Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Myth Buster: A Possible New Series

It's simply time for CBC-TV to order a full season of Myth Or Science.
The fourth in this irregular series on The Nature Of Things comes up Thursday night at 8 on CBC.
And once again the photogenic Dr. Jennifer Gardy is in total command as she tackles all the myths we've ever heard about the weather.
Like its three predecessors this hour is jam packed with great visuals and Gardy's fantastic TV presence --she has the scientific credentials but is also aware of what she has to do on TV to keep us interested.
I remember the only time I was trapped in a tornado-like incident with family friends in a car.
We did what we were always told to do --the driver of our car got us to the nearest highway underpass where we hid out for a time while the concrete barrier seemed to strain and crackle under all that stress.
As Grady shows us here in one brilliant test that was exactly the wrong thing to do as the underpass merely channeled the force of the storm to an even higher velocity.
I'm guessing we were lucky to escape unscathed.
As with the other segments Gardy travels all over the place from Manchester to Wales to a snow bound Rockies station to show how each experiment is carried out.
So the hour is not inexpensive TV --the  great visuals are what keep us watching.
And as Grady notes we are all obsessive about the weather.
My favorite scene has a scientist in her back yard night after night listening to the local crickets chirping awayas she makes notes.
This lady wants to discover if crickets can somehow forecast weather patterns --do they chirp more on hot sweltering nights or in the fall as the first frost is about to hit?
I can't give away the ending but the concept seems somehow very funny but also poignant --the crickets are cold blooded and soon will freeze during the first blasts of winter.
Another thing I was always told when summering at the family farm was to get indoors quickly from an electrical storm because that was the safest place to be.
And I believed this until lightning hit the telephone lines, travelled in on the wire and blew out the only phone at the farm with a huge pow one night.
Gardy shows us what might happen in a modern urban home such a similar circumstance.
The concept of weighing a cloud to see how heavy or light it is is simply makes for a great set of visuals.
Another neat shot: looking at falling rain drops in a laboratory situation and discovering these drops may not be pearl shaped as I'd already thought.
Fog gets its due --I never knew anything about this.
And then there's the explanation of how planes work to avoid getting hit by lightning--I never knew anything about this.
So the hour flies by. There are no dull spots at all because of incisive editing and tight scripting.
Which is why I'm promoting Myth Buster as a future six or seven part series --CBC desperately needs some new concepts and MB's past efforts have rated very highly --Infield Fly Productions made it and Jeff Semple wrote and directed this possible pilot.
MY RATING: ****.

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