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Shock and Awe: The Story of Electricity

S1-E3 Revelations and Revolutions

S1-E3 Revelations and Revolutions

Tuesday 2:40am - 3am Yesterday
See Repeats
Tuesday, 3:40am - 4am Yesterday +1
Wed 10 May, 9pm - 10pm BBC Four
Thu 11 May, 3am - 4am BBC Four


Cathode ray tubes, valves, microchips, superconductors - inventions come thick and fast, at times bewilderingly so, in the final part of Professor Jim Al-Khalili’s excellent series, which shows how advancements in our understanding of electricity connected the modern world. He leads us along a path from stuffy Victorian lecture halls to the dawn of Silicon Valley, name-checking Hertz and Marconi, and extolling lesser-known figures such as British physicist Oliver Lodge and Indian pioneer Jagadish Chandra Bose, who lost out along the way.

Al-Khalili’s hands-on approach really does inspire the awe promised in the title.


Jim Al-Khalili explains how the study of electric fields and electromagnetic waves led to breakthroughs in communications and broadcasting, creating a world more dependent than ever on electrical power. He also investigates why scientists researching electrical superconductivity believe their work could have far-reaching effects. Last in the series.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Jim Al-Khalili
Director Alex Freeman
Executive Producer Tina Fletcher-Hill
Producer Alex Freeman
Series Producer Steve Crabtree


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