba and Michael Weatherly, premieres on Fox. Though Cameron’s name is used to heavily promote the new series, the feature-length pilot is directed by David Nutter (The X-Files). Stanley Kamel (Monk) and John Savage guest star.

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Kaguya at the Moon

KaguyaJapan’s unmanned Kaguya spacecraft, also known as SELENE, enters a polar orbit around Earth’s moon with an average altitude of 62 miles. Billed by Japanese space agency JAXA as the most significant lunar mission since the Apollo era, Kaguya carries numerous science experiments, though the public is most captivated by video transmitted back to Earth from two on-board HDTV cameras supplied by television network NHK. Kaguya conducts accurate gravitational mapping of the far side of the moon for the first time, and its own terrain camera obtains high-resolution mapping data, which will later be shared with Google for an online 3-D map of the moon.

Star Wars: Rebels: Spark Of Rebellion

Star Wars: RebelsCable channel Disney XD premieres the first full episode of the series Star Wars: Rebels, a CGI animated storyline falling between the original and prequel trilogies of the Star Wars saga, featuring a cell of rogue Rebels fighting the totalitarian Empire. Though technically in the same continuity as its predecessor, Star Wars: Clone Wars, Rebels is the first Disney-produced Star Wars project following the studio’s acquisition of Lucasfilm in 2012. The first episode is roughly 43 minutes in length, a typical length for hour-long US television drama, but most future episodes (except for select “event” stories) will run 22 minutes long.

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