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In Brief

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Of Civil Wrongs & Rights: The Fred Korematsu Story (July 10; 10 to 11 p.m.; Channel 13), a P.O.V. documentary, goes back to the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II to tell the story of one young Californian who challenged the suspension of his rights all the way to the Supreme Court, where he lost his case but inspired a new generation of activists.

Queen Victoria's Empire (July 11, 18, 25, August 1; 10 to 11 p.m.; Channel 13), narrated by Donald Sutherland, covers familiar territory with extraordinary thoughtfulness. The costume-drama re-creations are almost risible, but Paul Bryers's scripts ask every important moral and political question, from the Crystal Palace to the Boer War.

The Chronicle (July 14; 9 to 10 p.m.; Sci-Fi) is a clever new series about a disgraced student journalist, Chad Willett, hired by Jon Polito's supermarket tabloid where all the stories about Elvis sightings, alien abductions, and Siamese triplets turn out to be true.

The Mists of Avalon (July 15 and 16; 8 to 10 p.m.; TNT), a lavish mini-series version of Marion Zimmer Bradley's feminist take on King Arthur's Camelot, stars Anjelica Huston as the Lady of the Lake, Joan Allen as her evil sister, and Julianna Margulies as her designated successor in the Mother Goddess biz. Interesting that the incest taboo is just as strong among pagans as among Christians. Everybody has a good time (especially Julianna, with speckled legs during wild sex with the masked stranger) and nobody sings (except Loreena McKennitt).

Dangerous Child (July 16; 9 to 11 p.m.; Lifetime) watches single mother Delta Burke cover for her increasingly violent teenage son Ryan Merriman, till he sends his younger brother to the hospital, she is arrested for child abuse, the ugly truth emerges, and everybody goes into therapy. Especially scary performance by Merriman, who was the young Jarod on The Pretender.

RoboCop: Prime Directives (July 16, 17, 18, and 19; 9 to 11 p.m.; Sci-Fi), with Page Fletcher as Delta City's crime-fighting tin can, spends eight hours explaining a very complicated plot involving saint (an artificial-intelligence program), the Trust (a secret society of greedy corporate types including Robo's own son), and the Bone Machine (never mind). As usual, there is more wit here than we have any right to expect.


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