Legendary Trails (PBS, 8-9 p.m.): This weekly four-part miniseries, premiering here, traces the journeys that millions of pilgrims have taken over the millennia to sacred sites.

In each program a different guide takes viewers along routes that can cover thousands of miles on trips that metaphorically are also journeys through history and ancient cultures. The guides offer personal observations as they explore the significance of the long trek and its spiritual meaning for the people taking it.

In this opening episode - ``The Gift of Incense'' - Emma Freud, great-granddaughter of Sigmund Freud, retraces the route north from Arabia that travelers in the ancient world took when transporting frankincense, at that time a costly commodity surrounded by mystery. The show accompanies Freud from the frankincense groves of Oman through Yemen and Jordan to Jerusalem.

The remaining shows - airing on successive Thursdays - record pilgrimages in the Peruvian Andes, sites associated with Buddha, and a 12th-century pilgrimage from France to Spain.

* FRIDAY Year in Rock (MTV, 7-8 p.m.): The music-video channel recaps the sound and events that defined the past year for millions of rock fans. Some of the material is trivial, some of it tragic, and a lot of it rings with familiar bands and voices.

There are clips from MTV's coverage of ``Woodstock '94,'' a review of big 1994 tours (like the Eagles and the Rolling Stones), a tribute to the late Kurt Cobain, lead singer of Nirvana, and a rundown of new releases (like Aerosmith's and Madonna's).

The somewhat bizarre news stories that loomed so large in 1994 are touched on - Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding, Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley, and, of course, O.J. Simpson.

School-campus issues are examined as well as politics: The program considers the Clinton administration's impact on issues that matter to young people.

Please check local listings for these programs.

of 5 stories this month > Get unlimited stories
You've read 5 of 5 free stories

Only $1 for your first month.

Get unlimited Monitor journalism.