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"Some of my experiments are a little... unreliable."
By day, Richard "The Hamster" Hammond presents television programmes in which things get blown up on flimsy pretexts. However, he also has a Secret Identity in which he likes to... um... blow things up on flimsy pretexts..
Every week a large haul of science-related prizes are set aside for two competing teams who have to conduct experiments and answer science questions with help from the Studio Audience. The winning team get to take their prizes home. The losing team don't. (You can probably guess what happens to their prizes.)
In the opening credits of Blast Lab, we learn that within the grounds of Hammond's home lies an old water mill that conceals the entrance to his secret Blast Lab where he does weird experiments, grows strange new lifeforms in a tank of toxic waste and creates bizarre machines all in the name of science!
He is assisted by his Ninja Nan, who guards the lab, and a science teacher from his schooldays whom he has brought from the past to help with his experiments, but who is currently stuck in the body of a ten-year-old after the Time Machine malfunctioned. Also assisting is Oliver (or should we say OLIV3R?), an Opel Kadett who started out as a minor character on Hammond's other show Top Gear. There are also an apparently infinite number of nameless, mute, expendable henchpeople known as The Lab Rats.
Game Show Tropes in use:
- Adam Westing: Hammond's Mad Scientist character is just an exaggerated version of himself.
- And Knowing Is Half the Battle: The explanations of the scientific theories.
- A-Team Montage: Building the hovercraft.
- Little Miss Badass: Despite being only ten years old, Mini Miss is a million times cooler than Hammond.
- Badass Longcoat: Hammond's labcoat is made of black leather.
- Bumbling Sidekick: The Lab Rats.
- Cool Car: Oliver.
- Cow Tools
- Covered in Gunge: Every episode somehow involves the toxic tank.
- Don't Try This At Home
- Education Through Pyrotechnics
- Edutainment Show
- Elaborate Underground Base
- For Science!
- Gadgeteer Genius: Mini Miss.
- The Hit Flash: The opening credits and the Lab Rat sequences.
- Homemade Inventions: Hammond's "disguised" microphones.
- MacGyvering: Most of Mini Miss' experiments.
- Made of Explodium
- Mad Scientist: Hammond.
- Mad Scientist Laboratory
- McNinja: Ninja Nan.
- The Napoleon: Hammond.
- Never Mess with Granny: Ninja Nan.
- No Animals Were Harmed: No animals were harmed during filming... except for the Lab Rats.
- Nominal Importance: The Lab Rats.
- Non-Human Sidekick: Oliver.
- Older Than They Look: Mini Miss.
- Plot-Relevant Age-Up: Inverted with Mini Miss.
- Promotion to Opening Titles: Oliver.
- Reality Subtext: The opening credits indicate that Hammond lives in a castle and moonlights as a Mad Scientist. In fact, Hammond recently moved into a castle in Herefordshire (the very same one from the titles); its cost of £2,000,000 explains why he is moonlighting as a Mad Scientist on children's TV.
- Rival Science Teams
- Rule of Cool
- Science Show
- Shout-Out: Especially to Top Gear, ranging from comments in the hovercraft episode (referring to Gear's amphibious car challenge) to the "ting!" of Hammond's smile in the opening credits (which riffs off the Top Gear tooth-whitening gags).
- Sorting Algorithm of Mortality: The Lab Rats
- Stern Teacher: Mini Miss
- Stuff Blowing Up
- Three-Wall Set
- Time Machine / Time Travel: Mini Miss
- Tim Taylor Technology: The experiments get bigger and more powerful as each episode progresses.
- Truth in Television: Oliver really is Hammond's car.
- Vanity License Plate: OLIV3R.
- Vanity Plate: "Hamster's Wheel Productions"