The Story of Math
“I’m Marcus du Sautoy,” he announces early on, “and I’m a mathematician.” Quite. Then follows four fabulous hours of complete geekery—barely enough, it turns out, as our narrating Oxford University prof has much ground to cover. Just putting across the most basic concepts of space and quantity, he’ll need to be seen gazing contemplatively from a gondola on the Nile, hiking China’s Great Wall, roaming rainy Paris like a dandy in his mauve trousers and getting sauced in Switzerland by toasting to the postulations of Leonhard Euler. As for imparting a sense of math’s grand historical ascendance from pragmatism into high abstraction, that’ll require many tolerably silly establishing shots, some no-frills computer graphics and a few truly mind-expanding “whoa” moments. But if the nerdorable du Sautoy can’t quite explain the eerily precise-seeming correlation between quantum system energy levels and the Riemann zeta function, well, apparently neither can God.