Apollo to Jupiter, the sky's the limit

TODAY'S TV

July 20, 1994|By David Bianculli | David Bianculli,Special to The Sun

No news yet from Dancer or Blitzen, but Comet is becoming a big TV star this week -- or, if not a big star, at least a big celestial supporting player. Newscasts and CNN are one great place to watch for the latest images from the collisions of the comet fragments on Jupiter -- and tonight, public television provides another. The most out-of-this-world TV star tonight, though, is the Earth's moon, the focus of several TV specials on this silver anniversary of man's first moonwalk.

* "Apollo 13: To the Edge and Back" (9-10:30 p.m., WMPT, channels 22 and 67) -- The silver anniversary of this particular flight won't occur until next April -- but of all the manned missions to the moon, this 1970 one was the most harrowing, and is recounted here in grippingly dramatic detail. PBS.

* "48 Hours: The Better Sex" (10-11 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- Without the article in the title, this would be an entirely different type of topic. With the "The" in there, though, it signifies a report on the changing roles and responsibilities of men and women, especially in the workplace. CBS.

* "The Great Comet Crash" (10:30-11:30 p.m., WMPT, channels 22 and 67) -- This production, with Terry Gross of National Public Radio's "Fresh Air" and Derrick Pitts of the Fels Planetarium in Philadelphia as co-host, devotes an hour of prime time to the latest explosions and craters on the surface of Jupiter, and breaking news about comet fragments. Happy trails to you . . . PBS.

Cable

* "For All Mankind" (8-9:30 p.m., Disney) -- Beautiful images. They abound in this 1989 documentary, which uses familiar and unfamiliar footage from the Apollo NASA archives to fly us to the moon -- and back again -- several times.

* "One Giant Leap" (8-10 p.m., Discovery) -- This documentary is yet another silver-anniversary look at the Apollo 11 moon landing in particular and the space race in general.

* "The Right Stuff" (9-11 p.m., Lifetime) -- Second of two parts. It's a movie, based on Tom Wolfe's best seller, and some of the astronauts dismiss this film as superficial and unrealistic. But it's captivating nonetheless, with some very strong performances.

* "Dream On" (10-10:30 p.m., HBO) -- Poor Martin (Brian Benben): He lives all this time in the shadow of his ex-wife's perfect husband, Richard -- and now that Richard's gone from the picture, Judith (Wendie Malick) begins dating Gibby (Michael McKean), Martin's slimy publishing boss.

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