Seven Wonders Of The Industrial World (2003) BBC

7 Wonders Of The Industrial World: The Bell Rock Lighthouse

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Video Description


The Bell Rock Lighthouse

Robert Stevenson's Bell Rock Lighthouse was created off the east coast of Scotland between 1807 and 1811, when the world was very different from how it is today. Stevenson, the grandfather of Robert Louis Stevenson, had dreamed for years of making his mark on the world, by bringing light to the treacherous Scottish coast. He aimed to take on the most dangerous place of all, the Bell Rock, a large reef 11 miles out to sea, dangerously positioned in the approach to the Firth of Forth.



In 1799, over 70 ships went down in a violent storm that raged along the coast, yet still the authorities opposed his plan. How could anyone build a lighthouse 11 miles out to sea, on a rock that was submerged by up to 16 feet of water for most of the day? Battling against the odds, Stevenson did eventually build his lighthouse, and to this day it shines out across the North Sea, the oldest offshore lighthouse still standing anywhere in the world.

Documentary Description


Seven Wonders of the Industrial World is a BBC docudrama television series that examines seven great feats of engineering that occurred during the Industrial Revolution. Starring Robert Lindsay, the series uncovers the truth behind the epic monuments of the Industrial Revolution, from Isambard Kingdom Brunel's 'great ship' the SS Great Eastern to the Panama Canal that linked the Atlantic and Pacific oceans more than half a century later.



These are stories driven by burning ambition, extravagant dreams, passion and rivalry of great minds. Each film uses dramatic reconstruction to tell a different story. Each film is based on real events and the actors' words are adapted from records of the day. Each ground breaking film explores ways the Industrial Revolution changed the world and reveals how the modern world was forged: In rivets, grease and steam; in blood sweat and human imagination.



This three DVD set contains all seven films : The Great Ship; The Brooklyn Bridge; The Bell Rock Lighthouse; The Hoover Dam; Transcontinental Railway; The Sewer King and The Panama Canal which were originally broadcast on BBC Two in 2003.



Introduction



The period of over 125 years from the beginning of the 19th century saw the creation of some of the world's most remarkable feats of engineering. These are now celebrated as great wonders of the world - revealing as much about human creativity and the determination of the human spirit as they do of technological endeavour.



The wonders described here cover a great range. They include Isambard Kingdom Brunel's extraordinary ship - the Great Eastern, sometimes known as the Crystal Palace of the Seas - which its designer hoped would travel between the two farthest ends of the British empire, and the ground-breaking Panama Canal, which linked the Atlantic and Pacific oceans more than half a century later. The slowly evolving industrial revolution was the fertile ground that gave life to these dreams in iron, cement, stone and steel. The pioneers of the age were practical visionaries, seeing beyond the immediate horizon, the safe and the known, as they cut a path to the future. Yet their unique masterpieces could never have been built without an army of unsung heroes, the craftsmen and workers also willing to risk their lives as they laboured to bring each dream to life. Not to mention the financiers and shareholders hanging on for the ride, as reputations were lost and won.



The journey from the oldest 'wonder' described here, the Bell Rock Lighthouse, to the most recent, the Hoover Dam, illustrates the swiftly moving frontiers of technological progress in the 19th century. And each 'wonder' serves as a unique monument, a marker for what was known at the time it was created.



Source: BBC



Awards



* BAFTA Awards 2004

   Nominated: Huw Wheldon Award for Factual Series or Strand

   Nominated: Best Photography (Factual): Mike Spragg



* RTS Television Award 2004

   Nominated: Best Production Design (Entertainment & Non Drama)

   Nominated: Best Science & Natural History

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