TV Preview: Dara O’Briain’s Science Club

Dara O'Briain's Science Club. Picture: BBC
Dara O'Briain's Science Club. Picture: BBC
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Dara O Briain is back with a second series of the show which takes a scientific topic each week and addresses it from different angles.

BBC2, 8pm

He uses exploratory films and studio discussions to get to the heart of matters, while drawing on the expertise of specialists.

One of the reasons O Briain is in demand is his ability to tackle all manner of subjects, from comedy and maths, to science and astronomy.

For movie fans, it’s a treat when he attacks the fuzzy science in films such as 2012.

“It is frustrating that they don’t say: ‘We’ve spent years coming up with this; is there any chance that someone could check it?’

“We did an item on the first Stargazing (Live) about that. It’s weird the stuff that strikes you; things like, you wouldn’t get any noise in space, but he made a very good point that when spaceships meet they always seem to meet facing each other. They’re in space for God’s sake! There’s no reason why they would be nose to nose. Little things like that, weirdly, are probably more compelling than the obvious.”

And don’t get Dara started on asteroid belts, like those in Star Wars. “They’re miles apart; you can hide planets in the gaps between asteroids in the asteroid belt!”

And as for time travel films involving Bruce Willis -“I did find myself sitting through Looper going, “Ahh nooo! Oh this is just stupid!”

Episode one of series two looks at the human mind. In Pittsburgh, Journalist Alok Jha tests whether a computer can read his thoughts, and in Texas, oceanographer Helen Czerski examines Nasa’s theory that the Earth’s weather is being influenced by a mysterious force.

In the studio, O Briain takes control of metallurgist Mark Miodownik’s brain to demonstrate how illusions and machines can be used to manipulate the mind.