QI (2003) s17e07 Episode Script

Quests: Part II

1 CHEERING AND APPLAUSE Greetings, humans.
We come in peace for the second part of our Quantum Quest.
All aboard the Starship QI we have, from a distant galaxy, Susan Calman.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE From another dimension, it's Joe Lycett.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE From a parallel universe, Holly Walsh.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE And I don't know what planet he's from - Alien Davies! CHEERING AND APPLAUSE I'm just going to press the transporter thing again, that didn't quite work.
I'll just do that, there we go.
There he is, Alan Davies! CHEERING AND APPLAUSE Their buzzers are highly illogical, Captain.
Susan goes - MUSIC: Doctor Who Theme - Aaaaahh! Oh, God, this is the sexiest night I've ever had in my life.
LAUGHTER Joe goes MUSIC: Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy Theme SUSAN: Oh, yes.
Holly goes MUSIC: Star Trek The Motion Picture Theme Oh, yeah! And Alan goes # Star Trekkin' across the universe On the Starship Enterprise under Captain Kirk! AUDIENCE MEMBER: Woo! Question one.
So, my question is, shall we get going? ALAN: Yeah.
Yes.
KLAXON So, here is the thing - if we are heading into interstellar space, it is not necessarily true that the earlier you set off, the earlier you will get there.
- Huh? - Why is that the case? - Oh Ooh.
- HOLLY: Is it Southern Rail? LAUGHTER Is it because space time is warps, basically? So the faster you go through space, then the time changes.
No.
If you set off too early, the technology on Earth will advance while you have gone off, and you'll be overtaken by rivals who've left later but in a faster spaceship.
- Oh! - Yeah.
They could pick you up, though, couldn't they? They could, I suppose that is the thing, yeah.
It's like splitting tickets to get from Glasgow to London, because if you think, "I'll go on the half seven," but actually you're better to go on the eight sometimes And leave it a bit later.
- .
.
cos you don't have to change at Preston.
- That's it, exactly.
LAUGHTER It's just like changing at Preston.
That's exactly it.
So the furthest space craft from Earth is Voyager I, it was launched in 1977.
40 years later, Stephen Hawking proposed an interstellar craft which would theoretically use energy from the sun to reach enormous speeds and overtake Voyager in just a few months.
So the ideal point that we should set off can be found using a really simple calculation called the wait calculation.
I'm sure we've all jotted this down at some point.
LAUGHTER So our recommendation is don't set off on an interstellar mission if it's going to take more than 50 years to get there.
So currently space probes can travel around 50,000 miles per hour, so it is definitely worth setting off to visit somewhere that is less than 20 billion miles away, but the closest star is about 25 trillion miles away, so probably not worth setting off to at the moment.
There's going to be a cut-off point as well, because you basically want to put a three-year-old in a rocket, don't you? You don't want to put a 50-year-old in a rocket, because they'll be dead before that even gets there.
No, no, no, cos you would go into stasis, you would Like in Alien, they've got the tubes, and you just You go to sleep in your pants, cos they're always in their pants.
- Right, yeah.
- I don't know I don't know why they never wore pyjamas, but they're just in their pants.
I guess because, if you think about it, pyjamas that your parents wear aren't pyjamas you're going to wear.
You know, like, fashion changes, you don't want to wake up LAUGHTER - What's timeless? Tartan pyjamas.
- Yes.
- Sotartan pyjamas, so when I then wake up in 50 years, when I'm at this star - that you refer to - Yeah, yeah, you look like Rupert The Bear.
LAUGHTER The first person to leave the solar system will almost certainly be a man called Clyde W Tombaugh.
He was the US astronomer who discovered Pluto.
He died in 1997, and his ashes were placed inside the New Horizon probe.
That was launched in 2006.
He's already had a fly by Pluto, which is great, cos he discovered it.
That happened in 2016.
And his ashes are still travelling out towards the edge of the solar system.
That's sort of pollution, really, isn't it? Kind of littering.
You think so? Would you send your ashes up into space? No.
Oh, I think it'd be marvellous.
Well, I don't think you'd notice, Sandi.
I mean, I don't know what you expect to happen when you are ashes .
.
but I expect you can see and hear almost nothing.
LAUGHTER JOE AND SUSAN LAUGH There's a company in America that now offers to turn your ashes into glassware.
- Yours would just be a shot glass.
- Wow! AUDIENCE GASPS CHEERING AND APPLAUSE One of my friends had.
They had the ashes of somebody turned into an egg timer.
GASPS, LAUGHTER That's a great idea! I would have my ashes scattered in the Petite section of Marks & Spencer's.
Right, moving on, erm When Apollo 11 first landed, Nasa was worried it might sink.
What did they think the moon was made of? ALAN GASPS SUSAN LAUGHS Why is everyone like? I Oh, cheesy peeps, just say it.
What? KLAXON I didn't say it! I was actually going to say Do you remember the Christopher Biggins show On Safari? Yes.
- And there was - JOE LAUGHS Sorry! That's such a niche reference, it's brilliant.
- At the endgame, there was quicksand.
- Yes.
- JOE LAUGHS - Did they? Shut up, Joe! Did they think it was made out of quicksand? - They did think it was made out of quicksand.
- Thank you.
- Oh.
- That is absolutely right, well done.
- Thank you.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE But it wasn't.
No, but they did think it would swallow the lunar module whole, and that is why they had those great, flat, broad feet on the lunar module, because they did not know what the surface was going to be like.
I thought it was just so the furniture wouldn't mark the carpet.
In the 1960s, one in every 35 films featured quicksand.
- Oh, yes.
- Who was Quicksand's agent? Because he was good.
He was doing well! So it comes from Middle English, it means living sand.
- Do you think it will kill you? - Is it actually a thing? - It can.
- Like, is it? Does? Yes, well, quicksand is something you get off the UK coast, isn't it? - It can be really dangerous.
- It's not going to kill you, is the thing.
- Yeah, but it does kill you.
- No.
So LAUGHTER So, you're going to love this, Alan.
We wanted to show how this works.
- We're going to kill Alan! - Yeah! APPLAUSE Oh! Hang on a minute! Thank you to all the people who DIDN'T applaud that.
The British Geological Survey very kindly have done a short film about Alan and myself at the beach, and seeing what would happen if quicksand developed.
So here we are at the beach.
LAUGHTER And you can see the ground water swelling up, and what happens is liquefaction.
So all of the sand particles have drifted apart, making it a really mooshy mixture.
Basically what happens is, you get stuck in the quicksand.
- Ah.
Oh, I see.
- That's not what kills you.
What kills you is that you're stuck in the sand, you haven't gone under, but the tide has come in, you haven't been able to get away.
It is true that the more you struggle, the more difficult it is to get out, but your body is less dense than quicksand.
You will just float, you're not going to be sucked under.
And, frankly, most quicksand is only a few feet deep, so you and I might go.
The rest of the panel will be absolutely fine.
So, what, you're just supposed to lie down and sort of float? - Don't panic.
- The don't panic is the main thing.
There are creatures that actually sort of create their own quicksand, in order to be able to hide.
So an octopus, underwater, if it wants to escape, one of the things it can do is make all the sand particles drift apart by making a sort of mooshy mixture.
So look at it, it's taking in water and putting it down into the sand, and then it just disappears.
That's amazing.
So that's your quicksand - it's sandy, but it won't suck you under.
LAUGHTER - No, I will not take the bait.
- No.
- No, no.
- Can I just say, can I have that as the special ringtone when you phone me? So, they may not have any quicksand, but what should you watch out for when house-hunting on the moon? Foxtons.
Hmm.
What should you look out for? I mean, I've looked at a few pictures of the moon.
.
LAUGHTER .
.
and I think you'd want to find a house, just one house.
Well, the difficulty The difficulty about finding a house is finding a house that would stay standing up.
Oh, yeah.
- What? - Because it's different, the gravity and all that, that's different and all that, there, isn't it? Because that's why the astronauts were all bouncy.
It wasn't It wasn't because of their shoes, it was because things are different up there, she said scientifically.
Yeah.
I'm not meaning to step on anyone's toes, but I am wearing the blue of the science officers of Star Trek.
There are nerds in the audience who were waiting for someone to acknowledge that.
The red, of course, die first.
Die first.
Go behind a rock, hear a bang, and then you run round, and there's just a pair of boots with smoke coming out.
Yeah.
- Anyway.
- Is it windy on the moon? No.
So the answer is the same as earthquakes, but there are moonquakes.
So the moon does not have tectonic plates such as we do on Earth.
The quakes are caused by the strain of changes in temperature.
Also by meteorites hitting it or by tidal forces exerted by the Earth.
Moonquakes are not just violent, they're really lengthy.
So the initial quake is about ten minutes, and then it tails off, but it lasts for hours.
- Wow.
- And all the time, honestly, the moon is ringing like a bell.
It happens about every month or so, and we know this from the seismographs left on the moon by the Apollo astronauts.
Anyway, here is my next question.
What can't I hear you do in space? LAUGHTER That's a very poor fitting outfit.
How did I get my head in that thing? It's fantastic.
You cannot hear sound in space, so when you see films MAKES LASER FIRING NOISES Wrong, because you wouldn't hear the MAKES LASER FIRING NOISES ,,because you couldn't hear any sound.
And what is that? That's a recreation ofsoerm MORE LASER FIRING NOISES - It's a space battle.
- Space battle.
OK.
When I get excited about something, I pretend I've got like a, like a missile launcher, and I go MAKES LAUNCHER AND FIRING NOISES Do you not do that in the car, if you're in a traffic jam? Just Just give me an answer! What's the answer? Sound? Screaming? Sound? KLAXON WHOOPS JOE CACKLES JOE: So you can hear screaming, then? Well, it's a vacuum, right? Sound can't reverberate? But there are conditions where you could hear a scream, and that is what I'm going to come to.
Oh, she got you there! Yes, I know, but for the question No, she has NOT got me there, because for the question as was presented by my learned friend - Yes.
- .
.
was, what can't we hear in space? And so scream, and I said, because space is completely silent, which she said, and I went Did I just talk to myself?! - No.
- Because I thought I just said that.
What I did not say, what you Oh, God, I wish I was in space! LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE I did not say what you might be wearing.
Oh, well, for the love of God, Sandi! This is like the worst And this picture was a clue.
So, sound is caused by the vibration of molecules, and if you didn't have a spacesuit on, it would be almost impossible to hear anything at all.
However, astronauts can talk to each other by touching helmets.
So LAUGHTER APPLAUSE I'm all for it, ta-ra! So the sound vibrations, they travel through the air inside the spacesuits and inside the glass, enough for them to be able to communicate with raised voices.
And in fact, NASA teach this to the astronauts as a sort of backup, in case radio communication fails.
- Sure.
- So, we're going to try it.
- You've both got - Is that why you don't get any lesbians in space? You've both got helmets.
Pop them on.
LAUGHTER This smells really bad.
They're enormous, much bigger than mine.
LAUGHTER It's much bigger, but mine looks exactly like Susan.
Stand up, and Stand up and touch helmets, and see if you can if it helps you to hear.
Now talk to each other.
- Hello.
- I've always loved you.
LAUGHTER I'd just like to Does it make a difference? - Hello.
- Hello.
- Hello.
Not really, Sandi, I'll be honest.
We can't hear you.
Can I take it off now? No.
Yeah, no, go ahead, go ahead.
Could you feel the vibrations through the helmets? I don't think I could really hear, but I don't really understand her at the best of times, so No, that is fair enough.
Now, what would you do if you saw this chappie on the side of the road? - HitchBOT, so is it Is it a hitcher? - HitchBOT.
It is, yes, yes, it is.
It is.
Pick it up, you'd better pick it up.
You'd better pick it up, that is entirely correct.
APPLAUSE It is a hitchhiking robot.
So, HitchBOTs, it was a pair of robots, they were created in 2014 by David Harris Smith of McMaster University, and Frauke Zeller of Ryerson University, and the aim was to see how far human kindness would take a mechanical hitchhiker.
Oh.
And the robots travelled through Canada, they travelled through Germany and the Netherlands, and they relied entirely on friendly human beings taking them from town to town.
At one stage, in less than a month, one HitchBOT hitched a total of 19 rides, travelling more than 10,000km.
And then they thought, "We'll travel across the United States".
2015, in the city of brotherly love, Philadelphia, 17 days after they set off, the robot was found beaten up and dismembered in a ditch.
LAUGHTER Does it have a message on it, or something? It has a voice-box, and the robot would explain the particular destination that it wanted to go to, explain that it couldn't move of its own accord, and then it had solar panels which would help to charge it, and then there were cameras that took occasional photos, and they were able to track them through the 3G and the GPS.
I love that somebody's idea, when they pick that up, - is just kick the shit out of it.
- Yeah.
Do you know why I wouldn't pick that up, though? I've a real emotional problem with robots.
- Why? - I fear the sentient nature of robots.
You're afraid of robots.
I love them, but I worry that they have feelings and we're ignoring them.
What are you doing?! I've just said I've got a problem! It's almost as if you're taunting me with my own phobia.
So what are the chances, right? Three more seconds, and it'll be towering over you.
APPLAUSE Do you remember Marvin from Hitchhiker's Guide? - Yes.
- OK.
So - Brain the size of a planet.
OK, yeah.
Opening doors.
Marvin the Paranoid Android.
APPLAUSE - Oh, man! - Wow.
OK, Marvin the Paranoid Android from Hitchhiker's Guide.
Hello, Marvin, how are you? I think you ought to know I'm feeling very depressed.
Oh, I'm sorry to hear that.
So you're a hitchhiking robot.
Any idea why someone might want to murder you? I'm 50,000 times more intelligent than you, and even I don't know the answer.
It gives me a headache just trying to think down to your level.
Wow, I'm getting an inkling about that murder thing.
Thank you very much for coming on the show.
You don't have to pretend to be interested in me, you know.
I know perfectly well I'm only a menial robot.
Well, anyway, 42 points to Marvin, let's give him a round of applause.
APPLAUSE It's going to be a nightmare getting on the Tube with that, isn't it? Well, what I can tell you is that Marvin was actually designed by somebody.
It was designed by Dirk Maggs, producer of the last four series of Hitchhiker, operated by his son, Tom, and Dirk has just flown in from New York especially, where the sixth series has just won a major award.
Where are you Dirk? There he is, up there.
APPLAUSE And in fact, our very own John Lloyd was the voice for The Book.
Fantastic, thank you very much for joining us.
Now, back to quests.
What are these people firing at each other? MAKES LASER FIRING NOISES - Not lasers.
- Not lasers.
- Not lasers.
- No.
Light-emitting diodes.
A torch.
I like the torch best.
So they don't actually fire lasers.
Why not? - Because you'd die? - You would die, yes.
Which would be so fun.
I guess, though, like, Torch Quest doesn't sound as good as Laser Quest.
- Yeah.
- No.
It's not quite as exciting.
People aren't like, "Oh, God, I'll pay £16 to flash someone".
Yeah, no LAUGHTER They're firing infrared beams, and they usually have a coloured light sent out at the same time, and I suppose it makes it look a little bit like a laser.
When I was about 12, my parents used to have a shop quite near a Laser Quest, so they'd basically just give us the entrance fee, and we'd just play for hours and hours.
I used to sometimes just go on my own, and it was just I mean, that's got to be one of the saddest things, you know.
Yeah, going to Laser Quest by yourself.
Being 13 and just shooting at 8-year-olds, just because, you know, like knowing the terrain like the back of your hand.
Thinking, "You idiot, you're going to get me here, "I'm going behind the corrugated ramp.
" "You're going to eat You're dust, you dickhead.
" LAUGHTER So, the difference is, a laser is a way of focusing light in a single direction, so even a weak laser pointer can cause retinal damage, you know, if you expose your eye to it.
The thing about laser beams is, you can't see them side on at all, - right? - Did you say lesbians, or laser beams? - You did! LAUGHTER APPLAUSE - That's correct.
- A bit of a Freudian slip, that one.
- Yeah.
- Yeah.
You cannot see lesbians side-on.
It's a funny Yes.
Let's try that out, right, I'll go here and see how many lesbians you can see on stage.
I was here all the time! You can't see a laser beam A laser beam.
Laser beam.
.
.
side on.
That's different, it's not the same.
It does sound different.
You can't see it side-on because the light is so concentrated, - it's just going in one direction.
- Right.
- So in order to see it from the side, some of the light would have to be travelling towards your eye, and that happens if it goes through dust or fog, because it scatters some of the light.
Anyway, speaking of losing, set your phasers to buzz, because it's time to journey into the uncharted quadrant of space that is General Ignorance.
Let's start with an easy one.
What is this? - Yes, Joe? - A melon.
Is it the moon? Or is it the Earth? KLAXON WHOOPS - Oh.
- You knew that.
You're not far off, actually.
If we pull out, it is an artist's impression of what is a moon-moon.
OK, so this is a wonderful piece of science.
CONFUSED LAUGHTER So, in 2018, the astronomers Juna Kollmeier and Sean Raymond, they published research based on one of the children's questions, Kollmeier's children's - can a moon have a moon? So, it's a really interesting question.
So let us imagine that this is the Earth here.
ALAN HUMS MATCH OF THE DAY THEME And let us imagine that this is the moon and it's going round.
So the question was, can the moon have a moon of its own? So here you'd have this going round the moon and the whole thing going all the way round the Earth, like this.
And they worked out it is mathematically It is possible.
Yeah, I'm going to say yes.
Yes, it is mathematically possible.
If you've got enough gravitational humph.
Well, what they worked out is that the moon-moon, OK, so the baby moon, the ping pong ball, if you like.
We need another word for the moon-moon.
I know I think it's technically called a tax haven.
LAUGHTER This one, the moon's moon, would have to be no more than six miles in diameter.
Any bigger than that, it would get pulled towards the planet, due to gravity, and it would be ripped apart.
And the scientists have worked out that there are moons in our solar system, like Titan, which is a moon of Saturn, and Callisto, which is a moon of Jupiter, and they are big enough to host a moon-moon.
Could you have a moon-moon-moon? Well, yes.
Like what's the planning permission on moons, you know? - Yeah.
- I don't know.
This is a very nice new football, do you want it to take home? - Yeah! - Can I have the hockey ball? - Can I have the moon-moon-moon? - Moon-moon-moon.
Can I have a present? You can have the hockey ball.
There you go, give it to the kids, they're one.
Aah, that's really sweet of you.
Do you want the robot? Ha-ha-ha! APPLAUSE What's so dangerous about flying through an asteroid field? Impact with an asteroid, perhaps? KLAXON WHOOPS - Ah, no.
- No, there isn't There isn't a danger, then.
There isn't a danger.
It's no more dangerous than flying through normal space, so we have to blame science fiction here.
- What? - Why? - Yes.
- Why? Well, because they're always portrayed as being unbelievably dense and treacherous, full of spinning rocks and debris.
- Yes.
- The truth is, the average distance between asteroids is about 600,000 miles.
Most of the objects, when you do come across one, about the size of a tennis ball.
I don't think that's right.
LAUGHTER And again, I know that you guys are all sitting there with your science and stuff like that, but, erm, no.
OK.
12 space craft have so far travelled through our solar system's asteroid belt.
None of them has ever come even close to colliding.
- But that's your issue right there, Sandi Toksvig.
- What? OUR solar system.
I'm talking about the other solar systems that exist.
All the other ones that we don't know about.
All the ones that we don't know about that might look like that.
OK.
Weirdly, we're sticking to facts we knew.
You should have QI (Earth Version).
Yeah, that's it.
But the chances of being hit by an asteroid is about one in a billion, if you go into an asteroid belt.
That would be really unlucky.
# The chances of anything coming from Mars are a million to one, They say, woo ooh, weeooh, weeooh.
APPLAUSE What is that song from? That's from Jeff Wayne's War Of The Worlds.
When I was younger, we only had one tape in the car for summer holidays, and it was that one tape, and we listened to it for ten years.
That's a really long holiday.
We had the same with Joseph's Technicolour Dreamcoat.
Oh, yeah? # A flash of light, my golden coat flew out of sight # Colours faded into darkness, I was left alone # Was left alone - # May I return - May I return # To the beginning AUDIENCE: Aah-ahh # The light is dimming # Aah-ahh # Any dream will do - # The world and I - The world and I # We are still dreaming AUDIENCE: Aah-aah # Still hesitating Aah-aah.
I don't know, come on, let's go.
Any dream will do.
APPLAUSE The asteroid belt contains a lot less material than you might think.
Why is this skirt? Go on, go, shoo! That really was intolerable.
That was terrible.
And you, all of you! Now, why is this skirt called a mini skirt? Because of the size of it? JOE IMITATES KLAXON KLAXON WHOOPS No.
It is really extraordinary - it was named after the Mini Cooper, named after the car.
So it had nothing to do with the size.
So Mary Quant, who She's the person who sort of popularised the mini skirt, she said it shared many of the qualities of the Mini Cooper.
It was optimistic, exuberant, young and flirty, but she never, ever mentioned that it was small.
Anyway, I had a thought, Joe, which is that picture that we had at the beginning with the woman wearing the mini skirt, I really liked the wig she was wearing.
So I've got it for you, because I thought you would look really nice - in it.
- Oh.
- Yeah.
- Do you want to try it on, darling? Um, just checking, you haven't got the rest of the outfit? No, I haven't.
Oh, it looks really good on you, darling.
- HOLLY: Looking good.
- You actually look pretty hot.
You just look like an alien, don't you? "Captain Kirk, I will destroy your ship.
" - Is that what I say? - Yeah.
"Captain Kirk, I will destroy your ship, you naughty boy.
" LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE And so, before we terminate the show, it's time for Judgment Day.
Let's take a look at the scores.
First of all, in fifth place, light-years behind the rest with -56, it's Alan.
APPLAUSE Thank you very much.
Receiving a special commendation from Starfleet, with -3 in fourth place, it's Susan.
APPLAUSE Going down all guns blazing in third, it's Joe.
I'm happy with that.
I'm happy with that.
APPLAUSE And in second place, lost in space, it's Holly.
APPLAUSE And our winner tonight, with 42, it's Marvin.
APPLAUSE So, it's farewell from Susan, Joe, Holly, Alan, and me.
Take us out, please, Mr Davies.
RADIO BLEEPS APPLAUSE MUSIC IN STYLE OF STAR TREK