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NOVA: Underwater Dream Machine (2006)

Andreas Sawall  |  NR |  DVD
2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Directors: Andreas Sawall
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: PBS
  • DVD Release Date: March 20, 2007
  • Run Time: 56 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #347,143 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

"Exercise Tiger" was planned as the top-secret rehearsal for D-Day. In early 1944, the United States Army conducted various exercises to prepare for the Normandy invasion at Slapton Sands and nearby Tor Bay in southwest England. "Tiger" was the largest operation of them all. Eight American landing ships packed with men left harbor and anchored in a line offshore to prepare for the next day’s exercise. At 2AM, eight German patrol boats made a surprise attack on the heavily loaded troop transporters, three of which burst into flames. In the worst single military disaster since Pearl Harbor, 749 GIs died that night. The tragedy was kept secret for forty years and those who drowned in agony were forgotten. Now after nearly 60 years, GI veteran Ken Dawson has returned to the Channel and the spot that was very nearly his grave to spotlight this untold story and to uncover the final resting place of his brothers in arms.

Customer Reviews

2.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An episode worth seeing January 21, 2009
First off, I totally disagree with the two previous reviewers about their assessment of this particular NOVA episode. As an engineering technician, I found this project and program to be very intriguing and fascinating to watch. I also learned and came to better appreciate what it takes to design, build, and certify an underwater vessel in order to make it seaworthy.

I particularly thought the approach of using as much off-the-shelf items in the design and fabrication of the sub good engineering practice. (Good engineering practice means that you do all that you can NOT to "reinvent the wheel" because that eats up valuable time and resources.) The one unique and costly item to design and fabricate was the transparent hull, which was the main reason and desire for building the sub in the first place.

If someone has a dream to build something unique that hasn't been built before, and has the money to do underwrite it; more power to him! For me, I actually thought that the background on the entrepreneur himself made the episode more interesting, as it helped me to understand why he was so passionate about wanting to see this project come to fruition.

Anyhow, don't take my word for it. Stop off at your local library or video store, check out "Underwater Dream Machine", and see it for yourself.

I know I'll eventually be adding this episode to my home documentary collection. It will probably sit right next to my other NOVA DVD ("Medieval Siege") about how trebuchets were constructed and used.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Neat sub, but an altogether lacking program... January 5, 2007
By yogi1ab
Sure, if I had 3 million dollars and top engineers at my disposal, I could do some impressive things too. I think his submarine idea has a great deal of merit and potential for the future of scientific study and oceanic understanding, but I question this guy's real motives... To me he just came across as a big-kid toy junkie looking to make a buck. I'm surprised the folks at NOVA didn't do more with oh, I don't know... the SCIENTIFIC angle of this subject, perhaps??? Instead it was much ado about little, and more to do with this guy's ego-based pet project.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Ugh, what a terrible Nova episode. January 5, 2007
By F. Rowe
This was such a dissapointment. While the story does seem to capture the stress and innovation of this creative process, the structure of the storytelling leaves a lot to be desired. The biggest narrative hole was leaving the resolution of the hull leak unexplained. And in the end, all we get to see is the bottom of some murky british coastal waters... zzzz.... I could have just sprayed green paint on my reading glasses and gotten the same effect. Hasn't the sub been taken to more interesting waters? Or did the billionaire's goal merely consist in constructing a groundbreaking machine so that he could then shelve it next to his army tank and other world war memorabilia?
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