We’re all fascinated by mysteries and strange phenomena. But is the unexplained really unexplainable? William Shatner returns to television and once again he’s dealing with aliens. His new show “Weird or What?” first premiered on the History Channel in Canada. Other science fiction icons have hosted similar shows; John Noble’s “Dark Matters: Twisted But True” and Jonathan Frakes “Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction.” Pun intended, history will tell if Shatner’s version will develop the same cult following to stand the test of time.
Another noteworthy show this week is “Big Brain Theory: Pure Genius.” Ten really smart, generally young people are competing for $50,000 and a job with a design and engineering company, with eliminations each week based on how they perform on a high-concept challenge. The show celebrates ingenuity and innovation the same way “Project Runway” or “Top Chef” celebrate those same skills in fashion and food. One downside, the format duplicates one used on “King of the Nerds” (TBS) which premiered back in January.
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 May 6 – 12.
Defiance (9 p.m., Syfy)
(“A Well Respected Man”) Kenya is kidnapped; Rafe moves a step closer to learning the truth about his son’s death.
Bates Motel (10p.m., A&E)
(“A Boy and his Dog”) Norma encounters a mysterious stranger; Bradley becomes annoyed with rumors at school; and Dylan goes on a road trip.
Warehouse 13 (10 p.m., Syfy)
(“Parks and Rehabilitation”) Artie has a few hurdles to overcome before he can get back to work; Pete and Claudia team up on a murder investigation involving a radical environmental group.
Castle (10 p.m., ABC)
(“The Human Factor”) When Homeland Security inexplicably seals the crime scene of a car bombing, Castle and Beckett find themselves with two mysteries on their hands: who murdered the victim, a government whistleblower, and why are federal agents trying to take over the case? The plot thickens when they discover that the victim wasn’t killed by a car bomb but by a missile from a military drone. Carlos Bernard guest stars as Jared Stack, a mysterious operative who may hold the key to solving the case.
Revolution (10 p.m., NBC)
(“The Love Boat”) Miles and Tom Neville find themselves fighting for the same cause but Miles still doesn’t trust him. And Charlie, Jason and Nora attempt to pull off a daring river rescue of Dr. Stephen Camp (Timothy Busfield) to keep deadly anthrax out of the hands of Monroe. Meanwhile Rachel and Aaron are captured and threatened by Militia forces.
Weird or What? (9 p.m., Syfy)
(“Monster & Parallel Worlds”) Hosted by William Shatner, each episode of Weird or What? contains three separate stories of the bizarre and unexplained. As the show unfolds, it weighs various supernatural and scientific theories that attempt to explain the story, and sometimes features tests conducted as proof of a theory’s plausibility. The show features strange occurrences such as aliens, ghosts, monsters and natural disasters.
Grimm (10 p.m., Syfy)
(“Kiss of the Muse”) Nick discovers a muse-like Wesen (Nora Zehetner) with the ability to influence those she gets close to – some with positive results, others with terrifying ones. Nick must find a way to get close without losing himself in the process. Juliette arranges a dinner date with Nick in the hopes of clearing the air, but their plans go awry as the case intensifies. Meanwhile, Rosalee takes her first visit to Aunt Marie’s trailer.
Arrow (8 p.m., The CW)
(“Darkness on the Edge of Town”) With the Undertaking days away, Malcolm (John Barrowman) dons his black hood to conclude business with seismologist Dr. Brion Markov (Eric Floyd) and his team. Oliver and Moira entertain a number of surprise – and mostly unwelcome – visitors. Hooded confrontations at home and the Meryln Global Group reveal dark secrets. Meanwhile, Roy (Colton Haynes) and Thea are still looking out for a hero. Laurel makes a decision after Tommy’s revelation. In a flashback to the island, Oliver, Slade (Manu Bennett) and Shado (Celina Jade) struggle to prevent Fyers (Sebastian Dunn) from shooting a Ferris Air jet out of the sky.
Mythbusters (9 p.m., Discovery)
(“Deadliest Catch Crabtastic Special”) “Deadliest Catch” captains Johnathan Hillstrand and Scott Campbell Jr. join the team as they examine myths involving crab pots.
NOVA (9 p.m., PBS)
(“Venom Nature’s Killer”) Chronicling the efforts of two venom scientists to collect samples from the world’s deadliest species before the creatures die off in order to study the natural poisons, which could provide the building blocks for a new wave of advanced medicines. Also: how venom, which is generally a toxic brew of proteins and peptides, works.
Supernatural (9 p.m., The CW)
(“Clip Show”) Sam and Dean reunite with Castiel. Digging through the Men of Letters’ files, they stumble upon an undiscovered film which could be the key to the third trial. Metatron (Curtis Armstrong) enlists Cass to mull over problems at home. Meanwhile, Crowley (Mark Sheppard) digs into Sam and Dean’s past.
The Big Brain Theory: Pure Genius (10 p.m., Discovery)
(“Seek and Destroy”) Who will become America’s next great innovator? Discovery is looking for the next great technological mind that could change the future. While there are countless shows searching for the next great singer, dancer and chef, there is nothing quite like this on television. Hosted by Kal Penn, the series features some of the greatest young minds in America tackling seemingly impossible engineering challenges each week.
The Big Bang Theory (8 p.m., CBS)
(“The Love Spell Potential”) When the girls’ trip to Vegas falls through, the guys invite them to play Dungeons & Dragons, causing Sheldon and Amy’s relationship to take an unexpected turn. Meanwhile, Koothrappali and Lucy go on a very awkward date
Community (8 p.m., NBC)
(“Advanced Introduction to Finality”) Jeff achieves enough credits to graduate and contemplates graduation – and beyond. Meanwhile, the study group revisits the “darkest timeline” (from last season’s “Remedial Chaos Theory”).
The Vampire Diaries (8 p.m., The CW)
(“The Walking Dead”) As Graduation Day approaches, Caroline tries to distract Elena by focusing on simple tasks like sending out announcements, but Elena won’t be swayed from her new obsession. Sheriff Forbes calls Damon and Stefan to the hospital, where someone has been attacking patients. Still trying to force Katherine to help her, Bonnie refuses to give up on her plan to defeat Silas. As a violent wind storm causes a power outage in Mystic Falls, ghosts suddenly appear – some with good intentions and some bent on revenge.
Beauty and the Beast (9 p.m. The CW)
(“Date Night”) Cat and Vincent go on a date out in public in an attempt to be a normal couple, which backfires on them. Meanwhile, Gabe reveals some information that gives Cat hope they can find a cure for Vincent.
Person of Interest (9 p.m., CBS)
(“God Mode”) On the second season finale, Reese & Finch team up with surprising allies in a race to save The Machine from Root and the mysterious international organization Decima, who have both re-emerged with dangerous agendas. As the POI team faces off against enemies old and new, the nature of Finch’s relationship with former partner Nathan Ingram is revealed along with his original motivation for wanting to save The Machine’s irrelevant numbers. Meanwhile, in her mission to bring Cal Beecher’s murderer to justice, Detective Carter finds herself up against the criminal organization known as HR.
Elementary (10 p.m., CBS)
(“Risk Management”) Sherlock agrees to take a case from a man claiming to be Moriarty, hoping it will bring him closer to finding his nemesis. Meanwhile, Gregson encourages Joan to give up the dangerous line of work she has chosen and go back to being a sober companion. Natalie Dormer guest stars in a dramatic three episode arc as the iconic Irene Adler, Sherlock’s former lover.
Hannibal (10 p.m., NBC)
(“Sorbet”) When the BAU investigates a murder involving organ removal Jack believes that the Chesapeake Ripper may have resurfaced, but Will determines that the victim’s murder is the result of illegal organ harvesting accident. Meanwhile, Will suffers from nightmares where he is Abigail’s father, and Hannibal slowly starts to seduce Alana Bloom and begins to visit his own therapist, Dr. Bedelia Du Maurier (Gillian Anderson).
Da Vinci’s Demons (9 p.m., Starz)
(“The Tower”) Lorenzo demands that Leonardo’s estranged father defend his son in court. Later, Leonardo surprises a corrupt judge during a performance for visiting royals, and is surprised himself when the Turk makes an appearance at the workshop.
Touch (9 p.m., Fox)
(“Leviathan”) As Aster Corps closes in on the completion of the number sequence that could catapult them to the top of the global economy, determined executive Nicole Farington stops at nothing with her two new test subjects. Meanwhile, Martin and Trevor are on an intense mission of their own to interrogate Aster Corps heavy Tanner (D.B. Sweeney) for answers. As Jake and Amelia remain at the epicenter of these critical events, it’s a race against time for Martin to save them before Aster Corps changes the world forever.
Merlin (10 p.m., Syfy)
(“The Kindness of Strangers”) Morgana leads a terrifying manhunt in pursuit of her old foe, Alator of the Catha, for she knows without a doubt that he can tell her exactly where to find Emrys. Merlin’s life has never been in more danger, so when the mysterious Finna offers to help him, is he right to trust her? Or will he find himself cornered with nowhere to run?
Doctor Who (8 p.m., BBC America)
(“Nightmare in Silver”) The Doctor and Clara arrive at the dilapidated theme park Hedgewick’s World and are confronted by the Cybermen.
Rise of the Dinosaurs (9 p.m., Syfy)
(“Original Telefilm”) While returning from a military expedition a helicopter crash lands a commando unit in a dense, remote tropical jungle – a lost world populated by dinosaurs. Now they must find a way out of this isolated valley before becoming prey for prehistoric predators. The film stars Gary Stretch (Mega Shark vs Crocosaurus) and Corin Nemec (Dragon Wasps, Sand Sharks, Mansquito). Also known as Jurassic Attack, “Rise of the Dinosaurs” will be the last B-movie aired on Saturday night as Syfy moves its original creature flicks to Thursday.
Oddities (9 p.m., Science)
(“A Bug’s Afterlife”) Mike helps a customer find an insect for a diorama project; Evan and Ryan sell items to a TV host; Ryan assists a steampunk captain.
Orphan Black (9 p.m., BBC America)
(“Parts Developed in an Unusual Manner”) With Paul missing, Sarah is forced to confront the conspiracy head on. But when Paul learns Sarah has kept essential information from him, the fragile trust between them threatens to shatter. Meanwhile, Cosima grows closer to Delphine and the dangerously fascinating Dr. Leekie.
The Nerdist (10 p.m., BBC America)
Chris Hardwick hosts an interview show about what it really means to be a nerd accompanied by Jonah Ray and Matt Mira. Tonight’s guests include Buzz Aldrin, Bobak Ferdowsi, and Maria Bamford.
Outrageous Acts of Science (10 p.m., Science)
(“Epic Stunts”) Scientists are followed as they conduct experiments and post their findings on the Internet.
Once Upon A Time (8 p.m., ABC)
(“And Straight on ‘Til Morning”) After receiving a rather unwanted “gift” from Captain Hook, Emma must make a choice between sacrifice and self-fulfillment. A tale of forced magic, misplaced hearts, and twisted dreams.
Game of Thrones (9 p.m., HBO)
(“The Bear and the Maiden Fair”) Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) exchanges gifts with a slave lord outside Yunkai. As Sansa (Sophie Turner) frets about her prospects, Shae (Sibel Kekilli) chafes at Tyrion’s (Peter Dinklage) new situation. Tywin counsels the king, and Melisandre reveals a secret to Gendry (Joe Dempsie). Brienne (Gwendoline Christie) faces a formidable foe in Harrenhal.