'Lincoln' airs on the History Channel

Published: Sunday, January 15, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, January 14, 2006 at 11:33 p.m.
'Lincoln'' interweaves a full life with the dwindling hours of April 14, 1865 - Abraham Lincoln's last full day on Earth.
Just as it never strays far from his tragic end, this intriguing three-hour portrait keeps a tight focus on the suffering Lincoln endured throughout the 56 years that went before.
Somewhat of an exercise in psychohistory, ''Lincoln'' plumbs his lifelong depression and identifies it as a motivating factor, a driving force that helps account for his greatness.
He had grown up ugly, poor and unschooled. He was plagued by emotional traumas and thoughts of suicide he never escaped.
Then, in the White House, he faced a crisis unlike any chief executive who had preceded him: The Civil War, ripping the country apart and leaving 600,000 of its people dead.
With the expected archival photos, footage of landmarks and dramatic re-enactments, ''Lincoln'' truly comes alive thanks to a dozen authorities whose testimony is deftly stitched together into an illuminating and inspiring narrative.
A man who called himself ''the loneliest man in the world,'' Lincoln lives on as perhaps the nation's most admired. This documentary helps explain why. It airs 8 p.m. Monday on the History Channel.
Other shows to look out for:
  • Samantha loves Ian. Ian's in love with Sam. But Ian, a sensible young business executive (and Englishman to boot) somehow can't put his feelings into words. Sam feels spurned. Then the taxi she is riding in is struck by an oncoming car.
    In despair, Ian longs for another chance to let her know he cares. Presto! The next morning he awakens to find that second chance has been granted. Can he convey to Sam how he feels?
    Paul Nicholls (''Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason'') and Jennifer Love Hewitt (''Ghost Whisperer'') are the couple whose love hangs in the balance in ''If Only,'' a romance premiering on ABC Family. The film, which also stars Tom Wilkinson (''Batman Begins''), airs tonight at 7.
  • It's time again for Discovery Health Channel's "National Body Challenge," an eight-week reality series supplemented by a free nationwide initiative to lose weight and get fit.
    The TV challenge begins today and Monday from 8 to 10 p.m. with an in-depth look at obesity in America. But all registered participants will receive access to an online diet and other health resources.
    In its first two years, more than 700,000 participants lost nearly 300 tons. For more information on the series, or to register, visit the National Body Challenge interactive Web site at Discovery Health Channel Online.
  • Weather Channel plays a game of What-If in a sobering new series called ''It Could Happen Tomorrow'' that forecasts the effects of possible natural disasters on major U.S. cities.
    Tonight at 9:30 the premiere episode, ''New York City Hurricane,'' examines the devastation that could be caused by a Category 5 hurricane striking New York City.
    It profiles the potential fallout through computer simulations, interviews with experts and an examination of prior weather patterns (including a 1938 Category 3 hurricane that narrowly missed Manhattan).
    Subsequent episodes explore what would happen if an F-5 tornado tore through Dallas and how an eruption of Mount Rainer would affect nearby Seattle.
  • Mount McKinley is the highest and coldest peak in North America, and one of the deadliest mountains on the globe. Each year more than 1,000 people confront it, but some climbers, even in top physical condition, die from a strange disease that strikes at extreme altitudes.
    In ''Deadly Ascent,'' ''NOVA'' assembles a team of high-altitude doctors who are also world-class climbers to help solve the mystery.
    They come armed with technology unique to this expedition: a radio pill thermometer that looks like a giant vitamin, which, when swallowed by a climber, sends core body temperature readings to a handheld receiver.
    ''NOVA'' shows viewers the firsthand experiences of these scientist-mountaineers navigating treacherous, icy terrain to reach the 20,320-foot summit. It airs 8 p.m. Tuesday on PBS.
    Frazier Moore, a national television columnist for The Associated Press, can be reached at fmoore@ap.org.
  • Reader comments posted to this article may be published in our print edition. All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.

    Comments are currently unavailable on this article

    ▲ Return to Top