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What's on TV

SHOWS FOR OCTOBER 11-17

Sunday 10/12

Footsteps (CBS, 9-11 p.m.): Candice Bergen stars as a successful action writer whose thrills beget more chills than she can handle. Already scared of her own shadow, she jumps pretty far out of her mind when two strange men sneak into her home one lonely night. Just how many guys are out to get her and why? There's an expression... "just because you're paranoid doesn't mean 'they' aren't out to get you..." But the heroine of her books has taught her more than she realizes. It's a terrific little scare, with Bergen at her best.

Warrior Queen (PBS, 9-10:30 p.m.): In the latest of the venerable Masterpiece Theatre series, Boudica, queen of the British Iceni tribe, raises her people in revolt against their Roman conquerors, whose atrocities included flogging her and raping her daughters in front of her. Set in 60 A.D., the film elicits our sympathies, even though the warrior culture it portrays was fierce. The vivid script by Andrew Davies uses a number of modern terms, like "terrorist," but overall works well. Excellent performances - especially by Alex Kingston as Boudica and Michael Feast as the brooding philosopher-general sent to kill her - build layers and layers of emotional truth into the story.

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Tuesday 10/14

Child Soldiers (HBO2 9a.m.-10 a.m., repeated during the month): This is another gripping documentary about child abduction - with a ghastly twist. Thousands of children are pressed into service as soldiers in countries such as Uganda, Sudan, Colombia, Sierra Leone, and Burma - even though the UN and most countries decry it. The military groups believe that children are cheap to keep, easily intimidated, easily brain-washed, and obedient. This global problem may seem to have no solution, but the documentary highlights people with ideas about how to improve the situation.

Wednesday 10/15

Churchill (PBS, check local listings): Sir Ian McKellen narrates this documentary, which chronicles the personal and political life of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. The leader is depicted as human as well as heroic through interviews with his family and former colleagues.