27 March 2003
Dr Jonathan Hare in new series of Hollywood Science
Is it just movie make-believe, or could Kevin Costner really turn his own urine into drinking water?
This is just one of the questions that Dr Jonathan Hare, of the University of Sussex's Creative Science Centre, will try to answer in the new series of Hollywood Science, which returns to BBC2 on April 2 (7.30pm).
The show, which is co-presented by actor Robert Llewellyn (of Red Dwarf), once again takes scenes from well-known films and examines whether or not the science is at all plausible.
With the aid of a few 'kitchen sink' props, Dr Hare and Llewellyn will try to work out if Costner's thirst-quenching solution in the film Waterworld could really be done; whether Brad Pitt and Ed Norton, stars of Fight Club, could really make soap out of liposuction fat; and if 007 could really escape drowning in A View to a Kill by sucking on a car tyre.
The series of four episodes also include stunts from Escape from Alcatraz, The Great Outdoors, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and The Thomas Crown Affair.
"It's a brilliant way of getting science across," says Dr Hare, whose work at the University involves basic science workshops with schoolchildren. "With most of the experiments, we don't know what the outcome is going to be until we get there. That's exciting and hopefully will appeal to science enthusiasts as well as movie fans."
A lot of discussion took place before the scenes were selected. "Some of the things that happen in films are quite obviously ludicrous," says Dr Hare. "We chose scenes which made us wonder if these things could really happen. And we had an awful lot of laughs doing it. Robert Llewellyn is a very funny man."
Hollywood Science is an Open University production for the BBC. Dr Hare, whose more serious work at the University has involved working with the Nobel Prizewinner, Professor Sir Harry Kroto, is also a regular in another OU series, Rough Science.
Notes for editors
Dr Jonathan Hare, 01273 873171, http://www.creative-science.org.uk
Press Office contacts:
Jacqui Bealing or Peter Simmons,
University of Sussex,
Tel. 01273 678888,
Fax 01273 877456,
EMail: J.A.Bealing@sussex.ac.uk or P.J.Simmons@sussex.ac.uk.
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