Bad Universe to premiere in Canada! (eh?)

By Phil Plait | September 9, 2010 1:13 pm

baduniverse_logo_canadaI know, I make fun of our friends to the North, but it’s out of love, and also knowing they’re all too nice to say anything about it.

But the good news is, Discovery Canada has officially announced (via Twitter, thus showing the end of the world really is nigh) that they will be airing the first episode of "Bad Universe" on October 3 at 9:00 p.m. Eastern time!

I know what you’re thinking. "Take Off! No way!"* But it’s true. I’m really glad to hear that; I get several tweets a day from forlorn Canadians asking when it will air. So now you know.

I also know that Discovery Asia will air the first episode on November 17. But that’s all the info I have; I don’t know when it’ll air in any other countries, nor do I know when the second and third episodes will officially air in the US either. But I promise, as soon as I find out I’ll let everyone know.

Until then, read about those two tiny rocks that zipped past us yesterday. What timing!

* If that’s not what you’re thinking, it’s because your brain didn’t learn all about Canada in the 1980s from Bob and Doug MacKenzie like mine did. Kooooo loo koo koo koo koo KOO KOO!

MORE ABOUT: Discovery Canada

Comments (60)

  1. Quatguy

    Thanks Phil; All I need now is a cable connection to my igloo.

    I loved the Bob and Doug episode where they teach you how to grow a mouse inside an empty beer bottle so when it grows up you can take it to the liquor store and get a free case of beer! I will see if I can find it on Youtube.

  2. That is what I was thinking!
    And that’s why I passed along the news about Bad Universe
    with the tag line: “Phil Plait blows stuff up real good!”

  3. David P

    Sweeet Thanks, it will be a nice break from the endless re-runs they usualy show.

  4. Glencoe

    Any idea if it’ll air in UK.

  5. Hooray, I look forward to watching this, here in our frozen northern wasteland. 😀

  6. Craig

    “I know, I make fun of our friends to the North, but it’s out of love, and also knowing they’re all too nice to say anything about it.”

    Our lack of response is a little closer to bemusement than politeness.

    I imagine it’s similar to when the ‘flyover states’ get poked at a bit by New Yorkers. The jokes are firmly set in an atmosphere of ignorance (usually willful). As such, the opinions aren’t valued enough to actually matter. Likely, I’d imagine that the residents of the so-called ‘flyover states’ are more than happy to go about their business while all the New Yorkers stay just where they are, doing their important, centre-of-the-earth things, poking fun at the caricatures of Middle American life. Yes, they just smile and nod, thinking to themselves that they couldn’t be paid enough to trade places.

    It’s similar to how we Northerners view our brothers and sisters to the South. In a very real way the following analogy holds true:

    New York is to America as America is to the rest of the world.

    I think people on each side of that analogy can be quite proud and pleased with that sort of relationship.

  7. NAW

    Ah yes, I did learn my Canadian from SCTV and Strange Brew.

    But good to see the show is slowly being shown to the rest of the world.

  8. Brian Schlosser

    @Quatguy #1: He died with a smile on his face…

    @Thomas Masterson #2: Im Billy Sol Hurok… And I’m Big Jim McBob… sayin’ “May the Good Lord take a likin’ to ya, and blow ya up real soon!”

  9. Adam Robichaud

    Awesome! Will the season be available in the Canadian iTunes store? I’d pay in advance based on the previews I’ve seen!

  10. Thank Dog! Finally. I was getting ready to throw my poutine, kick my chesterfield and shout curse words from the top of the parkade.

  11. It’s cute the way they pretend they have their own TV to air.

  12. Wayne on the plains

    “New York is to America as America is to the rest of the world.”

    That may be the most profoundly true thing I’ve heard all day, thanks. As a “flyover” resident, I’ve never really thought about it that way before.

  13. Tribeca Mike

    Wicked cool! Star-gazing relatives in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick (many of whom are really digging the hugeness of Jupiter this month) will be notified forthwith.

  14. Arthur Taylor

    I’m in the UK and somehow, I can’t imagine how exactly, but *somehow* I managed to see it, and it was awesome! Hope it’s on regular TV here soon…

  15. Keith Hearn

    Phil, you are such a hose-head! Get out!

  16. Orlando

    Hey! What about Spain? We’re looking forward to watch the show here too!!!

  17. theneufeld
  18. DennyMo

    It’s not just New Yorkers that earn the scorn of us fly-overs. Most “coasters” (both East and Left) are stereotyped as indifferent, self-absorbed, arrogant, and totally-unable-to-survive-the-apocalypse (in whatever form it may come). Having lived on both coasts, I can honestly say they are great places to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there again.

  19. Chief

    I was not sorry I cut the cable but for this show I wish I kept it. I’ll have to wait and buy it on DVD.

  20. Liisa

    Us hosers have been waiting patiently, free mouse-beers in hand :)
    I shall add it to my calendar forthwith!

  21. Daniel J. Andrews

    Nice. I’ll even have access to a tv set on that day too (providing I can wrestle the remote from my elderly parents which will be hard if a Jeopardy rerun is playing at the same time as Bad Universe).

    And Craig is right…we’re more bemused than irritated…and why wouldn’t we be. We were Number 1 place to live for 2 or 3 years in a row although we’ve now slipped down somewhat in the rankings :( But we’re still far enough up on the list to make our friendly neighbours jealous. :)

  22. SCTV FTW.

    “Dad! Bob broke your beer…”

  23. PJE

    I know, I make fun of our friends to the North, but it’s out of love….

    Heh, as if I’ve never poked fun at Americans :)


  24. What about the other episodes; it was a three part at this stage yeah? When are they airing?

  25. kurt_eh
  26. Grizzly

    Ya know the Discovery Channel here has some rather interesting locally produced science shows.

    There’s also CBC. The show “Ideas” (go to the cbc site and look it up) has some interesting podcasts on Galileo (“Looking Up”) in a two part series, and on Darwin in a 4 part series (“The Evolution of Charles Darwin”).

    We are not some backwater.

    Sorry, gotta go and shovel out the door to my igloo.

  27. sorrykb

    >Until then, read about those two tiny rocks that zipped past us yesterday. What timing!

    C’mon, Phil, admit it: You orchestrated the whole asteroids thing as a publicity stunt for “Bad Universe”. 😉

  28. You have a show?

    I should note that local pride is not a local phenomenon. People everywhere think they’re better than people everywhere else.

  29. About frigging time. Any chance of your destroying a Canadian city in a future episode? Australians shouldn’t have all the fun.

  30. I was finally able to catch it here in Oz. I think magic was involved.
    Quick review:
    Teh Hawesome!1!!111EleventyEleven!!

    Apparently I’m dead now though. While my place isn’t in the crater I think I would be one of the gazillions jellyfied in the shock wave. Thanks for that.

    It was totally awesome seeing some very familiar landmarks obliterated like that though. What is the next disaster you can bring down on us?

    Any chance of your destroying a Canadian city in a future episode?
    Ah, but how could you tell?

  31. TerryS

    Fantastic news. I was wondering if they were going to pick it up.

  32. Quatguy

    Pllllllleeeeeeeaaaaaaassssssssseeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!! destroy Toronto.

    It will do so much for this country. For example, I hear that the TIFF is premiering a hockey-based musical on the weekend. That’s just not right……

  33. Chris G

    Third of October, eh? No way! Beauty date for me and the wife to grab our touques, crack open some Molson’s, and have some maple syrup covered poutine while expanding our minds!

    Thanks for letting us know, you hoser!

    (cue Geddy Lee here)

  34. Grand Lunar

    I was too young in the 80s; don’t even know who Bob and Doug MacKenzie are. Geez, what else did I miss as a kid?! Only major things I remember from the 80s were “Star Trek: TNG” and moving into our current house!

    Anyway, good to see that Bad Universe is now set for international viewing.
    I’m really looking forward to more!

    Neat story on the two asteroids that passed us too, Phil.
    At least they were little guys and not giants that doom a city!

  35. Flashback Victim

    Wow, just watched a Nat Geo episode of “Known Universe”, featuring (but not starring) Phil Plait.

    It was almost a scene-for-scene repeat of the Bad Universe episode that aired. The only thing that it aired well before-hand. Hmm…

  36. Craig (aka Flashback Victim), #36: Yes, I do remember making that show, and it was not a “scene-for-scene repeat”. A lot of the concepts are the same, but when you make shows on the same topic that happens.

    But thanks for not-so-subtly implying I am guilty of plagiarism and/or copyright violation.

  37. Stephen Villano

    I have yet to find you here in Philadelphia’s schedule, but I MAY have absent minded you on the schedule (NOT very likely).
    Rechecked. Apparently, Comcast doesn’t find Discovery channel profitable. WWE is far better than science.
    Come to think of it, Morgan Freeman has moved WAY down in my book with the “science” series HE signed onto. I’ve been underwhelmed with the wormhole thing. Hype of the purest sense and science is closer to scientology or something.
    So, it looks like I’ll continue to miss your show.
    At least until free enterprise ACTUALLY reaches the Philadelphia area.
    Regarding the near miss asteroids, I WAS on the NEO mailing list before I retired and lost my AKO.
    I’ll have to sign up again with my new e-mail address so I can watch for interesting things BEFORE CNN announces them a day late for planning!

  38. Steve Huntwork

    You are correct and I did confuse force with kenetic energy, which is the important aspect of an impact event.

    Ek = 1/2 * m * v^2

    I forgot about the 1/2 term, but did remember the m * v^2 aspect. In other words, the velocity of impact is much more important than the mass, which is what I was trying to express.

    Kinetic energy of the impact was only the first part of my hypothetical asteroid intercept, and the implied thrust applied to the object seems to have been forgotten. With a nuclear weapon detonating below the surface, you not only get the original kenetic energy of the impacting mass, but also thrust vectors from the results of the explosion.

    Think of the products of a sub-surface nuclear explosion along the lines of an ion engine. Rocks, light and gases will be ejected in the opposite direction of the original impact vector.

    That is called: THRUST!

    In other words, which would impart a larger change in velocity to the asteroid. A chunk of lead or a nuclear weapon with the exact same mass and velocity?

  39. I have an email from Discovery Australia stating “early 2011”. I’ll ask again in a few months time to see if they can narrow that down for me.

  40. Steve Huntwork

    The second problem with an anti-asteroid project will involve simple orbital dynamics. If a low energy Hohmann transfer orbit is used, then the relative velocity between the two object at intercept will be minimal. The objective is to maximize the relative velocities.

    A perfect intercept would be in the opposite orbital direction of the asteroid, but that is beyond the capabilities of current technology.

    However, we now have an example of how such a high velocity intercept mission could be performed at minimal costs, with the Solar Probe Plus satellite scheduled to be launched by 2018.

    These two missions may seem very different, but when you study the orbital dynamics required, this is an almost perfect examples of how it could be done.

    Perhaps I ask more of Phil than is justified. He has earned my respect for so many years now, that I have expected more of the same.

  41. VK

    I live in Singapore, but I’ll be in the States in November. So I guess I’ll be looking for reruns?

  42. WJM

    Can’t wait to fill my flappin’ head full of some universal badness.

    Is it just me, or does it always seem to be Shark Week?

  43. Messier Tidy Upper

    @31. shane Says: I was finally able to catch it here in Oz.

    Wha .. how? Wish I’d known how to do that & see it.

    Anyone know if its likely to be screening in Oz anytime soon?

    Did I hear something about Bad Universe coming to SBS TV eventually or is that just wishful thinking?

  44. Is it coming to the UK?

  45. Matt

    Lets hope that bodes well for us limeys.

    Come on Discovery, sort the scheduling, kill a repeat and throw in the new stuff we all want.

  46. Markle

    @#7 Craig
    Is that homeopathic disinterest? The longer your paragraphs telling us how little you care are, the less caring you non-express?

  47. Markle

    @#37 Phil
    I don’t think you can plagiarize yourself, Phil. I was wondering what all the Australia bashing was about. Literally, not figuratively. I thought that since it’s a call to action that you might have used an American city for an American show. The reason I thought that the scenes of a destroyed Sydney were recycled is simply because, hey, it’s Discovery. That’s what they do. How many dino or shark shows have you seen with the same CGI footage over a different narrative?

  48. Markle

    Just so it’s clear, there should have been a smiley 😀 attached up there but I ran out of edit time

  49. Jamie

    YAY!! Now I don’t have to download it :)

  50. Floyd

    I spent some quality time in Canada in my youth when I lived in Indiana instead of New Mexico and could drive to that country without a hassle at the border. I really miss Canada and its people, except for the small minority of Francophones that thought every one including the rest of their country should be speaking French.

    Poutine and fish and chips are good stuff, eh?

  51. @44 Messier Tidy Upper

    Through the magic of the intertoobs otherwise someone mentioned 2011 on the Oz Discovery channel (not that I can get that anyway). SBS would be excellent.

    @48 Markle
    Phil has said, I vaguely recall, that the reason Sydney was chosen was because everybody has seen NY or LA get destroyed over and over again so why not give an equally iconic city, like Sydney, a go.

  52. Flashback Victim

    @Phil: “But thanks for not-so-subtly implying I am guilty of plagiarism and/or copyright violation.”

    Oh, no, you misunderstand. I’m implying that it’s Discovery that’s doing the blatant copying (not really plagiarism). You wrote your book long before the Nat Geo program was made anyway. I saw it more as an early, lower-budget version which was decided to be remade into your Bad Universe show.

    Copying ideas from other markets and bringing them, with a slightly different feel is common in TV and Movies, Discovery is simply really good at it.

    As a *huge* Mythbusters fan, I was continually gobsmacked while watching the British show Brainiac. It seemed that a huge percentage of their myths and even many of the specifics of the experiments that came ‘from our viewers’ or ‘from the internet’ was almost a carbon-copy of what Brainiac had done a few years before. Sure, maybe it was Brainiac viewers that wrote in wanting to see a more scientific (and less comedic) Mythbusters take on the same ‘myths’, but maybe it was somebody working for Discovery that watched Brainiac shows to get ideas on what they should try.

    I still *love* Mythbusters, but I’d prefer if they didn’t have to fudge the truth as to the origin.

    Oh, and as for the similarity of the two shows you were on being merely a necessary outcome of the subject matter, I believe that. Have you actually seen the episode I referred to though? It was incredibly similar.

    I watch a lot of space shows like these (as we all do on here), I’ve seen a lot that deal with ELE impactors. However, I’ve only seen two that have tackled the practical options for destroying/diverting them and backed those up with practical experiments featuring kinetic impactors, simulated nukes exploding on them, the effects of those solutions on rubble pile asteroids, gravity tractor explanations, keyhole windows (who’s graphics were identical, btw), etc.

    It was eerily similar to a viewer. Perhaps it was doubly-bad that my wife and I watched the two shows two days apart, but we both looked at each other and thought ‘We watched a remake!’.

    The Nat-Geo program only spent about half its length talking about meteors, the rest talked about what would happen if we were too close to a neutron star collision and the effects of its gamma ray burst, gravity waves, and resulting a black hole, or what would happen when our galaxy collides with the Andromeda galaxy.

    I wouldn’t be all that surprised if we saw several of those topics in future Bad Universe episodes. Likely many of those pieces would be quite similar between the two shows. Now, I don’t begrudge this, as I said it’s a natural part of ‘Hollywood’, but the way people’s brains work makes us go “Hey!”.

    I think your show was much more impressive and entertaining. Ultimately though, It’s of note to a viewer to see what appears as an early version of your Bad Universe show (featuring you no less).

    No offense intended, just my brain going “Heeeeeyyy, I’ve seen this before!”

  53. Old Muley

    So no word on showtimes for the 2nd and 3rd episodes? Whew, when the BU didn’t show up on my DVR schedule, I was afraid it had been canceled after only one showing.

  54. Brian Too

    Phil, welcome to Canada, you hoser! Beauty touque on the BA-meister, eh? Got to keep the brain case warm.

  55. Ian

    “The first episode”?

    There’s more than one? Because the Discovery web site is pretty sparse on info and my DVR only shows one. And as much as I love to watch you say “Holy Haleakala” over and over again, well…

  56. Jon Niehof

    Phil, I know you’re a bigshot now and don’t need to get up on Monday morning to go to work, but I do hope Discovery does a rerun at a decent hour for those of us in MT. Ending at midnight is way past my bedtime.

  57. Flah

    Has the world gone topsy turvy? Discovery Canada is actually picking up an American show on the same year that it was made? I am dumbfounded.

    Welcome to the Great White North, Phil. May you enjoy our recently installed flush toilets and the Great Vancouver Caribou Hunt.

  58. Great to see Bad Universe coming to Canadian TV, but unfortunately the delay has caused thousands of Canadians to download it off bittorrent already.

    The networks need to change their procedures if they wish to prevent this.

  59. Jeff Busby

    That’s great news Phil, I’m looking forward to it!


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