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Chris Barrie returns to our screens in a new series of Britain's Greatest Machines

5th February 2010

Former Red Dwarf star Chris Barrie returns to our screens with a second series of Britain's Greatest Machines. National Geographic brings us the series that is every petrol-head and historian's staple viewing!

The second series takes a chronological look at the machines that shaped modern Britain, starting from 1910 and spanning several decades of the past century.

We're talking about an age when, in a relatively short amount of time, petrol went from being sold in tins at the chemist to being pumped out at garage forecourts. Chris looks at how technology and transport has evolved from the basic pre-war motorcar to post-war motorbikes and cars, and the invention of articulated lorries to provide the necessary petrol for them.

Through the use of life-size replicas, he takes a detailed look at some of the first cars, trains and planes. They may not have looked great, but they were built to last a lifetime.

The first episode is about triumph and tragedy, in a decade that saw the disasters of the Titanic and first world war, but ended with the first successful flight across the Atlantic. Chris charms as he takes the controls of the Middlesbrough transporter bridge, and enthusiastically bites his bottom lip while letting off 200 rounds of Vickers machine gun fire.

This programme is definitely a must-see for any motor enthusiast. If you consider yourself part of the Top Gear generation then you should watch this to find out how it all started. Catch the show on monday nights at 9pm on National Geographic.


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