- 5 Seasons
MegaWorld, a documentary series from Discovery Channel, originally aired in 2006. It examined some of the most innovative and impressive aspects of modern engineering, architecture, and construction around the world, taking an in-depth look at the facilities and structures that enable people to live and work in today's frenzied, interconnected world.
Throughout its eight episodes, MegaWorld explored some of the physical technologies that make modern life possible, as well as some of the social and cultural changes that have arisen as a result of those advancements. Each episode tackled a different topic, whether it be skyscrapers, highways, airports, waterways, tunnels, or even amusement parks. The series' aim was to showcase the astonishing feats of engineering that are required to build and maintain the interconnected networks that support modern economies.
But MegaWorld was not just a series of glossy paeans to technological advancement. In each episode, the show took pains to discuss both the strengths and the weaknesses of the structures and technologies that it showcased. It offered insight into the environmental impact of modern construction and explored some of the ways in which technology is changing our economies and our societies. The overall tone of the program was optimistic, but it was also never blindly so.
One highlight of the series was its approach to presenting the scale of the structures that it featured. Viewers were taken on "virtual tours", in which they could see the insides of skyscrapers or the depths of a tunnel system. These tours were accompanied by easy-to-understand infographics and plenty of commentary from knowledgeable engineers and architects. This approach was particularly effective in helping viewers to grasp just how massive and complex some of these structures really are.
Another strength of MegaWorld was its international focus. The show visited locations all over the world, from Dubai to Japan to Europe to the United States. This meant that viewers were able to see not only the ways in which different cultures approach engineering and architecture, but also the vastly different physical landscapes that these structures exist in. Each episode was accompanied by a detailed map that showed the locations of each featured structure, as well as any necessary geographical context.
One notable episode was "Amusement Parks". This episode took viewers inside some of the world's most thrilling roller coasters and water parks, while also exploring the history and evolution of amusement park technology. In addition to showcasing enormous, dizzying rides, the episode also shed some light on how amusement parks are designed to keep visitors safe, from the physics of coaster design to the strict regulations that govern park operations. The episode demonstrated not just the engineering challenges inherent in amusement rides, but also the challenges of creating a fun and engaging experience for park visitors.
Another standout episode was "Airports", which delved into the inner workings of some of the world's busiest airports. Viewers were treated to a behind-the-scenes look at the logistics of keeping planes running on time, from baggage handling to runway maintenance. The episode also touched on the political and social implications of airports, exploring the economic benefits that go hand-in-hand with air travel, but also the environmental impact of large, sprawling airports.
Overall, MegaWorld was a thoroughly engaging and informative series that presented a fresh and insightful look at the engineering marvels that keep our world spinning. It was not afraid to dive into the nitty-gritty details of construction and design and it never shied away from exploring some of technology's darker implications. For anyone interested in the way modern technology shapes our lives, this is a series that is definitely worth seeking out.
MegaWorld is a series that is currently running and has 5 seasons (22 episodes). The series first aired on February 15, 2008.