What is it:
Operation Ouch! is a British comedy children’s television series about the human body. The show is hosted by twin brothers and doctors Chris and Xand van Tulleken and Dr Ronx Ikharia in later episodes.
Who is it for:
The show is aimed at pre-teens, maybe 6 to 10 years old – kids who think boogers are funny and are old enough to be curious about where things like that come from.
What Kids Like:
The show is funny and fast-paced. It’s very informative, but never turns into a lecture. It manages to consistently strike a balance between informative and entertaining.
What Parents Like:
I like that the show is genuinely educational. There is a gross-out element, but it never feels gratuitous.
What the Critics Think:
OPERATION OUCH! is a long-running British kids’ health show that made its way stateside to Netflix in 2020. It’s hosted by twin doctor brothers Dr. Xand and Dr. Chris van Tulleken in earlier seasons, and a third host Dr. Ronx Ikharia joins the team in later seasons. Operation Ouch! is a variety-style show with a mix of segments that teach kids about health, the human body, and medical professions. Some segments involve Dr. X and or Dr. Chris tagging along in a real hospital ER or on the road with paramedics. They explain what the patient’s medical issue is, then show the doctors treating the patient. Other segments feature the twin doctors performing funny medical experiments on each other (like sending electrical pulses into the other’s brain that makes it impossible for him to pick his nose). The twins also go on field trips, like a visit to a leech-breeding company to learn how leeches are still used in modern medicine. Some parts of the show focus on amazing facts about the human body, or “incredible body tricks” that kids can replicate at home. Each episode is a tour of the human body, what can go wrong in our bodies, and what doctors can do to help us feel better.
I have no criticisms of the show, but it’s a bit of a nuisance that the show recently left Netflix and is now available on Amazon, but only for sale at $3 per episode.
Who Made it/History:
The first series has 13 episodes, the first of which aired in October 2012 on CBBC. A second series began in September 2013 and consisted of 10 episodes. A fourth and fifth series was broadcast in 2016 on the CBBC channel in the UK. The seventh and eighth series were both broadcast on CBBC in 2019. A ninth series began airing on CBBC in 2020 with the first episode focussing on COVID-19, and episodes continued from January 2021. The hosts, Chris and Xand van Tulleken, were trained in medicine at the University of Oxford, and both graduated in 2002: Chris is a practicing medical doctor while Xand focuses on research and teaching.
Where Can I Get it:
Operation Ouch! recently left Netflix and is now on Amazon (https://www.amazon.com/Operation-Ouch/dp/B08N2SK59D) but not as part of Prime, meaning you would have to pay for each episode (or $30 for a full season).
You can get many full episodes and lots of clips on Youtube (https://www.youtube.com/c/OperationOuch/videos) although you have to sit through ads.