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Weekend Playlist: Doctor Who and Other TV Legends (Burnett, Cosby), Plus: Red John!

Matt Smith, David Tennant

Who knew? Few could have foreseen the enduring success of Doctor Who given its inauspicious origins a half-century ago — a fascinating story of pluck, luck and imagination delightfully rendered in An Adventure in Space and Time, a new TV movie (Friday, 9/8c) airing as part of BBC America's 50th-anniversary Who celebration this weekend.

You don't have to be a Whovian to appreciate this jaunty re-creation of a simpler, scrappier time in TV history. A "year-ometer" (cute touch) dials back to 1963, when the staid BBC's brash new head of drama, Canadian showman Sydney Newman (a marvelously uncouth Brian Cox), greenlights a new sci-fi serial to appeal to kids and fickle sports fans. With a miniscule budget, an overheated "broom cupboard" of a studio and an edict of "no tin robots or BEM (bug-eyed monsters)," Newman appoints an unorthodox team to realize his vision: Verity Lambert (Call the Midwife's Jessica Raine), an ambitious pioneering female producer, and Waris Hussein (Sacha Dhawan), a novice Indian director.

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The Mentalist: Has Red John Finally Been Revealed?

Simon Baker and Robin Tunney

[Warning: This article contains major spoilers about Sunday's episode of The Mentalist. Read at your own risk!]

After a 10-year hunt, The Mentalist's Patrick Jane (Simon Baker) finally knows who killed his wife and daughter. Or does he?

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The Weekend Playlist: Amazon's Alpha House, Almost Human

Alpha House

There's another serious new player in the ever-expanding universe of online original-content providers (see: Netflix and Hulu) — and happily, Amazon's entry into this suddenly cluttered marketplace is not just seriously funny, but it's as bracingly timely as the latest exasperating political headline.

Alpha House (three episodes bow Friday on amazon.com, with future episodes available to Amazon Prime subscribers) is satire at its most blistering and biting, delivered by a master of the trade: Doonesbury's Garry Trudeau, whose contempt for political cynicism, venality and hypocrisy doesn't keep the jaded protagonists of this bawdy, brazen comedy from being great company. The setting is a Washington, D.C., row house, home away from home for four Republican senators, led by the fearlessly outrageous John Goodman as a good-old-boy/former football star who's outraged to discover he won't be able to coast through his next election. (His new opponent: a legendary Duke coach. As someone observes: "You're like a retired god. He's active.")

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The Mentalist: Did Jane's Plan Backfire?

Simon Baker, Malcolm McDowell

[Warning: The following article contains spoilers about Sunday's episode of The Mentalist. Read at your own risk!]

So much for a tattoo being the surefire way to determine who Red John is.

On Sunday's episode of The Mentalist, Patrick Jane (Simon Baker) gathers the five remaining Red John suspects — Bret Stiles (Malcolm McDowell), Ray Haffner (Reed Diamond), Thomas McAllister (Jack Plotnick), Reede Smith (Drew Powell) and Gale Bertram (Michael Gaston) — at his house to determine once and for all which one is his nemesis. As he's rounding the quintet up, we learn a couple of important things: first, that the FBI has reopened their investigation into Bret Stiles, but Stiles isn't worried about being found because he's dying getting ready to "elevate himself to another plane," in the parlance of Visualize.

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The Mentalist Exclusive Sneak Peek: How Does Jane Plan to Trap Red John?

Simon Baker

Has Patrick Jane (Simon Baker) regained the upper hand in his cat-and-mouse game with Red John on The Mentalist?

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The Mentalist: Is Red John Working with Visualize?

Robin Tunney, Simon Baker

[Warning: This article contains major spoilers about Sunday's episode of The Mentalist. Read at your own risk!]

Red John struck again on Sunday's episode of The Mentalist — and Patrick Jane (Simon Baker) got another major clue as to his identity.

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The Mentalist: Another Red John Suspect Gets Eliminated

Simon Baker, Robin Tunney

[Warning: This article contains major spoilers from Sunday's episode of The Mentalist. Read at your own risk!]

Another one bites the dust!

After Sunday's episode of The Mentalist, Bob Kirkland (Kevin Corrigan) can be crossed off the list of Red John suspects, because we learn that ... read more

The Mentalist Postmortem: Is Red John Off His Game?

Simon Baker

[WARNING: The following story contains spoilers from Sunday's episode of The Mentalist. Read at your own risk.]

Advantage Jane?

On Sunday's episode of The Mentalist, Patrick Jane (Simon Baker) not only rescues Lisbon (Robin Tunney) from her encounter with Red John, but he also gains a crucial piece of evidence in his hunt for the serial killer... read more

Mentalist Creator Bruno Heller on the Shocking Season 6 Premiere: "It's the Final Showdown"

Robin Tunney

[Warning: This article contains major spoilers from the season premiere of The Mentalist. Read at your own risk!]

Red John is back with a vengeance on The Mentalist. The serial killer who has made a game out of tormenting Patrick Jane (Simon Baker) promised Jane in the Season 5 finale that he was going to start killing again until Jane captured him — or vice versa. And he didn't waste any time in sticking to his word.

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Mentalist Boss Bruno Heller Breaks Down the Red John Suspects

Simon Baker, Robin Tunney

It's the beginning of the end for the Red John story line on CBS' The Mentalist. Creator Bruno Heller has promised that the case which has plagued Patrick Jane (Simon Baker) since Season 1 will be solved this year. And based on the Season 6 premiere, Heller and Co. aren't wasting any time in getting to the conclusion.

"We've never really started a season with this kind of situation in which our guys are very, very close to the bad guy, but the bad guy knows exactly as much as they do," Heller tells TVGuide.com. "It's an interesting chess position that they're both in as we start. ... In this first episode, Lisbon is dealing with the fact that Jane for the first time doesn't seem to know what to do next. And that scares the hell out of her."

We asked Heller to make a case for each of the seven suspects. "All of those guys have reasons to hide aspects of their personality," he says. "It's just a question of whether they're hiding for ordinary prosaic reasons or for sinister, evil reasons."

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