I enjoyed the original Channel 4 broadcast of these episodes around 1997 so much; I bought the video and the accompanying book. I've watched the video so often that I was quietly excited when the DVD was finally launched. Robbie follows the development and use of engines that have changed our world.
Robbie is, as always, brilliant. His graphic and sometimes comical explanations of how things work are a revelation. For example, the way that he uses different pots to describe how a triple expansion steam engine works is fantastic. Added to this, some of the commentaries you hear are little gems. Talking about the development of the supercharger on Tim Birkenshaws Bentley, Robbie quips that "although she (his sponsor) gave him a blower, he never came first..." Robbie clearly enjoys the engines that he is exploring and this comes though in the filming.
Unfortunately, the final editing of these six episodes is a bit of a disappointment. The editors have removed the opening title sequences and replaced them with "stills". Additionally, the final credits have also been removed. So there are times when you're sat watching nothing. I also noticed that the headers that tell you where you are, or who Robbie is talking to, have been deleted. The final episode (the jet engine) has the impression of being rushed through the editing stages - to the extent that the "stop watch" timers haven't been removed in places.
I would have liked to see "extras" in the DVD such as out-takes and so on but all you get on this edition is the six episodes.
Overall, if you can live with the poor editing workmanship, this is still a fascinating and enjoyable delve into mechanics and engineering.