Janice Hadlow announces year-long celebration of inventions on BBC Two

Next year, viewers will be treated to an outstanding collection of programmes, led by dynamic BBC presenters and experts looking at just how influential the British genius of inventions has been on the modern world.”Janice Hadlow, Controller, BBC Two
Date: 23.08.2012     Last updated: 18.03.2014 at 18.15
Category: BBC Two; Factual
In 2013, BBC Two will look back over the history of British inventions with a major year-long celebration of inventiveness and ingenuity.

The Genius Of Invention encompasses programmes from history, science, documentaries and the arts, exploring the lasting influence of Britain’s scientific and engineering history.

Janice Hadlow, Controller, BBC Two, says: “This has been an extraordinary year for programmes across the BBC with the Olympics and Jubilee really bringing the nation together. Looking forward to 2013 we challenged ourselves to continue this commitment to high quality, engaging and celebratory programmes on BBC Two. Without doubt, Britain has played a pivotal role in industrial and technological inventions throughout history. Next year, viewers will be treated to an outstanding collection of programmes, led by dynamic BBC presenters and experts looking at just how influential the British genius of inventions has been on the modern world.”

Martin Davidson, Commissioning Editor, History and Business, says: “There’s a real breadth and depth of programmes on the standout moments of Britain’s industrial heritage, from the world-changing Industrial Revolution, to the lifespan of the Flying Scotsman and a grisly case of murder on the Victorian Express. There’s plenty to come throughout the year, with special editions of Horizon, Dragons’ Den, QI and Stephen Fry on Planet Stuff in the Autumn.”

BBC Two’s Genius Of Invention kicks-off with two programmes exploring the history of inventions and how these came to have a lasting effect on modern life. In The Power Of Inventions (w/t), Michael Mosley, assisted by a team of experts, examines ground-breaking inventions and looks at how their development set in motion waves of technological innovation that shaped modern society. In Industrial Revolution (w/t), historian Professor Jeremy Black journeys through one of the world’s most revolutionary periods and charts the unique economic, social and political conditions that allowed 19th century Britain to become the richest, most powerful nation on Earth.

In the spring there will be a collection of programmes shining the spotlight on British rail. In Railways: How Steam And Iron Changed The World (w/t), Dan Snow charts the history of British Rail from its 19th century birth to its apogee at the outbreak of the Second World War, and The Flying Scotsman (w/t) marks the 90th anniversary of the iconic London-Edinburgh locomotive. Network Rail (w/t) offers an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at Britain's rail network, and Murder On The Victorian Express (w/t) tells the story of the first ever murder of a passenger on board a Hackney-bound locomotive on the North London Railway and the huge public response it unleashed.

Later in the year BBC Two will take a closer look at the people behind the inventions, including The Genius Of Josiah Wedgwood (w/t) - the man who revolutionised English pottery; Turner: Man Of Iron (w/t), exploring the artist’s fascination with science and technology and Speed King (w/t) looking at the life and career of 1960s daredevil Donald Campbell. One-off documentary-drama, Feynman And The Challenger (w/t), will chart one American physicist’s determination to reveal the truth behind the 1986 Challenger space shuttle disaster.

Other highlights include a three-part series Hitchhikers (w/t), with Professor Brian Cox travelling the UK introducing his science heroes, recreating their experiments and examining their legacy on their scientific descendants, and a Horizon special with Liz Bonnin presenting a Tomorrow’s World themed programme looking at developments of the future. In The Hairy Bikers: Rebuilding Industrial Britain (w/t), Si and Dave are back on the road visiting heritage clubs bringing past mechanical wonders back to their former glory.

The following are all working titles:

The Power Of Inventions (4x60) was commissioned by Janice Hadlow, Controller, BBC Two and Martin Davidson, Commissioning Editor for History and Business. The series will be executive produced by Dominic Crossley-Holland, Head of History and Business for BBC Productions.

Industrial Revolution (1x60) was commissioned by Janice Hadlow, Controller, BBC Two and Martin Davidson, Commissioning Editor for History and Business. It will be executive produced by Michael Tuft for BBC Productions.

Railways: How Steam And Iron Changed The World (3x60) was commissioned by Janice Hadlow, Controller, BBC Two and Martin Davidson, Commissioning Editor for History and Business. The series will be executive produced by Eamon Hardy for BBC Productions.

The Flying Scotsman (1x60) was commissioned by Janice Hadlow, Controller, BBC Two and Martin Davidson, Commissioning Editor for History and Business. It is a Simon Groom Production for the BBC, and will be executive produced by James Hayes for the BBC.

Network Rail (6x60) was commissioned by Janice Hadlow, Controller, BBC Two and Charlotte Moore, Commissioning Editor, Documentaries. It is a Century Films production for the BBC. The series will be executive produced by Liesel Evans for Century Films and Maxine Watson for the BBC.

Murder On The Victorian Express (1x60) was commissioned by Janice Hadlow, Controller, BBC Two and Charlotte Moore, Commissioning Editor, Documentaries. It is a The Garden productions, and will be executive produced by Magnus Temple for The Garden Productions and Emma Willis for the BBC.

The Genius Of Josiah Wedgwood (1x60) was commissioned by Janice Hadlow, Controller, BBC Two and Mark Bell, Commissioning Editor, Arts. It is a What Larks! production for the BBC and will be executive produced by Claire Whalley for What Larks! and Mark Bell for the BBC.

Turner: Man of Iron (1x60) was commissioned by Janice Hadlow, Controller, BBC Two and Mark Bell, Commissioning Editor, Arts. It is a Fresh One production for the BBC, and will be executive produced by Richard Fell for Fresh One and Mark Bell for the BBC.

Feynman And The Challenger (1x90) was commissioned by Janice Hadlow, Controller, BBC Two and Kim Shillinglaw, Commissioning Editor for Science and Natural History. The series will be executive produced by Mark Hedgecoe for BBC Scotland and Cassian Harrison for the BBC.

Hitchhikers (3x60) was commissioned by Janice Hadlow, Controller, BBC Two and Kim Shillinglaw, Commissioning Editor for Science and Natural History. The series will be executive produced by Andrew Cohen, Head of Science, London Factual Productions for BBC Scotland.

The Hairy Bikers: Rebuilding Industrial Britain (3x60) was commissioned by Janice Hadlow, Controller, BBC Two and Kim Shillinglaw, Commissioning Editor for Science and Natural History. The series will be executive produced by Tom Brisley, Creative Director for Arrow Media and Cassian Harrison for BBC Productions.

Speed King (1x60) was commissioned by Janice Hadlow, Controller, BBC Two and Kim Shillinglaw, Commissioning Editor for Science and Natural History. It is a Tern production for the BBC and will be executive produced by Harry Bell for Tern and Cassian Harrison for the BBC.

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