A very cool BBC series wherein the crafty producers take a bunch of scientists and technicians to a remote location and have them recreate sophisticated tools and inventions using only the primitive materials on hand. Vines, wood, bits of metal, shells. Here: make a clock (with bell), or a device to record sounds, or how about a camera, microscope, soap and sunblock?; or go survey and map the island -- using tools of your own construction. You don't know science until you can roll your own. This 10-part program is highly instructional because you get to see technology reduced to its essence -- and because not everything works. The DVDs are expensive; fire up your TiVo to catch them on PBS; another new series begins this fall.
Directed by Sarah Topalian & David Shulman
2002, 90 min.
Available from Bullfrog Films
(Ignore the ridiculous price of $890 for the 10-part series DVD on the website; Bullfrog offers an undisclosed "home use" price of $200 for the set or $25 each per tape of 10 or $65 per each of 3 DVDs. 800-543-3764)
Rent from Netflix