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Brian Cox's 'The Science of Doctor Who': 5 mindblowing moments

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It's more like a big ball of wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey stuff.

Sandwiched between some silly and fun sketches with Matt Smith, TV science whizz Professor Brian Cox delivered a lecture on BBC Two tonight (November 14) which attempted to explain the scientific concepts at the heart of Doctor Who to viewers who perhaps like Digital Spy, only managed to leave school with a D in Physics.

Occasionally mind-bending, often mind-blowing and always terrific fun, here are our 5 highlights from the show.

1. "I'm going to show you that we're almost free to wander through time."
'Doctor Who' iconic image for the 50th anniversary

© BBC

'Doctor Who' iconic image for the 50th anniversary


If Professor Brian Cox had the power to travel in time, he would head back to 1860 to watch the lectures of scientist Michael Faraday. Obviously, that isn't possible. However, while the doors to the past may be currently closed, the TV boffin was able to demonstrate that time travel itself is something that we're all very capable of doing.

We may not have the freedom of space and time that the Doctor has, but "we have more freedom than you think", said Cox.

Using a mixture of scooters, crash helmets and bulbs, Cox was able to explain how "we are all time travellers, in our own small way". He even explained how we could send a man into space for 10 years and have him come back 29 years later. Like we said earlier, mind-bending is the only word.

2. Do aliens exist?
A Zygon in 'Doctor Who's 50th anniversary special.

© BBC

The Zygons return in 'Doctor Who' 50th special.


"We desperately want them to exist," said Cox. "Being alone in an infinite universe is frightening."

Brian Cox didn't confirm the existence of Daleks or Zygons, but he did tease us with the possibility that proof of complex life forms in the universe may one day be found.

Using Charles Dance, a bunsen burner, advances in telescopes and new research into heat signatures, he suggested that strong progress was being made on the discovery of alien life forms.

3. "We may have already inadvertently have made contact."
Doctor Who - Genesis of the Daleks

© BBC

Doctor Who - Genesis of the Daleks


Cox went one step further with his discussion about alien life forms, pointing out that technically, they could already be sitting down and enjoying episodes of Doctor Who with us on their own planets.

He pointed out that the "encoded beams of radio waves" from the first episode in 1963 could now have travelled 50 light years from our planet.

Let's just hope they're choosing to watch Doctor Who and not TOWIE. We wouldn't want them to get the wrong idea about us.

4. The Eye of Harmony could actually, maybe, kind of work.
'Doctor Who' new Tardis interior (BBC 'web res' spec)

© BBC Pictures / Adrian Rogers



This is where things got a little bit more complicated. The Professor attempted to challenge our understanding of the laws of space, time and everything we learnt in our GSCEs about Einstein to prove that not only is the TARDIS's Eye of Harmony ("a star frozen at the point of collapse into a black hole") essentially based on scientific fact, but that also a trip into our pasts isn't necessarily totally 100% impossible.

Using Rufus Hound, a giant clock and the terms "light cones", "event horizons" and "spaghetti-fication", Cox was able to demonstrate that although it wasn't likely and that it was way beyond our current capabilities, time travelling into history wasn't a dead concept.

"Nobody has been able to prove that space time geometries like this can't exist," said Cox. It might not be much, but it's better than nothing.

5. Professor Brian Cox meets The Doctor.
Brian Cox's 'The Science Of Doctor Who'

© BBC / Mark Allen

Brian Cox


Ok, so it may not have been science-related, but the Prof's skits with Matt Smith were pretty mind-bending in their own way.

We're not sure what we enjoyed most: Smith's "shut up Brian" catchphrase, his constant jibes about Cox's lack of neckwear or the 'Things Can Only Get Better' gag.

Digital Spy embarks on a journey of discovery to mark 50 years of Doctor Who in a new short film, Doctor Who: 50 Years of a TV Icon. Watch below:



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