Saturday Oct. 2
McLeod's Daughters (WE, 10-11 p.m.): This TV movie is set on an Australian farm surrounded by verdant, rolling hills dotted with graceful trees - hardly the Outback we're used to seeing in movies about Australia. Two half-sisters attempt to run the ranch left them by their father - with an all-female workforce. The sisters, played by Lisa Chappell and Bridie Carter, spark with tenderness and strength.
Desperate Housewives (ABC, 9-10 p.m.): Four women, friends in an upscale suburban neighborhood, investigate the suicide of another neighbor - a "perfect" wife and mother. Sharp writing, terrific performances by Felicity Huffman and Teri Hatcher, and a darkly comic take on suburbia make this a riveting dramedy series for mature audiences.
Mystery! Death In Holy Orders (PBS, 10 p.m., check local listings): The great Inspector Dalgleish is called to St. Anselm's College - a magnificent, remote Anglican monastery where he spent his youth - to investigate an "accidental" death. The detective must sort out a complex mystery involving the closing of the college, an orphan's discovery of his parentage, and a father's attempt to protect his son. The acting is superb. Part II follows Oct. 10.
Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus (Hallmark Channel, 9-10 p.m.): Mary Shelley's brilliant tale of Victor Frankenstein, a scientist who creates a "monster," is retold with compassion and insight. Luke Goss's creature stirs the heart, and Alec Newman skillfully portrays the young scientist's slide into monstrous hubris. The questions Shelley posed in 1818 seem more relevant than ever.