Wallace and Gromit's World of Invention

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Wallace and Gromit's World of Invention
Wallace & Gromit's World of Invention.jpg
GenreScience Animation
Created byNick Park
Written byAlex Pascall
Richard Hansome
Directed byMerlin Crossingham
Voices ofPeter Sallis
Ashley Jensen
John Sparkes
Theme music composerJulian Nott
Opening themeBunker Sonix
Composer(s)Bunker Sonix
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of series1
No. of episodes6
Production
Executive producer(s)Nick Park
Peter Lord
David Sproxton
CinematographyDavid Alex Riddett
Running time30 Minutes
Production company(s)Aardman Animations
DistributorBBC
Release
Original networkBBC One
Original release3 November (2010-11-03) –
8 December 2010 (2010-12-08)
Chronology
Preceded byA Matter of Loaf and Death

Wallace and Gromit's World of Invention is a science-themed miniseries, starring Peter Sallis, Ashley Jensen, Jem Stansfield, and John Sparkes, produced by Aardman Animations, and aired on BBC One during 2010, from 3 November to 8 December.[1] The programme focuses on a look at inventions based around various themes, and consists of live-action films interlaced by animated claymation segments hosted by characters Wallace and Gromit, which often focus on a sideplot connected on that episode's respective theme. While Sallis reprised his role as the voice of Wallace, live-action film segments were either narrated by Jensen or presented by Stansfield, with Sparkes providing the voice of Wallace and Gromit's unseen archivist Goronwy, a unique character for the programme.

The programme ran for six episodes and was the last production that Sallis performed in before his retirement from acting due to ill health. Its creation was aimed by the BBC in inspiring a new generation of inventors, according to a press statement prior to the programme's broadcast.[2]

Production[edit]

The series was commissioned by Jay Hunt, controller of BBC One, and Jo Ball, following a meeting to discuss the concept of the programme, with it agreed that Alison Kirkham, from the BBC, and Miles Bullough, from Aardman, assisgned as the executive producers for Wallace and Gromit's World of Invention.[2][3] The show's concept with filming was to take a look at real-life inventors, contraptions, gadgets and inventions, from an educational point of view, but interlaced with the light-hearted humour associated to Wallace and Gromit.[2]

Format[edit]

Each episode is focused upon a specific theme that underlines the various inventions explored by the programme, as well as the side-plot of the animated escapades of Wallace and Gromit - while the former acted as host, the latter mainly focused on running the film equipment the pair used within the basement of their home. The side-plots often focused on an invention that Wallace has created for use to improve the pair's lives, inspired by the topical theme of the episode, though often the invention backfires due to a minor issue. Most of the programme consists of live-action films. Most of these are narrated by Ashley Jensen, and focus on a novel invention and/or a modern inventor, with the exception of a recurring segment entitled "It Never Got Off the Drawing Board", which was presented by Jem Stansfield (referred to as "Wallace's science correspondent") and focused on an invention that never got past the design or prototype stage. In a segment entitled "Contraption Countdown", the show looked at a countdown of 5 or 6 inventions documented in archive footage, connected to the episode's theme, which were narrated by Wallace's archivist Goronwy (voiced by John Sparkes).

Episodes[edit]

# Title Director Original air date
1"Nature Knows Best"Merlin Crossingham3 November 2010 (2010-11-03)
Wallace and Gromit explore the wonders of the natural world, and look at inventions inspired by Mother Nature. They visit some incredible flying penguins and other elegant Manta Ray-inspired robots at Festo in Germany and visit Namibia, where scientists are studying the intricate structures of termite mounds to create self-cooling houses of the future. In Holland, they meet the brilliant sculptor Theo Jansen as he demonstrates his latest amazing contraption, the Animaris Siamesis. But Wallace's invention, the Jumbo-Generator -which was used to power the studio- is wrecked (due to its power source, an elephant named Kevin, going after Wallace's iced buns).
Segments
1. Marine biology into technology
2. Insect-powered machines
3. Inventor of the Week: Theo Jansen
4. Curiosity Corner: Termites
5. Contraption Countdown: Top 5 animal-inspired contraptions
6. It Never Got Off The Drawing Board: Artificial gills.
2"Reach for the Sky"Merlin Crossingham10 November 2010 (2010-11-10)
Wallace and Gromit explore the mysteries behind man's fascination with flight, from homemade space rockets in Manchester to jetpacks in the UK. There is also a look at some planes that unfortunately do not fly in another Contraption Countdown. On location in the USA, the team explore the most advanced flexible spacesuits being developed by NASA, which are designed to allow wearers to perform cartwheels on Mars, and in Germany they look at the life of Gustav Mesmer. During the episode Wallace accidentally locks Gromit in the rocket from A Grand Day Out and makes the rocket shoot off with Gromit inside; Gromit phones him, but Wallace's cup was resting on another button reading "Self Destruct" and Wallace is shocked to find his rocket is missing ("Hey! What have you done with me rocket?").
Segments
1. Steve Bennett's home-made rockets
2. Bio-Suit
3. It Never Got Off The Drawing Board: Magnus Effect wind turbines
4. Contraption Countdown: Top 6 flying failures
5. Curiosity Corner: Gustav Mesmer
6. Jet-pack flying
3"Home Sweet Home"Merlin Crossingham17 November 2010 (2010-11-17)
Wallace and Gromit look at ingenious inventions for the home. From 1940s household robots and strange humanoid butlers to cutting-edge labour saving devices, we travel around the world to explore the social history of domestic life through inventions. We visit the home of iconic inventor Trevor Baylis - the man who revolutionised the radio - and visit 'George', one of the first walking humanoid robots ever built, as he is brought to life for the first time in sixty years by his creator, Tony Sale. During this episode Wallace has invented an L.A.D. (Labour Assisting Device) bot (which bears some resemblance to the Cooker from A Grand Day Out), replacing Gromit, who becomes jealous of it. At the end, when Wallace (inspired by footage of the Beer Launching Fridge) reprograms the L.A.D. to throw tea to him, Gromit pours some himself inside the bot when Wallace is not looking. Then the L.A.D. goes out of control and starts to throw things at Wallace and Gromit refuses to help. No "Curiosity Corner" segment here, though Gromit was seen relaxing in it at the end of the episode.
Segments
1. Housekeeping robots and George
2. William Kamkwamba's windmill
3. History of the Teasmade
4. It Never Got Off The Drawing Board: Einstein fridge
5. Inventor of the Week: Trevor Baylis
6. Contraption Countdown: Top 5 most useful household gadgets
4"Come to Your Senses"Merlin Crossingham24 November 2010 (2010-11-24)
Wallace and Gromit experience the world through the five senses, exploring the fact and fiction behind invisibility cloaks, bomb-detecting bees and the top sensory inventions. In London, scientists are creating prototype invisibility cloaks using metamaterials to bend light around objects, and we discover the science behind new technology allowing the blind to 'see' through taste using hi-tech sunglasses. In Kentucky, USA we visit the small town where a local farmer invented wireless telephones over 100 years ago. Or did he? Finally in Tasmania, we meet our Inventor of the Week who, after being told it was impossible, invented and made his own unique prosthetic arm.
Segments
1. Sight - Invisibility cloak
2. Contraption Countdown: Top 5 sense-inspired inventions
3. Sound - It Never Got Off the Drawing Board: Stubblefield mobile telephone system
4. Touch - Inventor of the Week: Mark Lesek
5. Smell - Curiosity Corner: Bee bomb detection
6. Taste - Experimental glasses allowing the blind to see by taste.
5"Better Safe Than Sorry"Merlin Crossingham1 December 2010 (2010-12-01)
Wallace and Gromit have always taken their safety into their own hands, and in this episode of the science series they consider other inventors with the same philosophy. They tell the tale of 1940s Hollywood starlet Hedy Lamarr, who had a side-line in inventing, and who devised a radio-controlled 'secret-communication' system for steering torpedoes to help allied forces in the war. They also look at the most futuristic surveillance drones and the history of spy technology. Gromit really goes through the wars in this episode (he keeps suffering from accidents instigated by Wallace throughout, apart from Curiosity Corner).
Segments
1. History of ejector seats
2. Pigeon spy cameras
3. It Never Got Off The Drawing Board: Hedy Lamarr's frequency-hopping torpedo system
4. Curiosity Corner: Arthur Pedrick
5. EMU Spacesuit
6. Contraption Countdown: Top 6 health-and-safety nightmares
6"From A to B"Merlin Crossingham8 December 2010 (2010-12-08)
Wallace and Gromit explore incredible transportation inventions from around the globe. In the 'Contraption Countdown' the focus is on peculiar transport devices, and the duo find out how to cross the River Thames in a plastic bag. They discover the intention behind laser propulsion in the creation of flying saucer technology, and meet Cedric Lynch, an illustrious engineer who invented electric tricycles. Wallace also invents a runabout steam chair to get around, but it overheats in the end and falls apart. Wallace, though, doesn't let it go to waste and repurposes it as a dual water boiler and oven.
Segments
1. Mikhail Puchkov's mini-sub (Note: Mikhail Puchkov is the only guest who doesn't speak English so a translator has to speak for him.)
2. Electric motors and Cedric Lynch
3. Contraption Countdown: Top 6 most peculiar forms of transport
4. Curiosity Corner: Flying saucer and Lightcrafts
5. Inventor of the Week: Sir Clive Sinclair
6. It Never Got Off The Drawing Board: Brunel's atmospheric railway.

DVD release[edit]

On 13 December 2010, a DVD of the entire series was released, which also included a pamphlet of ideas for inventions along with instructions.

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00trcc9/broadcasts/2010/12
  2. ^ a b c Rushton, Katherine (29 August 2009). "Wallace and Gromit to front science show". Broadcast. Retrieved 29 August 2009.
  3. ^ Holmwood, Leigh (29 August 2009). "Wallace and Gromit to present BBC1 science and inventions show". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 August 2009.

External links[edit]