Produced by the Rank Organisation for screening in their Odeon and Gaumont cinemas, this is another colourful collection of informative and charming short featurettes, each running for around 10 minutes.
This third look at 1960's contemporary life focuses on science, covering the technological advancements of the day. What makes this collection so special for me is the fact that on the rare occasions that the subject matter didn't particularly appeal to me, the brevity of each film and the great presentation meant the films retained my interest. The films manage to pack a lot of information into their short running times, and have a lovely addictive quality.
With the warm tones of narrators Raymond Baxter, Antony Bilbow, Duncan Carse, E.V.H. Emmett, Michael Ingrams, Martin Jarvis and Tim Turner, each potted history lesson is imbued with nostalgia, and a disarming charm that I find hard to resist. This 45-film collection covers a diverse cross-section of scientific subjects, which I could waffle on about all day. To avoid boring you rigid it would be far easier to give the name and details of each film, which is printed on the inside of the DVD case. Before I do, I will round off by informing you that the picture and sound quality on this digitally restored collection is mostly good, there are no subtitles. The 3 discs are stored in a single-size DVD case.
Here is a list of the films with brief details....
FOLLOW THE STARS - There are many who follow the stars. Some believe they can indicate the future, while astronomers spend their nights observing the heavens through the great telescopes at Jodrell Bank.
A MARRIAGE IS ARRANGED... How a marriage between steel and plastic is successfully forged at British steelworks.
CHANNEL TUNNEL - A visit to the trial tunnel and a look at all the scientific research necessary.
HEALING HANDS - The onward march of surgery - and the dedicated research behind the scenes of medicine.
TESTING TIME - A film about all the different things that need to be tested in Britain today.
MAKE A MEAL OUT OF IT - A film looking at various aspects of food, visiting research laboratories as well as taking a look at food from the turn of the century.
PRESS-BUTTON AGE - Every day is another step into the press-button age, this film shows how our lives are increasingly regulated by automation.
FLOOD TIDE - How the ceaseless battle with the sea is being fought with the aid of the flood warning system.
MEN WITH IDEAS - A film providing a fascinating insight into the machinery of patenting.
MYSTERY OF A FISH - From the river Axe in Devon, scientists catch every young salmon that swims downstream in an effort to map this species' incredible voyage.
ROCKETS AWAY! - A film exploring the research being done on rockets, for both peaceful purposes and defence.
THE LITTLE MENACE - A study of what is being done in medical research.
TROUBLE ON OILY WATERS - The dumping of oil waste in the sea has created a new menace along Britain's shoreline.
ANY OLD IRON? - This film turns the spotlight on the people who prepare salvaged steel for re-use, and on the steel foundries which melt it down again.
CAUGHT IN THE COLD - Every year, Britain gets caught in the cold: cities crawl to a standstill, and road and rail traffic is disrupted. Why does this happen in an age of scientific miracles?
FIGURE IT OUT - The story of computers: from electronic tape and punched cards, to austere-looking robots.
KEEPING CLEAN - An interesting look at the new mechanised way of cleaning.
THE DESTROYERS - Pests come in all shapes and sizes, from the woodworm and grain weevil to the homely city pigeon. This film shows the research which goes on to control them.
BACK-ROOM OF THE SKY - At Boscombe Down, on the edge of Salisbury Plain, every part of a new plane is tested, and it is then flown to its operational limit. Not only are the aircraft tested, but also the men who fly them.
PEOPLE OF POWER - A close look at the operation of the Berkeley Nuclear Power Station.
SECOND CHANCE - This moving film shows an achievement in which science and humanity have combined to offer the 100,000 people in Britain who have lost a limb a chance to live happy and useful lives.
KEY OF THE DOOR - A look at the educational centres where training in technical subjects is aiming to keep pace with the demands of this scientific age.
YOU CAN'T CATCH MUCH FROM A FISH! - 'Look at Life' went to see what the six months' compulsory quarantine means to the 3,000 dogs and 500 cats brought into Britain each year.
MEN UNDER PRESSURE - This exciting film shows the work of the men who build tunnels below water level, and the scientific and medical care that ensures they suffer no ill-effects from their unusual occupation.
FINGS ARE GETTING SMALLER - Taking a look at how everything is being reduced in size in the new compact age.
SALUTE THE ENGINEER - More and more engineers are needed to keep pace with developing industry: this film offers a glimpse of the wide range of jobs they undertake.
SO MUCH FLATTERY - Few realise how far the art of imitation has developed. Synthetic furs and jewellery, artificial flowers and copies of great paintings, 'marble' made of laminated plastic, and that most quotidian of imitations - artificial teeth.
HAVING A BABY - A look at the medical and social services available for both hospital and home births.
POWER NEEDS NO TRANSPORT - Stretching across Western Europe is a network of electric power stations, linked by the transmission lines that span a continent. This is a story of an ever-present problem: Europe's increasing need for electricity.
WEALTH UNDER THE SEA - A trip to the North Sea to follow the search for oil.
BY BREAD ALONE - A look at what is happening in the baking industry as scientists try to find out why bread doesn't keep fresh longer and to solve the problem of staleness.
FRONTIERS OF MEDICINE - Machines are playing an increasing part not only in the treatment of disease, but also in helping to find out the causes of illness.
SUGARING THE PILL - Large numbers of pills are consumed every year: this film takes a look at the growth of the pharmaceutical industry.
BEATING THE RACKET - A look at what is being done to reduce noise levels.
WILL TAPS RUN DRY? - Much of Britain faces a water shortage every year. This film reveals the fascinating, complex business of ensuring that the taps don't run dry.
TREADING ON THE GAS - Following the ships that come from the Sahara Desert bringing methane gas.
BOXES OF TRICKS - The teaching machine - the educational box of tricks - is being used increasingly today in schools, universities and industry.
THE GIVERS - Britain's National Blood Transfusion Service came of age in 1967. It was the first of its kind in the world: Britain was and is today the best organised and equipped.
WHAT PRICE IDEAS? - Taking a look at the new inventions that are being made in Britain today.
CLEANING PEOPLE - A look at the dry-cleaning business and the work of the chemists behind it.
PRESS-BUTTON FARMS - A revolution is taking place down on the farm - the machines are taking over, so that the modern farmer can operate his farm almost single-handed.
KEEPING TABS ON SPACE - A look at Britain's first spacecraft, UK3, and how it was created, tested and launched.
BRAIN DRAIN - The brain drain, mainly in young scientists and engineers, has risen to a rate of 6,000 men a year. Why do they go?
NORTH SEA COMMUTERS - A film providing the background to the tapping of the vast supply of natural energy that Britain has discovered on her doorstep.
THEIR LIFELINE - THE NILE - A film about the colossal Aswan High Dam - Egypt's greatest hope for the future.
Another welcome release from Network.