Today and Tomorrow (BBC)

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started8th Apr 1981
ended26th Jun 1981
last rpt8th Jun 1983
3 school years
duration20 mins
subject 👨‍🔬ScienceTechnology
age rangeAge 11Age 9-11
languageenIn English

Today and Tomorrow (BBC) is a BBC schools TV series from the 1980s, covering science for primary school pupils.

Inspiring children to consider developments in science and technology up to the present, what the far-reaching effects of those issues could be, and what may develop by the mid-21st century over the lifetime of the primary school-leavers of the early 1980s.

The episodes are framed by a dramatised story set in 2051 in which a student called Jenny visits a Data Retrieval Centre where her tutor (played by Nicholas Young from The Tomorrow People) shows her extracts from a TV series from 1981 on a huge science-fiction screen. The drama sections were written by science fiction author James Follett.

The 'old' documentary extracts (actually specially produced for the series) presented by William Woollard form the bulk of each episode and demonstrate technological advancements to date such as talking typewriters, battery-powered electric cars and Prestel.

Meanwhile Jenny's tutor tells her about imaginary 21st century developments including an orbiting solar power station and plans to build a space elevator.


Watch Online Watch a clip on Twitter The start of the first episode, as Jenny plans her journey to the Data Retrieval Centre

Watch Online Watch a clip on Twitter From the final episode, Jenny's tutor invites her to watch William Woollard operate Prestel

Episode List

# Title Broadcast
1. The Mighty Micro #1981-05-08-00-00-008 May 1981
2. The Dawning of the Solar Age #1981-05-22-00-00-0022 May 1981
3. The Energy Burners #1981-06-12-00-00-0012 Jun 1981
4. The Global Village #1981-06-26-00-00-0026 Jun 1981


Presented by William Woollard
Starring Jayne Lester as Jenny

Nicholas Young as tutor
Rosemary Frankau as Jenny's mum
Iain Anders

Future scenes written by James Follett
Written and produced by Bruce Jamson


A folded set of notes containing "illustrations, background information and follow-up ideas for both pupils and teachers" was available for 33p in 1981 and 40p in 1982.

This was replaced by a set of typescript notes in 1982, available for 20p.


  • Summer 1981: Mondays 9:52am fortnightly, repeated alternate Fridays 11:40am
  • Summer 1982: Mondays 2:18pm, repeated Wednesdays 11:17am
  • Summer 1983: Mondays 2:18pm, repeated Wednesdays 11:17am

Related programmes


  • James Follett's official website on Today and Tomorrow
  • More

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