QI: Series M, Episode 16 – Misconceptions


At last, we come to the end. While they are still some missing XL episodes and some VG clip shows yet to be broadcast, this episode marks the turning point. It is the last episode of QI that will be hosted by Stephen Fry.

This episode covered misconceptions, and appearing alongside Stephen and Alan Davies were Sue Perkins, Chris Addison, and Sara Cox, complete with inaccurate name badges. Topics up for discussion included how the USA first delivered airmail, why doing charity parachute jumps does more harm than good, the problems caused by massive data dumps, and why footballers never take what is statistically proven to be the best way to take a penalty.

While it is hard to judge the standard length episode, going by what has been broadcast so far it seemed as if there was no real stand-out performance from a particular panellist. Perhaps appropriately it was Stephen who was the main attraction, which had nothing to do with him departing as the series was recorded before his announcement. Stephen had fun showing of exhibits from the National Museum of Computing, including gigantic 1960s computer discs about a metre wide that could contain just eight megabytes of data. Then there was also another magic trick from him, this time involving the magic word, which turns out to be “Because” rather than “Please”.

Another interesting feature was the last round. Rather than having a standard “General Ignorance” round, they did some M-themed general knowledge, where most of the questions were very easy (“Who created Miss Marple?”), but there were some tricky ones mixed up. It was rather fun seeing the scared panellists intimidated by easy questions.

However, this episode is still one that is full of sadness. It is a shame to see Stephen leave. Hopefully Sandi Toksvig will make for as good as host as he was.

Bye-Bye Stephen…

New editions of QI XL go out on Monday nights at 21.45. New editions of clip show QI VG start on Friday 4th March at 22.00.