If you grew up during the 80s (or even the 70s) in the UK, like me, you were probably subjected to some pretty rubbish teaching programmes during science classes – they were usually narrated by Chris Tarrant, if that helps jog your memory. Joe has just reminded me of the marvellous first series of Look Around You, in which Robert Popper and Peter Serafinowicz mercilessly and very surreally sent up “television for schools and colleges”.
I won’t say too much about it, since it really does speak for itself. Here’s a scary clip of the ‘Helvetica Scenario’ from the pilot episode, Calcium, for those that just want a sample.
For those with more time and who liked that taster, here’s the entire pilot episode. Be warned, you will feel a palpable sensation of nostalgia within about five seconds if you are over 30 and British.
And here’s the Sulphur episode, which is one of my favourites:
If you’re in the US, you can watch all the episodes (with a few adverts) on Adult Swim‘s web site, since it’s currently airing on Sunday nights. If you’re in the UK, if you loved it, you can buy the whole series, including pilot episode, on DVD.
There was also a second series that sent up Tomorrow’s World and Micro Live, but it wasn’t as good IMHO – although it was still pretty hilarious at times. Here’s a sample – you can get it on DVD, too.
PS: At no point should you rely on Look Around You for accurate scientific information.