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This Masterpiece Theatre production, set at the cusp of the Industrial Revolution, chronicles the life, loves, foibles, and politics of the fictional English town of Middlemarch. Adapted from the George Eliot classic of the same name, the plot centers on the socially conscious, but naive Dorothea Brooke (Juliet Aubrey), whose disastrous match to the pedantic Reverend Edward Casaubon (Patrick Malahide) sets in motion a chain of events that will change the face of Middlemarch forever. The efforts of the dashing young physician, Tertius Lydgate (Douglas Hodge), to modernize the medical practices at the new hospital causes quite a stir, both in the political power structure, headed by the evil Mr. Nicholas Bulstrode (Peter Jeffrey), and the heart of sweet Rosamund Vincy (Trevyn McDowell), the town beauty. Smaller plots interweave the action and lead to reconciliation, resignation, remuneration, and resolution.
In Bolivia's Amazon basin, corporate cattle ranches are replacing the rain forest. When Santos, charismatic leader of the union of rubber tappers, forges an alliance with Indians to protest deforestation, he is assassinated. O'Brien, a US photo-journalist who has no skills as an investigator, wants a story when he thinks the police have framed and murdered an innocent Indian as the assassin. In his search for the truth, he involves Lysa Rothman, who worked for Santos and with whom he falls in love. As he gets deeper into trouble with the cops and the real assassin, he not only needs Lysa's help but that of the Indians' leader. How many will die so O'Brien can get his story?
Brian Kessler, a journalist researching serial killers, and his photographer girlfriend Carrie set out on a cross-country tour of the sites of the killings. Sharing the ride and their expenses are Early Grayce, a paroled white trash criminal, and his girlfriend Adele. As the trip progresses, Early begins to appear more and more unstable, and Brian and Carrie begin to fear that they may have a real-life killer in the back seat of their car.
Nick Condon is a newspaper reporter working in Tokyo who refuses to toe the Japanese line on the expansionist policies of the anti-democratic Imperialist government. When it becomes clear to the authorities that Condon isn't going to cooperate and that he has some valuable information and contacts, they decide to get him in their clutches for some interrogations and then dispose of him.
When in 1941 Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union, their troops quickly besieged Leningrad. Foreign journalists are evacuated but one of them, Kate Davies, is presumed dead and misses the plane. Alone in the city she is helped by Nina Tsvetnova a young and idealist police officer and together they will fight for their own survival and the survival of the people in the besieged Leningrad.
Disheartened when his story about Canadian snipers possibly mutilating corpses in Afghanistan is buried, Luke (Nick Stahl) quits his job but is even more determined to return to Afghanistan to get the real story. With his offbeat buddy, Tom (Nicolas Wright), tagging along, Luke returns to Afghanistan and intends to gather enough evidence to get his old story into print. But he soon finds that the country is an even more dangerous place than when he left. To make matters worse, his old friend and fixer, Mateen (Stephen Lobo) has been hired away by Luke's journalistic nemesis, Imran Sahar (Vik Sahay). Soon the trip for Luke and Tom in Afghanistan turns into a surreal and perilous adventure, a journey into an alternate reality, filtered through a haze of gun smoke.