Tuesday, 30 October 2007

QI E06 Review - Everything

Episode 6, concerning Everything, was the last episode to be recorded before the children-in-need and Christmas specials. Consequently it was fairly obvious to the audience that this episode was for all the interesting E's that didn't warrant, or couldn't fit into an episode devoted to one subject.

Subjects ranged from Ecstacy to Lumberjacks. The section about Taking the King's Shilling was contributed mainly on the QI forum. Click Here to read more about it.

Some of the sections that were cut included a discussion about Ebay and a sentence with no letter E's in it. Aliens, mountains and sleep were also missed out. Unfortunately, although the audience were shown pictures of the fainting goats, the copyright could not be attained so this was cut.

This was the episode in which Stephen revealed that at the time he was one of only 5 people who knew the ending of Harry Potter (since he had recorded the audiobooks). Alan achieved yet another second place. This is one of Alan's best series in terms of his scores. Perhaps he's started swotting for the show, but we will never know.

Once again don't forget to watch the QI vodcast. Of the stuff you won't have seen in the episode, Stephen discussing Ibiza, plus Jeremy on France and Greece are the highlights. Watch out for Jeremy in the outro as well! Click Here.

Friday, 26 October 2007

Daily Telegraph QI Column - Week 38

Always though that Hallowe'en is a purely pagan festival? Think again and read this week's QI Column here.

Monday, 22 October 2007

QI E05 Review - Europe

Episode E05, the 6th episode to be recorded, was a real gem of an episode. This was the episode when Dara and Phill mentioned this very blog. As I expected it wasn't included in the show, mainly since it was mentioned whilst a technical difficulty prevented the show from being recorded.

The real genius in this episode was the 'Call My Euro Bluff' round. For those that don't understand this reference (because they are too young or such) should click here. This part of the episode lasted surprisingly long and took up a large chunk of the recording. Stephen also had a question, which was also a Bloff. Unfortunately the researchers (one of whom was supposedly working up until the last moment) couldn't find a wacky European law that was actually true.

The audiences' klaxon really does deserve an apology from the BBC (given the current climate). The audience didn't know the words and those who did sing it the first time couldn't be heard. Hence the version that you can actually hear in the show was recorded afterwards in the pick-ups.

This was also the episode in which Alan began filming the audience. You can view his videos on youtube or by clicking the videos in the sidebar. Before the recording started Phill Jupitus' flag was upside down. It was only 10 minutes before the warm-up (Gordon Southern on this occassion) that a member of our party pointed it out and the problem was solved.

The elephant in the room question was a surprise to everyone. The audience and the panellists had all been far too preoccupied with the flags on their desks to notice the change in notebooks.

All in all this was an episode that maintained the high quality of this current series. Even before the half-way point it is clear that this series has exceeded all of those before it. If you haven't seen it on BBC4 already, watch out for the Everything episode next week.

And finally, don't forget to watch the QI Vodcast for the Europe episode, currently available here. It includes the largest thing you can rent in Europe for £170k/day, more about Belgium and composting!

Saturday, 20 October 2007

Daily Telegraph QI Column - Week 37

The cool days of Autumn have arrived so it's time for QI to think about the seasonal changes. Read this week's column here.

Also, don't forget that now that since UKTV G2 has rebranded as 'Dave' and is now available on freeview, you can watch repeats of QI on a regular basis. Tonight, tomorrow and Monday the channel is showing a QI marathon so tune into freeview 19 for a true QI-fest.

Sunday, 14 October 2007

QI E04 Review - Exploration

Read the recording review here.

The episode was all about Exploration and the guests were Bill Bailey, Rich Hall and Sean Lock however I do think that the star of the show has to be the superb moonwalking manikin bird. It was the second episode to be recorded and will be one of the most memorable episodes of the series!

The top explorer was Rich Hall with 8 points followed by Bill Bailey with 3 points , Alan Davies with -8 points and, in last place, was Sean Lock getting a bit lost with -16 points... No one got the elephant in the room bonus this week even though I thought it was obvious...maybe the guests were too close to the large screens to see the elephant on the map.

Once again the vodcast (found here) is well worth a look and it includes some hilarious out-takes previously only seen by the 500 (approx) people in the audience back on 11 May ;-) It also contains the whole section of the programme regarding the manikin bird for anyone who wants to see it again....and again....and again....or is that just me?

Next week's episode is all about Europe so you have almost a week to brush up on your European languages, European laws and European landmarks to help you through it...

Friday, 12 October 2007

The Daily Telegraph QI Column - Week 36

This week's column is about all things three. Click here to read the column.

Monday, 8 October 2007

The Interesting Bits

The Interesting Bits: The History You Might Have Missed is a new book from QI Elf and historian Justin Pollard. The book contains 200 interesting bits from history that have been largely forgotten. Watch out for a review on this blog coming soon.

Click here to order the book from amazon.

Sunday, 7 October 2007

QI E03 Review - Eating

Read the recording review here.

This was actually the 7th episode of this series to be recorded back on 31 May. It sees the first episode for a new panellist, Johnny Vegas, who starred along side Jimmy Carr and Phill Jupitus. Johnny was, as usual, quite loud and he did seem to get on Stephen's nerves at times as could be told by his blunt responses and the very unusual swearing!

The highlight of this episode was 'rabbits' - it was pointed out that eating nothing but rabbit would kill you however it took Stephen a long time to get this through to the panellists! This week's 'Elephant in the Room' bonus was won jointly by Phill and Alan who worked out that mongongo nuts are often to be found in elephant dung...

The surprise winner with -2 points was none other than Alan Davies with Johnny Vegas hot on his heels with -3. With -6 was Jimmy Carr and in last place with -21 was Phill Jupitus...even though he got the bonus mentioned above!

This week's excellent QI vodcast (which can be found on the BBC QI website) begins and ends with Stephen doing what I think is a very good impression of the QI-newcomer, Johnny Vegas, who seemed quite impressed and amused. It is full of extra bits from the recording which didn't make it into the final cut - well worth a look!!

The next episode on Friday at 22:00 on BBC2 is particularly memorable to me as one particular part was absolutely hilarious so make sure you watch it! :-)

Friday, 5 October 2007

Daily Telegraph QI Column - Week 35

This week interesting things J become the subject of the column. Click here.

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

QI E02 Review - Electricity

Read the recording review here.

Foremost, I apologize for the lateness of this review; there were extenuating circumstances involving moving to England for a year's study and being cut off from the internet for several days. All is up and running now, thank goodness.

Although this was the second episode of the "E" series, it was the first of the series to be recorded; predicting the out-of-order transmission, Stephen was told to be careful not mention anything about it being the start of a new series.

A running joke throughout the evening was Stephen's unusual attraction to a horse that was shown as one of the viewscreen pictures, and the panellists took it in turns to rib him about it as often as possible. Most, if not all, of these jokey asides made it into the cut episode, and it worked very well without seeming overdone. Alan also did well in this regard by his multiple breathless conjectures about harnessing the immense power of lightning.

Each of the other panellists had some golden moments over the half hour. Jo Brand impressed everyone by her easy recall of the probability density definition of the electron. Sean Lock took an almost uncharacteristic walk on the intellectual side of the game and explained why, due to poaching, some elephants were being born without tusks, but made sure to follow up this revelation with his typical jolly silliness. Rich Hall, too, demonstrated his special ability to tell incongruous stories with a straight face while explaining his relationship to the long-deceased man who had been struck by lightning seven times.

You might have noticed that Rich Hall seemed a bit baffled when the scores were announced; they'd emphasized earlier that his one point came from his rather trivial calling out the name "Menlo Park", and funnily, it turned out that he received no further points than that. After the recording ended, he declared petulantly, "I got one point because I've been to Menlo Park," which, if it's any consolation to Rich, earned him supportive laughter.

Without a doubt, the highlight of the episode was Stephen's exaggerated camp German accent, which he exemplified by patting himself down with a distressed expression while voicing, "Oh, wo ist mein Handy? Ich habe mein Handy verloren!" (To non-adepts of German: "Oh, where's my mobile? I've lost my mobile phone!") It was certainly a hit with the audience, and caught Jo Brand's fancy particularly as well, for she got him to repeat the imitation later on in the recording.

The QI Quickie that accompanied the episode offered an extra discussion that didn't make it into the show: "Suggest a way to shock a couple of hundred monks," featuring French profanity and Rich Hall's punmanship. The panellists also discuss electric fences, the arrogance of pioneers in the history of electricity, and Alan's unfortunate experience with stripped wires.

There are several moments that I took note of during the recording that didn't make it into the final cut, but I hesitate before sharing with you in the hopes that they'll be featured in the 13th episode. Keep an eye out for Jo's story about why she had recent reason to call the emergency services, and Sean Lock's musing on his peculiar physics teacher.