Supernova is a British television comedy series that ran in 2005 for 6 episodes and in 2006 for another 6 episodes in the U.K. and in Australia. As the name implies, the action is set around a fictional observatory located at Broken Hill, in New South Wales, Australia; and the subject matter is related to the science of astronomy. supernova1

I enjoy British comedies and also am interested in astronomy, so this series was a win-win for me when one of my local PBS stations, WILL-TV, began running the series a few weeks ago, much to the chagrin of my wife who thinks it’s a bit too geeky for her tastes.

The station has a long history of running British sit-com’s as do many local PBS stations. I really enjoy the more subtle, eclectic humor of Supernova.

For example, Paul, the main character is hanging his wet laundry out to dry on a clothes line in the hot Australian outback where the stories take place; as he gets the last piece of laundry hung out to dry he moves back to the other side of the clothes line and begins to take the laundry down he just hung up seconds before, as it is already dry.

Not a big belly laugh there, but funny – silly in a fun way, without being stupid, and that’s the way of the show. Wikipedia describes it as “following Dr Paul Hamilton, a British astronomer, who leaves a dull academic post and disliked girlfriend for a new job at the Royal Australian Observatory, deep in the Australian outback and centering around his difficulties adjusting to life there and among his eccentric fellow astronomers.”

Below is a list of episode titles:

1. The Black Holes
2. God, Are You Out There?
3. When You Wish Upon a Star
4. Venus Rising
5. Unity
6. Where Men Are Men
7. Wild Oats
8. How’s Your Father?
9. Big Red
10. Perseverance
11. Something Wicked This Way Comes
12. May the Best man Win


More information on the cast and episode descriptions can be found at The British Sitcom Guide and at the Internet Movie Database. I searched for DVD’s of the series and could not find where they had been released in the U.S. I did find a site in the U.K. that was advertising series 1 for sale. I just wanted to put in a plug for the show. It’s a bit quirky, but funny, and it’s not often one gets to see a comedy show where the topic of astronomy is a background theme. Look for it on your local PBS station.