For a study on the anxieties of modern life, The Truth About Stress (TVNZ 1, Tuesday, 9.30pm) is pretty relaxed. The BBC programme is fronted by Fiona Phillips, who has a very calm demeanour and voice.
But it wasn’t always this way. In the doco, Phillips is examined to see whether a particularly stressful episode in her life created long-lasting health issues. Elsewhere, she’s surveying experts on the triggers and effects of stress and discussing “mindfulness”.
The programme, which follows earlier “Truth” explorations of other hazards to us, also pulls stunts to test
volunteers’ fight-or-flight responses when subjected to snakes, spiders and that terror of the modern age, karaoke.
“This is the way the world ends/Not with a bang but a whimper”. Trust TS Eliot to talk about Armageddon in such a subtle way. No computer graphics needed there, eh Tom?
The series Doomsday: 10 Ways the World Will End (Duke, Wednesday, 9.25pm) offers much noisier options, starting
with an asteroid in the first episode, then working its way through black holes, rogue planets, solar storms and more.
“The show also explores if it’s possible to prepare for the hypothetical situations,” says the publicity, “and if anyone would be able to survive.” After some independent research, mostly involving movies this series resembles, an answer: Yes, but only if Morgan Freeman is President.
The Truth about Stress, Tuesday.