HOLLYWOOD SCIENCE

Series starts - 2nd April 2003
7-30pm BBC2*

Exploring the science behind some of Hollywood's most memorable scenes

"Looks set to become cult viewing" (The Independent)

Ever wondered if Pierce Brosnan really could manage to fox thermal cameras to steal a Monet? Could Clint Eastwood really break his way out of Alcatraz armed only with some silver dimes, a spoon and a box of matches? Not to mention Brad Pitt making soap out of liposuction fat or Kevin Costner turning his pee into drinking water. Are these daring stunts plausible or is it Hollywood Science?

Robert Llewellyn (Red Dwarf, Scrap Heap Challenge) and Dr Jonathan Hare (Rough Science) return in Hollywood Science - an Open University/BBC prime-time series in which, once more, they perform 'kitchen sink' experiments to test the science that most filmgoers take for granted. Armed only with the most basic of tools, our intrepid DIY duo set out to debunk some of Hollywood's most famous sequences by recreating them in the back garden of Jonathan's 'house'. Each week they examine the science behind three well-known scenes and discover the scientific truth behind them. Will they pass the plausibility test? Which one will win the coveted Hollywood Science Award, which, in Robert's words "is given in recognition of the duffest science in moviedom"?

"Hollywood Science is bringing science to the surface in a fun way that people can relate to from the movies they watch", explains the programme's academic advisor Dr Sean Ryan, of the Open University.

Dr Jonathan Hare agrees: "I think it's a brilliant way of getting science across. 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."
Robert, who has always been fascinated by science, describes his role as being as "an enthusiastic communicator". "I wasn't very good at science at school so if I can understand everything Jonathan explains to me so will everybody else!"

HOLLYWOOD SCIENCE - EPISODE BREAKDOWNS (tx order tbc)

GROSS OUT - featuring:
Fight Club - Can you really make soap out of liposuction fat like Brad Pitt and Ed Norton and is it really the creamiest soap known to man?
Waterworld - Kevin Costner turns his pee into drinking water - can our chaps do the same?
The Great Outdoors - John Candy may have been a big fellow but could he really have tucked away a 96oz steak?

TRICKY SITUATIONS - featuring:
A View To A Kill - Agent 007 survives death by drowning by sucking on a car tyre. Can Jonathan and Robert catch out Bond?
Deep Blue Sea - Read shark attack! Saffron Burrows escapes death by electrocuting a mutant shark - our guys test whether she would really have survived all that electricity.
The Last Castle - Robert Redford in a military jail leads his comrades to revolt but would the grappling iron and chain they fire from a water cannon really hook a helicopter?

BREAK-INS - featuring:
The Thomas Crown Affair - Robert and Jonathan test out how Pierce Brosnan manages to fox thermal cameras to steal a Monet. Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves - How do you break into a castle? Kevin Costner and Morgan Freeman use a man-size catapult to scale the wall. Robert and Jonathan put catapults to the test. The Score - Robert De Niro blows open a safe using explosives and the physical properties of water. Can Robert and Jonathan succeed in doing something similar in their back garden?

ESCAPES - featuring:
The Hollow Man - Elizabeth Shue escapes being frozen to death in a freezer by making her own electromagnet to open the door. Can our guys do the same?
Escape from Alcatraz - Could Clint Eastwood's hardened inmate really have broken out of Alcatraz, armed with some silver dimes, a spoon and a box of matches?
Chain Reaction - Keanu Reeves and Rachel Weiss manage to move a huge piece of concrete blocking their escape route, with nothing more than a bit of ingenuity and a gas cylinder. A hot dare but is only hot air?

Hollywood Science is an Open University production for the BBC, produced by BBC Specialist Factual under Creative Director Sarah Hargreaves. The series producer is Gillian Scothern and the programme directors are Gillian Scothern, Pete Oxley and Paul King. Executive Producer for the BBC is Tina Fletcher. Programme executive for the Open University is Emma De'Ath. Further details about the programme and its themes will be available from the Hollywood Science website at www.open2.net

Neil Coaten
Open University Media Relations
t: 01908 652580, m: 07901 51589, n.d.coaten@open.ac.uk


THE CREATIVE SCIENCE CENTRE

Dr Jonathan Hare, Room 3R253, Chichester Bldg. CPES, The University of Sussex
Brighton, East Sussex. BN1 9QJ. 01273 606755 x3171

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