science/nature

First Look: Frozen Planet, BBC1

On Saturday just before the finale of Doctor Who, the BBC premiered the trailer for the upcoming nature series Frozen Planet. If the trailer is anything to go by its not to be missed. Frozen Planet starts in late October on BBC1.

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Marcus du Sautoy: The Code – Prediction

A few numbers short of an equation? Apple fan Marcus du Sautoy has a theory. There is an underlying code that controls everything in this world, from the behaviour of crowds to who can win at rock, paper, scissors.  "We try to make sense of our world", he says;...

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Wonders of the Universe, BBC2

Wonders of the Universe, BBC2

What makes Wonders of the Universe so marvellous is that not only are the metaphors to explain the abstract concepts of otherwise baffling physics so perfectly orchestrated but also that the metaphors themselves are fascinating in their own right. Take the first...

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The Secret Life of Waves, BBC4

Trust BBC4. So lax are the reins on the esoteric areas the channel is able to explore, it frequently surprises and delights by delving into a subject you had little or no interest in and making you both intrigued by that same subject and thirsty for more knowledge....

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Horizon: To Infinity And Beyond, BBC2

Infinity is eternal and bigger than anything you can imagine. And it was this difficulty to quantify something so massive – although nothing comes close to being as massive – and so long – ditto – that made this exploration of infinity disorientating and alienating....

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Life, BBC1

After ‘Life on Earth’, ‘The Life of Birds’, ‘The Life of Mammals’ and ‘Life in Cold Blood’, the appellative appendages have been pruned away as TV programmes are titled with ever-shrinking brevity to match the receding ice caps to become just ‘Life’ Of course, with...

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Lost Land of the Volcano, BBC1

A thriving nirvana to be explored with veneration and awe by a team of intuitive experts, as they probe the flora and fauna of the environs of New Guinea surrounding the dormant volcano Mount Bosavi. That was the plan. Instead we got a bunch of excitable botanists who...

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Inside Nature’s Giants Channel 4

Looking absurd bedecked in an vivid orange boiler suit amid a half-autopsied giraffe, Richard Dawkins heralded that because the animal’s laryngeal nerve wandered from its throat area, performed a loop-the-loop in the torso and then returned to sit just inches away...

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The Incredible Human Journey, BBC2

Did we like it? An entertaining and enlightening odyssey into the very origins of our species, guided by the charming, erudite and passionate Dr Alice Roberts, but which is however tainted by that recurring blight of BBC natural history of the presenter being clumsily...

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Nature’s Great Events, BBC1

Did we like it? To counter piracy, record companies have smothered record shops in Remastered & Deluxe versions of existing releases, to coerce the people who still shell out for CDs and listen to them as ‘background music’ to pay even more for the same product...

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Oceans, BBC2

Did we like it? Amid the wondrous vistas of aquatic beauty, as sperm whales affectionately jostled one another, as Humboldt squids darted about the inky depths like organic missiles, as sea lions brazenly warned off the divers encroaching on their nursery, that...

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Lost Land of the Jaguar, BBC1

Did we like it? Moments of astounding natural beauty punctuated by moments of outstanding manufactured vexation. What was good about it? • The rain forests of Guyana are such a naturally beautiful landscape that you could simply have propped a camera almost anywhere...

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Britain From Above, BBC1

Did we like it? What a wasted opportunity! Instead of a peaceful appreciation of the UK (the Beeb's latest Britain Is Brill Sunday night series), we got The Andrew Marr Show, with his ugly mug cropping up far too much and far too little aerial photography. What was...

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Springwatch, BBC2

Springwatch, BBC2

Did we like it? A simple and simply wonderful television show that packs in charming stories of new life, harrowing and unexpected tragedies, a refreshing tranquillity and sedateness and provocative bestial sexual innuendo from Bill Oddie. What was good about it? • A...

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Flood, ITV1

Did we like it? This must have soaked up a huge amount of the ITV drama budget but it was a damp squib throughout, never credible, hardly ever dramatic, ultra gimmicky and very stupid. This was a disaster movie – but only for the wrong reasons. What was good about it?...

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Life In Cold Blood, BBC1

Did we like it? The fingernail-gnawing most frustrating foible about reviewing a Sir David Attenborough series is that they are so damn near perfect any jagged criticism quickly melts into a cascading torrent of unqualified praise. And Life In Cold Blood, despite our...

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The Satellite Story, BBC4

Did we like it? An interesting, if somewhat dry look at the increasingly all-pervading influence that satellites have had on our lives since Sputnik(or the Red Moon as the tabloids initially christened it) was launched 50 years ago. The Good (early warning of severe...

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Earth: Power of the Planet, BBC2

Did we like it? A mostly fascinating exhumation of the potent forces that shape the planet, and how they are symbiotically spun together. It was only marred by some astonishingly out of place rudimentary geological sermonising. What was good about it? • Geology is, on...

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Great British Journeys, BBC2

Did we like it? A wonderful mix of history and exploration hosted by a wonderfully passionate Nicholas Crane but our appetites for shows about how beautiful Britain are almost sated. We know how beautiful Britain is; we’ve been out there and also watched Coast. What...

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Mountain, BBC1

Did we like it? While the natural beauty of the unspoilt landscapes flows into the eyes like a running glacier and the history of the bleak wilderness intrigues, there’s something horribly derivative about it as if Coast has given birth to a reptilian skinned...

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