From “The Walking Dead” to bath salt induced attacks, some believe fiction may become reality sooner than you think. On December 21st, the Mayan calendar will have finished its great 5,125-year-long cycle. This has fueled worldwide speculation as to what will happen on that fateful day. Believers of the Mayan Apocalypse prediction say the people of Earth will be engulfed by a destructive rain of fire or inundated by a gigantic tsunami flood. Doomsday preppers suggest the planet will be overwhelmed by a mysterious zombie-virus driving mankind into the brink of extinction. On the other hand, optimists and doomsday skeptics say it is the date of alien first contact or a new age of enlightenment for human evolution.
Viewers can prepare themselves by watching “Apocalypse Tuesday” this week on the Discovery Channel or simply review the rules listed in “Zombieland” starring Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, Woody Harrelson, and Abigail Breslin. On a lighter note, fans who survive the end-of-the-world can check out the “Star Trek” marathon on Saturday and Sunday.
The television landscape isn’t as bleak as it seems. Each week we’ll countdown the best in sci-fi, fantasy and paranormal television for the viewer with discriminating tastes. Here is this week’s Watchlist for December 17 – 23.
Dreamworks Dragons: Gift of the Night Fury (8 p.m., Fox)
Inspired by the popular “How to Train Your Dragon” film franchise, this story of faith, love and friendship finds the villagers of Berk preparing for the winter holidays. As their festivities approach, the dragons make a sudden mass exodus leaving Hiccup (Jay Baruchel), Astrid (America Ferrera), Stoick (Gerard Butler) and the rest of the gang saddened by the loss of their winged friends. A wild turn of events leads Hiccup to discover a mysterious, never-before-seen island and learn the true reason why the dragons left the village. Friendship and loyalty abound in the exclusive broadcast premiere. The voices of Jonah Hill and Kristen Wiig also guest star.
Hawaii Five-O (8 p.m., Fox)
(“Kahu”) After someone foolishly tries to carjack McGarrett, he and Catherine meet a boy whose father is missing and may be in deadly trouble in the backwoods of Oahu. George Takei guest stars as Chin’s Uncle. Kahu is Hawaiian for “Guardian.”
Note: George Takei guest starred on the original “Hawaii Five-0” series (“Death’s Name is Sam”) on October 10, 1975 as Nathaniel Blake; a police officer who is asked to impersonate another man who has committed suicide in order to bring a criminal to justice. His character in this current episode of “Hawaii Five-0” has no relation to Nathaniel Blake.
I Love the 1880s: The Nerds Who Built America (11 p.m., History)
The comedians tackle Edison, Einstein, the Wright Brothers, and many other nerds whose scientific genius have made the world a better place. The show takes a comedic and nostalgic look back at history’s most iconic people and events through the eyes of today’s funniest comedians. The series ties historical information to today’s headlines, illustrating that history truly does repeat itself—often in absurdly funny ways.
Leverage (10 p.m., TNT)
(“The Toy Job”) To stop a crooked CEO who is going to release a dangerous toy onto the market, the Leverage team creates a global toy craze to stop him.
Note: Jonathan Frakes directed the Christmas episodes of NCIS: Los Angeles (Free Ride) and Leverage (The Toy Job), both airing tonight.
Zombie Apocalypse (10 p.m., Discovery)
The culmination of “Apocalypse Tuesday” consists mostly of reruns about the end of the world. The show focuses on a quartet of people who have formed the Kansas Anti-Zombie Militia. They are training for the inevitable zombie apocalypse. As belief spreads throughout the science community, these extremists are not the show’s only focus. Ivy League professors and scientists speak out on this to describe the plausibility of this scenario.
Dark Matters: Twisted But True (9 p.m., Science)
(“Theremin; The Monster Study; Roid Rage”) A look at a piece of spy technology created by Russian inventor Léon Theremin. Also: a stuttering experiment conducted on orphans; the first use of anabolic steroids in American sports.
Haven (5 a.m., Syfy)
(“Season 3 Marathon”) The Syfy Channel is hosting a “Haven” marathon all day in preparation for the Season finale tomorrow. The season’s penultimate episode “Reunion”, which dealt with a string of murders at Haven High School, was originally slated to air on December 14, but was pulled from the schedule in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting and replaced with a repeat of the “Eureka” holiday episode. The network has since then rescheduled the episode to air as part of the Season 3 marathon.
Fringe (9 p.m., Fox)
(“XB-6783746”) As the countdown to the climactic series finale continues, the Fringe team is running out of time to save the world. As Peter, Olivia, Astrid and Walter scramble to tap into a key piece of the puzzle to defeat the Observers; they enlist the aid of Nina Sharp who conjures up a plan. Only four episodes remain, tonight is the last episode of 2012.
Ghost Adventures (9 p.m., Travel)
(“Killer Nightlife”) The team visit bars, restaurants and nightclubs that are supposedly haunted.
The Brit List: The Ultimate Doctor Who List of Lists (10 p.m., BBC America)
What’s your Top Five Doctor Who companions? Your Top Five Scariest Monsters? Your Top Five Guest Stars? Don’t miss as BBC America’s pop culture correspondent Asha Leo is joined by special guest Captain Jack Harkness himself, John Barrowman (Torchwood), to countdown the rankings in these and other heated polls. Barrowman is reason enough to set your DVR!
The Dead Files (10 p.m., Travel)
(“Family Curse”) Two deaths are uncovered when Steve and Amy investigate strange occurrences at a home in Belvidere, Illinois.
Haven (10 p.m., Syfy)
(“Thanks for the Memories”) With all of the mysteries Audrey has been investigating-the Bolt Gun Killer, the search for her son, The Guard and her own past in Haven-converging at the same place and time, Audrey must face hard truths and make a terrible decision as the very existence of Haven hangs in the balance. Season 3 finale.
Countdown to Doomsday (1 a.m., Syfy)
Host Matt Lauer reports on the potential consequences of ominous terrestrial threats.
R.L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour (6 p.m., The Hub)
(“A Creature Was Stirring”) Timmy Morgan gets a gift on Christmas that appears to be something moving inside of the present. When he opens it, he is surprised to find a monster inside.
Celebrity Ghost Stories (9 p.m., Biography)
(“20 Most Evil Entities”) Cindy Williams is chased by a spirit; Skylar Grey is attacked by an incubus; and Alan Thicke encounters a Russian ghost.
Frozen Planet (9 p.m., Discovery)
(“The Ends of the Earth”) Polar bears in pursuit of mates, surfing penguins and hunting orcas are observed in the premiere of the documentary series examining wildlife in the Arctic and Antarctic. Narrated by Sir David Attenborough.
The Graham Norton Show (10 p.m., BBC America)
Multi-award winning comedy talk-show based on people, trends, stories and aspects of celebrity culture of interest to Graham Norton. Expect trademark Norton comedy monologues, celebrity chat along with eccentric stories and characters that airs as part of the “Ministry of Laughs.” Tonight’s guests include Martin Freeman (“Sherlock”, “The Hobbit”), Dawn French (“French and Saunders”), comedian Lee Mack and Girls Aloud.
The Haunting of (10 p.m., Biography)
(“Gina Gershon”) The Haunting of features Kim Russo, renowned psychic-medium as she talks with celebrities who have been affected by paranormal events.
Note: The Syfy Channel is hosting a “Star Trek” movie marathon all weekend. Please check your local listings for time. The films are being aired in the following order on Saturday:
- 1. “The Motion Picture”
2. “Search for Spock”
3. “The Voyage Home”
5. “First Contact”
6. “The Wrath of Khan”
7. “The Final Frontier”
Note: The Syfy Channel is hosting a “Star Trek” movie marathon all weekend. Please check your local listings for time. The films are being aired in the following order on Sunday:
- 1. “The Wrath of Khan”
2. “The Final Frontier”
4. “First Contact”
5. “The Undiscovered Country”