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JAMES MAY'S 20TH CENTURY

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JAMES MAY'S 20TH CENTURY + James May's Man Lab - Series 1 + James May's Man Lab Series 2
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Editorial Reviews

Top Gear host explores the innovations that made the modern era

"Infectiously enjoyable" —London Evening Standard (U.K.)
"Entertaining and informative" —The Observer (U.K.)

"A gleeful bombardment of boyish whizz-bangs" —The Sunday Telegraph (U.K.)

Top Gear’s James May revisits the 20th century to discover how inventors and their innovations changed the way we live today. With his trademark curiosity, insight, and wit, he shows how new technologies have revolutionized every aspect of our lives—how we made the world smaller, conquered space, improved our bodies, modernized warfare, built our cities, and created the teenager. In this engaging and entertaining six-part series, May travels from continent to continent, as well as back in time, to learn how we enhanced the world around us and improved ourselves.


Special Features

BONUS FEATURES
  • James May’s Big Ideas, a 180-minute bonus program
  • 12-page viewer’s guide with a timeline of inventions and articles on the decades of the 20th century, predictions for the century and their outcomes, and 100 years of wacky inventions
  • James May biography
  • Plus discussion questions at athenalearning.com
Television presenter, journalist, and author James May is best known for his role on the BBC’s international phenomenon Top Gear. May has presented documentaries on a variety of subjects, including James May’s Toy Stories and James May on the Moon.

SDH subtitles

Product Details

  • Actors: James May
  • Directors: Simon Baker, Claudine Dabbs, Milla Harrison, Paul King, Helen Thomas
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Athena
  • DVD Release Date: July 17, 2012
  • Run Time: 174 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B007TSV4MO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #146,636 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Harold Wolf TOP 50 REVIEWER on June 2, 2012
Format: DVD
UK again proves capacity to entertain through documentary. Laugh while you learn.
SUBTITLES provided. Bonus features longer than the feature episodes. 354 minutes total, that's almost 6 hours US time. James May is hilarious, looks into areas we've all wondered about since childhood. Plenty of humor is added by May while the viewer is enjoyably educated on topics. A history lesson into discovery and adventure, the goofy J. May way. He tries almost anything.--he's no coward.

20th CENTURY:
Ep 1 Honey, I Shrunk the World
________ Transatlantic flight would shrink the world. See the less than perfect beginnings of air travel. Then it's off to the early auto day-trip. Ford (US), Cortina (UK), and early filming (news) & of course TV.
===2 Blast Off
________ Astronauts had to wait on rocket tech. See the progress--beginning with the V-2 & Nazis attacking UK, but the real beginning was in 1910, with Robt Goddard. Then Sputnik (Russia) challenged USA. Hubble expanded the universe.
===3 Body Fantastic
________ A pushing of the human body- and physical alterations. J. May looks closely at centrifugal g force; deep sea diving; heart pump surgery; artificial limbs; brain scan; and DNA.
===4 Take Cover!
________ War inventions challenge James' curiosity. Camouflage-- human to large ships. Tanks, largely obsolete. James rides an RAF top supersonic fighter. Barf.
===5 Inventing the Teenager
________ Teens developed thanks to clothing; beginning with nylon (1940). Teens grasp technology. Onward to radio, rock `n roll on vinyl discs, & transistors which altered radio and today's techy teens.
===6 Big City, Bright Lights
________ Metro- "a new way of living." Manhattan, an island must be built upward. Woolworth steel structure paved the way up.
Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jason G. Gauthier on March 21, 2013
Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
I must admit I have a bit of a "man crush" on James May. Love him in Top Gear, Man Lab, 20th Century, Toy Stories, etc. Of the three Top Gear presenters, I find May's writing style the most enjoyable, providing both humorous automotive and social commentary. May also appears to be the most widely studied of the three when it comes to all things motor related. From cars to trains, to airplanes, to children's toys. In this companion to the BBC's "James May's 20th Century," May demonstrates his knowledge of technology examining the history and social consequences of many of the technologies we take for granted. In doing so, he offers a well-written, fun to read, and humorous historical lesson. Thank you James May!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Wolfwerk on August 17, 2013
Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
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.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Bruce N. Lieb on May 30, 2013
Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
As the son of a Brit I have always enjoyed British Television. James May is known around the world not only as a presenter on Top Gear UK, but for many other T.V. endeavors, from "Man Lab", to James May's Toy Stories", etc. James May is known for his thirst for knowledge and his great ability to share that knowledge with the world in an interesting and factual manner. James May's 20th Century takes the origins of the greatest inventions of the century and breaks them down into detail. For an anglophile such as myself, I am drawn by his British wit, humor, and knowledge of all things 20th Century. A very interesting show.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Harold Wolf TOP 50 REVIEWER on February 5, 2013
UK again proves capacity to entertain through documentary. Laugh while you learn.
SUBTITLES provided. Bonus features longer than the feature episodes. 354 minutes total, that's almost 6 hours US time. James May is hilarious, looks into areas we've all wondered about since childhood. Plenty of humor is added by May while the viewer is enjoyably educated on topics. A history lesson into discovery and adventure, the goofy J. May way. He tries almost anything.--he's no coward.

20th CENTURY:
Ep 1 Honey, I Shrunk the World
________ Transatlantic flight would shrink the world. See the less than perfect beginnings of air travel. Then it's off to the early auto day-trip. Ford (US), Cortina (UK), and early filming (news) & of course TV.
===2 Blast Off
________ Astronauts had to wait on rocket tech. See the progress--beginning with the V-2 & Nazis attacking UK, but the real beginning was in 1910, with Robt Goddard. Then Sputnik (Russia) challenged USA. Hubble expanded the universe.
===3 Body Fantastic
________ A pushing of the human body- and physical alterations. J. May looks closely at centrifugal g force; deep sea diving; heart pump surgery; artificial limbs; brain scan; and DNA.
===4 Take Cover!
________ War inventions challenge James' curiosity. Camouflage-- human to large ships. Tanks, largely obsolete. James rides an RAF top supersonic fighter. Barf.
===5 Inventing the Teenager
________ Teens developed thanks to clothing; beginning with nylon (1940). Teens grasp technology. Onward to radio, rock `n roll on vinyl discs, & transistors which altered radio and today's techy teens.
===6 Big City, Bright Lights
________ Metro- "a new way of living." Manhattan, an island must be built upward. Woolworth steel structure paved the way up.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By ARWoollock on August 10, 2010
Format: DVD
Interesting, Informative, Entertaining AND Educational!

I seldom give five stars, because five means perfect and not much in life is, nature by definition is imperfect, so to assess something as perfect is to essentially defy nature. That said, this DVD is absolute excellence. As the title infers it touches all bases; it is interesting, informative, entertaining and above all educational! Something which seems like a bit of a relic in today's world of reality television, cheap budgets and the lowest common denominator.

This DVD shows the world what is possible IF you want to make great television. And what's more it shows you what ingredients are REALLY important in great television - producers everywhere sit up and take note. What this series has is: passion, enthusiasm, a great idea and an outstanding presenter. Full marks to Mr. May, who clearly demonstrates he is much more than Jezzer's chopping board. It is the combination of these elements which makes truly outstanding television, something which is in parallel to great film, not an unfashionable second or half-cousin to be ashamed of.

One thing that I found enthralling was how INTERESTING this was, the antithesis of most primary and secondary education - arguably the target audience. If one compares most of the British educational experience, post-war one can see how far off track they have gone. Moving away from the fundamental three 'Rs', might be some liberal hippy's wet-dream, but in the end it has proved a dead-end at best and a road to the desert at worst.
Read more ›
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