In this new series, Chris Barrie seeks out the great British machines that have changed peopleGÇÖs lives and helped shaped Britain as we know it today. Chris tells the stories of these mechanical icons with passion, wit and a great deal of expertise. Tackling the subject one decade at a time, Chris puts the engineering achievements of each era into the context of the bigger picture of British history. Episodes include 1930s, 1950s, 1960s and 1980s. 1930s: The Road To War Chris Barrie drives an A4 Gresley the worldGÇÖs fastest steam locomotive and takes a flight in a Dragon Rapide, one of the first airliners, as he seeks out the greatest British machines of the 1930s. This was the dawn of mass production in Britain and an era of fantastic speed machines and in this episode Chris investigates how the great engineering feats of the decade helped Britain prepare for war. Chris also takes the original 1930s driving test in one of BritainGÇÖs first mass GÇôproduced cars and finds out how the lessons learned by Morris were put to use to mass produce one of the fastest tanks of WWII - the Crusader. He drives a Sentinel steam lorry used for the massive road building programme of the day and finds out how the Schneider Trophy winning Supermarine S6-B laid the groundwork for BritainGÇÖs war-winning Spitfire. 1950s: A New World Order Chris Barrie takes a Routemaster bus down to his local skidpan and fires up a Vulcan bomber as he investigates the stories behind the greatest British Machines of the 1950s. This was an era in which Britain was determined to remain a world leader in engineering and a military power in a new world order dominated by the Cold War superpowers. Chris takes the controls of a Deltic Diesel locomotive as he finds out how wartime technology and materials were used to build groundbreaking new machines. He visits the Lovell Telescope to find out how a peaceful post-war radio telescope became embroiled in the Cold War. He re-visits the superb but ultimately doomed design of the world first jet airliner before taking to the original GÇ£JungleGÇ¥ Test Track with one of the BritainGÇÖs greatest international successes, the Land Rover. 1960s: Revolution By Design Chris Barrie relives the Monte Carlo rally at the wheel of a Mini Cooper and recalls Sir Ranulph Fiennes exploration of the Nile by hovercraft as he enjoys the greatest British Machines of the 1960s. This was a decade of revolutions and BritainGÇÖs best designers and engineers werenGÇÖt going to be left out. Chris gets his hands on some revolutionary trucks, charts the birth of the white van man and investigates the secrets of the iconic Post Office Tower. And in honour of the launch and raging success of Miss World, Chris organises his own Miss World competition GÇô for beautiful Sixties sports cars. 1980s: The Future Has Landed Chris Barrie takes a ride in a 'Back to the Future' DeLorean DMC and revisits the critical battles of the Falklands War as he seeks out the greatest British Machines of the 1980s. This was the decade in which Britain bounced back from a decade of oil crises, strikes and the decline of traditional manufacturing industries, embracing computerisation, electronics and new materials. Chris tells stories of machines that were ahead of their time including SinclairGÇÖs unforgettable C-5 and gets hands on with some high performance cars that came out of an emerging industry in which Britain was taking a world lead GÇô motorsport.
National Geographic: Britain's Greatest Machines - Series 1
Take a look at the engineering feats that shaped the 20th century