TV Highlights

The Underwater Dream Machine

PBS America - 7.50pm

Who's in it?

Fancy a dip? Peter Robbins certainly does, but instead of stepping into his favourite bathers, he’ll be clambering inside a home-made submarine. As you do.

In a nutshell

You know how we have ridiculous dreams when we’re kids? Like, say, becoming Han Solo when you grow up (not an astronaut, actual Han Solo). Or perhaps living in a house made entirely of Wotsits. OK, perhaps your dream wasn’t quite as silly as that, but we’ll wager it was considerably more sensible than building your very own submarine to plumb the ocean depths. Well, that’s what entrepreneur Peter Robbins decided to do, almost bankrupting himself in the process. It cost him a whopping £1 million – but was it worth it?

This documentary tells the impressive and eccentric saga, detailing how Robbins used scrap metal and stuff bought from shops to cobble together a rather sleek and sexy looking submarine. His big idea was to use his sub to find… other subs. Especially the wrecks of subs, including German U-boats from the war. His aim is to use Alicia – that’s his contraption – to take tourists on scenic underwater tours, but first up he’s got to find out if Alicia actually takes well to the water. Best pack a life jacket and some snorkelling gear, eh.

What's the verdict?

Some entrepreneurs and techies use their skills to make billions with clever apps. But it’s much more fun when they decide to chase improbable dreams instead. Let’s hope the water’s lovely.

Record The Underwater Dream Machine now on Virgin TV Anywhere

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07-07-2011