I’m watching a great new show on the National Geographic HD Channel: World’s Toughest Fixes. The first two eps tonight detailed replacing an 80-ton turbine in a nuclear power plant and fixing a damaged 767 jetliner.
I’m fascinated by almost everything involved in making, running, and fixing really big machines, but what sets this show apart from the average big machines show is the host. In addition to being a personable, eloquent young man, Sean Riley is a master rigger, and unlike a lot of hosts of similar shows he knows enough to actually lend a hand with some of the tasks he’s covering. Kind of like Mike Rowe on Dirty Jobs, but with more expertise.
One thing I really like about the show is that Riley takes the opportunity to explain some of the basic physics of what’s going on. That makes the show more intelligent and interesting to me.
Another show I’ve been enjoying is Stories from the Vaults on the Smithsonian HD Channel. Actor Tom Cavanaugh (formerly of the sitcom Ed) takes a look through the Smithsonian Institution’s collection. As a former Smithsonian employee, I’ve enjoyed seeing some of my old stomping grounds and some old friends, but what really makes this show fun is Cavanaugh’s sense of humor. The show is a deft blend of information and fun.
I recommend both. World’s Toughest Fixes’ regular time is 10 pm Wednesdays on Nat Geo. Stories from the Vaults is all over the schedule. Check your listings.