Won­ders of Life: Ex­pand­ing Uni­verse

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Television -

Thurs­day, 8.30pm, ABC1 In the sec­ond episode of his five-part nat­u­ral his­tory se­ries, Brian Cox kicks thing off with a Darth Vader im­per­son­ation. Of course this is not in­ten­tional — the pro­fes­sor is sim­ply un­der­wa­ter in scuba gear off the coast of LA. But the tinny sound qual­ity and the re­quire­ment to break his sen­tences with sharp in­takes of breath is highly rem­i­nis­cent of the Dark Lord. The point of this se­ries is to bring more science to the sheer love of na­ture that, say, David At­ten­bor­ough im­parts in sim­i­lar doc­u­men­taries. Cox is re­lent­lessly cheer­ful. In last week’s de­but he found it en­tirely gig­gle­some that an orangutan wore a hat — now who could be wit­tier than that? At the time he was flick­ing through the crea­ture’s DNA se­quence on his iPad on the jun­gle floor, as you do. Lord Vader, I mean Cox, is on the sea floor in search of the man­tis shrimp, which has some of the most so­phis­ti­cated eyes on the planet. And so on.

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