The Sound and the Silence(TNT, 8-10 p.m.): A revealing, highly personal look at the life of Alexander Graham Bell, a genius whose story is usually dramatized almost entirely in terms of his invention of the telephone - and inevitably includes history's most famous phone conversation: "Mr. Watson, come here. I want to see you." This command, and the events surrounding it, occur here, too, but this drama ventures far beyond that justifiably renowned aspect of Bell's life to reveal an early crusader for the
deaf. Bell drew much of his inspiration from his father, a gifted and influential speech teacher who developed a phonetic alphabet he called "Visible Speech." Bell was also deeply influenced by his hearing-impaired mother - he used to speak with his lips against her temple so she could "feel" his words - and from his deaf wife, a strong-willed woman named Mabel Hubbard. In this two-part production, John Bach plays the adult Bell, Brenda Fricker his mother, and Ian Bannen his father. Vanessa Vaughan is the young Mabel Hubbard, and Elizabeth Quinn plays Mabel Hubbard Bell. (Part 2 airs Monday at 8 p.m.)
Booknotes (C-Span, 9-9 p.m.): The guest is Molly Moore, author of "A Woman at War: Storming Kuwait With the U.S. Marines."
Heidi (The Disney Channel, 7-9 p.m.): The oft-told tale gets still another treatment here, this time with a somewhat stricter eye for the facts and feeling of the 1881 German novel by Johanna Spry. With the Alps as a setting, the story focuses on a young girl who, after her parents are killed in an accident, lives with one relative after another, changing all their lives. The 1937 Shirley Temple film is probably still the best-known version, although there was also a Swiss film (1953), an Austrian film
(1965), and a 1968 TV adaption with an impressive cast. Noely Thorton is Heidi in this two-part dramatization, with Jason Roberds as the grandfather and - playing a little against type - Jane Seymour as the domineering governess. (Part 2 airs Monday at 7 p.m.).
Please check local listings for these programs.