Ziya Tong previews annual event for Daily Planet
To iron one’s clothes is human. To don Iron Man’s suit? Pretty much divine.
Viewers will get a peek at exactly how divine on Daily Planet’s annual High Tech Toys Week, airing weeknights through to Dec. 11 on Discovery Channel.
Among the stories featured is that of extreme costumer Thomas DePetrillo, who crafted the Hulkbuster suit Robert Downey Jr.’s character wore in The Avengers 2: Age of Ultron.
It took DePetrillo 1,600 hours over two years to get it right — all told, it’s nine-and-a-half feet tall, 44 inches thick, weighs 95 pounds and takes 20 minutes to put on.
“We follow him through the making of this suit. He can get inside of it, walk on stilts and have control of the arms and there are even lasers coming out of his eyes,” says Daily Planet co-host Ziya Tong.
“He’s even built it so it has sound effects — each step rings out at eight times the volume of a normal footstep. It’s a very high-priced high-tech toy, because it’s $60,000 so it’s really not going to be under anyone’s Christmas tree.”
The former Vancouverite, who was previously a host and field producer for PBS’s Wired Science, developed a curiosity about the world and how it works when she was 21, on her first trip to Africa.
“It was the same year that I met Jane Goodall,” she says. “I went to a lecture that she was speaking at, and she was talking about the wonders of chimpanzee behaviour and saving their habitat. I’ve had this really deep love for nature and wildlife and all the science of the wonder behind it ever since.”
Tong joined Daily Planet in 2008, and enjoys a friendly rivalry with her co-host Dan Riskin.
“I think we absolutely get along, because we’re both just endlessly curious people — but we’re curious about different things. I think there’s a wonderful interchange and play that takes place. It’s kind of like having a brother-sister relationship, kicking each other around but in a fun way.”