Tomorrow's World | How television tried to predict the future of science
CHANNEL | BBC 1
FIRST BROADCAST | 08 January 1981
DURATION | 24 minutes 59 seconds
Kieran Prendiville (pictured above) introduces Hissing Sid, a versatile robot that suffers an unfortunate attack of 'live TV nerves'. Judith Hann reveals a surprising link between baked Alaska and a light-weight metal tennis racquet. Michael Rodd tests a new technique to update microfiche and travels to South Africa to investigate 'jumbo hail stones', while Su Ingle brings encouraging news for diabetics.
The robot Hissing Sid that features in this programme takes its name from a villainous snake who was a national obsession in 1980 thanks to a novelty single by Keith Michell. 'Captain Beaky' (which also features briefly in the programme) was the title track from an album of musical poems with lyrics by Jeremy Lloyd and music by Jim Parker. It told the tale of a brave band of animals (including Timid Toad and Reckless Rat) and their battles with Hissing Sid. A follow-up album, 'The Trial of Hissing Sid', coincided with an outbreak of graffiti slogans across the UK declaring 'Hissing Sid is innocent'.
Reports on kidney dialysis, flood defences and life on Mars.
Tomorrow's fuel, tomorrow's eyes, tomorrow's robots, tomorrow's fashion.
The computer 'light-pen' is put through its paces.
Introducing the home computer terminal.
A debate with Christiaan Barnard, the pioneering heart transplant surgeon.
Showcasing the artificial garden of tomorrow.
Meet Nellie, a computer set to revolutionise the classroom.
A man who speaks Morse code, plus moon rocks and thermal curtains.
James Burke experiences the automated office of the future.
It's the sound of the future - the Moog synthesiser.
Computerised banking ushers in a cashless economy.
James Burke tests executive toys to while away the hours.
Judith Hann visits cowboy school to face an electronic bronco.
Michael Rodd makes a call with an experimental cordless mobile phone.
Looking back at some of the stories of the last decade.
A compilation of items from 1980.
Kieran Prendiville takes on a snooker-playing robot.
A fish that comes with its own chips.
Touch-screen computers, angioplasty, water for marathon runners and very spoilt cows.
A seasonal special brings 1982 to a close.
A cure for jet-lag, book restoration, holograms and a useful boat-trailer.
'Tomorrow's World' comes of age and goes back to the future.
Clever Trevor's clockwork radio that could change lives.
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