04/18/1988 at 01:00 AM EDT
NBC (Sat., April 16, 8:30 p.m. ET)
A new episode of Jim (the Muppets) Henson's occasional series, The Storyteller, is always cause for celebration—and here's a particularly good one. John Hurt returns to narrate a Russian folktale about a boy who was born lucky, so lucky that he can survive the conniving of an evil king, a monstrous griffin and a mean thief with meaner sisters. The writing is elegantly old-fashioned: A forest is so big "a man on foot cannot fathom it. Folks go in. Few come out. Foul things live there." The creatures are creations of a puckish imagination: The griffin has terrible table manners—it belches—and a self-image problem, describing itself as a "misunderstood bird, not beastie!" And the plotting is ingenious. Bravo again.