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Sunday, June 19, 2005

CHANNEL SURF

Veteran emcee Hiroshi Sekiguchi comes back with "The Shinso" on TV Tokyo and more

Several years ago, veteran emcee Hiroshi Sekiguchi hosted a variety show in which criminal cases, usually two or three decades old, were reviewed in detail. The names of the principals were changed, but the particulars of the cases were often familiar to viewers old enough to remember them. With the help of hindsight, the show tended to look at the crimes from the standpoint of the accused and often raised questions about the the guilty verdicts they invariably received. Many had been punished by death. The show ran for a year.

On June 20, Sekiguchi and the same production company will present something similar with "The Shinso" (The Truth; TV Tokyo, 10 p.m.), an occasional series that looks at high-profile incidents from different viewpoints.

This time, Sekiguchi will cover two topics. The first is North Korea and the problem of the nuclear arms the communist country says it possesses. The second subject is the collapse of the Seibu business empire and the misdeeds of its disgraced CEO.


In "June Bride," this week's offering on "Tuesday Suspense Theater" (Nihon TV, 9 p.m.), Miki Sakai plays Misao, who is planning her June wedding when her father, Mamoru, is killed in a car accident. The blow is especially traumatic since Mamoru is the only family Misao has. However, her fiancee, Sakazaki, who happens to be a detective, suspects something fishy, and not just because Mamoru ran a fishing excursion business.

Sakazaki believes that Mamoru was murdered, and as he uncovers more and more proof to back up his suspicion, Misao comes to question her own image of her father and, in turn, her whole life. Then, from out of nowhere appears a woman who claims she is Misao's sister. She produces a photo of a baby taken 27 years earlier that was sent to her family. Did Mamoru kidnap Misao as a child and raise her as his own daughter?


According to archaeologists, the group of prehistoric humans known as Neanderthals (named after the Neander Valley in Germany, where remains were first discovered) appeared some 100,000 to 200,000 years ago and then suddenly vanished about 30,000 years ago. Commonly believed to be a side branch of human evolution not directly related to Homo sapiens, the Neanderthals nevertheless lived at the same time as our ancestors, and seem to have had some kind of culture.

In "The Mystery of Prehistoric Man" (NHK-E, Wednesday, 7 p.m.), the fate of the Neanderthals is pondered. Did they interbreed with other human forms? The main problem is that no full skeletal remains have been found yet; only a bone here and a bone there. But these bones have been found over a wide area, from Israel to Germany.



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