National Catholic Register

Arts & Entertainment

TV Picks Feb. 24-March 1, 2008

BY Daniel J. Engler

February 24-March 1, 2008 Issue | Posted 2/19/08 at 2:08 PM


All Times Eastern

MONDAY, 9 p.m.

Cities of the Underworld: Viking Underground, Dublin

HISTORY CHANNEL Vikings settled near present-day Dublin around 841 and remained until Ireland’s High King Brian Boru defeated them at the Battle of Clontarf in 1014. This show takes us down to an underground river, tombs and tunnels. Advisory: TV-PG.

TUESDAY, 9 p.m.

Frontline/World: Putin’s Plan

PBS On the eve of Russia’s March 2 presidential election, this program looks at the state of freedom and democracy under the government of ex-KGB agent Vladimir Putin.

WED.-THUR., 6 a.m.

Classroom: The Underground Railroad

HISTORY CHANNEL This two-part documentary employs historians and descendants of participants to tell the story of mid-19th-century abolitionist Christians’ secret relay system that brought slaves to freedom. Advisory: TV-PG.

THURSDAY, 8 p.m.

A Man for All Seasons

TURNER CLASSIC MOVIES “He was the person of the greatest virtue these islands ever produced,” wrote Samuel Johnson of St. Thomas More (ca. 1477-1535), the scholar, author and chancellor of England whom King Henry VIII imprisoned and eventually beheaded for refusing to acknowledge him, not the Vicar of Christ, as head of the Church in England. This 1966 film was directed by Fred Zinnemann, and the script by Robert Bolt unforgettably portrays the moral courage of St. Thomas (Paul Scofield).

THURSDAY, 8 p.m.

Modern Marvels: Superhighways

HISTORY CHANNEL This episode shows us how even one distracted driver can cause a traffic jam. It also guides us along a 28,000-mile highway system in China, a 12-story, five-level interchange in Dallas and a multi-billion-dollar project that will turn a Houston-area highway into a 20-lane superhighway. Advisory: TV-PG.

FRIDAY, 3 a.m., 6:30 p.m.

A Grave in Perm: The Father Walter Ciszek Story

EWTN In 1940, American Jesuit Father Walter Ciszek (1904-1984) bravely answered Pope Pius XI’s request for priests to volunteer to enter Soviet Russia as underground missionaries. The atheistic Reds caught him in 1941 and tortured him in Moscow’s dreaded Lubyanka prison, where he spent five years, mostly in solitary. Sent to slave labor camps in Siberia for the next 10 years, he secretly said Mass, heard confessions and gave retreats. After completing his term, he established secret mission parishes. In 1963 the Soviets sent him home to the USA in a “spy” exchange. A re-air.

SATURDAY, 3 p.m.

The Woodwright’s Shop

PBS This episode highlights master woodcarver Nora Hall (b. 1922), who immigrated to the United States from the Netherlands in 1956. She produces “European woodcarving” how-to videos and teaches students at her home in Troy, Mich. A re-air from 2005.

Dan Engler writes from
Santa Barbara, California.