We all know too much television can rot the brain. Our parents told us, and we tell it to our kids. But here are some box sets guaranteed to show television can be a force for good.

1. Anything by David Attenborough
Caitlin Moran describes him as "Nature's granddad, the voice of Earth itself". Whole families stopped and watched together Life on Earth, to marvel at the wonders of the world. And his latest and possibly last series, Frozen Planet, is a stunning global warning. Sir David, our brains say thanks.

2. Almost anything by Sir Robert Winston
The Human Body and Child of Our Time have been favourites around the world for decades. Somehow Sir Robert and his team managed to put cameras where they'd never dared go before. His findings have been astonishing, gobsmacking and startling. Science comes alive in the hands of this man.

3. The Frankincense Trail
The Frankincense Trail is an epic, four-part series, tracing the ancient trade route of Arabia across the amazing modern world of the Middle East. Adventuring presenter Kate Humble follows the 2000-mile trail (established some 5000 years ago) on a quest that'll blow your mind, almost as if you'd gone along for the ride. And it's on screens next month, Living channel, so keep your eyes peeled.