A star was born
IN the movie Dragon: The Bruce Lee story, there is a scene in which Bruce is seen filming the first episode of a hammy television series in Hollywood. He is playing Kato, faithful Oriental sidekick to newspaper publisher Britt Reid who, in the way of Bruce Wayne in Batman and the Lone Ranger in The Lone Ranger, assumes another identity in order to wage war on organised crime.
Young Bruce is asked by the director to walk down some stairs and cosh a villain on the head with an ornament. Instead he performs acrobatics that would have made Errol Flynn look wheelchair-bound, swinging from lampshades and karate-chopping bemused extras in his path. A star was born.
The series was The Green Hornet, made in the late sixties. It is camp, it is silly, it is preposterous. But boy is it fun. It returns to television on World at 9pm this evening with the Green Hornet (Van Williams) foiling a multi-million dolar arts heist. With help from the inscrutable Kato.
The plot, for what it is worth, because plots are of minimal importance when you are enjoying yourself, goes something like this. Art dealer Richard Thornton is holding a charity exhibition in Reid's home. Reid, a busy man, cannot be there but finds time to watch on television from his office. He is understandably stunned when four masked men burst in and make off with the paintings.
There is a car chase, a laser gun attack, a special laser-resistant compound and a showdown at a pumping plant. They don't make 'em like this any more. Or they do, but they just aren't as good. Or do I mean bad? THERE is much dispensing of justice on World. In Renegade (1.00am) renegade cop Reno Raines (Lorenzo Lamas) is closing in on the corrupt colleague who framed him for murder.
The spanner in the works comes in the form of an arrestd biker who happens to bear an uncanny resemblance to Raines. The police are confused and so are we.
But the real justice is meted out in Instant Justice (World, 9.30pm), when ambitious young marine Michael Pare - his name is Youngblood, but then it would be - resigns his commission to go after the killers of his sister.
Pare gets his man, of course, and along the way develops a penchant for the Scottish art of head-butting.
IN the final episode of the future drama Wild Palms (Pearl, 9.30pm), the players are fighting over a microchip that can not only do a bit of desktop publishing and play Donkey Kong, but can give a person computerised immortality.
So is that what Wild Palms is all about? Partly. But this is Oliver Stone and wherever Mr Stone is you can be sure a conspiracy theory will be unturned.
In Wild Palms the conspiracy is between television and technology, which will soon collude to ''control children's dreams'' and shape a world where no-one watches films any more. Particularly not ones about conspiracy theories. Oliver Stone is a worried man.
THERE is a ''back door'' used by some Chinese companies who want to get listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange. The conventional method is to issue things called H-Shares. The unconventional method, as revealed in China Business Report (Pearl, 7.20pm) is to buy a Hong Kong listed firm which is trading in nothing and making, or losing, no money. A shell firm.
China Business Report talks to the head of one such firm in Shenzhen and asks experts in Hong Kong how well investors in back door company shares are protected.
The programme also contains a panel discussion on wealth in China, particularly the uneven distribution of it.
This is the last China Business Report. It will be reincarnated in May as part of Pearl Report.
THE comedy series Home Improvement (Pearl, 6.55pm) must have looked terrible on paper. How many laughs can be had from putting up shelves that haven't already been had by Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton? But Home Improvement turned out all right in the end. It was voted Best New Sitcom by America's TV Guide magazine in 1993. Married . . . With Children, which also runs on Pearl, was voted Trashiest Series, ''still and always''.
Many of the lines in Home Improvement are familiar ones (''Every time you install something the fire service shows up,'' says the wife). But it is a show that makes fun of men, and for women at least, that should be enough.
IN Harry and the Hendersons (World, 7.30pm), Harry's home is destroyed and so the Hendersons ask a congressman to support a bill to preserve the forests. For newcomers to this family comedy, Harry is a bigfoot, but you probably could have worked that out for yourselves.