Richard Hammond's Blast Lab
|Richard Hammond's Blast Lab|
|Presented by||Richard Hammond|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of series||4|
|No. of episodes||52|
|Running time||30 minutes|
|Production company(s)||September Films|
|Original network||BBC Two (3 January – 12 September 2009)
CBBC Channel (14 July – 7 October 2010)
BBC One (14 July – 6 October 2011)
|Original release||3 January 2009– 6 October 2011|
The programme involves two teams of three children – referred to as the Red Team and the Yellow Team – taking part in science-related challenges to win prizes at the end of the show. The team that loses get the honour of blowing up their prizes. Hammond has taken an approach that has come from years of working on Top Gear with elements of Brainiac: Science Abuse. The show also features Hammond's prized 1963 Opel Kadett car named "Oliver", which he acquired for the Top Gear: Botswana Special. Richard's "Ninja Nan", who acts as security at the Blast Lab (and who never speaks), is introduced at the start of each episode as substitute for SAS guards who, for a different reason in each episode, are absent. Ninja Nan also displays the prizes the winning team will be taking home with them, as well as those the losing team would have won, after the final challenge, which is called the 'Messy Messy Mess Test' and involves both teams and a large tank of gunge.
Loyal, yet incompetent servant-like men which Richard refers to as "Lab Rats" also appear in every episode. Lab Rats, who wear lab coats that have one half red and the other half yellow, are always seen taking on dangerous stunts and moaning around the lab. According to the introductory credits, the secret lab is supposed to be located beneath Mapledurham Watermill in Oxfordshire. In episode 7, the bias against caravans, which is often brought up in Top Gear and in Brainiac, continues, with one being wrecked by a fiery catapult.
"Mini-Miss", a bespectacled young girl of around ten or eleven years old who wears a lab coat like those sported by the Lab Rats, appears in the 'Mini-Science with Mini-Miss' round. Richard explains to the audience that Mini-Miss is actually his old science teacher whom he attempted to bring back through time with his home-made time machine, but something went wrong and she arrived as a child. Despite having been regressed to a youngster, Mini-Miss is shown to not suffer fools gladly, particularly Richard, whom she always chides for some misdemeanor or other – such as not paying attention, for example – before she goes to give the teams advice prior to the start of the round.