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Britain's Greatest Machines Series 1 (DVD Details)

Unique ID Code: 0000129680
Added by: Rich Goodman
Added on: 20/5/2010 14:20
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    Smoke me a kipper, I'm off for a drive...

    8 / 10


    Engineering enthusiast and petrol head Chris Barrie presents Britain's Greatest Machines.

    This 4 part documentary was first shown on the National Geographic channel. Very occasionally I manage to catch some of their documentaries, but there are so many channels nowadays it's hard to catch everything that you want to even with timeshifting technology.

    So it's nice to see series like this out on DVD, as it's the sort of thing that I'd watch. Each episode focuses on the inventions of a different decade, and there are plenty of facts and stories to go round.

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    1930s - The Road to War features an A4 Gresley - the world's fastest steam locomotive, the Dragon Rapide, one of the first airliners, a Sentinel steam lorry and a Supermarine S6-B plane (which laid the groundwork for the Spitfire).

    1950s - A New World Order sees Chris taking a Routemaster bus down to his local skidpan, a Vulcan bomber, a visit to the Lovell Telescope at Jodrell Bank, and a trip round the original "Jungle" test track in an old Land Rover.

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    1960s - Revolution by Design - that 1960s icon the Mini features heavily, along with the Post Office Tower and Chris organises his own Miss World competition - for beautiful sixties sports cars.

    1980s - The Future Has Landed - you could probably guess what you'll see here. The "Back to the Future" DeLorean DMC, the Ford Sierra, the Lotus Esprit Turbo and the Sinclair C-5 all put in an appearance, alongside the Scimitar tank, an icon from the Falklands War.

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    A 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer which is exactly as first broadcast. There's plenty of archive footage where appropriate too, and everything looks fine.

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    A DD2.0 stereo soundtrack, which is just fine.

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    Extra Features


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    If you like machines, engineering, or just looking back at the things that have shaped the world we live in today, then this series is for you. Chris Barrie is an excellent host, he is enthusiastic and knowledgeable and very likeable. Your favourite episode will probably depend on your age. I enjoyed the 1980s and 1960s episodes the most, but I suspect that my dad would probably enjoy the 1950s and 1930s episodes more. There really is something here for every age group, and any children interested in the subject will enjoy looking (and possibly laughing) at the machines that have influenced the lives of their parents and grandparents.

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    There will be plenty of "I had one of them" moments, as well as "I wish I had one of them" (thinking particularly of the Jaguar E-Type). A cracking little series and I'm looking forward to series 2 in July 2010.


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