PUBLISHED : Thursday, 05 September, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 05 September, 2002, 12:00am

Messages From The Past

Pearl, 12.30am

The city of Ur in Mesopotamia was the greatest achievement of the Sumerians, who identified the soil between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers as being particularly fertile. With crop yields approximately 10 times the levels achieved in Europe in the Middle Ages, the Sumerians owed their agricultural success to the ingenious irrigation systems they used to control the irregular flooding of the two rivers. However, today the site of Ur is a barren desert in southern Iraq. Message From The Past draws on modern-day scientific developments to explain why this civilisation initially thrived and what caused its demise.

Man's Heritage: Gangland Lemurs

Pearl, 8.30pm

On the island of Madagascar, just off the southeast coast of Africa, lives an animal found nowhere else in the world. Ringtail lemurs look stunning, with their black and white markings and long, fluffy, striped tails. If you saw a group of them peacefully grooming each other, you wouldn't imagine they were getting ready for a bit of gang warfare, or that the females would be leading the way into battle while the males cheer from the sidelines.

3,000 Miles To Graceland

HBO, 9pm

In search of the perfect heist, two ex-convicts - the vicious Thomas Murphy (Kevin Costner) and the somewhat more benign Michael Zane (Kurt Russell, above) - and a gang of three others, plan to rob a Las Vegas casino during an Elvis impersonator convention. They succeed in the robbery only to be gunned down by Murphy who has decided to keep all the money for himself. However, Zane survives the shooting and with millions of dollars at stake, the law closing in and single mum Cybil Waingrow (Courteney Cox) and her son constantly confounding events, Zane tries to track down Murphy. (2001)