"..a bardy view!"

Deja Vu – again! Brian Cox is back!

Dromedary Brian Cox is visiting the Philippines. Who is he you ask?

Well Brian, Professor Brian, has experienced a phenomenal rise to fame, and his documentaries have been accused of excessively loud background music, and he has also been accused of being more style over substance.

This populist dumbing down and pandering to the lowest common denominator is indicative of modern educational programming.

I wrote about Brian a couple of years ago (D:Ream A Pale Reflection of a Blue Dot). I remarked in my post (a most entertaining read) that Brian was a particle physicist, but a rather lightweight particle (I was new to blogging at the time and seeking attention!).

He was once a band member of D:Ream – who sang the song (forever to be associated with New Labour's 1997 election victory) "Things can only get Better."

Sadly Professor Cox has not. I'm sure Brian is a perfectly nice chap, but his excessive theatricals explaining the most basic elements of astro-physics are more suited to the social network generation, which requires short, visual soundbites.

As I wrote in that original post: He has the annoying habit of being over-dramatic, where every adjective is rolled, expanded, chewed and omitted until the listener wished he'd just swallowed each cliche, instead of spitting them out on the pavement like used and annoying bubble gum.

No doubt the BBC thought that this was the path to follow, after all, if there is one thing about the Beeb, they will stick their licence fees in everything and everywhere, and if they can latch on to an opportunity they will do so.

It is rare to watch any historical or scientific documentary nowadays without the ubiquitous dramatic reconstruction utilising amateur extras. Even now there is a National Geographic programme on BT Vision (it's like Sky +) about the Roman occupation of Hadrian's Wall. When one of the Roman centurions was seen wielding his sword with a timex wrapped around his wrist – it was the cue: Scene 1, exit stage left pronto.

Another documentary – from the Discovery Channel – questioned the credibility of Lawrence of Arabia. They managed to stretch out a long and plodding hour with a couple of dippy archaeologists who eventually came up with a piece of exploded track in the desert, thereby proving that Lawrence blew up the railway line, and throughout constantly cutting with evocative sand dunes and with moody chisel-chinned pensive characters riding loftily and intently on dromedaries (hence the pic – method in the madness you know!)

Lawrence was not like that, indeed, he always looked decidedly out of place in his flowing robes – and that enhanced the strange vulnerability about him. Peter O'Toole conveyed that in David Lean's movie, but today the viewer expects broad shoulders, washboard pecs, and model features. Why? Why not let the truth be as is – warts and all? T E Lawrence was not a charlatan- the programme concluded – so why sow the seed of doubt in the first place?

Robert Graves in his autobiography "Goodbye to all That" was clear in his accurate contemporary meeting with Lawrence, and Winston Churchill never doubted him likewise.

Both knew him. Both were on a totally different political spectrum, yet both agreed on their appraisal of the man. None of this was mentioned in the documentary, and one wonders why there are archaeologists funded presumably from institutions to spend weeks in Jordan to establish the already known truth? Of course, the truth must never be allowed to disguise a good story. (Hollywood take note!)

But back to the life of Brian. I doubt, with the round of economic cuts, the BBC are likely to continue funding science documentaries as part travelogues, but somehow Cox has wangled his way to the Philippines as indicated by the Philippines Department of Tourism (London) press release blurb "This month, renowned British professor and TV personality Brian Cox will be visiting the sights of Banaue, Sagada and Palawan for his new show "Wonders of Life" out next year."

What new wonders of life will be revealed? We can only wonder. Of course, anything which highlights the wonder of the Philippines is to be encouraged.

The aforementioned destinations have been well documented, and perhaps they need a young fresh faced enthusiastic approach. Banaue has been well known for its rice terraces, Sagada for its hanging coffins, and Palawan was declared by Jacques Cousteau in the 1970's as the last frontier for exploration.

Cox is over emotional, shallow, and says little without a flourish of sentimental drama. Perhaps when this programme is aired it should be retitled "The Wonder of Brian".

Don't expect any surprises!



October 8, 2011 - Posted by | Arts, Culture, Current Affairs, Education, History, Humour, Science, The Philippines, Travel, United Kingdom | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. Last weekend I made some new friends and took more than one thousand photos. I miss my new friends. I wish I could see them often.


    Comment by escort kızlar | December 30, 2011 | Reply

  2. Last weekend I made some new friends and took more than one thousand photos. I miss my new friends. I wish I could see them often.


    Comment by büyü bozma | December 30, 2011 | Reply

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