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The Eleventh Hour February 2, 2006

Posted by ayasawada in Science, TV.


Ah, science brought to the world of British Drama. I just watched my first episode of the new ITV drama, with Patrick Stewart as the bad-science busting Professor Hood. This week’s episode focused on climate change, with an old colleague of Hood’s battling ‘myseterious forces’ seeking to cover up his essential research. I’ve got no problem with an earnest attempt to put science into the public eye (and a prime-time slot is a great thing). Unfortunately, it reminded me why I don’t watch British dramas, particularly ITV ones. No increase in production values can make up for the sheer ridiculousness of the script nor the irritating Hollywood visualisations used (honestly, how many computers load up a programme that immediatly shows a working flash graphic, complete with the key facts ‘flying out’ at you in 3D effects? With a spinning globe and a Matrix-style code background??). And as much as I love Patrick Stewart, he can’t maek bad dialogue sound good, though the sound of him screaming “Bloody hell!” and “Tell your industry paymasters to shove it!” was quite amusing. And interesting how the final chase had Hood rushing to get stolen data to a publishing company (not a respected scientific journal) that miraculous churned out a book seemingly within days. And just for good measure they even had a coda at the end with Hood and his partner discussing how change wouldn’t happen overnight, but “climate change is important”.

Next week a miracle spring claims to cure cancer, leading to an outbreak of mysterious disease. This programme has me screaming at the TV, but if I can suspend my disbelief for 24, I can do it for this. At least it’s in the name of science communication.


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