Question: I saw where the A&E channel will be broadcasting a remake of Ursula K. Le Guin's The Lathe of Heaven. I really enjoyed the PBS production of her novel in 1980. Can you tell me anything about the new version and when it will be broadcast? Steve A., Tucson, Ariz.
Televisionary: The new version of The Lathe of Heaven will premiere September 8 on A&E and will star Lukas Haas as George Orr, a man whose power to change the world with his dreams is exploited by the psychiatrist (James Caan) assigned to his case. Lisa Bonet (The Cosby Show) co-stars as George's attorney and David Strathairn and Sheila McCarthy are also along for the ride.
I don't want to ruin any of the surprises, but the new version does take some liberties with the Le Guin book. (The original PBS production you cite, which starred Bruce Davison as George, was more faithful. However, Le Guin herself said that, before she saw that version, Lathe was probably the last of her books she'd have chosen for a film adaptation. And though I, too, was a fan of that interpretation, the story had a little room for some beefing up.)
If you'd like to see the original, by the way, it's available on DVD and includes a nifty Le Guin interview conducted by Bill Moyers. That release finally sated the appetite of fans, who'd been pestering PBS to rebroadcast it for years.