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Seven Wonders Of The Industrial World [DVD]
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Robert Lindsay presents this documentary which reveals the truth behind some of the epic monuments of the Industrial Revolution. Monuments looked at include the Brooklyn Bridge, the Panama Canal, the Great Ship, the Bell Rock Lighthouse, the Hoover Dam, the Transcontinental Railroad and the Sewer King.
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Top Customer Reviews
Normally I'm not a fan of documentaries that feature "reconstructions", usually by dodgy actors with sub-standard props and inept scripts, and I watched the first episode almost by accident. However, within minutes I was hooked.
The documentaries take the form of re-enactments, beautifully realized, of actual events, based on the diaries, newspaper reports and records of the times. The actors are uniformly excellent - Robert Cavanah, Ron Cook, Mark McGann and Jay Benedict in particular stick in the memory - and the stories that unfold are nothing less than jaw-dropping.
From the beginning-to-end disaster that was the Great Eastern (which effectively killed Brunel) through the magnificent Bell Rock Lighthouse, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Hoover Dam, the Panama Canal and the Trans-Continental railway to Bazalgette's London Sewers (not recommended lunch-time viewing by the way), this gripping series will open your eyes to the pure wonder of constructions we now tend to take for granted. The phenomenal and inspiring vision of the engineers (often in the face of a disbelieving establishment), the cost in human life, the privations, the disasters and the triumphs ... they're all here, with no punches pulled.
The whole thing is held together by Robert Lindsay's measured and intelligent narration - never intrusive, beautifully delivered.
The BBC took an expensive gamble with the making of this series ... but it paid off.
Highly recommended for both the casual viewer and the more serious student of the Industrial Age.
For those who are interested in how the great engineers of yesteryear built their amazing projects, these seven 'wonders' are compulsive viewing. The story from the beginning to the end is woven with intrigue, danger, personal sacrfice but the biggest battles are against nature itself.
Seven Wonders of The Industrial World is rivetting and won't fail to impress. The Seven Wonders are...
The Great Ship - Isambard Kingdom Brunel
The Brooklyn Bridge
Bell Rock Lighthouse
The Sewer King - London's sewer system
The Panama Canal
The Hoover Dam
The Line - The building of the railway, from coast to coast, in the US.
The main reason this series works so well is that not only are the events fascinating in themselves, but they are all also great stories in their own right, especially the Transcontinental Railroad episode, which covers two seperate stories of how it was built with plenty of details ranging from exploiting Chinese migrants to skirmishes with Native Americans who's land the line is being built across (and the subsequent crackdown on the tribes involved). The episodes based on the Great Eastern and London Sewers are also great pieces of television.
As well as the story themselves being interesting, the acting is a level above what you'd expect from drama-documentary, Ron Cook's portrayal of Brunel in the Great Eastern episode being a particular highlight.
Whilst the series might not appeal to everyone due to the historical content (or an hour devoted to cholera epidemics and sewers, built by the great-great-grandfather of the man who brought us Big Brother, which at the very least deserves points for the irony), it deserves to be seen.
My personal favourite story is the Bell Rock Lighthouse - the story of one man's struggle to overcome the elemental forces of nature and save future generations of sailors from a watery grave. The story is brought to life using modern camera techniques and a very cinematic script full of surprises, achievements, and tragedy. This is so well done that at some point you have to remind yourself that this is not some fantasy story from the pen of Catherine Cookson but rather a true life story carried out by men from a generation where heroism and suffering were the norm and where personal achievements were measured by their ability to conquer the hitherto unimaginable to to leave something permanent for future generations.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This was a present for my husband who is a engineer, so these DVD's are very interesting for him.Published 1 month ago by M J Heins
All the drama/documentaries are well acted and content very interesting/eductional.Published 17 months ago by Linda M Duncan