Welcome to TV Geek Week -- a new weekly column about sci-fi TV news and programming.
Screw Harry Potter. For me, the U.S. premiere of Torchwood: Children of Earth is the biggest and most anticipated geek event of the month. After a record-breaking run in the U.K., the five-part miniseries lands stateside tonight with an absorbing first hour on BBC America.
With its first two seasons, The Doctor Who spin-off offered a mature and sexy but undeniably quirky look at a team of Cardiff-based investigators fighting alien threats. Judging by the raves from the British press, and the promising first hour, Children of Earth takes things to a higher level with an epic scope, a bigger budget, and more twists and turns than the series' first two seasons combined.
Tonight's ep sees the Torchwood team responding to an alien invader that announces itself by possessing the world's children and making them chant a creepy warning, "We are coming." It's even more unsettling than it sounds, and it sets our heroes – the debonair Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman), reliable Ianto (Gareth David-Lloyd), and the fetching Gwen (Eve Myles) – off on a dangerous adventure involving cagey new characters, government conspiracies and, er, blood-spewing monsters.
If it sounds like Torchwood is full of cheap thrills, well, that's because it is. But the series handles all the B-movie business with wit, charm and heart – three things sorely lacking from some of this summer's big screen blockbusters. (Tonight through Friday, 9 p.m. ET on BBC America.)
Check out more TV picks and the first seven minutes of Children of Earth after the jump. object id="flashObj" width="401" height="352" classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=9,0,47,0">
Warehouse 13, "Magnetism" – Will episode three of Syfy's newest series finally deliver that perfect blend of sci-fi, humor and witty dialogue we've been waiting for? If last week's diverting but predictable ep is any indication, I'm guessing we'll be waiting a while before Warehouse 13 turns into a weekly must-watch. But I'm tuning in anyway, if only to see Artie finally come face-to-face with the computer hacker and for Eddie McClintock's smirky performance as Agent Pete. (Tuesday, 9 p.m. ET on Syfy.)
Serenity - Down about this year's mostly disappointing summer movie season? Make the pain go away with Joss Whedon's awesome sci-fi western. (Thursday, 6:30 p.m. on Syfy.)
The Mutant Chronicles – Thomas Jane stars as a hard-ass soldier defending a steampunk world from evil flesh-eating mutants in this weird, gruesome and totally B-movie action thriller. Ron Perlman, John Malkovich and Sin City's Devon Aoki tag along for the ride. (Thursday, 9 p.m. on Syfy.)
Eureka, "Insane in the P-Brain" - I'm really loving this new batch of Eureka eps. Last week's mad scientist switcharoo was a hoot, but I'm still eagerly awaiting the return of Sheriff Andy, played by the scene-stealing Ty Olsson. This week's ep, sadly, will be RoboSheriff free, but it still looks like fun with Carter and Tess getting zapped into invisibleness. Check out the preview clip below (and watch out for the flying cars!) (Friday, 9 p.m. ET on Syfy.)