Steam Punks!

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Television -

Sun­day, 5.25pm, ABC3 This is the kind of chil­dren’s tele­vi­sion adults can’t help watch­ing. Don’t get me wrong, Steam Punks! is great for schoolkids as well. But host Paul Ver­ho­even, best known for the ra­dio seg­ment Nerdy By Na­ture on Triple J’s break­fast pro­gram, is a rev­e­la­tion as host. Why has the ABC been hid­ing this mix of Basil Fawlty, Oliver Reed and Johnny Depp from us? Of course the pro­gram is fun­da­men­tally an ed­u­ca­tional quiz but it is so far from the usual dreary fare served up for kids, such as It’s Aca­demic, which has been run­ning for about 3000 years on the Seven Net­work, that it may as well have been in­tended for a dif­fer­ent species. There’s a touch of QI and Doc­tor Who about pro­ceed­ings. You see, Ver­ho­even is a min­ion for a steam-driven robot com­puter that presses chil­dren into ser­vice if they don’t fare well at the quiz. It’s enough to make you want to be 12 again.

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