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Wonders of Life

Sun Feb 10, 9-10pm, BBC2

Stephen Cooter
Series one, episode three
Knowledgeable scientist and affable (though slightly pose-prone) host Brian Cox may be, but ‘Wonders of Life’ is a rather confused affair. Attempting to unite biology, chemistry and Cox’s native physics under the umbrella of science is faintly jarring, while the graphics gimmickry (especially the superimposed carbon dioxide graph) feels arbitrary.

From examining a tranquilised aye-aye to discussing DNA, from doing a carbon dioxide experiment to playing with lion cubs, the approach is befuddling. Unlike Cox’s comprehensive documentaries on the cosmos and the origins of the universe, ‘Wonders of Life’ has a more fractured and haphazard approach. It works well in segments, but those segments make up a frustratingly incohesive whole.