Sci-tech educational parody show "Look Around You" now on DVD in the USA

L-R: Peter Serafinowicz, Robert Popper, Patton Oswalt at "Look Around You" LA release. Photo: Xeni Jardin.

The dry, über-weird comedy show "Look Around You" has long enjoyed a cult following on BBC TV and online. Co-creators Peter Serafinowicz and Robert Popper based the series on the creepy, unfunny science education videos they were forced to sit through in school as kids. Many segments have become viral YouTube hits—of them, the "Petticoat Five" ladies' computer is my favorite.

Last night in Los Angeles, I attended a launch event at UCB for the US release of their Look Around You DVD, hosted by Patton Oswalt. A number of LOL-luminaries were in attendance, including Chris Hardwick, Tim Heidecker (Tim & Eric Awesome Show Great Job), Liam Lynch (Lynchland podcast), Jeffrey Max and Zachary Johnson of Fatal Farm, Neil Hamburger, Rich Fulcher, James Urbaniak, Scott Adsit (30 Rock), Mike Rosenstein (Ben Stiller's Red Hour), and Michael Busch (who once did this to pay the bills).

The event was a blast. First, Patton Oswalt was clearly as big a fan of these guys as anyone in the audience, and his host duties consisted mostly of totally nerding out on them. Secondly, Popper and Serafinowicz debuted a new short film that had me literally in tears I was laughing so hard. And finally, it just feels great to see such a fantastic, odd cult project get the kind love it deserves.

They're headed down to Comic-Con today, and we'll be sneaking some related exclusive video goodies on to Boing Boing soon. Keep your copybooks at hand, you'll want to take notes.

Look Around You: Season One DVD (

Look Around You - Computer Games (YouTube)

(special thanks to Devin from the BBC, and Andrea James!)


  1. I wonder if Eddie Yorke would have gone on to direct Spaced and Shaun of the Dead if he’d have kept the big bushy beard?

    1. I think you mean Edgar Wright, and you have the timelines wrong. Spaced was created before Look Around You. And Shaun of the Dead falls inbetween Look Around You season 1 and season 2 (2002 and 2005 respectively for the two seasons, Shaun of the Dead was released in 2004, and Spaced is way back in 1999).

      1. In Eddie Yorke’s time-line Look Around You was made in the early 80’s, way before Spaced! And besides Edgar looks about 15 in that, just how I remember him when he was stacking shelves in what was then my local supermarket, which later became a location in Hot Fuzz. Shall we put this down to a sarcasm fail?


        1. @ Glastfarian – Ah, you’re from Wells originally, eh? I live a few miles away… I went for a cross-country walk and turned up in Wells to find them shooting Hot Fuzz in the market square (carefully not showing the cathedral, as “Sandford” was supposed to be a village).

          I even went to see the film in the Wells Film Centre (for those not local, it’s a small three-theatre cinema set up by a couple and their six daughters which, despite being housed in a former Scout “hut”, managed to wangle a digital projector through a national grant project; and Edgar Wright apparently worked there at some point).

          They’ve been refurbishing Somerfield (the relevant supermarket) in recent weeks.

  2. Did you know that the film editor of several Look Around You episodes – including Water, where the “birds?” quote comes from – has an Oscar? For Editing? Fact! He also edited Spaced, Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and the upcoming Paul. (Chris Dickens. However, his Oscar was for Slumdog Millionaire.)

  3. Xeni, every name you list is a man’s name. Were there any women writers and comedians there at all?

    1. Of course there were, obviously Xeni just left them out on purpose to keep women down.

      : \

      *wah wah wah waaaah…. WAAAAaaaaaah*
      /price is right

        1. I find both to be silly, though I also think that female fire suppression personnel ought to simply be called ‘firemen’. Nothing wrong with truncating the ‘wo’. I find gender specific titles to be divisive rather than celebratory. How condescending is it to be known as ‘the first black ______’ or ‘the first female ______’? It’s like some sort of asterisk that highlights the fact that whatever you’ve done, a white male did it before you, which is irrelevant. Accomplishments should stand on their own merit; to constantly make the distinction is to perpetuate the idea that we’re unequal, divided by race or gender, and that somehow the accomplishment of one member of some group constitutes a ‘win’ for that group. It implies that if one weren’t of some group, their accomplishment would mean less. THAT’S discrimination. Just like 10x more people know who walked on the moon first over who walked on it second. If the second guy had been black, would he be known as ‘the first black man to walk on the moon’? Probably. But I say it’s people. We’re all just people.

          Comedian, then. Or Comic. No need for comicess or any such silliness.

          1. That’s too bad, I was about to suggest “comicina”.

            Xeni, my question wasn’t “were there women?” — it was “were there funnywomen?” namely comedy writers and performers. From what you say, I guess the answer is “not so you’d notice”.

            Not surprising, as women in the comedy world are still few and far between, while men continue to be numerous and packed close together.

    2. I’m sure there were, but I did not know them personally or recognize them by face. In other news, I, too, am a woman.

      And in still other news, there were dozens of people present, not all of whom are named in this blog post.

  4. Another show to check out that is similar in tone is the trippy Dare to Believe from around the same period.

    1. aaaaah that’s what it was called! I couldn’t remember the name of the show, but at least I stumbled upon Look Around You by chance while looking for it.

  5. No we don’t. We refer to it as ‘Noughts and Crosses’. ‘Zero Ex’ is a joke.

    A Briton.

  6. Geeze, I loved these things, but theyre seriously terrible for the science squad sorta people. Funny? yes, very funny.. BUT they screw with your head pretty bad if youre not careful. I remember once I was sitting in lab and grabbed fastening buchner funnel to a drying flask when I suddenly thought, “I wonder if I’d need a keck clamp/interface to hook this up to the jane gray tube” before suddenly realizing there’s no such thing. -_-;

  7. @ Anon – Zero X was a Mars-going spaceship in TV21 / Gerry Anderson’s Thunderbirds universe, which I imagine is the reference point. See it launch:


Comments are closed.