December 05, 1988 12:00 PM

PBS (Sun., Dec. 4, 9 p.m. ET)

B

Early this century about 125,000 homeless British children were shipped off to Canada to live. Heaven on Earth, a Canadian-British co-production, is the story of a few of them. As the show begins, you see lots of period costumes and hear a few music-hall ditties, so you may think this is another Anne of the Green Gables. But Heaven on Earth is no bedtime story. Many of these orphans lived a bleak, mean life as indentured servants; a few found happy homes. Heaven on Earth must locate a midpoint between twink and melodrama. What’s amazing is that it succeeds.

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