Brian's Blog

…one man's contribution to the Weeeeerly Wild World

Simple TV

Back in November (but yeah, only finishing the blog post now) I stumbled across Brian Cox’s latest TV series, Human Universe, on the BBC iPlayer website, but I chose to skip straight to the second episode, Why Are We Here.

I have increasingly found many of these types of science documentaries (if not many documentaries in general) to be a re-hash of something that has already aired. Indeed, even Professor Cox seems to repackage stuff he’s already talked about on TV. Generally such shows might bring something new to the table of knowledge, but this always seems very slight to me – I guess having watched such shows for a couple of decades, and read books on such topics, this is to be expected. This is why I skipped to episode 2.

Having such knowledge shared in this way, via a 60 minute TV documentary may well be easy to digest, but sometimes the content can seem to be “dumbed-down for the masses”, and filled out with bumph (such as trips to various countries and glossed up computer animations) – I have wondered at times how many pages the transcript of such an episode would actually take up. Indeed, I was going to say that I think it’s a shame when such knowledgeable people don’t publish a worthy book to compliment a series such as this, as it seemed to be a common thing the BBC would do some years back, but having just looked on Amazon, I see that there is actually a book to accompany this particular series.

A quote from the Independent says of Cox, “He bridges the gap between our childish sense of wonder and a rather more professional grasp of the scale of things.” I suppose this sums up my point well and perhaps I’m criticising the simple presentation, which at the same time expecting a more comprehensive approach, and being somewhat lazy-minded by not actively seeking out that further insight I seem to crave.

Simple TV is all well and good, but I’m sure I don’t say this for my own benefit: we have to keep our minds active, and inquisitive and search for more than what the basic information pretty pictures show us.

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This entry was posted on 14 May, 2015 by in Books, TV & Video and tagged , , , , .
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