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AlphaBits: ‘Mission: Impossible’s’ Peter Graves Dies

PLUS: Fallen Congressman also likes ‘Battlestar Galactica’

The entertainment world is mourning the loss this week of Peter Graves, who made a name (and a face) for himself in the 1960s series “Mission: Impossible.”

Graves died Sunday at the age of 83.

Although an official cause of death has yet to be determined, Graves’ publicist told CNN that he suffered from a heart attack.

Graves didn’t have a lot of genre credits to his name outside of “M:I (and even that is a weak connection to what we cover), but he did guest star in five episodes of “Fantasy Island” in the late 1970s and early 1980s as Capt. Erik Von Voorten. He also played Maj. Noah Cooper in a 1979 episode of “Buck Rogers in the 25th Century” and Mark Needham in the “Alfred Hitchcock Hour” episode “I’ll Be Judge – I’ll Be Jury,” that aired in 1963. — [CNN]


Massa shows ‘Battlestar Galactica’ language skills

If you haven’t been following the whole crazy sexual harassment allegations against now former U.S. Rep. Eric Massa, then you missed something genre-related.

Believe it not.

Massa, who has been the target of sexual harassment claims by some of his male staffers (despite the fact that he’s married and has denied he’s anything but straight) apparently said all the problems stemmed from a wedding party over New Year’s, where he showed the world he was a fan of “Battlestar Galactica.”

“One of them looked at me as they would do after, I don’t know, 15 gin and tonics, and goodness only knows how many bottles of champagne,” Massa told Roll Call. “A staff member made an intonation to me that maybe I should be chasing after the bridesmaid, and his points were clear and his words were far more colorful than that. I grabbed the staff member sitting next to me and said, ‘Well, what I really ought to be doing is frakking you.”

Massa then tossed the guy’s hair, and left. Yeah, he said “tossle.”

Sheesh, now there’s a fan that maybe the genre can do without. — [TPM Muckraker]


Another film takes 3-D route

Just in case you haven’t had your fill of 3-D with “Avatar” and “Alice in Wonderland,” Ridley Scott is jumping on the bandwagon with the announcement that his Alien prequel will also take the 3-D route.

“Ridley told me some of his ideas,” art director Roger Ghristian said. “He has a very clear understanding of where this should go. They kind of stopped dead one of the greatest horror franchises there’s ever been, and it had legs to go on. So I’m hoping he’ll revive another three.”

Just to note, however, that Christian isn’t exactly attached to the next Alien movie. But he seems to have a pretty sizable desire to be involved.

“If ever I went back to designing, they only film I would ever want to design is ‘Alien,’ if Ridley re-did it,” Christian said. “3-D is brilliant for horror.” — [Empire Online]


Beeman becomes super again

Greg Beeman is returning to “Smallville” in time to direct its ninth season finale.

Beeman was a part of the beginnings of “Smallville” way back in The WB days (when the show was first competing — and beating — “Star Trek: Enterprise,” but had gone off to do other shows like “Heroes” and even “Melrose Place.”

It’s not clear if he will be a part of the Season 10 team. But either way, it has to be exciting for “Smallville” fans to get a bit of a blast from the past. — [KSite TV]


‘Doctor Who’ coming to the Wii

The Wii Fit might make fun of me a lot in the older days of Alpha Waves Radio, but that won’t stop The Doctor from bringing his sonic screwdriver to the Nintendo Wii gaming console.

Nintendo has reportedly signed a $15.2 million contract to have “Doctor Who” developed into a game for both the Wii and the D5.

The game will be based around Matt Smith’s Doctor, and could be available as early as Christmas.

“We went with Nintendo as they have huge appeal for families, and ‘Doctor Who’ is very much a family brand,” a source told the British tabloid Sun. “The wii console is key for us as it’s something families play together.”

Don’t expect the game to be too violent. The BBC reportedly has a right of refusal on specific elements and content in the game, so if it goes a little too far, Nintendo will have to pull back.

No word if there will be a wireless sonic screwdriver device sold with the game. Or a Tardis. Or hell, even a Dalek or three. — [Digital Spy]


Tennant, Piper reunite

And don’t forget about David Tennant. He’s no longer The Doctor, but that won’t stop him from getting together with former “Doctor Who” co-star Billie Piper.

Tennant is set to get involved with the thriller “Love on the Murder Mile,” the Daily Mail reports. It’s a project that already involves Piper, which is being directed by her husband, Laurence Fox.

It was written by Johnny Glynn, and could also star Matthew Rhys and Mackenzie Crook. — [Dark Horizons]


Comedy Central takes sci-fi route

Comedy Central isn’t afraid to go a little science-fiction once in a while, and will return to the genre March 17 for its new series “Ugly American.”

The animated series, which premieres at 10:30 p.m. ET, centers on a social worker at the Department of Integration, who helps new citizens become a part of the country whether they are human or not.

Even better, this bureaucrat has roommates who are both a zombie and a demon. Talk about a lease you never want to break.

It’s no “South Park” or “Drawn Together,” but “Ugly American” might draw up a comedy/sci-fi marriage of its own. — [Airlock Alpha]


Eric Roberts does more genre work

He’s a popular face in projects like the “Doctor Who” movie of the mid-1990s, “Heroes” on NBC, and even “The Dark Knight.” But that’s not enough sci-fi for Eric Roberts, who will star in the Roger Corman Syfy Saturday movie “Sharktopus.”

Roberts will play a research scientist who, along with his daughter, develop a secret military weapon — a hybrid shark/octopus that can be controlled by electrical implants.

Of course, you know the implants are going to break down, and the rest is Syfy movie history.

Corman received an honorary Oscar earlier this month, and his involvement in this Syfy film has already had people talking about it. It’s expected to premiere later in the year. — [Airlock Alpha]


Hear Joshua Gates on Alpha Waves Radio

No Alpha Waves Radio this week, but if you haven’t heard my interview with Joshua Gates from Syfy’s “Destination Truth,” then check out the site now at

The broadcast has now become Alpha Waves Radio’s largest live event, nearly doubling the live audience that tuned in for “Star Trek’s” George Takei back in 2008 when the show was still called SyFy Radio.

“Destination Truth,” by the way, premieres its next 10 episodes March 17 at 10 p.m. ET on Syfy.

Next week, on March 25, we welcome special guest Brian J. Smith, star of “Stargate: Universe” on Syfy, which premieres April 2. Be sure to tune in to the broadcast beginning at 8 p.m. ET, and stay on the dial at 9 p.m. when Tony Tellado hosts Alpha Waves Rewind, the live call-in wrap-up show that listeners already seem to love. — [Airlock Alpha]

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