Richard Hammond’s Invisible Worlds Review: Hidden Gem

March 15, 2010 by  
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The human eye is one of the most powerful instruments on Earth, but apparently there are quite a few things that even those of us with 20:20 vision have been missing out on.

In this new series presented by Clarkson-bothering TV personality Richard Hammond, the BBC will show us parts of the world that have up until now been off limits.

Tonight’s episode concentrates on speed, which suggests that a super slo-mo fest is approaching faster than an episode of Top Gear on Dave.

While in essence this is the whole nub of the programme, such a description really is doing an injustice to some of the genuine wonderment on display here.

In the first ten minutes we see lightning travel upwards and watch as air slashes through rock – which isn’t bad for starters. Hammond goes on to explain how the human eye is big on detail, but not so hot for speed, meaning that in some situations we are literally seeing more information than our brains can process.

Luckily the BBC have a set of cameras to do that particular job for us, and the result is a pleasing mixture of theory and science eye-candy which in places makes for intriguing viewing.

Admittedly we do get a little tired of hearing Hammond say; “did you see that? No? That’s because it happened too fast. We’ll have to slow it down to see what really happened…”

And that’s before he tells us that the fastest organism on the planet resides in horse sh*t. It looks as though Attenbrough has been wasting a lot of time filming Cheetahs…