Monday, 3 August 2009

Bang vs Gadge

Monday night is now Geek Night for British TV as the Beeb's new Tomorrows World for the You Tube era show Bang Goes the Theory attempts to steal the faithful from the veteran that is FIVE's The Gadget Show.

Review | BBC1 | Mondays 19:30-20:00

Bang Goes the Theory is the new kid on the TV block. At a lean 30-minutes it slips in before the old veteran with an episode in-hand and a half-an-hour earlier time slot.

This weeks 2nd show features edible insects (less environmentally damaging than livestock), how-to blow up bin bags (not in the exciting/explosive way though), the search for M-class planets (all scientists base their research on Star Trek: FACT) and a water powered jetpack (which looks more fun than that MJ one).

There's a good mix in the presenters - the enthusiastic engineer, the nerdy scientist, the sexy biochemist and the Gadget Show deserter alumni - each with their own area interest - building crazy stuff, try-at-home science, explaining science and exploring technology.

The show has a definite cool science teacher feel about it with its mix of entertaining but educational bite-sized pieces of science and technology but it's just that variety that lets it down; half-an-hour is very little time to cover four different subjects in any depth.

In support, the web site does provide some Open University backed interactive features and links.

Review | FIVE | Mondays 20:00-21:00

The Gadget Show is now in its 12th series and this year staged a live show/gadget convention at the Birmingham NEC. It's a full hour (or 40-minutes or so minus the ads) from 8 and will be with us until the end of the year.

This weeks episode compares i-Phone-a-likes in NYC, looks at robotic penguins in Germany and builds a remote-control/teleprescence Landrover to race banger cars. And the cherry? The competition to win 160 gadgets worth £24k!

The Gadget Shows' presenters Jason The Game Bradbury, Suzi Sexy Perry, Jon The Godfather Bentley are essentially the royalty of geek TV in Britain. Supported by the go-to guy Ortis and Dionne covering the web-front there's plenty of talent to cover everything from novelty office toys to cutting edge robotics and still leave time for the weekly challenge road testing the latest gadgets and electronics; usually to destruction.

Whereas BGTT tries to educate while entertaining, TGS informs and entertains. Watching the reviews and comparisons feels useful, it provides you with practical knowledge you can use to fill your man-bag or Geek-pad, while still keeping you up-to-date with the latest super-science and cutting edge tech.

Plus TGS's web site is vast, containing 100s of mini-reviews, best-buy guides and blogs published between shows; even when it's off the air.

So The Gadget Show is still king and queen of British Geek TV but Bang Goes the Theory is virtually a new born so I'm not giving up on it yet. Besides there's plenty of space for both on my DVR.

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