Submerged treasure; ‘Longmire’ and the strong, silent type
June 02, 2012 12:00 AM
Sending robots into the past sounds like science fiction. It’s the basis of “Terminator” and other movie plots. But now, something called a stereo-photogrammetry robot is helping a 3,000-year-old city come back to life.
The one-hour special “City Beneath the Waves: Pavlopetri” (8 tonight on Discovery) uses computer-generated imagery (CGI), acoustic and digital maritime survey techniques and robots to map a city submerged since the year 1000 B.C.
“Waves” will explore a city from the Bronze Age to the Mycenaean Age — a time of Greek myths, heroes and legends. what was it like to walk Pavlopetri’s streets, worship at its temples, gather in its courtyards and mourn at its many tombs? An interesting marriage of serious archaeology and movie special effects, “Waves” draws upon the thousands of artifacts that have been found at the site off the southern coast of Greece since its rediscovery in 1967.
— on “The Sopranos,” Tony mourned the passing of the Gary Cooper type, the strong, silent character who got things done without calling attention to himself. Fans of Cooper’s brand of screen hero will enjoy “Longmire” (10 p.m. Sunday on A&E, TV-14), based on a series of mystery novels by Craig Johnson.
A contemporary police drama set in the Big Sky country where Wyoming meets Montana, “Longmire” stars Robert Taylor as Sheriff Walt Longmire, a wounded man who frequently admits that he’s lost a step or two, but is determined to turn his life around.
Still grieving for his wife a year after her death, Walt is challenged by a younger deputy, Branch (Bailey Chase), who sets his sights on Walt’s job. Katee Sackhoff (“Battlestar Galactica”) stars as Vic, a talkative new deputy eager to remind Walt that Wyoming is sure different from Philadelphia. her chatterbox personality is a perfect foil for Walt’s taciturnity. And wouldn’t you know that while she’s rattling on, he’s deep in thought with his eyes peeled, looking for the next clue.
“Longmire” is a thoughtful mystery series because it allows you to watch Walt’s mind at work — even as he’s jumping to the wrong conclusion. At one point, a witness implicates “the Indian” working at a local bar in a crime, leading Walt to suspect his old friend, Henry Standing Bear (Lou Diamond Phillips), before subsequent events and new evidence redirect Walt and the audience on a surer path.
Featuring stunning mountain scenery, “Longmire” is spare and assured. And in the tradition of the Western, it’s a drama set on land that is disputed by “the white man” and the Native Americans living on local reservations.
I have a feeling viewers will want to stick around for the first season’s 10 episodes — at first for the scenery. Then they’ll want to see how Walt makes peace with an uprising in his own department, with a hostile reservation and, finally, with himself.
For those keeping score, “Longmire” is the latest Hollywood offering to cast an Australian actor (Taylor) as a strong-willed American character. maybe Tony Soprano was right. Hollywood doesn’t make (or cast) Gary Coopers any more.
— Andy Cohen and Giuliana Rancic host the 2012 miss USA Competition (9 Sunday on NBC). The pageant is a co-venture of NBC and Donald Trump, a man described last week as a “bloviating ignoramus” by Washington Post columnist George Will and “ridiculous” by CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. NBC’s lingering association with Donald “The Birther” Trump continues to bring it embarrassment and shame.
— Leading up to the second season finale of “Game of Thrones” on Sunday, the HBO Zone channel will air a continuously repeating marathon of the first nine episodes of “Thrones” (6 p.m., TV-MA).
— The Los Angeles Kings and New Jersey Devils meet in the NHL Stanley Cup Finals (8 p.m., NBC).
— The Detroit Tigers host the New York Yankees in Major League Baseball action (7 p.m., Fox).
— Wealthy individuals live among the less fortunate on three repeat episodes of “Secret Millionaire” (8 p.m., 9 p.m., 10 p.m., ABC). A new season kicks off Sunday.
— Standup observations on “Bill Bellamy: Crazy, Sexy, Dirty” (8 p.m., Showtime, TV-MA).
Ching-He Huang hosts “Easy Chinese” (8:30 p.m., Cooking) for a second season.
— Scheduled on “60 Minutes” (7 p.m., CBS): private companies reach for the stars; America’s homegrown Nazis; Angelina Jolie.
— The curiously titled “Adele Live in London” (8 p.m., NBC) includes a taped interview with Matt Lauer and footage from her concert in London’s Royal Albert Hall.
— A tycoon works and walks the streets of Newark, N.J., in the season premiere of “Secret Millionaire” (8 p.m., ABC, TV-PG).
— “The Diamond Queen” (8 p.m., BBC America) reflects on the life and reign of Queen Elizabeth II.
— Patrick Stewart hosts three helpings of “Animal Superpowers” (8 p.m., 9 p.m., 10 p.m., Nat Geo Wild), a look at the extraordinary abilities of wild creatures.
— A witness needs defending on “The Good Wife” (9 p.m., CBS, r, TV-14).
— A perilously fat fiance needs to drop 400 pounds before his wedding on “Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition” (9 p.m., ABC, TV-PG).
— Russell Brand hosts the 2012 MTV Movie Awards (9 p.m., MTV).
— Theon inspires on the second season finale of “Game of Thrones” (9 p.m., HBO, TV-MA).
— Sarah and Holder take flight on “The Killing” (9 p.m., AMC, TV-14).
— Kim Kardashian guest-stars on the season four premiere of “Drop Dead Diva” (9 p.m., Lifetime).
— Sally steps out on “Mad Men” (10 p.m., AMC, TV-14).
— Rumors bedevil the staff on “Veep” (10:10 p.m., HBO, TV-MA).
— Juan misleads on “The Borgias” (10 p.m., Showtime, TV-MA).
— “On the Case With Paula Zahn” (10 p.m., ID, TV-14) premieres.
— The new series “Gem Hunt” (10 p.m., Travel) kicks off with a search for aquamarines in Madagascar.
— Hannah sticks by Adam on “Girls” (10:40 p.m., HBO, TV-MA).
TCM offers a wonderland of a movie marathon Saturday night: “Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore” (8 p.m.); “Alice” (10:15 p.m.); “I Love you, Alice B. Toklas” (12:15 a.m.); “Alice’s Restaurant” (2 a.m.); and “What ever Happened to Aunt Alice?” (4 a.m.).
Too many dummies on “Rules of Engagement” (8 p.m., CBS, r, TV-PG) … An office romance beckons on “How to Be a Gentleman” (8:30 p.m., CBS, TV-PG).
A poker game breaks up early on “CSI: Miami” (9 p.m., CBS, r, TV-14).
Advice unleashed on “Dogs in the City” (8 p.m., CBS, r, TV-PG) … Marge, Lisa and Bart bond over a food blog on “The Simpsons” (8 p.m., Fox, r, TV-PG) … Storm warnings on “Bob’s Burgers” (8:30 p.m., Fox, r, TV-14).
Ryan Reynolds (as himself) befriends Peter on “Family Guy” (9 p.m., Fox, r, TV-14) … Steve overcompensates on “American Dad” (9:30 p.m., Fox, TV-14) … Recently released cons are found slain on “CSI: Miami” (10 p.m., CBS, r, TV-14).
Kevin McDonough can be reached at email@example.com.
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