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Tomorrow's World | How television tried to predict the future of science

About this collection

Beginning in 1965, the BBC's flagship science programme ran for nearly 40 years. Its mix of quirky film reports and live experiments examined the changing state of current technology and put new inventions to the test.

In this collection, we witness a change in how people thought of the future and chart the rise and rise of the computer. Through a selection of items and full programmes from the archives, we remember some of the presenters who became household names, such as Raymond Baxter, James Burke, Judith Hann and many more.

Tomorrow's World Collection

The Tomorrow's World logo - the programme title is shown through a distorting mirrored tube.

Tomorrow's World

First Edition

BROADCAST 1965
35 MINUTES

Reports on kidney dialysis, flood defences and life on Mars.

A surgeon operates on the retina of the eye with a laser.

Tomorrow's World

Laser Eye Surgery

BROADCAST 1965
29 MINUTES

Tomorrow's fuel, tomorrow's eyes, tomorrow's robots, tomorrow's fashion.

Reporter Malcolm Lyall-Watson.

Tomorrow's World

Elliot Light-Pen

BROADCAST 1967
6 MINUTES

The computer 'light-pen' is put through its paces.

Rex Malik receives messages from his computer while still in bed.

Tomorrow's World

Home Computer Terminal

BROADCAST 1967
3 MINUTES

Introducing the home computer terminal.

Professor Christiaan Bernard in a BBC studio.

Tomorrow's World Special

Barnard Faces His Critics

BROADCAST 1968
53 MINUTES

A debate with Christiaan Barnard, the pioneering heart transplant surgeon.

James Burke peers through the leaves of plastic plants.

Tomorrow's World

Plastic Grass

BROADCAST 1968
3 MINUTES

Showcasing the artificial garden of tomorrow.

A computer screen showing a sound wave - a representation of what sound looks like.

Tomorrow's World

Nellie: School Computer

BROADCAST 1969
7 MINUTES

Meet Nellie, a computer set to revolutionise the classroom.

Raymond Baxter.

Tomorrow's World

Morse Code and Moon Rocks

BROADCAST 1969
14 MINUTES

A man who speaks Morse code, plus moon rocks and thermal curtains.

Reporter James Burke stares through a glass prism.

Tomorrow's World

Office of the Future

BROADCAST 1969
14 MINUTES

James Burke experiences the automated office of the future.

The keyboard of a Moog synthesiser.

Tomorrow's World

Moog Synthesiser

BROADCAST 1969
5 MINUTES

It's the sound of the future - the Moog synthesiser.

A hand inputs a code into a computer keypad.

Tomorrow's World

New Banking

BROADCAST 1969
4 MINUTES

Computerised banking ushers in a cashless economy.

Reporter James Burke stares at an executive toy - a ball hanging from a string and suspended in a ma

Tomorrow's World

Executive Toys

BROADCAST 1971
4 MINUTES

James Burke tests executive toys to while away the hours.

Judith Hann.

Tomorrow's World

Cowboy School

BROADCAST 1978
6 MINUTES

Judith Hann visits cowboy school to face an electronic bronco.

Michael Rodd

Tomorrow's World

Mobile Phone

BROADCAST 1979
7 MINUTES

Michael Rodd makes a call with an experimental cordless mobile phone.

Presenters Michael Rodd, Judith Hann and Kieran Prendiville.

Tomorrow's World

Review of the 1970s

BROADCAST 1979
30 MINUTES

Looking back at some of the stories of the last decade.

The 'Tomorrow's World' logo from 1980 - a human brain with a sun rising from behind.

Tomorrow's World

Review of 1980

BROADCAST 1980
21 MINUTES

A compilation of items from 1980.

Coloured snooker balls on a snooker table.

Tomorrow's World

Hissing Sid

BROADCAST 1981
25 MINUTES

Kieran Prendiville takes on a snooker-playing robot.

Kieran Prendiville

Tomorrow's World

13 May 1982

BROADCAST 1982
25 MINUTES

A fish that comes with its own chips.

Peter Macann.

Tomorrow's World

14 October 1982

BROADCAST 1982
24 MINUTES

Touch-screen computers, angioplasty, water for marathon runners and very spoilt cows.

Maggie Philbin.

Tomorrow's World

Christmas 1982

BROADCAST 1982
30 MINUTES

A seasonal special brings 1982 to a close.

Judith Hann

Tomorrow's World

3 March 1983

BROADCAST 1983
24 MINUTES

A cure for jet-lag, book restoration, holograms and a useful boat-trailer.

The 'Tomorrow's World' logo from 1986 - a stylised globe on a white background.

Tomorrow's World

21st Anniversary

BROADCAST 1986
60 MINUTES

'Tomorrow's World' comes of age and goes back to the future.

Inventor Trevor Baylis.

Tomorrow's World

Clockwork Radio

BROADCAST 1994
29 MINUTES

Clever Trevor's clockwork radio that could change lives.

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