BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

29 October 2014
Press Office
Search the BBC and Web
Search BBC Press Office

BBC Homepage

Contact Us


Horizon 40 years logo

BBC TWO's Horizon celebrates 40th birthday with new series this autumn


BBC TWO's Horizon celebrates 40 years as television's foremost science strand with a characteristic eclectic line-up of subject matter for the autumn series beginning next month.


Subjects to be covered in the new series include the truth about vitamins, the MMR vaccine and the extraordinary story of the discovery of King Solomon's Tablet of Stone.


The diversity of topics is a Horizon tradition which dates back to the very first broadcast of the programme in 1964.


The World of Buckminster Fuller explored the theories and structures of an entrepreneur who made a million out of patenting domes.


It included Horizon's mission statement: "The aim of Horizon is to provide a platform from which some of the world's greatest scientists and philosophers can communicate their curiosity, observations and reflections, and infuse into our common knowledge their changing views of the universe.


"We shall do this by presenting science not as a series of isolated discoveries but as a continuing growth of thought, a philosophy which is an essential part of twentieth century culture."


Over the years Horizon has hit the headlines with a range of revealing and challenging programmes including:


1972's Whales, Dolphins and Men about the use of whale meat in pet food which within a year led to a ban on all imports of whale meat;


1988's Life Story, a drama about Watson and Crick's discovery of DNA which starred Jeff Goldblum, Juliet Stevenson, Tim Piggot-Smith and Alan Howard;


Fermat's Last Therom in 1996 which won numerous awards and is still frequently used in film courses today as an example of classic documentary story telling;


and 2003's The Fall of The World Trade Centre which won an Emmy.


Horizon also launched the careers of several people who went on to be famous in other fields.


The director of Life Story Mick Jackson went to Hollywood where he directed The Bodyguard; the director of Fermat's Last Therom Simon Singh went on to write a best selling book about the subject and now presents a quiz show on BBC FOUR; and former Editor of the series Jana Bennett is currently BBC Director of Television.


Horizon was first broadcast in the early days of BBC TWO when coverage for the channel was still limited. Early audience figures, reflecting that lack of coverage, ranged from 50,000 to 150,000.


Today's audiences average between 2.5 and 3 million.


Update - the new series of Horizon begins on BBC TWO on Thursday 16 September 2004 at 9.00pm


< previous section next section >
Printable version top^

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy