Channel 5 Provides UK Web Users with Free Coverage of Beat the Ancestors
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Modern day technology experts attempt to recreate and improve the machines that made history. Watch on Channel 5
Viewers can turn back time as they watch presenter Dick Strawbridge challenge teams of engineers to rebuild some of the most impressive machines in history.
The engineers have to use their knowledge to improve the machines they must recreate.
Time and again, viewers see how ancient machines work as the best of modern minds struggle to beat the ingenuity which is being shown in these historical items.
The engineers get to work on a range of interesting machines such as a fire boat from the Byzantine era, a medieval machine gun, a Gothic mega crane and Roman war machines.
The concept behind the programme is that experts in their fields can celebrate how our ancestors overcame challenges and how their thinking was not only advanced for its time but also how knowledge in the 21st century cannot improve many of these historic artefacts.
The engineers can use materials and designs from the 21st century but most restrict themselves to what our ancestors used in a bid to out-design and out-perform the machines that are several centuries old.
The programme makers make extensive use of CGI to illustrate how the machines were designed and built and, more importantly, who they changed history.
Modern-day engineers have to grapple with the original blueprints; original materials and can only bring modern insights to the challenge.
They have just three days to recreate the machine they have been tasked with before it is put through a number of tests to check how their creation compares with the original. It often looks as if the team will fail in their task as they struggle to replicate the machine but inevitably, after many arguments, they do put together a working machine.
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