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The Genius of Invention

Thu Jan 24, 9-10pm, BBC2

Bella Falk
Episode one
Putting down his scalpel, and picking up an industrial turbine fastener, physician-presenter Michael Mosley recounts the history of British engineering in this four-part series. By his side are ‘nerdy but nice’ industrial archaeologist Cassie Newland and ‘colourful’ (read ‘pink floral shirted’) professor of engineering Mike Miodownik. Tonight’s subject: power, which suits our beaming 1,000-watt hosts just fine. Fun facts abound as they retrace the story of British power from the earliest steam pumps to North Yorkshire’s Drax Power Station, which today provides electricity to 6 million homes. But wonky production values, a surfeit of wacky enthusiasm and a set that looks like some kind of post-industrial ‘Fraggle Rock’ all combine to make ‘The Genius of Invention’ feel more suited to CBBC than BBC2. Next up, engines. No word yet on whether a certain Thomas co-presents.