Since his brush with death following that horrific high speed crash, I’m just very grateful to be seeing Richard Hammond at all. I’ve always had a bit of a crush on him, though I must confess, his post-accident hairstyle has dampened my ardour somewhat…
However, girly hair aside, if Hammond’s in a thing, you can pretty much guarantee it’s going to be entertaining, and there’ll be explosions. And you might even learn something.
But though this show was without doubt entertaining, what it actually was was a tribute to the capabilities of high speed, high tech cameras. It was a show-and-tell of what the BBC’s investment in state of the art technology can do.
But what it can do is impressive; from showing us the fastest moving things on earth – some kind of icky fungi on horse poo – to showing in slow mo how an explosion wreaks devastation, it was fascinating.
And with Richard’s always amusing, never patronising narrative skills, I watched with rapt attention as we saw wonder after wonder that would not be visible to us were it not for the swanky machinery deployed.
Droplets of milk falling and bouncing with balletic grace and winged critters of all kinds taking flight and singing with a visual accompaniment that made me gasp at the wonder of nature.
In fact, we saw so many of these stunning images, this show could probably have been at least an hour longer before I got twitchy remote finger. And one of the more interesting segments came when Richard explained – and showed us – a special form of lightening that shoots from the ground up…
This phenomenon occurs in Rapid City, Dakota where three massive TV masts on a ridge there regularly facilitate this bizarre form of lightening, but it can’t be seen by the naked eye.
Rather less pretty was watching the skin ripple on a swimmer’s legs and even less, the aforementioned horse poop.
Overall, while the Hamster is no David Attenborough, he most certainly is gaining accreditation as man who makes science type stuff interesting to the masses. And where the gasp-worthy work of Attenborough’s film crews left off, maybe, just maybe, Hammond will pick up.