The Royal Institution Christmas Lectures (1995-1999)

Concept and creative process

Initiated by Michael Faraday in 1825, the 'Royal Institution Christmas Lectures' have become a national institution and are broadcast on television each Christmas. They are the UK’s flagship television science series for young scientists. Pete Wane designed this sequence to be used as a generic title each Christmas from 1995-99 under executive producer Caroline van den Brul, for whom he had also created the generic title sequence for ‘Antenna’ in 1992, when she was series editor of that strand. Pete Wane designed the sequence to be a Christmas cracker of joy and surprises! A mechanical set and models were constructed by model maker Alan Kemp and filmed as a stop frame animation by Malcolm Dalton, the BBC in-house Quantel Harry operator. He also did the post-production compositing of all of the objects and filmed effects, which exploded out of the giant Royal Institution Christmas cracker, with no CGI animation involved at all.