03.03.2007 19:37 - How To Spin Ten Minutes Into An Hour
Last night, Ladies and Gentlemen, Her Maj and I watched one of the worst "documentaries" we've seen in a long time : "Galileo Mysteries". This pseudo-documentary shit takes a hysterical proposition and tries to weave an hour-long programme out of it. Sadly, for all concerned, the researchers seem to have spent all of half an hour on the net actually working this one out.
The subject this evening was "What if terrorists created a super-Tsunami to destroy the USA and Europe?". This stunning concept had been thought up by a British "writer and expert on nuclear submarines", who, it seems, is desperate to get someone to buy the book he's written about it. Fortunately for him some rather dull German TV producers with a big budget and very little common sense latched on to this loony plot.
His plot : Terrorists steal a Russian Nuclear Submarine, and launch one of the nuclear missiles at the Island of La Palma, which, according to geological research, has a large crack in it which is going to make the island break in two if anyone uses any harsh language. The subsequent geological movement is supposed to cause a tidal wave of biblical proportions, which would wipe out New York. Quite apart from the fact that nicking a Russian nuclear sub is not exactly going to be as easy as hijacking a commercial flight. (The average Russian nuclear submarine is operated by a highly-trained crew who aren't exactly unarmed)
The programme attempted to pad this out with a special effects of a tidal wave hitting New York (obviously quite expensive as they showed them several times) and archive footage of old landslides. The rest of the programme had the presenters walking round a rather expensive-looking set of their "HQ", looking at a holographic presentation of computer simulations, etc. Anything rather than investigating.
Footage of a "geological expert" and a "reporter" examining the geological fault through the island was shown. However, given the attitude of the programme, they may have been fake. The whole programme may have concluded that the thing was a load of tosh, I don't know, but we got so bored of it we turned off the TV. About 30 secords on the net turned up this, which is pretty damning.
Our conclusions? TV is going to the dogs. This is the sort of thing "Tomorrow's World" could have debunked in ten minutes.
And they certainly wouldn't have wasted an hour on it.