Scrambled heads make for some of the most potent offerings when it comes to science fiction – and Dream Raider offers an eight-part menu of twisted fantasies , murderous impulses and other largely base tendencies in garnishing its near-future tale of mind mangling and psychological upheaval. Available on HBO Go and HBO (new episodes on Sundays at 9pm), Dream Raider borrows from Total Recall , The Matrix and Inception to consider the possibilities of barging in on the slumbers of the unsuspecting, reading their brainwaves and ultimately manipulating their dreams. And given that the aims of such intrusions will probably never comprise more than mass mind control, brainwashing or commercial avarice, the perpetrators, especially in works of fiction, are always going to be villains. Here, an awkward bunch of scientists, criminals and police officers join unlikely forces to thwart a scarred, vengeful, mind-mining orchestrator intent on hacking into the oddly steampunk-inspired dream-raiding machine to control the dreamscapes of innocent victims across Taiwan, driving them to suicide, violence or insanity. And who can resist a siren call to doom when it emanates from a sword-slinging femme fatale squeezed into a red PVC suit? But as machine inventor Tianli Cheng (Jason Wang), detective Li Xiao (Weber Yang) and noetic science researcher Dr Anya Cheng (Ellen Wu) realise, human consciousness, prone to fragmented delusions, cannot always be relied upon and a spot of reverse neural engineering is sometimes necessary to avert a psychological short circuit. When you’re up against a dodgy corporation, a mysterious Super Mind and the beckoning Abyss of Consciousness, who you gonna call? The Dream Raider Special Task Force, obviously. In Connected on Netflix, Latif Nasser presents science at its most accessible Latif Nasser is what many might call a nerd. With his Art Garfunkel hair, owlish spectacles and wide-eyed wonder at the world around him, the journalist and TED-talker is the face of six-part Netflix documentary series Connected , which begins with its own take on sinister manipulation – not intracranial, but related to that modern-day scourge, surveillance. Being captured by the prying eye of a security camera every time we step out is one obvious way in which we’re all connected, our features grabbed and filed away for possible use in evidence against us. But it’s not just Uygurs , as highlighted here, whose looks and movements are being recorded – other hapless millions of people willingly surrender themselves to Big Brother, says Nasser, through their obsession with frighteningly obtrusive dating apps . It’s not all threatening, however: facial-recognition technology (predictably a military creation) is also promoting closer human-animal understanding in ways that benefit our increasingly burdened planet. All that comes in part one – and the enthusiastic, engaging Nasser, presenting popular science at its most accessible, is just warming up. His hidden world of unexpected connections links the recently commemorated horrors visited on Hiroshima and Nagasaki with the creation of the Moon, and even with forged paintings. It reveals the relationships between airborne Saharan dust and Caribbean hurricane strength; shows how numerical probability brings together music composition and tax returns; and presents the interminable fight to the death of bacteria and viruses. That battle royal features in the instalment titled “Poop”, in which Nasser finds that faeces, rather than something to be sniffed at, constitutes “a lens through which to see the world”, disclosing all manner of information about us, from the historical health of our guts to the potentially depressive effect of Brexit on Londoners’ mental health. Inquisitive, believe-it-or-not-style series have seldom been so catholic or intriguing. Connected : it’s the sh*t.