Parallel Worlds, Parallel Lives follows the lead singer of US rock band Eels, Mark Oliver Everett (E), on his journey of discovery across America to learn about the father he never knew, Hugh Everett III, the quantum mechanic. The BBC Four one hour documentary will premiere on Monday, November 26, 2007 at 9:00pm (GMT).
This year is the 50th anniversary of Hugh Everett's most important contribution to science - a controversial theory of quantum mechanics that predicts the existence of Parallel Universes, one of the most fantastic scientific predictions ever to have been conceived.
Hugh wrote the theory as a young PhD student at Princeton University, but for 20 years it remained largely ignored by the scientific community. Faced with derision and rejection, Everett abandoned academia and forged a career in the American defence industry. It was only at the end of his life, that his visionary work began to be taken seriously.
Hugh died of a heart attack in his home in 1982 where his body was found by 19 year old son Mark. Even though they had lived in the same house, the two of them were alienated and Mark knew nothing about his father's work.
"My father never, ever said anything to me about his theories. I was in the same house with him for at least 18 years but he was a total stranger to me. He was in his own parallel universe. He was a physical presence, like the furniture, sitting there jotting down crazy notations at the dining room table night after night. I think he was deeply disappointed that he knew he was a genius but the rest of the world didn't know it." - Mark Everett.
In this intelligent and imaginative film, the wry and charismatic Mark takes a journey back into his father's life, meeting his old college pals, family friends and colleagues and takes a crash course in the weird world of quantum mechanics in order to understand his father's mind blowing theory.
Parallel Worlds, Parallel Lives 1x60
Produced by Specialist Factual, BBC Scotland
Filmed, Produced and Directed by Louise Lockwood
26 November 2007
In other Eels news:
Eels are set to celebrate their 10-year anniversary with the release of their first 'best of' and 'rarities' collections, 'Meet The EELS: Essential EELS Vol. 1, 1996-2006 (CD+DVD)', and 'Eels Useless Trinkets: B-Sides, Soundtracks, Rarities and Unreleased 1996-2006 (2CD+DVD)' out on 21 January 2008.
Read more about Eels Best Of and Useless Trinkets rarities.