• See full TV Guide
  • Episode 1: 1910's:Triumph & Tragedy

  • Chris Barrie tells the story of a decade of triumphs and tragedies, from the start of mass motoring to the ingenious, deadly machines that first created then broke the stalemate of trench warfare.

  • Episode 2: 1920's

  • Petrol stations sprang up all over Britain in the 1920s. Chris Barrie races petrol-powered vehicles from this era: the Bentley, a Brough Superior motorcycle, the De Havilland Moth plane and more.

  • Episode 3: 1940's - War: Mother Of Invention

  • Britain was ill-prepared for war in the 1940s but Chris Barrie reveals the inventive engineering that turned the tide, from the Blitz' fire fighting vehicles to Britain's first high-speed rescue boat.

  • Episode 4: Trains

  • The 1820s was one of the most revolutionary decades in history. Chris Barrie reveals how, in 10 years, transport evolved from foot and horse to the first passenger railway, forever changing society.

About the Show

British inventions and engineering created much of our modern lives. From the first trains to cars, jet engines to battlefield innovations, even the lawnmower and petrol pumps called "fat ladies" - it's all investigated by enthusiast and TV icon Chris Barrie in the brand new and exclusive series of Britain's Greatest Machines.

Britain's Greatest Machines: 1910s Host Chris Barrie kicks off proceedings with the 1910s - the decade that industrialised the First World War. Chris looks at pre-war inventions, from a three-wheeled Morgan runabout to massive moving bridges, before charting the new weapons, trucks, planes and ships of World War I. Find out how technology changed warfare forever, before seeing Chris climb into the cockpit for an exhilarating flight on the first aircraft to fly across the Atlantic.

Britain's Greatest Machines: 1920s After the horrors of World War I, the 1920s boom-and-bust years were about speed, glamour, and power. But the modern world didn't just exist, it had to be invented. Chris explores the motorbikes, articulated lorries, petrol pumps and planes that came off the drawing board to redefine an exciting new world. See Chris recreate the decade's new obsession with motor racing, and explore the massive building where Britain produced the biggest flying machine the world had ever seen - the R101 airship.

Britain's Greatest Machines: 1940s Roaring into the 1940s Chris finds out there's nothing like a war to create technological change. He mans a fire pump to tackle a Blitz-style blaze and steps into an RAF control centre to discover how radar helped win the Battle of Britain. From spy planes to powerboats, jet engines to shrapnel-proof fire engines, Chris shows how new innovations helped defeat Hitler. But then we needed brand new tractor and car designs to help build the peace that followed...

Britain's Greatest Machines: Trains Grab your anoraks and climb onboard the 1820s, one of the most revolutionary decades in history. In just ten years transportation evolved from foot and horse to the first passenger railway, forever changing British society. Chris follows this breakthrough, heading down a mine to witness rail's beginnings and taking a spin on the Trevithick Puffing Devil - the world's first high-pressure steam engine. Finally, our intrepid presenter climbs on to the footplate of some of the earliest and most famous trains in the world. TV icon and vintage machine enthusiast, Chris Barrie, serves up a big dose of nostalgia in this exclusive series celebrating British design.


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