BOSTON — SHOWS WORTH NOTING FOR MAY 29 - JUNE 4 Listings are not necessarily recommended by the Monitor. All times Eastern, check local listings.
Inherit the Wind (Showtime, 8-9:30 p.m.): The conflict between science and religion gets a treatment full of fire and brimstone in this excellent production. This fact-based movie revisits the infamous 1925 Scopes trial in which a Dayton, Tenn., high-school teacher was tried for teaching Darwin's theory of evolution, violating a state law that only permitted the biblical account of creation. The stellar cast includes Oscar winners Jack Lemmon and George C. Scott, as well as Piper Laurie, Beau Bridges, Lane Smith, and William Sanderson.
Indianapolis 500 (ABC, 11 a.m.-3:30 p.m.): Gentlemen, start your engines for the 83rd running of the Indy 500. The Flying Dutchman, Arie Luyendyk, a two-time winner who holds virtually every speed record at the Brickyard, is retiring after this race. Last week he clocked the fastest speeds at the practice runs and fittingly will lead the pack with his third start from the pole position.
Masterpiece Theatre - 'Goodnight Mister Tom' (PBS, 9:30-11 p.m.): Based on a best selling novel of World War II England by Michelle Magorian, this beautifully realized film tells a simple, poignant tale of a child (Nick Robinson) horribly abused by his mother and the gruff old man (John Thaw, Inspector Morse on "Mystery!") who saves him. Straightforward, luminous storytelling, layered performances, and unerring direction help make this modest little film a significant television event.
National Memorial Day Concert (PBS, check local listings): The annual tradition continues with a live telecast from the West Lawn of the US Capitol. This year's concert theme is the Navy, and among the entertainers will be Judd Hirsch, Rita Moreno, and John Schneider. Erich Kunzel will conduct the National Symphony Orchestra.
Dash and Lilly (A&E, 8-11 p.m.): A high-voltage drama of eccentricity, bickering, and boozing. Underplaying their literary accomplishments, this made-for-cable movie is more of a chronology of the tempestuous relationship between playwright Lillian Hellman and crime novelist Dashiell Hammett, two American icons.
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (Syndication, week of May 31): Sadly, "DS9" folds its wings in this final and satisfying, if a tad sentimental, two-hour film (see story above). Knotting up all its loose ends, it sends some of its heroes off to further adventures, others home to earth, and still others carry on the business of the space station.
P.O.V. - The Legacy: Murder & Media, Politics & Prisons (PBS, check local listings): A compelling film by Michael Moore kicks off P.O.V.'s summer season of independent films. Mr. Moore tells the story behind California's 1994 "three strikes and you're out" law by following two grief-stricken fathers.