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For Sci-Fi and Mystery Fans

Update: The first Masters of Science Fiction episode, "A Clean Escape," was, to my taste, a disappointment. Tiresome and tendentious, and I saw the big revelation coming within the first ten minutes or so. I'll give the series one more try.

Those who have a tv, that is. I just read in the local paper that ABC has a four-part Masters of Science Fiction series beginning tonight (10 Eastern/9 Central). I wouldn't ordinarily bother with something like this but it's based on stories by writers (Heinlein, Ellison) of what I consider the golden age of science fiction, roughly 1950-1965. Coincidentally, that happens to be the stuff I read as a teenager, when for a couple of years I read hardly anything but sci-fi. I didn't develop into a serious fan, but I do still enjoy it sometimes, and when I occasionally dip into an anthology of stories from that period they seem more substantial than much current popular entertainment.

Also, PBS has had an Agatha Christie series running for several weeks on Masterpiece Theatre/Mystery. I'm a very big fan of Mystery in general, somewhat less so of Agatha Christie, and their Christie adaptations often seem better than the books to me. I find it hard to imagine a better Miss Marple than this one, played by Geraldine McEwan, as I've never seen a better Poirot than David Suchet's. This series is apparently almost over, so it's a bit late for me to mention it, and for some reason the next episode doesn't show until the 19th, but if you like this sort of thing and haven't been watching, do yourself a favor. Each episode is a different story, so you don't need to have seen the others.



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