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paul mc c

Sky at Night!

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For the first time ever,and i have been watching from i was a small boy, i have turned the TV off in the middle of Sky @ Night.

Is it me or has this programe lost all its appeal.I give it the benifit of doubt the last few shows but it is just not the same,not because Patrick Moore is now gone but to me it is just not the same programe any more.

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It's true it's not quite the same. But as Patrick's health gradually became more fragile, his role was often reduced to simply introducing and closing the show.

Patrick wouldn't want it to die with him, I'm certain of that... as long as they keep it scientific and don't dumb it down.

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I think the new format works well. I generally record it to watch later. Sorry to say it, but if and when John Culshaw is on.....i fast forward those bits.

I was never a Lintott fan, but he really is growing on me.

I really do like the fact that the show is now involving more and more amateurs.

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I still enjoy the program, its the only one we have,,,,,,,

Get digital tv. There are so many astronomy related shows that within a month you will wish you didnt have digital.

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Stick with it. It could never be quite the same but it will always be better than Eastenders.

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I didn't watch it, too tired to stay up, but I noticed that it was the 20 minute format and I find that this shortened version just doesn't work, the 30 minute one is a lot better. So try the 30 minute one when it comes round. Not sure why the BBC do a 20 minute one at 00:30 in the morning, not as if it is prime time and there is too many items to fit in. To be honest they could do a 60 minute one and occupy more of the schedule. Reducing it by 33% doesn't work, as both content and continuity is lost.

Also saw the title was to do with the Solstice, Stonehenge and Druids. Would almost guess someone in a dark office in the deep bowels of the BBC knowing little of astronomy has thought this a good idea. I would have thought that a visit to an astro club somewhere with example of most "beginners" scopes would have been more worthwhile. The nights are light, so little chance to view, and it would have supplied possibly useful information to people considering starting.

Trouble with John Culshaw is I am convinced that his impressionist act keeps taking over, I just get the idea we are seeing him doing an impression of Tony Blair trying to do astronomy. Suspect that once in front of a camera he subconsciously switches and we never actually see him.

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Get digital tv. There are so many astronomy related shows that within a month you will wish you didnt have digital.

Do have a Sky HD Box, and yes there's stuff on there worth watching, but i think its the only regular program....

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I watch the 30 min episode, this months is on Thursday 11th 19:30 bbc4. I've enjoyed the new style show up to now, would love an hour long prog. :rolleyes:

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I agree it wasn't one of their better episodes. They could have certainly done without centering the entire episode around druids and stone henge. Stone henge is a lovely place but I wouldn't exactly say it had any connection with astronomy. Astrology maybe (amongst other things), but not astronomy.

oh well, their's always next month ;)

Edited by Cath

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it was pretty poor tonight worst ep i have ever seen

Agreed, not good at all. I know it was the 20min version but it was a bit rubbish.

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PM done so we can do it. Should not be the mantra, yes all very interesting to some but not for me the lunar alignment sounds tenuous "roughly". Whole show on this, not for me, all bunkum.

Report card would say can do better.

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It has definitely lost some thing. The wife used to like watching it with me but wont any more, as she and I find Lucy Green very patronising. But I do like the rest of the team.

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I would like to see Chris back in the studio,with Guests,as did Patrick.He is more than capable of handling this.Pete,Paul,and Chris should do what they do best.Pete has a nice set-up in his garden,that could emulate "Farthings"that is of course if both he and his good wife agree.

It must,nt be dummed down,and the old formulae worked well.Updating is fine,but should be worked around a solid working core.

My tuppence worth anyway.

I am sure also that Chris could also do the away trips,as he was doing this before.

Edited by astro mick
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I didn't watch it, too tired to stay up, but I noticed that it was the 20 minute format and I find that this shortened version just doesn't work, the 30 minute one is a lot better. So try the 30 minute one when it comes round. Not sure why the BBC do a 20 minute one at 00:30 in the morning, not as if it is prime time and there is too many items to fit in. To be honest they could do a 60 minute one and occupy more of the schedule. Reducing it by 33% doesn't work, as both content and continuity is lost.

Also saw the title was to do with the Solstice, Stonehenge and Druids. Would almost guess someone in a dark office in the deep bowels of the BBC knowing little of astronomy has thought this a good idea. I would have thought that a visit to an astro club somewhere with example of most "beginners" scopes would have been more worthwhile. The nights are light, so little chance to view, and it would have supplied possibly useful information to people considering starting.

Trouble with John Culshaw is I am convinced that his impressionist act keeps taking over, I just get the idea we are seeing him doing an impression of Tony Blair trying to do astronomy. Suspect that once in front of a camera he subconsciously switches and we never actually see him.

I agree, whilst I have nothing against John Culshaw (since he is a passionate amateur astronomer), his impressions and humor don't add anything to the show. It's the same with Star Gazing Live, Dara O'Briain tends to detract from the topic with jokes... despite him having a fairly extensive knowledge of the subject, and being quite the mathematician.

Patrick Moore could hold your attention without trying to make it funny, and you learned a lot from him. I'm reluctant to read astronomy books by other authors, simply because I always trusted Patrick to give me acurate information in a way that was easy to understand, without watering it down.

It's true there are a lot of astronomical/cosmological shows on satellite TV, but I find most of them to be far too dumbed down... with a focus on flash CGI rather than actual science.

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i used to really enjoy s@n but with various threads on sgl banging on about "he's useless" or "so and so's rubbish" and "it's not the same now that pm's gone" I find it hard to watch the show without thinking about all the moaning. I guess I should have done what all the nay sayers should have done...stop watching, or in my case, stop reading :)

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I would like to see Chris back in the studio,with Guests,as did Patrick.He is more than capable of handling this.Pete,Paul,and Chris should do what they do best.Pete has a nice set-up in his garden,that could emulate "Farthings"that is of course if both he and his good wife agree.

It must,nt be dummed down,and the old formulae worked well.Updating is fine,but should be worked around a solid working core.

My tuppence worth anyway.

I am sure also that Chris could also do the away trips,as he was doing this before.

I miss the old format. Whether filmed in a studio or at Farthings, it gave the show a grounding to return to... it felt like a secret, late night party at Patrick's house. Correct me if I'm wrong, but have they dropped Pete's monthly observing guide? I always thought it was an important part of the show...

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Let's face it, it was going off the rails a good bit before Patrick sadly passed away but he is a very difficult act to follow. I think the others need to be given time to find there feet. My only gripe is why there has to be so many of them on the show, this alone can distract from subject matter. SPM did it for years with only an odd guess here and there. There are many TV presenters that are paid silly amounts of money for doing their jobs and in some cases badly, I am sure that the team doing the Sky at Night are not getting much more than beer money, I bet most, if not all are doing it for love. I feel we owe them time to develope there own style. I agree with the monthly check out the sky from Peter and it would be nice if the Farthings could be used in some way shape or form.

You will never find a another man that could make a set of log tables sound exciting, and I don't mean wooden ones.

Alan.

Edited by alan potts
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I think it's ok, there is only so much you can fit in the time scale they have been given, i rather like Dr Lucie Green if i'm honest :kiss: .

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I can understand folk turning off half way . It's getting like a library book that you waded half way through, but hasn't manage to grip the reader. We should be grateful that the programme is still going and provides some format for astronomy and not bland goldfish bowl viewing.

Some customer feedback is quite healthy and helpful,

Nick.

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I can understand folk turning off half way . It's getting like a library book that you waded half way through, but hasn't manage to grip the reader. We should be grateful that the programme is still going and provides some format for astronomy and not bland goldfish bowl viewing.

Some customer feedback is quite healthy and helpful,

Nick.

Yes, we're fortunate the BBC didn't axe it as soon as Patrick died... but there was no need to alter the format.

As someone earlier mentioned, when it was filmed at Farthings, there was opportunity for guests to be interviewed... There are always major advances and discoveries, the "new" format doesn't seem to do any reporting on current research, instead focusing on explaining some very elementary facts with aid of inflatables... almost like a parody of the show's famously low budget.

I'd rather see an interview with scientists on cutting edge research... Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't remember hearing a mention of ALMA's completion, Kepler going off line.

The old format could be summed up as... Introduction and discussion of month's topic with guest followed by a report on some of the latest research by Chris Lintott, then usually Pete Lawrence and Chris North would give some observing tips, followed by Patrick's summing up of the episode and the following month's topic...

That format worked well... I don't see why they needed to change it.

I suppose it wouldn't be right to continue presenting from Farthings. Any new presenter sitting in his study would seem wrong on many levels... but I would welcome a return to a studio.

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Although I've never watched the show (well, I did watch the odd episode every few years) I think it's easy to explain what's going on.

S@N was always an extraordinarily cheap show for the BBC. SPM's fee allowed them to use his house for the location. Throw in a couple of cameras, a sound engineer and the usual gaggle of producers, directors, supervisors, sub-supervisors, assistants, sub-assistants and it was an absolute bargain.

Now that's all gone, along with SPM's "influence" and the show is at the mercy of the bean-counters and the BBC "creatives". So they can now say what topics get covered. They would now require the show to pay for studio-time out of its budget. Hence the new format and the less than astronomical features. I don't know if the current crop of presenters get any say on the subject matter - or if they are just handed a script, but I doubt they are in much of a position to stand up to the Beeb. What could they do that didn't play into the BBC's hands? If they threatened to pull out of the show, that would be the end and they'd get cast as the bad guys.

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I think it's going down hill, and won't be long before it gets axed as the small selective audience figures drop for one reason or another, be that due to folk not liking the multitude of presenters, or the fact that each episode is now on location the budget gets used up quickly.

I've seen many an S@N covering the sun rising over stone henge on 21st June and this was by far the worse. I agree with comment about using hoops and inflatables to cover / explain some of the points, even in the early days this would of been done with neat diagrams or animated graphics to give it the professional look.

Whist we'll never have someone as an anchor man like SPM, the format worked. Now it's a bit of a shambles with four presenters all trying to compete for a slice of the action, and in that the point they are trying to get across gets lost.

The old format could be summed up as... Introduction and discussion of month's topic with guest followed by a report on some of the latest research by Chris Lintott, then usually Pete Lawrence and Chris North would give some observing tips, followed by Patrick's summing up of the episode and the following month's topic...

That format worked well... I don't see why they needed to change it.

I couldn't agree more...

Like one of the other members, I record it and then watch it at leisure, skipping through parts as I often loose interest.

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I miss the old format. Whether filmed in a studio or at Farthings, it gave the show a grounding to return to... it felt like a secret, late night party at Patrick's house. Correct me if I'm wrong, but have they dropped Pete's monthly observing guide? I always thought it was an important part of the show...

This is exactly what i thought last night when watching it; where is Pete and Paul's monthly chat and guide? I don't understand why that has been taken out at all. I used to wait every month for that part of the show. The show has lost a lot its vigour, and the outside broadcast rather than the studio/Farthings setting has given the show too much of a loose format for my taste. I think the show has veered rather worryingly into the realms of 'too simplistic' - i know it is dedicated to amateur astronomy but it's gotten very streamlined.

That isn't to say the show isn't valuable it just needs a bit of a kick up the butt.

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