Geronimo: the Last Renegade (A&E, 8-9 p.m. EST): Part of the series ``The Real West,'' this compelling TV documentary seems to be offered as a corrective to the current film release ``Geronimo.''
``Who was Geronimo? the show asks, as it tries to see through the bellicose legend. In answer, the program offers its version of the real Geronimo, who had already been waging guerrilla warfare against the Mexicans when white settlers from the east began encroaching on his territory. So the whites were merely added to his list of enemies.
Geronimo emerges no less dramatic and impressive for all the ambient grit found in this production but missing, A&E implies, from the film. In the eyes of his people, Geronimo could stop time. He could stop clouds in the sky. He was a great medicine man. His power was ``of a sacred kind,'' as someone notes. When his memorable face - with its otherworldly stare - looms on the TV screen, you can believe his influence among his people. They lived as nomads in a west as yet unsettled, feeling they were rich in the abundance of the land and in their personal relationships.
Creative image-mixing is freely used: Fire, human figures, and Geronimo's visage coalesce on screen as his words - epic and magisterial - are spoken in a voice-over. One quote: ``How long will it be before it is said, `There are no more Apaches?' ''
The insightful words of many others are also included, as the old photos flow by on screen. ``That was our home'' and they took it, says one native American about the government's efforts in 1876 to ``concentrate'' the tribes. ``That could put fire in anybody.''
Series host Kenny Rogers, a rustic figure who could have stepped out of the period, looks and sounds very much at home with the material. * FRIDAY
Viewer Call-in (C-Span, 6:30-8 p.m. EST): The channel's daily program giving viewers a chance to speak directly with figures active in public affairs.
Please check local listings for these programs.