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A shuttle tribute
PBS takes us back to that fateful day, Feb. 1, 2003, when seven Columbia shuttle astronauts died. Space Shuttle Columbia: Mission of Hope is an hour-long documentary that tells the story about crewmember Ilan Ramon's "mission within a mission." Israel's first man in space, the son of Holocaust survivors, took a Torah scroll with him on his journey – the fulfilling of the nation's dream. Actor and space enthusiast Tom Hanks produced the documentary, which airs Jan. 31.
South Africa's answer to Michael Connelly is author Deon Meyer, who returns with a thriller that hopscotches from Cape Town to Johannesburg as a sniper shoots policemen at random in Seven Days. Grizzled detective Benny Griessel takes charge of the investigation. Mr. Meyer spins a taut tale, but it is the pressure and desperation faced by Benny and his fellow special forces colleagues that resonates. This is popular fiction at its hard-boiled best.
Just because Henry Ford was a titan of industry and an icon of American history does not mean he was likable. But the story of this Michigan farmer's son and how he emerged from the American landscape is fascinating. He hated the wealthy and yet became one of the US's wealthiest. He aspired to the simple life and yet helped launch mass industrialization. Tune in to PBS on Jan. 29 for a two-hour look at this mercurial, troubled-though-brilliant man on the 150th anniversary of his birth.