James May's 20th Century

Season 1
 (49)7.720137+
James May revisits the 20th century to discover how innovations changed the way we live today. With his trademark curiousity, insight, and wit, he shows how new technologies have revolutionized every aspect of our lives.
Starring
James May
Genres
DocumentarySpecial Interest
Subtitles
English [CC]
Audio languages
English
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  1. 1. Honey, I Shrunk the World
    July 10, 2007
    29min
    7+
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    May concludes that the major breakthroughs in transportation over the last 100 years shrunk the world not by allowing us to see more of it, but--thanks to television, computers, and fiber optic cable--by increasingly bringing it to us.
  2. 2. Blast Off!
    July 10, 2007
    29min
    7+
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    May reruns the 20th century's space races. He begins with the V2 rockets that the Nazis launched on London and moves on to the rocket rivalry between Russia and America. All the while, he asks, was it all really worth it?
  3. 3. Body Fantastic
    July 17, 2007
    29min
    7+
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    May examines how we can correct and compensate for medical problems, such as missing limbs or defective hearts. In the process, he shows that we can now defy the hand we were dealt at birth and, by unraveling our DNA, discover who we really are.
  4. 4. Take Cover!
    July 17, 2007
    29min
    7+
    Subtitles
    English
    Audio languages
    English
    May tracks developments in the 20th century's most deadly form of warfare, aerial warfare, from the earliest reconnaissance planes and WWI dogfighters to the Royal Air Force's latest supersonic jet.
  5. 5. Inventing the Teenager
    July 24, 2007
    29min
    7+
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    What spawned teenagers? Was it the nylon-inspired fashion revolution, crystal radio, vinyl records, the first Japanese motorcycle, or the electric guitar? May sets out to discover how, during the 20th century, the teenager emerged as a distinct entity.
  6. 6. Big City, Bright Lights
    July 24, 2007
    29min
    7+
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    How did we construct skyscrapers that appear to defy gravity? Why is an electrician from Newcastle the unsung hero behind our 24-hour lifestyle? And what motivates May to drop a Mini Cooper on a plate-glass window?
  7. 7. Come Fly With Me
    This video is currently unavailable
    August 4, 2013
    60min
    NR
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    What's the best way to beat the traffic? The most obvious solution is to fly above it all. May examines the most efficient means of getting from A to B, from the rocket belt and the sky car to teleportation and the once top-secret Soviet-era "Caspian Sea Monster."
  8. 8. Man-Machine
    This video is currently unavailable
    August 4, 2013
    59min
    NR
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    May goes on a quest for a better robot: a hybrid with the intelligence of a human and the brawn of a machine. He meets a mechanically assisted superwoman and a freaky android double, comes face-to-face with a robot that can think for itself, and is transformed into an avatar, a digital representation of himself.
  9. 9. Power to the People
    This video is currently unavailable
    August 4, 2013
    59min
    NR
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    How can we satisfy the world's insatiable appetite for energy-and find a source that is cheap, clean, and will never run out? May visits inventors all over the world who believe they can accomplish all four by capturing the power of sun, sea, and wind. Some claim they can even create fuel out of thin air.

More details

Directors
Simon BakerPaul KingMilla Harrison-HansleyHelen ThomasClaudine King-DabbsDan Walker
Producers
Mark JacobsPhil Dolling
Season year
2013
Network
Acorn Media
Purchase rights
Stream instantly Details
Format
Prime Video (streaming online video)
Devices
Available to watch on supported devices

Other formats

Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars

49 global ratings

  1. 91% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 9% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 0% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 0% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 0% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

MATZReviewed in the United States on January 4, 2015
4.0 out of 5 stars
A Likable Chap in a Likewise Show.
Verified purchase
Interesting series hosted by the third Top Gear gear-head, James May. Humorous and informative program about pop culture with a fairly good quality presentation. It reminded me of May's solo bits while in Top Gear episodes, expanded into a full-length program.
Worth a look.
One person found this helpful
JackieTReviewed in the United States on August 15, 2015
4.0 out of 5 stars
History made Fun!
Verified purchase
This is James May (Top Gear) doing what he likes best, presenting history in a lively and interesting format. Program is designed for highschool level of interest. Good show for general viewer as well.
MoburnerReviewed in the United States on December 28, 2015
5.0 out of 5 stars
Mr. May should be OBE; what's the hold-up ...
Verified purchase
Mr. May should be OBE; what's the hold-up? This is well-produced, informative and entertaining as hell. May I have some more, please?
Henry O. SlackReviewed in the United States on July 27, 2016
5.0 out of 5 stars
I will watch James May read the phone book.
Verified purchase
Luckily he finds a lot more interesting topics to teach us about. James May is the best documentary presenter of all time.
2 people found this helpful
Andy BushReviewed in the United States on August 31, 2017
5.0 out of 5 stars
Five Stars
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Brilliant and different, informative and fun
WolfwerkReviewed in the United States on August 17, 2013
4.0 out of 5 stars
My kind of Boring
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James May is my kind of Boring. He always gives too much information, just the way I like it. Bravo. Wish the format were longer.
4 people found this helpful
Steve in ManhattanReviewed in the United States on May 3, 2015
4.0 out of 5 stars
Fantastic
Verified purchase
I will watch anything James May does - the toy program, the wine and beer programmes with Oz Clarke, the man cave shows. He's the best of the Top Gear presenters.
MaryReviewed in the United States on August 16, 2015
5.0 out of 5 stars
Great Series
Verified purchase
Love it, very entertaining and informative. Anything James May does is interesting. I wish Amazon would put his Man Lab series on instant video.
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