Secrets Of The Pyramids
Whether these ancient monuments served as launching pads for the pharaoh's soul or for alien spacecraft, pyramids have long mystified archaeologists. Hollywood is equally fascinated with tales of mummies and fabulous wealth, but don't expect any answers from Indiana Jones. So far, much of the research on Egyptology has concentrated on their construction, purpose and the reasons behind their existence. One theory proposed that ancient Egyptians were preoccupied with the constellation of Orion as their after-life destiny. Then tall tales soon spread that the pyramids were built using wooden cranes, that the daughter of Cheops prostituted herself in order to obtain stone for her own pyramid and that a subterranean canal connecting the Nile to the Great Pyramid created an underground island on which Cheops was buried. While these and other stories would probably make a great second sequel to The Mummy, the truth may be that the pyramids were just a show of wealth by Egyptian royalty. Of course, many of them ended up being plundered by grave robbers despite the presence of false passages, trap doors and hidden chambers. Which probably means that the secrets of the pyramids are best left inside.
Be sure to finish your dinner before watching tonight's episode because this one looks at how, without realising, we eat insects and other creepy-crawlies every day. Also hear first-hand accounts of mice plagues and discover why it may actually be good to be infested.
Movie 3, 10.40pm
Forget about Top Gun, this is the star-making film that set Tom Cruise on the road to box-office fame. It also defined the 1980s in much the same way that The Graduate did the 60s. The story is relatively simple: teenager Joel Goodson (Cruise, above) has the house to himself after his parents (Nicholas Pryor and Janet Carroll) go out of town for the week. Although normally a shy young man, Goodson is urged to live it up a little before facing the real world. Before long, he befriends
prostitute Lana Scharf (Rebecca DeMornay) and things get out of hand. Cruise captures his character's shy adolescence beautifully while DeMornay makes the usual hooker-with-a-heart-of-gold role into something intelligent and compassionate. One of the film's more memorable scenes has Goodson dancing in his underwear to Bob Seger's classic Old Time Rock'n'Roll, while the climax is hilarious. (1983)