Thursday, March 6, 2008

All in for Peter Outerbridge and "ReGenesis"

Okay, his name may not be totally familiar to you, but Peter Outerbridge is a terrific Canadian actor, one of my favorites. I bring him up because the fourth season (and final, evidently) of his amazing TV series ReGenesis has just started on Canada's The Movie Network. It's the perfect blend of science fiction and science fact, a show where it's okay to use big words and intelligent speculation is encouraged. The morality and ethics of modern science are constantly up front, and it's also incredibly cool, to boot. The cast is filled with terrific actors and actresses in intriguing roles, including a wonderful portrayal of a brilliant scientist with Asperger Syndrome and one who's gay and it's just part of the character without being preachy or weird or stereotypical in any way. This is a show that assumes and appreciates that the audience has the maturity to understand the way it is, in science, in life, and everything else.

The earlier seasons of ReGenesis are running here and there in the U.S. also (I believe that KCAL in L.A. has the rights) and I heartily recommend trying to catch them. Episodes have centered around fascinating scientific/medical issues such as Mad Cow, AIDs, the Spanish Flu episode of 1918, cloning, human growth hormone, Gulf War Syndrome, Acid Rain, and many other completely compelling biological disasters. You'll be hard-pressed to find a smarter show on television, or one that's more exciting, and it's completely without the use of murdered women to goose up the ratings. That in itself is refreshing.

I also bring up the talented Mr. Outerbridge because he co-starred in one of the very best episodes of The New Outer Limits, and lucky for all of us it's running tomorrow on The Sci Fi Channel. Entitled The New Breed, it stars Richard Thomas as a scientist experimenting with invasive nano technology, and Peter is his friend who, facing a terminal cancer diagnosis, agrees to become a guinea pig for him. It's an unforgettable episode, alternatively horrifying and heartbreaking, and definitely my favorite segment of TNOL.
It's running tomorrow morning -- Friday March 7th -- at 11am Eastern time, and is followed by another great episode called The Message, with Marlee Matlin as a deaf woman who tunes into a distress call from an alien vessel approaching Earth, and only Larry Drake, as one of her neighbors, believes her. It's another top-notch episode and very moving and exciting. And for even more, the remake of the classic TOL episode I, Robot airs next, at 1pm Eastern, with Leonard Nimoy in the role of the attorney who defends robot creation Adam Link from charges of murder. Though the robot isn't nearly as appealing or cute as it was in the original episode, in which Nimoy played a sympathetic reporter, it's still good seeing Nimoy in anything. So your Friday afternoon's all sewed up, isn't it?

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