Turn that bloody racket down!(and a wonders review)

I often complain about the music on BBC Science shows, mainly because I like Sigur Ros and it gets overused too much. I think Sir Patrick Moore has the right idea, that music belongs at the beginning and end, and is an unnecessary distraction.

So imagine my surprise when I read this:

Professor Cox’s impassioned explanations of the universe have proved a hit with viewers, but many were angry that the programme was simply too loud, with the majority of complaints directed at the background music.

Consequently, the BBC has agreed to re-edit the whole series of Wonders of the Universe to make it more audio-friendly.

While I admit there is plenty to complain about with this current series, ok one thing, and that’s the annoying “Nu-Trek” visuals that resemble JJ Abrams on crack. The music has never bothered me to the extent I would openly complain to the BBC. According to the BBC they received a whopping 118 complaints, not quite the 18,000 that Brand got. Speaking of which the culprit for most BBC Complaints the Daily Mail ran an elegant article slamming the BBC for giving in to easily. Meaning that next weeks episode of Wonders, dealing with parallel universes is no longer needed, since we’re in one apparently.

Brian Cox

Professor Cox has “hit” out at the BBC for giving in remarking; “We can sometimes be too responsive to the minority of people that complain.” He added: “It should be a cinematic experience – it’s a piece of film on television, not a lecture.”

That is the point, The Sky at night is popular and is sharing the fascinating world of astronomy/astrophysics and spaceflight with everyone. While Wonders is trying to educate what is basically a backward population that science isn’t Open University programs from the 70’s with stuffy tweed clad professors stood in front of a blackboard (FYI the Feynman lectures is exempt from that generalisation)

So wonders needs flashy graphics and music to keep you entertained! while he drops a science bomb on you!

Now onto a review of Episode 2.

Episode 2 highlighted the role Stars have in creating everything in particular you. Now I made a lot of references to Sagan’s ‘Cosmos’ last week and this episode continued in that vein. Many times I was expecting Brian to remark that “The cosmos is also within us, we’re made of star stuff.” I did like this episode more than episode 1. Mainly because I was on writing an essay answer on Absorption lines while he was showing how it worked (Cheers Brian) but also because I find the story of stars to be fascinating. I can also say that the music didn’t annoy me.

But his pronunciation of Betelgeuse as beetle juice did. All in all a really good episode that would have resulted in many hangovers thanks to the drinking game. And in the words of Sagan

“we who embody the local eyes and ears and thoughts and feelings of the cosmos, we have begun at least to wonder about our origins — star stuff contemplating the stars, organized collections of ten billion billion billion atoms, contemplating the evolution of nature, tracing that long path by which it arrived at consciousness here on the planet earth, and perhaps throughout the cosmos.

Our loyalties are to the species and to the planet. We speak for earth. Our obligation to survive and flourish is owed not just to ourselves but also to that cosmos ancient and vast from which we spring!”




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