Bang Goes the Theory is Back

Bang Goes the Theory is the best science programme on television. Because it actually includes science. Of all the science programmes, it seems that only Bang and The Sky at Night bother to do this now. (Rough Science was good too, but finished a few years ago.) Too many of the others, I contend, are more accurately described as history of science, regularly describing the stories and personalities of Galileo, Newton, and Einstein—no matter how many times they’ve already been covered—but rarely pointing out anything more than the most basic elements of their discoveries, and always adopting an appropriately serious tone.

In contrast, Bang Goes the Theory puts some fun into it, building bicycle-powered hydrofoils, sending action figures with cameras to the edge of space, and demonstrating speech arrest by trans-cranial magnetic stimulation, all the while including experiments that you can repeat, or be involved in, at home. That surely does far more to generate much-needed enthusiasm for science and, arguably, makes better use of the medium, providing information that couldn’t be found in an A-level textbook.

Series 3 starts tonight at 7:30 on BBC1, and will be available on iPlayer soon after 8 o’clock.