“Tesla’s Death Ray” investigates an ominous 20th-century invention. And “They Shall Not Perish” focuses on the humanitarian efforts after the Armenian Genocide.
What’s on TV
TESLA’S DEATH RAY: A MURDER DECLASSIFIED 10 p.m. on Discovery. No, Elon Musk hasn’t started a new venture — this Discovery series is about Nikola Tesla, the 20th-century inventor with enduring outcast credibility. The primary concern here is with a weapon that Tesla said he had invented and that, according to a 1934 article in The New York Times, he asserted could “cause armies of millions to drop dead in their tracks.” In this series, the military analyst Jack Murphy and the Tesla historian Cameron Prince look into the shrouded-in-mystery death ray. They question whether the invention could have played a role in Tesla’s mysterious death. Along the way, they work with a team of engineers who, in a somewhat concerning move, attempt to reconstruct the weapon.
I AM JAZZ 10 p.m. on TLC. This reality series stars Jazz Jennings, an outspoken YouTube personality and transgender teenager. The series’ fourth season continues her story, as she navigates high school life and prepares for gender confirmation surgery.
HER (2013) 11:30 p.m. on Cinemax. Apple’s Siri was less than three years old when Spike Jonze released this film about an elegiac man (Joaquin Phoenix) who falls in love with his digital assistant (voiced by Scarlett Johansson). Now that we also have Amazon’s Alexa and Microsoft’s Cortana, the movie’s vision of digital love in a Los Angeles from the not-too-distant future feels even less distant. In her review for The Times, Manohla Dargis called the story a “neo-classic boy-meets-operating-system romance,” and said that its central question “isn’t whether machines can think, but whether human beings can still feel.”
THEY SHALL NOT PERISH: THE STORY OF NEAR EAST RELIEF on Netflix. In the early 20th century, an American charity group was formed to offer humanitarian relief to the victims of the Armenian genocide. One of its purposes was to save a generation of orphans whose families had been killed. This documentary, narrated by the actor Victor Garber, tells the story of the relief efforts.
THE GODFATHER PARTS I, II & III on Netflix. Francis Ford Coppola’s mobster epic about the transfer and violent shifting of power within the fictional Corleone family likely needs no introduction; in addition to occupying a prominent place in American cinema, these three films are also frequently shown on television. They’re better streaming, without the commercial breaks.