NATURE: THE VENOM CURE
4 p.m. Saturday, April 9
AETN (Comcast Ch. 3, Broadcast Ch. 2)
In our vast toolbox of rules to live by, one stands out when it comes to creepy crawlies: Try your damnedest not to end up in the paper in a story that features any combination of your name and the word “venom.” While that advice has kept us out of any number of bad situations over the years, scientists now believe that the venom produced by some of Mother Nature’s nastiest creations might actually hold the keys to everything from better pain-relieving drugs to cancer-fighting enzymes. Here, “Nature” follows these scientists into the wild and then back to the laboratory, to see how some of the world’s most potent venom is collected, processed and used for medicinal treatment and experimentation.
NOVA: GREAT ESCAPE
AETN (Comcast Ch. 2, Broadcast Ch.3)
5 p.m. Saturday, April 9
While Steve McQueen looked pretty cool while sticking it to the goosesteppers in 1963’s “The Great Escape,” what most people don’t know is that the film was based on a true story. During the waning years of World War II, Allied P.O.W.’s incarcerated at Stalag Luft III in Poland spent thousands of man hours digging three escape tunnels code-named “Tom,” “Dick” and “Harry.” Each 300 feet long and 30 feet below the surface, the tunnels were outfitted with electric lights, a mining car system and forced air ventilation, all under the guards’ noses and with the prisoners racing against time and their captors’ growing suspicions of an escape attempt. Here, archaeologists and former P.O.W.’s return to the site of the Stalag Luft III prison camp to search for “Dick,” the only tunnel the Nazis never found.
SHOWDOG MOMS AND DADS
Bravo (Comcast Ch. 50)
9 p.m. Wednesday, April 13
Sure, we’ve had a few pooches that we were fond off, but we’ve never quite understood the people who got attached enough to some mutt that they paid $25 million to try and have him cloned after he went to doggie heaven. Still, even folks who go to that extreme might be considered complete amateurs when compared to the folks featured in this new series from Bravo. From the gay couple whose chihuahua is outfitted with a wardrobe of real furs and tiny designer shoes to the couple who dutifully changes their hound’s diapers (I’m not making this up), these people give a whole new definition to the term “puppy love.”