Reviews TV

Life before Birth

BMJ 2005; 330 doi: (Published 07 April 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;330:851
  1. Nicholas M Fisk, professor of fetal medicine (
  1. London

    Channel 4, 7 April at 9 pm

    Rating:Embedded ImageEmbedded Image

    Two things stand out about this kaleidoscopic odyssey from conception to birth. The first is the realistic animations, which make for gripping television. The second is the juxtaposition of the scientific with the touchy feely, which decidedly does not. Insightful demonstrations of the complex processes of fertilisation, embryology, and fetoplacental development are interwoven with fetal poetry. Novel, yes, but biological lucidity becomes stretched when the fetus announces in the first person its implantation in rhyming couplets when it passes from isn't to is, wonders aloud whether neuropore formation is the beginning of cognition, and pens an ode to its placenta. Genetic variation engenders “Will I be …

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