10 things you might not know about THE BIG BANG THEORY - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

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10 things you might not know about THE BIG BANG THEORY

Returning for its 8th Season tonight is the number one rated sit-com on US television. Geek Dave won our game of rock-paper-scissors-lizard-Spock, so he gets to bring you 10 things you might not know about The Big Bang Theory.

1. The original unaired pilot episode was quite different in tone, with a more adult feel to the show. Although he still struggles with the concept of sarcasm, Sheldon is more wise to the ways of women (a-hem) than we are used to, and there was no Penny, instead Leonard and Sheldon met the hard-drinking, streetwise Katie (played by Amanda Walsh). They discovered her crying on the pavement outside the high IQ sperm bank (where they had just made a donation!), after being dumped by her boyfriend and becoming homeless. Leonard invites her to stay with them; much to Sheldon’s exasperation. The pilot also featured a different theme tune - She Blinded Me With Science by Thomas Dolby.

2. The character of Katie was scrapped due to negative reactions from the test audience, and Penny was incorporated into the show - she was a character that had been created for a different project the producers were also working on. At this point in time the working title for the new production was briefly called Lenny, Penny and Kenny (presumably they toyed with changing Sheldon's name to Kenny), thankfully that didn't last long.

3. As you likely know, before The Big Bang Theory Johnny Galecki was best known for his role in Roseanne. But in 1991, one year before landing the part of David Healy on the long running sitcom he appeared in an episode of Blossom, where he played Mayim Bialik's love interest who takes her to a "make-out party"...

4. Mayim Bialik is actually the only cast member to have a PhD. In 2008, she completed her neuroscience studies. Something that was actually mentioned in Season 1 of The Big Bang Theory, two years before Bialik joined the cast. In the episode The Bat Jar Conjecture, the boys are one person short for their Physics Bowl team...
Raj: You know who’s apparently very smart, is the girl who played TV’s Blossom. She got a PhD in neuroscience or something.
Leonard: Raj, we’re not getting TV’s Blossom to join our physics bowl team. 
5. Although it's synonymous with the show, the song Soft Kitty has been around a long time. Originally known by the title Warm Kitty, the lyrics were written by Edith Newlin in the 1930s. There are a couple of different stories surrounding the tune. It may have been adapted from an old children’s folk song called ‘Little Bird'; another possible origin is that of a 19th century Polish lullaby about kittens on a fence. What is known though is that the song is very popular in Australia, appearing on several nursery rhyme compilations. One of the show's producers, Bill Prady, heard his daughter sing the song, her pre-school teacher had taught the class the tune after hearing it whilst she was working Down Under. And so it became popularised by Sheldon and Penny...

6. Many of the scenes are shot on the apartment building stairs, with the actors holding conversation whilst ascending or descending all 3 flights. But actually floors 2, 3, and 4 are all the same set just re-dressed differently (there are certain scuff marks on the set that are identical and give this away), this means that production has to halt why the 'new' floor is arranged, and then the script is resumed. What a pain!

7.  They say that Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right? Well in 2009 Chuck Lorre became aware of a series produced and aired in Belarus called The Theorists. An almost like for like unlicensed Russian version of The Big Bang Theory. Legal action over copyright infringement would be as good as futile, since the production company was owned by the Belarus government. It seems the actors hired had no idea about the original version, thinking their show was unique. Once the truth was revealed actor Dmitriy Tankovich, who played Leo quit the show, revealing:
"I was embarrassed. I consider this to be the rock bottom of my career. And I don't want to take part in a stolen show"
With the cast all abandoning ship production ceased. Episodes have popped up on youTube complete with English subtitles, and you can see just how close to the original it was...

8. Meanwhile, over in Germany, they were importing the real thing. Surprisingly the voice actor they use to re-dub Sheldon Cooper for the German audience is the same person who provides the German dub for Leonardo DiCaprio in his movies.

9. In January 2013 a team of Brazilian Biologists named a newly discovered type of orchid bee 'Euglossa Bazinga'. They said it was to honor the show, and specifically Sheldon's catchphrase "bazinga". Executive producer Steve Molaro responded in a press release:
"We are always extremely flattered when the science community embraces our show. Sheldon would be honored to know that Euglossa bazinga was inspired by him. In fact, after 'Mothra' and griffins, bees are his third-favorite flying creatures."

10. One of the common complaints that is often batted about regarding The Big Bang Theory is that it doesn't actually properly reflect geeks or geek culture. This is never something that has bothered me because it's a funny show, with enough geeky references (and cameos) to make it essential viewing. However, I was very surprised to learn that even though Sheldon is a massive Star Trek fan, Jim Parsons has never seen the show! In an interview with Time he revealed that, although he loves playing Sheldon, he is very very unlike his character:
"I get asked a lot of science things and I’m like, “you’re kidding.” And even the pop culture… I’ve never seen Star Trek. I don’t know Doctor Who."
Never seen Star Trek? Don't know Doctor Who? In the words of Geroge Takei...

Unfortunately Parsons didn't follow his revelation with the words "You just fell for another one of my classic pranks."

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