Picks and Pans Review: Viewer's Choice

updated 01/11/1993 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 01/11/1993 AT 01:00 AM EST

>A SOPHISTICATED LOOK AT CRUDE OIL

AN EIGHT-HOUR DOCUMENTARY ON petroleum sounds like sticky going. But The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money and Power, based on Daniel Yergin's 1991 book, is a lively history, ranging from the first well in Titusville, Pa., dug in 1859, to Operation Desert Storm, tracing oil from patent medicine to lamp illuminator to the fuel that drives the world. The Prize outlines the repercussions—industrial, sociological, political and military—of the industry's growth, and the ruthless practices attending it. Donald Sutherland's narration is backed by insights of scholars and by marvelous photographs, archival film and new footage. PBS shows the series on four nights at 9 P.M. beginning Jan. 11.

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