Highlights: December 30-January 5

KLRU Highlights

Downton Abbey Revisited at 6 pm Sunday and 8:30 pm Monday savors great moments from the series’ first two seasons, along with cast interviews, rare behind-the-scenes footage and a sneak peek at what’s in store for the Crawleys as they enter the Roaring Twenties.

In the season finale of Downton Abbey, Series II at 8 pm Sunday, the family gathers at Downton Abbey for Christmas.

The New York Philharmonic rings in 2013 with one singularly sensational night celebrating the life and work of Marvin Hamlisch on Live From Lincoln Center at 7 pm and 9 pm Monday.

Mormon Tabernacle Choir Presents: The Joy of Song with Katherine Jenkins at 10:30 pm Monday features the talents of the 360-member Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Welsh classical and crossover artist Katherine Jenkins, a 2012 finalist on Dancing With the Stars.

Great Performances at 7 pm Tuesday continues the tradition of ringing in the New Year with special host Julie Andrews and the Vienna Philharmonic at the opulent Musikverein in “From Vienna: The New Years Celebration 2013”.

Great Performances at 8:30 pm Tuesday presents “Broadway Musicals: A Jewish Legacy” and focuses in on this central question: what exactly is it that is so “Jewish” about Broadway?

Nature at 7 pm Wednesday traces a charismatic tiger cub’s path across India in “Broken Tail: A Tiger’s Last Journey”.

NOVA at 8 pm Wednesday profiles the 2010 eruption of Iceland’s Eyjafjallajokull volcano and attempts to understand the future consequences of much larger volcanoes dwelling within the country.

Life On Fire at 9 pm Wednesday tries to discern which volcano could wake up next and what the consequences of a major eruption are likely to be in “Icelandic Volcanoes: Who Is Next?”

Performance artist and musician Laurie Anderson discusses her career on Overheard with Evan Smith at 7 pm Thursday.

Trouble Puppet Theater takes Arts In Context on a journey into the art of puppetry as the company produces one of their unique plays led by creative director and master puppeteer Connor Hopkins at 7:30 pm Thursday.

Mind of a Chef at 8 pm Thursday finds some deliciously “rotten” tastings in David Chang’s kitchen: katsuibushi in Japan, XO sauce, rotten bananas with Chef Christina Tosi, and kimchi.

The Daytripper at 8:30 pm Thursday follows Chet as he travels to Dripping Springs, TX to eat at a Belgium bakery, swim in Hamilton Pool, climb Reimer’s Ranch, and polish the day off at Salt Lick.

Mr. Cao Goes To Washington at 9 pm Thuesday profiles Congressman Joseph Cao, a Vietnamese American Republican elected by surprise in an African American Democratic district in New Orleans.

Great Performances at 9 pm Friday follows Paul Simon on his return to South Africa to reunite and perform with several of the musicians involved in making his renowned album Graceland, capturing Simon’s unique homecoming journey as he reflects on the landmark events as well as looks to the future.

Find out what’s going on with your troubled trees, what to do, and how to help them on Central Texas Gardener at noon Saturday. On tour, visit a makeover that turned hillside trauma into outdoor living spaces.

Jack Whites performs tracks from his debut solo album Blunderbuss on Austin City Limits at 7 pm Saturday.

Science Night 1/2

Nature “Broken Tail: A Tiger’s Last Journey” at 7 pm
Irish cameraman Colin Stafford-Johnson spent almost 600 days filming Broken Tail and his family for some of the finest tiger documentaries ever made. Broken Tail was the most charismatic tiger cub ever seen in Ranthambore, one of India’s best protected tiger reserves. But suddenly and without warning Broken Tail abandoned his sanctuary and went on the run, moving through farmland and scrub until he was killed by a train nearly 200 miles from his home. To track Broken Tail’s incredible journey, Colin and his soundman, Salim, retrace the tiger’s path and piece together the cub’s last days – and through his story reveal the fate of the few surviving tigers in India.

NOVA “Doomsday Volcanoes” at 8 pm
The eruption of Iceland’s Eyjafjallajokull volcano in 2010 turned much of the northern hemisphere into an ash-strewn no-fly zone. But Eyjafjallajokull was just the start. Katla, an Icelandic volcano 10 times bigger, has begun to swell and grumble. Two more giants, Hekla and Laki, could erupt without warning. Iceland is a ticking time bomb: When it blows, the consequences will be global. Meet scientists trying to understand those consequences – for air travel and for the global food supply and Earth’s climate. Could we be plunged into years of cold and famine? What can we do to prepare for the coming disaster?

Life On Fire “Icelandic Volcanoes” at 9 pm
The 2010 eruption of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano in Iceland provoked economic chaos by paralyzing a major air traffic network for days. This eruption, however, was mild. Much more powerful volcanoes in Iceland are ready to wake up. Through spectacular aerial footage of this country, which is an accumulation of lava and ash, a maze of craters and faults, the episode tries to discern which volcano could wake up next and what the consequences of a major eruption are likely to be. Europe has come to realize that a colossal power sleeps beneath Iceland, while Icelanders for centuries have learned to live amongst their volcanoes.

Science Night 12/26

Nature “Wild Balkans” at 7 pm
Thick forests, vast wetlands, deep chasms – this is a wild, inaccessible place that belongs more to myth than reality. The landscape looks as if it was taken straight form Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings.” But here there are neither orcs nor elves; rather, bears and wolves. This is not Middle Earth; rather it is middle Europe – the Balkans. Through the centuries this land has burned its way into the soul and spirit of its people. The jagged contours have thrown long dark shadows over the history of the peninsula, always in the middle, between forces of the East and the West. It’s as if the bloody history of the Balkans conspired to conceal its natural wonders. The landscape is still untouched and in it are wild animals that have all but vanished from the rest of Europe.

NOVA “Building The Great Cathedrals” at 8 pm
Carved from 100 million pounds of stone, soaring effortlessly atop a spiderweb of masonry, Gothic cathedrals are marvels of human achievement and artistry. But how did medieval builders reach such spectacular heights? Consuming the labor of entire towns, sometimes taking 100 years to build, these architectural marvels were crafted from just hand tools and stone. Many now teeter on the brink of catastrophic collapse. To save them, an international team of engineers, architects, art historians and computer scientists searches the naves, bays, and bell towers for clues to how the dream of these heavenly temples on earth came true. NOVA’s teams perform hands-on experiments to investigate and reveal the architectural secrets that the cathedral builders used to erect their soaring, glass-filled walls. This program reveals the hidden formulas, drawn from the pages of the Bible itself, that drove medieval builders ever upward.

NOVA “Quest For Solomon’s Mines” at 9 pm
Inspired by the Bible’s account of the splendor of his temples and palaces adorned in glittering gold and copper, countless treasure-seekers have set off in search of King Solomon’s mines. They have trekked through burning deserts and scaled the forbidding mountains of Africa and the Levant. Yet to date, the evidence that’s been claimed to support the existence of Solomon and other early kingdoms in the Bible has been highly controversial. In fact, there is so little physical evidence of the kings who ruled Israel and Edom that many contend that they are no more real than King Arthur. During the summer of 2010, NOVA and National Geographic embarked on two groundbreaking expeditions to expose new clues buried in the pockmarked desert of Jordan: the ancient remnants of a mass industrial-scale copper mine and a 3,000-year-old message from the past with the words “slave,” “king” and “judge.” These cutting-edge investigations illuminate the legend of Solomon and reveal the source of the great wealth that powered the first mighty Biblical kingdoms.

Science Night 12/19

Nature “Christmas at Yellowstone” at 7 pm
As snow falls and Christmas lights glow in Jackson Hole, a holiday season of a different sort settles in just beyond the town, in the great winter world of Yellowstone. Breathtaking landscapes frame intimate scenes of wolves and coyotes, elk and bison, bears and otters as they make their way through their most challenging season of the year. NATURE journeys in the footsteps of the men who first explored the park, and travels with their modern-day counterpart on his own journey of discovery. From the unique crystals of individual snowflakes to the grand sweep of Yellowstone’s Hayden Valley, this is a Christmas like no other.

NOVA “Riddles of the Sphinx” at 8 pm
The Great Sphinx is disappearing. It would not be the first time in its nearly 5,000-year history that the sands of Egypt have buried this wonder of the ancient world. But today the Sphinx confronts a threat far worse than being blanketed by dunes. The face of the mysterious Pharaoh is being sandblasted to oblivion, its features eroded beyond recognition by whipping winds while its limestone lion’s body is dissolved by rising saltwater and sewage and shaken by planes, cars and construction. Now, an international team of archeologists, architects and engineers, led by Zahi Hawass and Mark Lehner, is racing against time to save the Sphinx. With the aid of the most advanced digital 3D model ever constructed, they hope to save the Sphinx before it is too late. Along the way, they’ll also solve the riddles that have eluded the rescue missions of Pharaohs, Caesars and Emperors for more than 3,000 years. Who is the Sphinx and what did it symbolize? How was it built, when and by whom? NOVA follows the team to find out if they can reverse the destructive forces of man and nature to save this wonder of the ancient world.

NOVA “Building Pharaoh’s Ship” at 9 pm
A magnificent trading vessel embarks on a royal expedition to a mysterious, treasure-laden land called Punt. Is this journey, intricately depicted on the wall of one of Egypt’s most impressive temples, mere myth — or was it a reality? NOVA travels to the legendary temple, built some 3,500 years ago for the celebrated female pharaoh Hatshepsut, in search of answers to this tantalizing archeological mystery. Did Punt exist and, if so, where was it? Did the ancient Egyptians, who built elaborate barges to sail down the Nile, also have the expertise to embark on a long sea voyage? NOVA follows a team of archeologists and boat builders as they reconstruct the mighty vessel shown on the mysterious carving, and then finally launch it in to the Red Sea on a unique voyage of discovery.