Skip to Main Content
Skip to Main Navigation
Skip to Footer
Sign in / Register
TV On Demand
Film on TV
Film On Demand
The Genius of Invention
E1 of 4
Video clips are automatically supplied by broadcasters and distributors. RadioTimes.com is not responsible for the clip's contents.
Series 1 - Episode 1
Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Pinterest
Share on Google Plus
Share on Reddit
Email to a friend
What does the name Thomas Newcomen mean to you? Not much, I’ll bet, because he has been shamefully, if not entirely, forgotten. Newcomen was a Devon ironmonger in the early 18th century who designed the first reliable steam engine — a thing of beauty, as we see here — but because James Watt improved the design half a century later, Watt is the name we remember. How their ideas evolved and what they led to (ie the entire Industrial Revolution) is the subject of this wonderfully educational programme.
It comes to us from a suitably beefy location — a room in the colossal Drax power station in Yorkshire, which powers six million homes using ten million tons of coal a year. There, our co-presenters (Michael Mosley is joined by scientists Mark Miodownik and Cassie Newland) draw out the story of steam engines, turbines and electricity via neat experiments (look out for the imploding oil barrel) and some slightly strained banter.
Michael Mosley is joined by academics Mark Miodownik and Cassie Newland to examine the chain of events that leads to innovations that make everyday life easier. The first programme comes from Drax power station in North Yorkshire and focuses on the British inventors who helped build the modern world by understanding, harnessing and using various forms of power - looking in detail at the steam engine, the electrical generator and the steam turbine.
Full Episode Guide
Michael Mosley is my Justin Bieber
I want to know things and if Michael Mosley, with his very attractive forearms and tantalisingly unbuttoned shirt, is telling me about them, then so much the better...
Michael Mosley reveals how he became a diet guru
How Britain can make the most of science
James Dyson: "The government must recommit itself to engineering and science at university"
The 50 greatest British inventions
What is the greatest British invention?
Amazon Black Friday 2017 – the best discounts, deals and special offers right now
Peter Kay confirms Car Share will return in 2018
What are you most looking forward to in the Doctor Who Christmas special?
The Doctors clash in new Doctor Who Christmas special clip