Battle of the Geeks



Richard Hammond


Dr Kal Spelletich & Dr Ian Johnston


Open University/BBC for BBC Two, 1 October 2006


21st century re-version of The Great Egg Race which sees British and American inventors and scientists face off in a unique challenge in which they are have 48 hours to design, build and fly their own craft across the mighty Fish River Canyon in Namibia, the second biggest canyon in the world.

File:Battle of the geeks the geeks.jpgHalf a dozen assorted geeks

Aided by "performance-scientist" Dr Kal Spelletich and Dr Ian Johnston, the inventor of the world's most flippable beer mat, the two teams have to transport a valuable yet fragile cargo from one side of the canyon to the other and have it survive the journey intact. That cargo is... an egg.

Dr Ian Johnston

Despite the rather contrived and stereotypical make-up of the teams (both teams made up of an American University lecturer type, a wacky British inventor, and a young female computer whizz - what are the chances, eh?) and some rather bizarre "rules" (at one point, Hammond informed us that if one of the teams broke their egg during the build, they would automatically lose, which we don't buy at all because no producer would so positively invite such an anticlimax) the whole thing did hang together. Perhaps the major criticism we could level at it is that transporting an egg is rather a clich├ęd engineering task and so while it was well presented, it was nothing we hadn't seen before.

Key moments

It rather amused us to see Richard Hammond gamely pretending he'd never seen a wheelchair propelled by a fire extinguisher before, when in fact he did this kind of thing all the time on Brainiac: Science Abuse.

See also

The Great Egg Race

Web links

Battle of the Geeks at


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