PBS (check local listings)
In the tradition of Civilisation and The Ascent of Man, James Burke, Britain’s most popular science commentator, has created a 10-episode series on the historical cross-fertilization of discoveries that led to modern technology. The first show, The Trigger Effect, traces the cause of the 1965 massive New York blackout back to the invention of the Egyptian plow 7,000 years ago. While the production, filmed over two years on 150 locations in 22 countries, is overdramatized, detective work like this is irresistible.
MONDAY, OCTOBER 1