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TV Worth Watching

By D Magazine |

Conserving America: The Wetlands

Monday, January 11, at 8 p.m.

Farmers, fishermen, businessmen, housewives -people from all walks of life -are the inspired heroes who are working to conserve and protect America’s great natural heritage. This new program examines the most mysterious, most endangered, yet richest parts of America’s landscape. It features people working in Nebraska, Louisiana, Florida, and Alabama to protect prairie potholes, dryland playa lakes, saltwater marshes, and freshwater swamps.

The Singing Detective

Monday-Wednesday, January 4-6, at 10 p.m.

This much-talked about miniseries is an astonishingly rich and effective mixture of film noir, musical comedy, hospital drama, psycho-fantasy, and multilayered character portrayal. The main character, played by Michael Gambon, is a pulp fiction writer named Philip Marlow who, lying in a hospital bed nearly paralyzed by severe psoriasis, mulls over memories that haunt him while mentally rewriting his World War II-era crime novel, The Singing Detective. Viewer discretion is advised.

Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years

Sunday-Friday, January 17-22, at 8 p.m.

This critically acclaimed six-part scries details the spirit, stories, and events of the civil rights struggle in America between 1954 and 1965. Each program focuses on an event or series of events critical to the understanding of the overall progress of the civil rights movement. The first program, Awakenings, 1954-1956, looks at the patterns of racial discrimination in post- World War II America.

Sword of Islam

Tuesday, January 12, at 8 p.m.

Islam, one of the world’s fastest growing religions, is also a religion in turmoil. This compelling ninety-minute documentary provides insight to the violent headlines that so often are associated with the Arab world. The program focues on two of the most feared groups of the Islamic revolution: the Hizbollah in Lebanon, known to Americans for their bombings, kidnappings, and highjackings; and the Jihad in Egypt, remembered for their assassination of Anwar Sadat.

Nova: Top Gun and Beyond

Tuesday, January 19, at 7 p.m.

Today’s sophisticated fighter jets can almost fly themselves, but well-trained pilots are still needed to win air battles. This new program looks at how both planes and pilots are adapting to high technology.

National Geographic Special: African Odyssey

Wednesday, January 20, at 7 p.m.

Mark and Delia Owens, an American couple dedicated to conservation research on lions and brown hyenas, alerted the world to the dangers facing the wildebeest in Botswana in their book, Cry of the Kalahari. This new special follows (he adventures of the couple as they are evicted from their research camp in Botswana and search for a new site to continue their work. (To receive a viewer’s guide to the new season of National Geographic Specials, write Dial Editor, 3000 Harry Hines Blvd. Dallas, Texas 75201.)