Monitor Picks

Raider of the lost truth

Josh Bernstein dons all but the whip as this real-life Indiana Jones rappels down volcanoes, crawls into caves, and hacks through jungles to uncover archaeological mysteries on The History Channel's Digging for the Truth (premières Monday, Jan. 23, 9 p.m. EST/PST). Episodes cover America's pyramids, Stonehenge, and, yes, the real Temple of Doom.

'Small' pleasures

Fans of "Holes" will want to dive into its sequel, Small Steps, Louis Sachar's first novel in seven years. There are no poisoned lizards or mythology this time, but Armpit still has a shovel in his hand. The new gardener finds himself embroiled in a ticket-scalping scam and befriends a pop star. Not as layered as "Holes," but Armpit's a likable guy, and so is his story.

Mars landing

Veronica Mars, our favorite noirish Nancy Drew, returns next Wednesday (UPN, 9 p.m. EST), and we need answers: Who ran the school bus off the cliff? Will Logan get back together with Veronica? Why are grown men watching this high school detective show? Because it's the best serial on TV this side of "24" and "Lost." (If you don't want to jump in midseason, catch Season 1 on DVD.)

'Bleak' midwinter television

Gillian Anderson (of "The X-Files" fame) is brilliant in Bleak House (PBS, Sundays from Jan. 22 to Feb. 26, check local listings). Luminous and mysterious, Lady Dedlock is the flame around whom swirl a variety of heated love stories, a terrible secret, and one of Charles Dickens's most insidious villains - a lawyer who ferrets out truth, but never justice.

Happy birthday, Wolfgang

Your invitation to Mozart's 250th birthday celebration is courtesy of the British Library ( The site's centerpiece is a digitized version of the composer's Verzeichnüss aller meiner Werke (Catalog of all my Works), containing musical introductions to his most famous compositions ("The Marriage of Figaro," "The G Minor Symphony"), as well as lost pieces. Hear recordings and expert commentary, and see charts written in his own hand. Nothing minor about it.

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