Look around you... and learn more about fascinating subjects
such as water, sulphur, ghosts, germs and brains...
Look Around You count as sci-fi? Well, it's a fictional
programme about scientific subjects, that's for sure. More
specifically, it's a wickedly accurate spoof of schools programming
circa 1980, which comes complete with faded film stock, naff
music and patronising graphics. Each ten-minute programme,
or "module", is even preceded by the Television for Schools
and Colleges countdown clock, as is the DVD itself.
fact, this is science fiction in a very literal sense, in
that the science described is pure fiction. We are told, for
instance, by the primly enunciated tones of Nigel Lambert,
that germs originated in Germany, that the boiling point of
water is 1000 degrees and that pig iron is so called because
it is manufactured by pigs. Don't let any small children watch
this show without explaining that it is a work of fiction,
otherwise you could severely damage their education!
guidance is also recommended because of a few stomach-churningly
gross moments, involving the aforementioned boiling water
and a pipette of raw sewage, among certain other things.
unique and carefully contrived format of Look Around
You does limit the series to an extent. Only so many
different takes are possible on what is essentially a one-joke
idea based around pitifully pointless experiments and over-elaborate
scientific jargon. However, the production team manage to
put a sufficiently diverse spin on each of the eight episodes,
which actually seem to get funnier with repeated viewing.
features on the DVD include the double-length pilot episode
Calcium. You can see the genesis of later modules in
this, including the intelligence test that was later used
in Brains, but there's more than enough material here
to make it well worth your while. The full version of the
music video to the song "Little Mouse" (as featured in the
episode Music) is also great fun. Other features are
just plain bizarre, such as a vast selection of spoof Ceefax
pages, which could keep you occupied for hours.
audio commentary, by director Tim Kirkby and writers/producers
Robert Popper and Peter Serafinowicz, is less satisfactory.
It contains rather a large amount of shallow observations
along the lines of "Great joke coming up," and "I loved doing
this bit." Still, we do get to discover the identities of
many of the non-speaking characters in the background, most
of who are friends and relatives of the programme makers.
Yes, that is indeed Simon (Spaced) Pegg portraying
a sleeping guard in Maths!
experiment was carried out to determine whether or not Look
Around You is worth looking around for on DVD. The conclusion
that was reached is that Look Around You is worth looking
around for on DVD.
this item online
compare prices online so you get the cheapest
(Please note all prices exclude P&P - although
Streets Online charge a flat £1 fee regardless
of the number of items ordered). Click on the
logo of the desired store below to purchase
All prices correct at time of going to press.