Crash Test Dummy: a Smashing History

Wed Aug 28, 9-10pm, BBC4

Rather than a profile of the mid-’90s dirge rockers (remember ‘Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm’?), ‘Bang Goes the Theory’ presenter Jem Stansfield has taken it upon himself to tell the story of the chrome-domed engineering icons whose bodies have been battered for decades in the name of road saftey.

Accordingly, it plays like an overextended item from its parent show, drifting into tech geekery a little too often and relying too heavily on the stock devices of dummies dressed up in era-appropriate clothing and cars crashing into things. But, while the appeal is limited, it shouldn’t negate the significance of their role: nearly 7,000 died on UK roads in 1960; last year, it was just 1,900.

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