How The Victorians Built Britain

Season 2

Season 2, Episode 4 - The Great British Holiday

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Michael discovers how the Victorians not only worked hard but played hard too. Michael is in Blackpool to discover how the seaside mini-break was transformed from perk of the wealthy to a British institution.

Season 2, Episode 3 - Bridging The Nation

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Michael Buerk discovers how the Victorians built the bridges that connected Britain. The story begins with the Ironbridge, creating the foundation for emerging engineering Titans to re-define the concept of a bridge for Victorian era.

Season 2, Episode 2 - Britannia Rules The Waves

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Michael Buerk discovers how the Victorians built the biggest, fastest, most technologically advanced ships in the world and dominated the high seas. He’ll climb aboard HMS Warrior in Portsmouth - Queen Victoria’s flagship warship - to uncover her surprising construction secrets and the powerful ways she kept the peace in i...

Season 2, Episode 1 - The Railway Revolution

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In 1837, the British railway was in its infancy - experimental engines had proven steam trains were a viable option to transport goods and people, but Victorian vision, ingenuity, and determination took a good idea and transformed a nation with it.
Season 1

Season 1 Episode 4 - The Birth Of The Machines

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Michael Buerk looks at the creation of mass manufacturing, which meant that goods could be produced at a rate that had never been seen before. In Manchester, he learns how engineer George Stephenson created the first intercity railway, so that cotton could be transported quickly and cheaply from Liverpool docks to Manchest...

Season 1 Episode 3 - The Making Of The Modern Home

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Presenter Michael Buerk looks at how the Victorians created what is now known as the modern home, exploring the huge rise in house-building during the period. He travels to Fakenham, Norfolk, to visit the last remaining gasworks in England, and discovers how the Victorians mastered the art of producing ‘town gas' from coal...

Season 1 Episode 2 - Saving The Nation's Health

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Michael Buerk looks at the creation of the sewer system, delving into the archives to reveal how appalling sanitary conditions forced the city of Liverpool to take action. He descends underground to see the first ground-breaking sewer for himself, and hears about how the pioneering concept was built.

Season 1, Episode 1 - How Britain Got Moving

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This first episode is about the development of London’s pioneering transport system in the mid-19th century. With the help of contributor Judith Flanders, Michael Buerk paints a vivid picture of the phenomenal chaos and reek of London streets before Charles Pearson had the literally ground-breaking idea of an underground r...
Season 2

Season 2, Episode 8 - The Culture Revolution

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Michael Buerk discovers how the Victorians took on the world of exploration and adventure, and brought it home to Britain for everyone to share. His voyage of discovery begins at the Natural History Museum, where Michael comes face to face with a dinosaur who changed the course of history.

Season 2 Episode 7 - The Great Stink

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Michael discovers how Britain’s first Super Sewer cleaned up the capital and inspired a fresh water revolution that would change the lives of millions of Victorians.