Thursday, July 11, 2002
Maybe "Jurassic Park" wasn't so far-fetched. "End of Extinction: Cloning the Tasmanian Tiger" (9 p.m., TLC) examines a serious effort to revive a species that was wiped out in 1936.
Like many extinct species, the Tasmanian Tiger disappeared without much fanfare. The last living tiger died alone and un-mourned in a cell at the Hobart Zoo. Its body was thrown out in the next day's trash. Closely related to the kangaroo, the marsupial had stripes like a tiger, acted a lot like a wolf, and carried its young in a pouch.
Dr. Mike Archer of the Australia Museum in Sydney has used DNA from a preserved specimen to "clone" a new tiger using a process known as PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction). The specimen, a fetal pup preserved for 130 years in formaldehyde, also will serve as a point of comparison, if or when the cloned tiger emerges.
So far, the most exciting break-through has been the replication of individual Tasmanian Tiger genes using the PCR process. The documentary also includes rare footage of the last surviving tigers as well as computer-generated animation that simulates what a revived Tasmanian tiger might look like once revived from the big sleep of extinction.
ï¿½ Fox News personality Shepard Smith will be host to "The Pulse" (8 p.m., Fox) a news magazine featuring the tabloid sensationalism, loud graphics, quick editing style and hot-headed talking heads that has catapulted Fox News to the top of the cable heap. Bill O'Reilly and Geraldo Rivera, two of the cable channel's biggest stars, will be regular features as "The Pulse" attempts to take the temperature of a nation at war. Reporters Laurie Dhue, Linda Vester and Catherine Herridge will also report on the week's biggest stories. Rivera, who faced censure from his colleagues for lying about his location while covering the war in Afghanistan, serves as chief investigative reporter for "The Pulse."
Unlike magazine news shows that look at two or three stories per hour, "The Pulse" will rush through eight or nine segments, and still have time for a debate between Bill O'Reilly and a chosen guest. Every edition of the magazine will include "The Pulse-8," featuring eight of the most outrageous video clips of the week. The permanently outraged O'Reilly will also get to opine Andy Rooney-style on the segment "Guess Who's Bugging Me Now." "The Pulse" will air for nine consecutive weeks through Sept. 5.
ï¿½ PBS launches the 10-week news series "Wide Angle" (8 p.m., check local listings) featuring former State Department spokesman James Rubin and former BBC anchor Daljit Dhaliwal.