Tubegazing: 'Jewel of the Earth'

Jewel of the Earth (PBS, Tuesday, Feb. 14 at 8 p.m. EST): Amber is the scientific world's time machine and possibly a passport to an extinct species' resurrection. At least that's what we learned from "Jurassic Park." But is it really possible to clone a dinosaur from DNA buried deep inside a 40 million-year-old blob of Baltic amber? This is the question naturalist David Attenborough poses in "Jewel of the Earth," a NOVA documentary. He wraps his inquiry around a gift of amber he received during World War II, traveling around the globe to see what scientists can find inside his very own piece of history. There are all sorts of interesting critters floating up from ages past: a bee and its predator, as well as an ant and a mite. But, of course, the questions everyone wants to know about come at the end: While most scientists discount the notion of viable DNA being found inside amber, the wily storyteller manages to leave the door open for another Crichton or Spielberg to walk through, T-rex in tow. Grade: A-
- Gloria Goodale

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