Tuesday , September 22 2020
The creation of The Sword in the Stone ride continues (Imagineer Quest Part 2, as I like to call it).

PBS Primetime Programming for the Week of July 13

I tell you, I'm really excited about this proposed new The Sword in the Stone ride (the ride I would create were I an Imagineer and given the chance). I think it could be something really special. In past intros and closings we've discussed the conveyances and the first two areas patrons would visit. Up this week – the third area, the shape-shifting area, you know with all the different animal bits from the movie.

 
Sunday, July 13:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nature – “Encountering Sea Monsters”. Is Nature beyond the point where they feel like they need to come up with, you know, nature stories? Sea monsters? Really? It sounds like a stunt for sweeps. But it’s now only the July sweep, which hardly counts. Weird.

9:00PM – 10:30PM

Masterpiece Mystery! – "Foyle's War, Series V – Plan of Attack". This is it for our good friend Christopher Foyle, at least the bits that relate to World War II. Series V of Foyle's War feature the end of the war and, only very briefly, the start of the peace. But, will Foyle finally find peace? Watch and see.

10:30 – 11:00PM

Air Group 16: We Came to Remember. A documentary on Air Group 16, who served on the Lexington in the Pacific Theater. This doc follows a reunion of veterans and their families. Not to fear though, there’s archival footage, too.

 
Monday, July 14:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Antiques Roadshow – "Bismarck (Hour One)". I'm going to level with you, I know very little about Bismarck, North Dakota. I know very little about the Dakotas in general. I've driven across the country twice, once down south and once more middle/northish, but I never made it to either Dakota. I wanted to, what with Mt. Rushmore being in one of the Dakotas, but I never got there. The Antiques Roadshow, however, did.

9:00 – 10:00PM

History Detectives. This show may be the most fascinating show ever, it really may, but its title leave a lot to be desired, not like the next show. The next show has the single greatest title for a show that I’ve ever heard (other than “Josh Lasser, You’ve Been Hired as an Imagineer” of course)

10:00 – 11:00PM

The War of the World – "The Icebox". Following the Second World War, the Cold War began. Niall Ferguson shows how the Cold War was not a time of peace, but just a series of proxy wars in which tons of people died. That doesn't really sound like shocking news, I think we all knew that, but maybe Ferguson has a different take.

 
Tuesday, July 15:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Nova – "The Great Inca Rebellion”. Some CSI-type folks down in a suburb of Lima, Peru excavated a cemetery. Apparently, some of the corpses there differed from some of the other corpses there. This may be the crucial forensic evidence needed to learn more about the Spanish conquest of Peru in 1532. I know, this totally sounds like a job for the History Detectives. Maybe it’s a special crossover episode.

9:00 – 10:00PM

Wide Angle – "Birth of a Surgeon.” Did you know that in Mozambique midwives are being trained in surgery? Well, they are and it has apparently helped reduce the maternal death rate by half. How exactly did this come about? How are they being trained? Why is this all happening? Those are just some of the questions this episode may, or may not, answer.

10:00 – 11:00PM

P.O.V. – "The Last Conquistador". There is a man, John Houser, who wanted to build the world's tallest bronze equestrian statue. He wanted to put it in El Paso and have it honor Spanish conquistador Juan de Oñate. The Native Americans are moderately miffed at the idea, what with de Oñate causing the genocide of Native Americans and selling Native American children into slavery. I think they may have a case.

 
Wednesday, July 16:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Click & Clack's As the Wrench Turns. Back-to-back episodes of this animated sitcom (including the premiere) follow the Tappet brothers, Click and Clack. Or, if you prefer, people similar to (but not the same as) Tom and Ray Magliozzi, the hosts of NPR's "Car Talk" who were actually featured on an episode of Nova a while back. Now you wonder why they were in that episode, yes?

9:00 – 10:00PM

Nova scienceNOW. ScienceNOW is the newest addition to the Nova family, currently in its third season. Episodes in this series look at a variety of topics over the course of a single episode instead of just one thing for the whole hour.

10:00 – 11:00PM

Carrier "Show of Force". Well, here it is, again, PBS has previewed it over and over and over again, and now the time has finally arrived. Carrier is here (in repeat fashion). The series follows a group of people on board the USS Nimitz, from admirals on down to newbie sailors. It promises to be a fascinating look not just at this mammoth aircraft carrier, but the Navy in general.

 
Thursday, July 17:

8:00 – 9:00PM

The This Old House Hour – Episode TBA. It’s This Old House and Ask This Old House. It’s like maintenance… for your home. Wait, no, that’s exactly what it is. That doesn’t mean it’s not awesome though. Seriously, The This Old House Hour is one of the finest home improvement hours on PBS. No joke.

9:00 – 10:00PM

Antiques Roadshow – "Bismarck (Hour One)". I'm going to level with you, I know very little about Bismarck, North Dakota. I know very little about the Dakotas in general. I've driven across the country twice, once down south and once more middle/northish, but I never made it to either Dakota. I wanted to, what with Mt. Rushmore being in one of the Dakotas, but I never got there. The Antiques Roadshow, however, did.

10:00 – 11:00PM

Soundstage – "Stevie Nicks, Part 1". It's one part of a special two-parter this week on Soundstage, and, as the title may have given away, it focuses on Stevie Nicks. She sings some Fleetwood Mac stuff, she hopefully sings "Stand Back" and, I presume, a bunch of other things. She'll even do a little Dave Matthews Band.

 
Friday, July 18:

8:00 – 8:30PM

Washington Week with Gwen Ifill and National Journal #4802. Another whole week has gone by and good old Gwen Ifill and National Journal are here to fill us in. For the record, I like to pretend the National Journal is a sidekick, like Robin to Batman, Starsky to Hutch, or chocolate sauce to chocolate ice cream.

8:30 – 9:00PM

NOW on PBS #428. It’s the Emmy award-winning weekly newsmagazine. It looks at issues facing our democracy. The show is hosted by David Brancaccio. And, even better, they still send me e-mails (I think that makes me cool and them nice). Thanks, Now, you guys are awesome!

9:00 – 10:00PM

Bill Moyers Journal #1214. It’s Bill Moyers. It’s his 1,212th journal (not really, but I’m not going to explain to you the way in which TV shows are numbered at this point in time, maybe later if you’re nice). He’s a good journalist so I assume this will be good journalism (at least the odds are it will).

10:00 – 11:00PM

China from the Inside – "Power and the People". There are over 1.3 billion people in China. Depending on who you talk to, you may hear that they have absolutely no voice whatsoever, that any time they try to open their mouth they have it closed for them. I'm not saying that that's what this documentary espouses, just that some people would say it.

 
Saturday, July 19:

8:00 – 9:00PM

Austin City Limits – " Death Cab for Cutie/My Morning Jacket.” I saw Death Cab for Cutie perform live once. I saw it well before any of you out there knew who they were (okay, before most of you knew). No, I didn’t see it at The Garden. But, even so, I like to think that seeing them oh-so-many a year ago makes me awesome.

 

The Sword in the Stone spends a lot of time with Merlin changing Wart into various animals. Wart becomes a fish, a squirrel, and a bird. So, the next area of the ride will feature not just Wart, but the patrons themselves, becoming those same animals. The horse conveyance will alter its motion based on the animal to create the different senses of flying, scampering, and swimming. I think the way the honey pots bounce in the Winnie the Pooh ride is fantastic, so I see the movements here as building on that. There also needs to be water sprayed on people (a little), for the fish bit, a smell of trees and nature for the squirrel bit, and wind coming towards people for the flying. Up next week… the ride's climax.

About Josh Lasser

Josh has deftly segued from a life of being pre-med to film school to television production to writing about the media in general. And by 'deftly' he means with agonizing second thoughts and the formation of an ulcer.

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