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TV highlights

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FOUR MINUTES 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 6 ESPN (Comcast Ch. 6) It was a long-held belief in the medical and athletic community that running a mile in under four minutes was a physical impossibility — that the built-in limitations of the heart, blood, lungs and muscles would always thwart the quest for the sub-four-minute mile. That was until May 6, 1954, when a young British medical student named Roger Bannister — who came to the track that day, legend has it, straight from working a grueling eight-hour shift at a London hospital — stunned the world by breaking the unbreakable barrier, and was later knighted by Queen Elizabeth. Bannister’s story still stirs the imaginations of athletes everywhere. Here, in another of ESPN’s original movies, the sports channel presents this tale of human endurance and the lengths a person will go to realize a dream. MARTHA 6 p.m. weeknights TLC (Comcast Ch. 68) Though we think Martha Stewart is kind of a prig, too, our jealousy over the fact that she can make a puff-pastry-wrapped turkey and we can’t didn’t keep us from feeling a little sad to see her get trucked off to prison for something that obviously goes on all the time on Wall Street. She’s out now, and her all-too-human response to being locked up has really thawed her image in the public eye. With the ankle bracelet off, Martha’s ready to kick up her heels and spend some of that clink-purchased capital, in the form of her new daily show on TLC, simply called “Martha.” With an interesting mix of cooking, crafts and celebrities that Martha’s shows have always been known for, it’s sure to delight — until, that is, you get fed up with how perfect she is and start hating her again. MAD MAX (1979) THE ROAD WARRIOR (1981) 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 12 AMC (Comcast Ch. 31) It’s a mechanized nightmare: tribes of crazed drivers, each in a giant souped-up machine, have turned the highways into battlegrounds as they fight for gasoline, made incredibly rare and precious by decades of the unrelenting thirst for oil. No, it’s not I-630 at rush hour, it’s the world of “Mad Max.” In this double feature of the Australian-made films that dropkicked his star into the stratosphere, Mel Gibson plays a cop caught up in a petrol-fueled holocaust, battling Mohawk-sporting punks for the world’s last drop of fossil fuel. In “Mad Max,” we see how it all began. In “Road Warrior,” Max goes to bat for a group of refugees, under siege for their supply of fuel. Up next for Gibson: “The Passion of the Road Warrior,” which features a Harley-riding Jesus crashing through a barbed-wire fence and a vat of boiling tar before being whipped to death with a motorcycle chain.

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