Talk:Horizon (BBC TV series)

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(Music comment)[edit]

Isn't the theme tune to Horizon "Another Green World" by Brian Eno?

yes
No. You're thinking of Arena. --Bonalaw 14:48, 22 August 2005 (UTC)

Dumbing down[edit]

I had been watching Horizon from since the early 1970's when Paul Vaughan was the usual narrator and stopped in the mid-90's, due to the changes made at the time. Compared to what it once [was], Horizon is dumbed down, so much to the point of being almost unwatchable, at least for me. It would seem that the same goes for [others] as well. Ian Dunster 13:24, 26 April 2006 (UTC)

I agree, the show can be hard to watch because of all the stupid imagery and fluff material they throw in to stretch the time out. People who need fast-moving city shots with flashy lights to keep their attention wont watch a documentary in the first place. Remy B 18:25, 9 May 2006 (UTC)
I have only watched Horizon for 2 years thanks to P2P. I have seen more than 150 docs and find that the latest are utter rubbish, an insult to the trademark. It started when they got a new web page. Funny enough, when I need information on docs and TV programs, I never find it in their corresponding webpages, this could be a new Murphy's law...Cgonzalezdelhoyo 01:38, 22 October 2006 (UTC)
Can there be any doubt that ComBBC have jemmied another label off a derelict programme and blu-tacked it to a turd?Keith-264 (talk) 22:19, 8 October 2008 (UTC)
For anyone interested in hearing what Horizon used to be like with Paul Vaughan narrating then try this mid-1980s video about Nuclear flask testing, on YouTube here: [1]
Just as an aside, found a clip with an introduction to a 1981 Horizon programme showing the sort of subject matter that the programme used to deal with. The intro is: And now on two, a profile of Edward Teller, the father of the hydrogen bomb, in Horizon. I also remember seeing in around 1986 an episode about the technical implications of the Falklands War, which dealt with things such as the design of the warships used, and reducing radar signatures, improving fire resistance, etc., fairly esoteric and technical stuff but presented and explained in a way that made the subject matter fascinating.*
... the last time I saw the 'new' Horizon every single programme seemed to be on either dinosaurs, earthquakes, asteroid impacts, or tidal waves, so I assume their target audience is nowadays made up of nine year-olds.
... oh, and volcanoes - I seem to remember that at one period volcanoes were much in evidence. Yep, if they could find a subject that allowed them to use their flashy computer graphics, they did it, 'Never mind the factual accuracy, feel the pictures'. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 213.40.249.181 (talk) 22:16, 28 October 2009 (UTC)
* that programme was "In The Wake Of HMS Sheffield" March 17, 1986 - 22x11
Just found the "In The Wake Of HMS Sheffield" episode on YouTube: [2] enjoy, and see what Horizon used to be like. BTW, the narrator is Paul Vaughan. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.112.68.219 (talk) 20:20, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
Here's another one for you: "Gentlemen, Lift Your Skirts" from 1981, with Martin Jarvis narrating [3] —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.112.68.219 (talk) 21:47, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
BTW, for the puzzled, the title refers to the ground effect skirts fitted to the Williams and other Formula One cars of the period. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 80.4.57.101 (talk) 20:45, 15 August 2011 (UTC)

Pro-"New Horizon" language?[edit]

Anyone think that the following parts in bold (my emphasis) have the faint but definite air of trying to make a case for the programme's recent direction?

The down-side to Horizon's focus on Pure Science, Sheer Drama and the occasionally forced narrative this engenders has led to occasional accusations of dumbing down, with one former editor writing a newspaper article about how the programme concentrates too much on human stories, and not enough on the science. Whether or not such accusations are justified must inevitably remain a matter of opinion but perhaps a factor weighing in the series' favour is the challenge that presenting often highly abstract, technically complex issues and ideas to the public creates for any documentary maker tackling science.

Fourohfour 16:15, 4 November 2006 (UTC)

It could also be seen as a plea for help, given the not unreasonable over-riding requirement for NPOV. Davy p 06:38, 26 November 2006 (UTC)
Note; someone else has now removed these comments. On reflection, I'm not sure why I didn't do it myself sooner. Fourohfour 11:39, 21 April 2007 (UTC)

There's no question that it is about as intellectually demanding and as scientifically sophisticated as a soap opera.Keith-264 (talk) 19:43, 1 January 2009 (UTC)

Please see WP:TALK. TalkIslander 20:06, 1 January 2009 (UTC)

Thank you, will you make the same suggestion to the other contributors?Keith-264 (talk) 21:19, 1 January 2009 (UTC)

Presumably the programme's audience before the 'dumbing down' had no such problems. I started watching Horizon (along with other fascinating programmes such as The World About Us, Chronicle, Connections) back in the late 1970s when I was a schoolboy, and don't remember having any trouble understanding it. I suspect the problem nowadays is that no-one at the BBC has any scientific knowledge whatsoever. So anything with a technical bias frightens them. Too difficult for the Hello brigade, which seems to be today's BBC and ITV target audience, to comprehend. In this assumption they are probably correct, but those sort of people have plenty of their own programmes to watch, such as Emmerdale, Eastenders, etc. Why the more 'difficult' programmes like the original Horizon had to be ruined just to get people who aren't interested in the subjects anyway, watching, is beyond me. Luckily it no longer bothers me as I don't have a TV set, so they can put out as much wall-to-wall shite as they like. For all I know, perhaps they do. But I know I'm not missing much. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.112.68.219 (talk) 21:09, 7 May 2011 (UTC)

Editor list[edit]

I think it'd be nice to have a complete list of Horizon Editors (Exec. Producers, to disambiguate them). The IMDB credit list is totally misleading. I could do the ancient ones but even then would be uncertain of actual dates. It would take someone with access to BBC archives, I think. El Ingles 21:39, 8 June 2006 (UTC)

Programs list[edit]

Today I have found the following BBC Horizon archive: http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/horizon/archives.shtml It only goes back to 1996 and several episodes are missing, but it is far better than nothing. Also, some dimwit at the BBC has decided to sort them in autum-spring season when the rest of the world, that is the P2P community :), has long settled for cronological orders. Atleast is more than Discovery offers though it seems that the best work is done by people who dont get paid. Actually that could do for another Murphy's law :) i.e. if you want information come to Wikipedia :)Cgonzalezdelhoyo 01:38, 22 October 2006 (UTC)

Check out - http://open.bbc.co.uk/catalogue/infax/series/HORIZON Jooler 11:07, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
Yes, chronological is best where the information in available. We need our own list though. I'll start it in the main article for now, perhaps we can move it later as it becomes more substantial.Phillipbeynon (talk) 01:54, 19 February 2009 (UTC)
The bbc catalogue is no longer in beta and they've removed the interface unfortunately. Luckily I saved the whole Horizon list: http://memeplex.org/medialib/horizon_bbc.htm - it's up to date up to 2006, see other pages for the recent years. The BBC Catalogue came with a warning that not everything was perfect, so the same applies to this list. this is the original atom/xml file: http://memeplex.org/medialib/HORIZON.htm if somebody wants to play with it. ACookr (talk) 00:20, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

Sources[edit]

(See also User_talk:Tony_Sidaway#Horizon for more discussion on this subject).

I reinstated "The Register" as a source (IIRC I was the one who put it in in the first place). Although it's not "The Independent", "Nature" or whatever, I feel that as a reasonably mainstream website arguing a case (first link) and a significant number of letters (which probably wouldn't be individually citable), its inclusion is warranted. Fourohfour 12:25, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

I agree that the Register is sufficiently mainstream to be used for reference. Although arguably anti-establishment at times, they do try to get the details right; and sometimes pick up on events and nuances that others miss.
W.r.t. Murphy's l;aw mentioned above, there is something known as Reith's Law. This is along the lines that audience is proportional to the product of desire for a particular sort of content and the quality of presentation. If there's a lecture that you particularly want to hear, then you'll happily use a wind-up gramaphone if that's all that is available. At the other extreme, with 3-D full colour and surround sound almost any content is palatable. Davy p 14:53, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
I agree, but some could take this to mean that *any* reference will do in the absence of something better; that certainly isn't the case, and there are limits as to what's acceptable. For example, I'd reject almost anything from urbandictionary.com out of hand. If you look at the article history, you'll see that I removed a Usenet (via Google Groups) reference, as I realised that it was not good enough.
In the case of the Register articles, I felt that they were clearly above the acceptability threshold for the purpose at hand. That's why I put them in. Fourohfour 16:20, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

2008 Schedule[edit]

Here is a press release link to the 2008 schedule: http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/pressreleases/stories/2007/11_november/08/horizon.shtml —Preceding unsigned comment added by 70.55.225.64 (talk) 14:41, 10 January 2008 (UTC)

BBC strongly implies that Horizon has been canceled[edit]

I am sad to read that the BBC strongly implies that Horizon has been canceled. In large letters at the top of the Horzion webpage, its website states: "Just to let you know, we're no longer updating this page" When you click "More Information here" you get this info:

We aim to make sure that all of the pages we publish on bbc.co.uk are as accurate, reliable and as useful as possible. Where a particular radio, tv series or other BBC event has ended we generally leave the related web page online, just in case visitors may find it helpful or interesting in future. However, in order to avoid confusion we add a banner notice to the page to make it clear that we're no longer keeping these pages up to date....

On the other hand, their website does provide a link to a list upcoming episodes. Are these repeats of older shows, or are they the last new Horizon episodes that will be made?

Or (hopefully) will the show continue in some sort? Can anyone sort this out? Thanks. RK (talk) 17:40, 23 February 2009 (UTC)

Unless you have information from inside sources at the BBC, Horizon has not been cancelled (although from what I've read there has been quite a lot of dissatisfaction from some viewers in terms of recent programmes 'dumbing down'). I agree that the mothballing banner at the top of the website should be clearer (and it might be a good idea for you to send an email to the BBC saying that) but I'm guessing all that's happened is that they're planning to relaunch the website when the series returns and they've put the banner up too early. Please remember that Horizon is the BBC's flagship science strand and they would not announce that they are cancelling it simply by putting a banner on the website. -Paul1337 (talk) 19:44, 12 April 2009 (UTC)
Actually they're just not updating all their old program pages, instead adding new episodes to their new organization around iplayer/programmes - bbc.co.uk/horizon/ ACookr (talk) 19:40, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
A new episode of Horizon aired last week and there are more to follow. See here.--Peeky44 What's on your mind? 14:31, 19 October 2009 (UTC)

Horizon is a poor entertainment programme[edit]

I think the page should be updated to reflect the change from a science/documentary program to an entertainment program.

The program's tag-line is "Pure science, sheer drama" which I think sums up the new format pretty well. The science is really just a backdrop to the drama. The show is primarily entertainment, focusing on "human interest" stories and plot twists, combined with some flashy camera work (usually in the form of poor lighting, extreme close-ups and drunken-camera-man syndrome) and CGI to marvel at. Mojo-chan (talk) 21:46, 3 November 2009 (UTC)

Hi Mojo-chan! If you can find some valid sources that corroborate your argument then it may be worth looking at. However, I don't think it would be valid to make additions based on your opinion of what a science programme should be and what Horizon currently is. --Candy (talk) 12:47, 4 November 2009 (UTC)

Have you tried watching it? By comparison with the past it's a soap-opera. Mojo-chan is right, it's lost its Mojo or rather the philistine popinjays of ComBBC castrated it. There was one on last night about cosmology which had a reasonably good commentary but it was spoilt by frequent interruptions by very loud music and stooges various (low lit like mad scientists or photographed against the mundane, like Mengele with his car keys in the foreground). With public service telly like this, who needs commercial?Keith-264 (talk) 14:48, 4 November 2009 (UTC)


Hi Keith-284. I have watched it recently. I'm watching the new series now. However, my statements still stand. Sufficient valid sources need to be found to justify an addition as Mojo-chan indicates. Personal opinion is insufficient. --Candy (talk) 19:41, 4 November 2009 (UTC)

Advent of colour[edit]

Today I corrected an inaccurate paragraph about early Horizons. I'd love to be able to add a note about the moment when colour first arrived. Anybody know which was the first colour Horizon? El Ingles (talk) 00:56, 8 November 2010 (UTC)

Oh, got it. December 1967. El Ingles (talk) 01:03, 8 November 2010 (UTC)