Robbie Coltrane as Presenter

Episodes 6

November 9, 1997

Continuing his journey through engineering history, Robbie Coltrance traces the development of the jet engine from its humble wartime inception to its role in revolutionising international travel and modern warfare.

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November 16, 1997

In the first programme, Robbie Coltrane turns his attention to James Watt’s invention, the steam engine, tracing its development in a journey that takes him from Loch Lomond in Scotland to Bulawayo in Zimbabwe.

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November 23, 1997

Robbie Coltrane traces the development of the small but noisy two-stroke engine. Its cheap simplicity helped to rebuild the ailing postwar economy in East Germany with the production of the Trabant but in the west it was mainly used for leisure in such machines as lawnmowers, snowmobiles, model planes and boats.

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November 30, 1997

Robbie Coltrane turns his attention to the diesel engine, known as the workhorse of the world. He charts the story of the maverick inventor, Rudolf Diesel, who was driven to commit suicide by his creation and, through visits to a Cornish lighthouse, an apple farm in Oregon and a disco in Zimbabwe, he examines the rise of this economical hard-working engine.

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December 7, 1997

Robbie Coltrane continues his journey through 20th Century engineering by examining the engine that changed the course of motoring and military history: the supercharger. Travelling from the wilds of Scotland to the famous N?rburgring race track in Germany, Coltrane charts the development of the supercharger from its motor-racing origins to the vital role it played in the battle for air supermeacy in World War II and beyond.

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December 14, 1997

The development of the V8 engine, from its origins in the Cadillac through its use by Ford during the Depression to its place in US motorsport.

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