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  • Ended
  • BBC Two
  • 2009-10-20T09:00:00+02:00
  • 60 mins
  • 3 hours, 0 mins
  • United Kingdom
  • English
  • Documentary
The stories of Scottish pioneers of commerce and communication and their legacy.

3 episodes

1x01 Blood

  • Series Premiere

    2009-10-20T22:00:00+02:00 — 60 mins

The medical science of the modern world owes a great deal to the achievements of Scottish doctors. From pioneering work on diseases like malaria and tuberculosis; to the development of wonder drugs like penicillin; to revolutionary breakthroughs in pregnancy, cloning and stem cell research, their influence is everywhere. This programme looks at the most significant of these developments over the course of the last three centuries, charting the influence doctors like Alexander Fleming, James Young Simpson, Ronald Ross, and Ian Donald have had on the health of the world, and asking why Scotland has developed such a rich and fascinating medical history. Contributors include Professor Tom Devine.

1x02 Sweat

  • 2009-10-27T22:00:00+01:00 — 60 mins

This episode examines the flowering of Scottish engineering genius that had its roots in the industrial revolution, including how a small length of iron pipe added to the steam engine allowed James Watt to change the world and the forgotten legacy of William Symington, who pioneered steamship technology. There is also a look at the heroic construction of the Bell Rock Lighthouse and the huge legacy of engineer Thomas Telford, plus the wider social, economic and cultural role of these unique breakthroughs.

1x03 Brains

  • 2009-11-03T22:00:00+01:00 — 60 mins

From bank machines to the Bank of England, from telephones to television, the inventions and innovations of Scots have, for better or worse, defined globalisation and changed the way we communicate. From the forgotten 18th-century Scottish banker whose financial experiments caused the first credit crunch, to the eccentric genius behind the first television transmission, the programme examines the extraodrinary stories of Scottish pioneers of commerce and communication and their phenomenal legacy. With contributions from Professor Tom Devine and John Logie Baird's grandson.