Series P, Episode 2 - Peril
- The most perilous job in the world is that of reverse parachute tester. In the Cold War, staff in Arctic spy bases had to be parachuted in and out because aircraft could not land. To get people out they had to use a skyhook, a device for parachuting upwards. It worked by using a helium balloon to carry a rope into the air, then an aircraft would catch the rope and reel in the person attached to the rope.
- A Duckworth is a scale using known statistics to assign a risk of dying as a result of any given activity. A score of 0 represents living unharmed on Earth for an entire year. The top score is 8, meaning "Certain Doom". An example of something scoring 8 would be playing Russian roulette with six bullets. Being hit by an asteroid in the Duckworth scale is 1.6 because it is unlikely to happen, while doing the washing-up scores 5.5 because while it is not dangerous it does happen a lot.
- There are several perilous things that you can teach yourself. For example, Theodor Kaluza, a German physicist who was one of the people behind string theory, was so sick of people saying that theoretical knowledge had no value that he taught himself to swim from a book, managing to swim for the first time in his life in his thirties.
- The panellists are given particular dolls of each other, including Sandi. These are poppets, which are traditionally used in European folk magic. For example, if you wanted to get someone out of your life, you fill the poppet with herbs, tie its hand behind its back, then toss it into a fast flowing river. You could also use needles to stab the dolls to cause pain.
- Between "mild peril" or "moderate torture", the worst one depends on the views of to the British Board of Film Classification, formerly the British Board of Film Censors. These are stock phrases to describe the content of films. Examples have included: "Contains mild language, and horror, and fantasy spiders", for Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets; "Contains strong language, violence and sex, all involving puppets", for Team America; "Contains irresponsible behaviour", for Mr. Bean's Holiday; and "Dangerous behaviour, mild threat, innuendo, infrequent mild bad language" for Paddington.
- You know that scene in silent movies where the damsel is tied to the railway lines by a villain and rescued by the hero? Well, you don't. In the earliest versions of this cliché, it was the other way around. In the 1867 melodramatic play Under the Gaslight by Augustin Daly, the villain (Byke) tied the hero (Snorkey) to the track, who is rescued by the damsel (Laura). Not only was it originally the other way around, this railway scene never appeared in mainstream silent dramas. It only appeared in comedy spoofs. (Forfeit: Yes)
- Out of an airhorn, a water pistol, a bar of soap, a whistle and an umbrella, the best thing to use to defend yourself against a kitten is the airhorn. While the water pistol might work, some kittens will think of it as more intense play so it won't stop all kittens. Kittens attacking you is important because they are learning to ambush and hunt. What you need to do is distract them before they launch, so you use the airhorn, although it does not need to make a loud noise. Just spraying the air will work.
- When using tin foil on your roast, it makes no difference if the foil is shiny or dull side up. The two different sides to the foil are as a result of the manufacturing process. (Forfeit: Shiny)
- Chocolate biscuits go chocolate side down, according to the manufacturers themselves. They say: "During the manufacturing process, the biscuits go through a reservoir of chocolate that enrobes them, so the chocolate actually goes on the bottom." (Forfeit: Chocolate side up)
- The thing that spread the Black Death was fleas on humans. Studies of mortality data on plague victims who were dug up during the construction of Crossrail conclude that the plague could not have been spread so fast if it was just rats. (Forfeit: Rats)
- In the fight between David and Goliath the underdog was Goliath, because the slingshot back then was the most deadly weapon at the time. If the stone bullet is launched by a trained slinger, it would have the stopping power of a .44 Magnum hand gun. (Forfeit: David)
- The reason by coyotes never catch road runners is because roadrunners can fly. Coyotes are actually faster than roadrunners. Coyotes go at 43mph, while roadrunners run at 20mph.
- Monday 17th September 2018
- BBC Two
- 30 minutes
- Saturday 20th October 2018 at 10:00pm on BBC2 (45 minute version)
- Sunday 21st October 2018 at 11:45pm on BBC2 Wales (45 minute version)
Cast & crew
|Sandi Toksvig||Host / Presenter|
|Alan Davies||Regular Panellist|
|James Harkin||Script Editor|
|Mat Coward||Question Writer|
|John Lloyd (as John Lloyd CBE)||Series Producer|
|Kalpna Patel-Knight||Executive Producer|
|Sarah Clay||Executive Producer|
|Jonathan Paul Green||Production Designer|