The Best Episodes of Look Around You
Last Updated: Feb 17, 2019
Look around you. Look around you. Just look around you. What do you see? A tree. A weather-vane. A discarded lollipop-wrapper. A traffic shop. All of these things, and any other things you may care to mention, have one thing in common. Can you work out what it is? The first series of this British comedy show, filmed in 2002, was a send-up of the earnest programmes for schools made in the 1960s and 1970s. The second series (2005) is a friendlier spoof of the BBC's own slightly wacky 'Tomorrow's World' programme (1965-2002), and it gives a view from somewhere around 1982 of what life might be like in the early 21st century.
#1 - Maths
Season 1 - Episode 1
Maths can help us in our daily lives - for example, in cooking pasta, in calculating the correct moment for starting a conversation, or (if you can fly) in working out where to land. Queen Elizabeth III and Queen Elizabeth IV are going to a party given by Queen Elizabeth V. QE3 has forty dresses to choose from, QE4 has four thousand, and QE5 has only one dress, but it can take the form of many dresses. Then, during the night, QE3's servant steals the plans for QE4's party dress and, working till dawn, makes four thousand exact copies... So can we reckon what the chance is that all of the Queens will be wearing the same dress at the party?
#2 - Water
Season 1 - Episode 2
In this episode we learn about the amazing igloo-building skills of ants and the surprising ability of water to boil eggs.
#3 - Computers
Season 2 - Episode 5
The team looks at the hottest new computer technology and meets an e-boffin who has officially changed his name to Computer Jones (Paul Jerrico). Computer introduces the UK's most powerful computer, called Bournemouth. In this week's Challenge, can Bournemouth escape from a reinforced steel cage? We meet the world's first computer for women, the Petticoat 5, and meet its inventor, Patricia (Belinda Stewart-Wilson). The Invention of the Week is the Memory Helmet - can Pam learn all of Shakespeare's plays in the studio in half a minute? The team visits the Grithiffths Game Megamart, where manager Lee Grithiffths (Alex Lowe) shows off one or two of his hottest new computer games. Lastly, we look at the latest in computerized bathroom technology.
#4 - Sulphur
Season 1 - Episode 5
Sulphur is revealed, and the story is not really about brimstone.
#5 - Music 2000
Season 2 - Episode 1
We visit the Look Around You Music 2000 Competition, a search for the sounds people will be listening to in the year 2000. Three contestants have half a minute each to perform what they think will be the music of tomorrow. Contestant Anthony Carmichael gives us England's first ever performance of rap music. The contest is judged by Look Around You's resident music expert, the Ghost of the composer Tchaikovsky, who speaks through an interpreter. We also meet the chairman of the Royal Pop and Rock Association, Sir Alan Rees, who coincidentally is the reigning French-kissing champion.
#6 - Iron
Season 1 - Episode 7
Iron (Fe) is not quite all it's cut up to be... The use of magnets is strictly prohibited during this episode.
#8 - The Brain
Season 1 - Episode 8
The team investigates the human brain and meets a man who is addicted to Electronic Brain Enhancements. What happens if you probe the brobe? How many nuts are there in a jar? And what are brain flakes? All of these questions are addressed, if not answered.
#9 - Food
Season 2 - Episode 4
The team looks at advances in food science and technology, and the world's one and only vegetable orchestra, led by Teddy Clarke, gives us a live performance in the studio. We meet Andy Gough, Slimmer of the Year, a fellow who lost fifty-two stone [for American viewers: one stone is sixteen pounds] in six weeks, thanks to a controversial slimming powder. We also visit the food industry's annual show and see some inspiring hi-tech developments. A special report looks at the growth of fast food casserole joints, stepping into the world's only computer-run casserole cafe where the menu features four types of casserole - beef, chicken, ham and porcupine. Lastly, the gang throws a futuristic birthday party for Pam - with a surprise guest.
#10 - Health
Season 2 - Episode 2
The team looks at advances in healthcare, and Jack Morgan goes under the knife as Dr Fu supervizes the efforts of a robot-surgeon called Medibot to create the perfect face. Other presenters try out a new toothbrush that burns away plaque - though with one rather serious side effect... And in a special report, the team visits a Sleep Institute and meets its director, Professor Craven, a man with some cutting-edge ideas.
#11 - Germs
Season 1 - Episode 3
You need to know something about Germs. You really do. And Professor Miles can help you...
#12 - Sport
Season 2 - Episode 3
This week, the team looks at advances in sporting technology. The world 400,000-metre champion, Ros Lamb, demonstrates a new serum (based on caramel-flavoured rocket fuel) which is said to help her to run at up to 3,500 miles per hour. And Ros faces this week's Challenge - can she run the 524 miles from London to Aberdeen in under five minutes? (But it was not foreseen that she would arrive in Scotland half her original size.) We meet two of the clones of the late Sebastian Jackson, the world's most famous football designer. The Invention of the Week is a betting system - based on a machine made of straw and designed by a race-horse. Finally, the team visits the U.S. to investigate the new sport of Gonnis - which is an inspired cross between golf and tennis.
#13 - Live Final
Season 2 - Episode 6
The Look Around You Invention of the Year Award comes to you live from BBC Television Centre in Shepherd's Bush, London. Six leading inventors are in the studio hoping to take the big trophy. The finalists include the team behind a machine which can change your sex in minutes, and it will be tested live on the show. HRH Prince Charles will be announcing the winner and awarding the grand prize, always supposing he is not busy somewhere else...