Culture: Television: Game Show: Build-Off
Chem Lab Wars   (+17, -1)  [vote for, against]

A television show, based on 'Junkyard Wars', where competing teams of chemists have to produce a substance using only available materials. Both teams would have fully stocked labs and access to any equipment that they might need.

The twist is that their supply of chemicals would consist of fairly ordinary items, as opposed to pure chemicals. The supply closet might consist of:
a box of laundry detergent
a 2lb bag of sugar
a box of art chalk
a CO2 fire extinguisher
a 50 cents in pennies
a 10lb bag of peat moss

The goal would be to produce the required amount of the target substance, whatever it might be:
red paint

I'll grant that the audience probably wouldn't be large, but *I* would watch it.
-- phoenix, Jan 12 2002

Junkyard Wars (US)
[jutta, Jan 12 2002]

Scrapheap Challenge (UK)
[jutta, Jan 12 2002]

MacGyver http://www.rdanders...cgyver/macgyver.htm
Half-Baked (it wasn't a game show) [LeBain, Jan 19 2002, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Put 'em all together and you get a croissant
-- thumbwax, Jan 12 2002

we call it scrapheap challenge and it seems to be that all the necessary bits are deposited in the yard to be found. I think you need to give your contestants the same start. a little cache of semtex. Afro on hand for advice etc. croissant specialist audience tho. (thanks g.)
-- po, Jan 12 2002

"Cemtex"? Substitute "Semtex", and the more ruthless team could win by default.
-- Guncrazy, Jan 13 2002

I like this idea.
-- bristolz, Jan 13 2002

As much as I would like to see this idea updated into the "Junkyard Wars" competition format, getting people to see how high school chemistry and physics could be usefully applied in real-life (ok, awkwardly dramatized) situations was pretty much the concept behind the original "MacGuyver" series with Richard Dean Anderson. I'm not entirely ashamed to say I will still watch the re-runs from time to time.
-- jurist, Jan 13 2002

Darn...was hoping for 10-molar HCl on tap (as a high school chem student would)...
-- TimHighfield, Jan 13 2002

UnaBubba could use it as training videos for blowing up buildings.
-- LeBain, Jan 19 2002

Whatchoo talkin' 'bout Willis?
-- thumbwax, Jan 19 2002

Like the idea, but the trick to this is how to make it work on TV. There's not much excitement to much of chemistry without blowing up things, changing colors spontaneously, or perhaps drinking the results... the govt. would never go for a broadcasted how-to on building junk bombs, and I don't think drinking the concoctions would go over well with the show's insurance.
-- RayfordSteele, Apr 03 2002

Like when Kirk made a cannon from scratch on STAR TREK?
-- smendler, Jun 24 2016

random, halfbakery