In Bang Goes the Theory, the object will be to show science in action, from fireworks to water-powered jet packs.
‘We take part in science,’ says editor Dermot Caulfield, ‘and the idea is to encourage the audience so they want to take part in science too.’
Based in a Bedfordshire power station, the magazine show sees the presenters travelling the world investigating developments in science and technology and often returning to test out the theories they encounter.
‘Every piece of content starts with a question, such as what is dark matter?,’ says Caulfield, ‘and the team are on the search for the answers.
Often that means us experimenting or building something to try and come up with that answer.’
While Caulfield acknowledges the role the former science strand Tomorrow’s World has played in pioneering popular science television in a magazine format, he believes the way people consume both science and television has moved on:
‘Rather than simply be a reporting vehicle on what’s new in the world of science, we want to roll up our sleeves, stick our hands in the dirty gubbins of the engine and find out why, what, or where science is happening,’ he says.
But Bang Goes the Theory won’t dispense with theory entirely and go the way of Sky’s Brainiac – all explosion and no explanation. For one thing it’s co-produced by The Open University.
‘I wanted it to have strong entertainment values and be a bloody good watch,’ says Caulfield. ‘But there is some learning in there. I’ve got three kids, and I want them to be inspired so next time they have double physics they’ll pay a bit more attention.’
This feature originally appeared in Ariel, the BBC staff newspaper.