Q.E.D. (UK TV series)

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BBC QED logo.jpg
Q.E.D. title card
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Executive producer(s)Mick Rhodes (1982–84), David Filkin (1985–91), Simon Campbell-Jones (1992), Susan Spindler (1993–94), Tim Haines (1994), Lorraine Heggessey (1995–97), Michael Mosley (1998–99)
  • Alec Nisbett
  • Liz Tucker
  • Emma Walker
  • John Hayes-Fisher
  • Andrew Thompson
Running time30 min
Original networkBBC1
Picture formatPAL
Original release1982 – 1999

Q.E.D. (quod erat demonstrandum, Latin for "that which was to be demonstrated") was the name of a strand of BBC popular science documentary films which aired in the United Kingdom from 1982 to 1999.[1]


Running in a half-hour peak-time slot on the BBC's primary mass-audience channel BBC1, the series had a more populist and general interest agenda than the long-running Horizon series which aired on the more specialist channel BBC2.

Horizon could often be difficult for a scientific novice, requiring a modicum of background knowledge beyond the reaches of many viewers, so Q.E.D. was a more approachable way of introducing scientific stories.

Some notable films[edit]

  • A Guide to Armageddon (1982) – the effects of a one megaton nuclear bomb being exploded over London.[2][3] Director Mick Jackson went on to direct the 1984 docu-drama Threads, an account of a nuclear holocaust and its effect on the working class city of Sheffield, England, and the eventual long-term effects of nuclear war on civilization.[4]
  • Simon's War (1983) – the life of Simon Weston, who suffered serious burns in the Falklands War
  • Big Brother's Little Test (1983) – How reliable is polygraphy, the use of lie-detectors? Can the innocent be unjustly condemned? Can the guilty beat them?
  • In at the Deep End (1984) – an experiment in which divers spent nine days at simulated depths of up to 1000 feet, breathing a mixture of hydrogen and oxygen
  • Round Britain Whizz (1986) – a sped-up flight around the coastline of Britain
  • The Foolish Wise Ones (1987) – a look at the talents and worlds of Autistic Savants, such as Stephen Wiltshire
  • With a Goal in Mind (1988) – A sport psychologist works with First Division Queen's Park Rangers for a period of six weeks.
  • John's Not Mad (1989) – follows a 15-year-old boy with severe Tourette syndrome
  • My Best Friend's a Computer (1990) – explores the effects of computers on the emotional development of children
  • Nerve Transplant (1997) – explores the work of a unique nerve transplant surgeon, bringing back movement to the limbs of previously paralysed patients
  • Superspecs (1997) – follows the travels of a British inventor around Ghana with a pair of glasses made for just a dollar, that he is convinced could save the sight of millions
  • The Burning Question (1998) – on spontaneous human combustion
  • Breathless (1998) – investigates the Buteyko method for treating asthma

See also[edit]

  • EquinoxChannel 4 popular science series, last aired in 2001
  • Horizon – comparable BBC2 strand, on air since 1964
  • Nova – documentary series on PBS in the United States, which often bought in and re-voiced Equinox and Horizon films


External links[edit]