If a comparison of their half-hour premieres is indicative, KCET's "Take Five: Science" (debuting at 7:30 tonight on Channel 28) makes better use of its time than its sibling "Take Five: Arts" (which debuted last Monday), even if "Science" does take more liberties with the limits on that time.
The idea behind "Take Five" is to cover a single subject in five minutes, with segments airing four days a week from 7:30-7:35 p.m. But occasionally KCET will air compilations, where, it seems, the rules aren't quite so strict. There are only four segments in tonight's initial "Science" half-hour, and one of these--on UC Santa Barbara anthropologist Napoleon Chagnon --runs almost nine minutes.
Perhaps it's only coincidence that the Chagnon piece is also the best of the four--a fascinating and even, somehow, reasonably comprehensive look at one man's attempt to document and preserve an Amazonian tribe threatened by everyone from shaman-degrading Christian missionaries to murderous gold miners.
Or perhaps it isn't coincidence. Five--or even six or seven--minutes is an awfully small amount of time to cover something like headaches, the first topic "Science" addresses tonight.