Episode 1 Designer Livynge – In the beginning of the Stuart Period a curious new device appeared, it looks like a church bell but in fact it’s an exercise machine. This machine was one of many trendy new ideas that enhanced the life style of the Stuarts. It was the beginning of designer living. Adam examines the introduction of various inventions essential to our modern quality of life, such as coffee, fabric dieing, exercise machines, as well as the construction of St. Paul’s Cathedral by Sir Christopher Wren.
Episode 2 The Applyance of Science – Before Stuart times the man who really ruled the scientific roost was the Greek philosopher Aristotle, even if he had been dead for 2000 years. But by the 1600s his ideas were becoming discredited and the Stuarts needed a new approach to understanding nature. This episode charts how the birth of the Royal Society marked a shift from ancient Greek and medieval thought to a more modern scientific approach. This revolutionary time heralded the development of physics throughout the 17th century, the beginnings of the steam age, hydrodynamics and aerodynamics, as well as the giant revolution accomplished by that greatest of all Stuarts, Sir Isaac Newton.
Episode 3 The Organysed Isle – Explores how Britain became more organised under the Stuart dynasty. Not only did this period see the inception of public transport, street lighting and the fire brigade, but England and Scotland. Concentrating primarily on social inventions, starting with the activities of Moll Cutpurse, the world’s first highway(wo)man, preying on new lines of communication opened by travel by coach. The creation of Great Britain, invention of fire insurance and firemen, the first banknotes, government bonds, and the Bank of England.
Episode 4 Newe Worldes – Inventions which allowed the Stuarts to explore new worlds. In a Dutch spectacle shop a chap called Zacharias Jantzen looked through two lenses at once and got the shock of his life, he was seeing the world in super close up. Jantzen had made the first microscope, giving the Stuarts a window into an entirely new miniature world. The microscope revealed the existence of miniscule organisms and the diving bell equipped people to find out what lay beneath the sea, while the telescope brought the prospect of space travel and science fiction.