Wonders of Life: What is life?

A review by Nalini Haynes


Wonders of Life is a TV series exploring physics and the universe in terms the layperson can understand.

The first episode is ‘What is Life?’, an exploration of physics almost as religion – eternal life being conservation of energy – with the hunky Professor Brian Cox as high priest. He’d be horrified to see my description and yet, at points during this episode, I felt that this was almost a religious although positive experience.

Images include

  • dragonflies, the brevity of their life, their beauty and their corpses floating on the surface of the water
  • people gathered to celebrate the Day of the Dead in the Philippines
  • testing the ph balance of water
  • using a waterfall to illustrate potential energy vs kinetic and thermal energy
  • swimming with solar jellyfish

The one downside: Brian Cox pronounces ‘ing’ as ‘ink’. My pedantic self needs a slapping.

The beauty, the variety and the steady narrative pace enhance the exploration of a serious subject, complete with a little academic/physics humour. Big Bang Theory fans would be proud.

I loved this documentary. Watch eet.

★★★★★ 5 stars