Television Reviews : ‘Mind’ Needs to Search for Some Organization

Somewhere within its nine hours, the new PBS series “The Mind” probably discusses how its subject organizes information. Too bad the producers didn’t pay more attention to this function.

A viewing of tonight’s debut episode, “The Search for Mind"(8 p.m. on Channels 28, 15 and 24), and of a subsequent hour (“Aging,” which airs Oct. 26), indicates that organization and clarity are exactly what’s missing from this follow-up to the 1984 series “The Brain.”

Tonight’s opener keeps going from subject to subject with little structure or continuity. In three minutes, for instance, we hop from Aristotle to Darwin to Freud to subliminal messages! After 40 minutes of all-inclusive jumble, it suddenly becomes overly involved with a single subject (a man who cannot conceive of the past or future).

“The Mind” is dull as well as poorly planned, aided by the languid voice of narrator and “executive-in-charge” George Page. His tone--well suited to the laid-back, highly visual “Nature” series that he also hosts--only pumps more Novocain into the patient. The editing is listless, the graphics ordinary.


Future episodes would seem to have a chance to avoid this confused diffusion, since their titles focus on specifics--"Development,” “Addiction,” “Depression” and so on. However, the “Aging” hour shows little improvement over the opener. It does start off and end up by discussing the subject at hand (albeit in a plodding way), but in the middle it too strays off to hopscotch through vaguely related details about memory, stress, wisdom and other topics.

“The Mind” keeps losing track of where it’s going. Tag along at your own risk.