The American Experience: Season 17, Episode 7

The Great Transatlantic Cable (11 Apr. 2005)

TV Episode  -   -  Documentary | History
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 13 users  
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The story of Cyrus Field and the creation of the transatlantic telegraph line.

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
...
Narrator (voice)
Daniel Czitrom ...
Himself - Historian
Gillian Cookson ...
Herself - Historian
John Steele Gordon ...
Himself - Author of "A Thread Across the Ocean"
Bernard Finn ...
Himself - Smithsonian Institute
Donard De Cogan ...
Himself - Engineer
Colin Hempstead ...
Himself - Engineer
John MacKay ...
Cyrus Field
Michael McColl ...
Voice of Cyrus Field (voice)
Alex Allen ...
Re-enactor
Jonathan Beedell ...
Re-enactor
John Berry ...
Re-enactor
Martyn Bill ...
Re-enactor
Amy Booth ...
Re-enactor
Mark Bryan ...
Re-enactor
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Storyline

The story of Cyrus Field and the creation of the transatlantic telegraph line.

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telegraph | reenactment


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11 April 2005 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
An amazing feat!
3 May 2012 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

Linda Hunt narrates this installment of "The American Experience". It's all about Cyrus Field and his drive to create a telegraph cable to connect North America with Europe. Considering this means laying a cable on the sea floor from Labrador to Ireland (about 2000 miles), this seems like an insanely impossible task. And, it turns out according to this show it was NOT easy and the task was fraught with problems. All in all, it's one of the more technically interesting shows from the series as even today it's hard to imagine such a difficult task. The show features narration, interviews and quite a few recreations with a guy who actually looked a lot like Field. Well done in all respects, this episode will probably appeal most to scientific types, such as engineers, but I enjoyed it as well for addressing a historical topic seldom mentioned otherwise. Very informative and well made.

By the way, it was never mentioned but I wondered if the original copper cable was able to be used for phone calls or just for telegraphs. I assume just telegraphs but no mention was made of this--but the show did say that several more transatlantic cables were later laid.


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