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Relatively Prime Recap: Season 2, Episode 8: Diegetic Plots, Chapter 2

Diegetic Plots, Chapter 2

There really isn’t enough silliness in maths. Samuel has tried to inject some throughout the series, sometimes more successfully than others. This is the episode where he finally nails the silliness.

Diegetic Plots, Chapter 2 is a nice finale to a generally good season of Relatively Prime. Dealing with sketches and haiku from the mathematical domain, we get a glimpse of the daft side of maths.

The episode starts with — and uses as continuity — less than successful grant applications, from funerary social networks to mayflies to spelunking Plato’s Cave. It’s a neat device, and amusing (although I’m possibly suffering from CBeebies-induced Stockholm Syndrome when it comes to continuity). There’s even a shout-out to Math/Maths’s recurring treatment of counting animals.

* Entries on a postcard – Ed.

The first real segment is Samuel performing his poem, Calculus Of Your Body, and while I can’t see it earning him a Nobel Prize for Literature, it could conceivably win a maths rap battle. The Aperiodical ought to arrange one*.

Next up is A Difficult Delivery, a piece of “mathematically bent theatre” written by Colin Adams and hammed up in a perfectly appropriate way; I enjoyed this much more than I did Villani’s Birth of a Theorem, and found it gave at least as much insight into the process.

Section 3 is the story of a haiku battle (The Aperiodical should arrange one of those, too) between Courtney Gibbons, Helene Tyler, Andrew Gainer-Dewar and Greg Stevenson. All I have to say is

Poetry in the
mathematical domain
requires more battles

The final act of Relatively Prime Series 2 is called The Continuum, by Rob Schulz, a sketch about some kind of therapist obsessed with ranking scales.

Overall, an entertaining episode, although not necessarily one I need to play back over and over.


The season as a whole? Good, very good. Treating Chinook as an outlier, the quality of story is comparable to the first, and quality of production noticeably higher. My only real grumble, one that regular readers will recognise, is that some of Samuel’s interventions were a little too much Samuel. It’s nothing running the scripts past an editor wouldn’t fix, and something that would dramatically improve the Relatively Prime experience.

I very much hope Season 3 gets funded, I’m proud to be a backer, as I was for Season 2. You can contribute at Kickstarter. Money well spent.

More information

Listen to Relatively Prime: Diegetic Plots, Chapter 2 at relprime.com. While you’re there, catch up on Season 1.

Back the Season 3 fundraiser at Kickstarter.

Colin was given early access to Season 2 of Relatively Prime, in return for writing reviews of each episode. Furthermore, Samuel is Aperiodipal numero uno and most of us chipped some money into the Relatively Prime Kickstarter, too. Just so you know.

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