Horizon (1964– )

TV Series  |   |  Documentary, History
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Horizon is BBC Two's flagship 50-minute science documentary series. In September 2004 it celebrated its 40th anniversary and it continues to enjoy outstanding critical acclaim. Recognised ... See full summary »

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2015   2014   2013   2012   2011   2010   … See all »
11 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »
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Paul Vaughan ...
 Himself - Narrator / ... (134 episodes, 1968-1995)
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Horizon is BBC Two's flagship 50-minute science documentary series. In September 2004 it celebrated its 40th anniversary and it continues to enjoy outstanding critical acclaim. Recognised as the world leader in its field, it regularly wins a sweep of international science, medical and environmental film accolades, and has recently won the Royal Television Society Award and the Prix Italia. In 2002, the British Academy of Film & Television Arts presented Horizon with the BAFTA Television Award for Best Factual Series or Strand. In 2003 it won the prestigious Images et Science award for best medical documentary and the Carl von Linne Award at the Living Europe film festival in Sweden. That year, a Horizon co-production with WGBH Boston won the Emmy for best documentary. Written by Anonymous

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2 May 1964 (UK)  »

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19 July 2015 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Horizon is a prism... it is mostly scientific, retaining much of its earliest episodes in its latter ones (although not quite the details, especially when it concerns physics).

Its episodes concerning astronomy, in particular, are usually awe-inspiring, and although Horizon attempts to add in musical details that add to the whole picture (thus sensationalizing it, effectively) it does mostly succeed in conveying both the artistic aspect of what science could achieve and the actual details themselves, although when tackling topics that are more philosophical, like infinity, sensationalism may take over with not as many details.

Horizon also tries to explain sociological issues that verge on the scientific, like the placebo effect and autism; with the former it does succeed (in my opinion) in conveying both the hard science and psychology behind it, despite involving some random people... whereas, with autism, it fails scientifically, and seems to involve random people for no apparent reason.

Generally, as long as Horizon concentrates on the science it succeeds, but when it ends up speculating on anecdotes it doesn't so well (even with the earlier episodes, individual scientists were interviewed but they didn't necessarily talk about themselves).

Science should be at the centre of any documentaries that attempt to tackle such questions (autism clearly involves neurotransmitters e.g. and yet none were mentioned). Anecdotes should be used only in rare, specific cases like Henry Molaison's.

Overall, though, Horizon does seem to present science well...


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