'Nova' explores 'The Universe Within'


This is one of those days when both the best and worst that TV has to offer are staggeringly clear. The best is "Nova," with an episode that, with real life microphotography, X-rays, computer animation and other techniques, makes "The Fantastic Voyage" look even more like a cheesy sci-fi film than it did before. The worst, coincidentally, is a brand new cheesy sci-fi film presented by the Fox network: a "killer bee" drama that's a bee movie in more ways than one.

* "Deadly Invasion: The Killer Bee Nightmare" (8-10 p.m., Channel 45) -- Instead of a slasher movie, this is a stinger movie, but the format's the same: There's a danger lurking outside, and everyone's in peril, with the people who drink or have sex sure to be among the earliest victims. Writer-director Rockne O'Bannon's approach to this telemovie, though, is so laughably cheap, it's almost -- but not quite -- entertaining.

This telemovie, by any measure, is a real stinger. In fact, it's so bad, it's apollen. Fox.

* "Nova: The Universe Within" (8-9:30 p.m., channels 22, 67) -- Actually, though this is the night's best effort, it could be even better. But the show's insistence upon making the hour more accessible, by use of Salt-N-Pepa music, guest athletes and other narrative tricks, distracts and detracts almost as much as it adds. PBS.

* "Boyz N the Hood" (9-11 p.m., Channel 13) -- Usually, a network showing of a movie means heavy-handed editing -- and in this case, because the language will be diluted and replaced, that may not be a bad thing for parents who would like their kids to see this drama about inner-city kids, but are concerned about encountering too many obscenities. One reason to watch: Laurence Fishburne, as the dad of one of the boys, portrays a really terrific parent. CBS.


* "Red Hot + Country" (8-9 p.m., TNN) -- This AIDS benefit concert, staged by country stars, is something rock fans should seek out as well: It's a very intimate, and satisfying, concert.

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