Megastructures (TV series)

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Narrated byJonathan Hart, Tom Goodman-Hill, Greg Stebner, Marlon Singleton
Theme music composerDavid Sharp
ComposerStuart Fox (1 episode)
Country of originUS
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons6
No. of episodes100+
ProducerHoff Productions (16 eps)
Running time1-hour (inc. commercials)
Original networkNational Geographic Channel, Channel 5, France 5, 7mate[1]
Original release2004 (2004) –
2009 (2009)

Megastructures is a documentary television series appearing on the National Geographic Channel in the United States and the United Kingdom, Channel 5 in the United Kingdom, France 5 in France, and 7mate in Australia.

Each episode is an educational look of varying depth into the construction, operation, and staffing of various structures or construction projects, but not ordinary construction products.

Generally containing interviews with designers and project managers, it presents the problems of construction and the methodology or techniques used to overcome obstacles. In some cases (such as the Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge and Petronas Towers) this involved the development of new materials or products that are now in general use within the construction industry.

Megastructures focuses on constructions that are extreme; in the sense that they are the biggest, tallest, longest, or deepest in the world. Alternatively, a project may appear if it had an element of novelty or are a world first (such as Dubai's Palm Islands). This type of project is known as a megaproject.

The series follows similar subjects as the History Channel's Modern Marvels and Discovery Channel's Extreme Engineering, covering areas of architecture, transport, construction and manufacturing.


Season 1 (2004)[edit]

# Country Title Subject US airdate Five Co-production airdate
01  United States USS Ronald Reagan Nimitz-class supercarrier for the U.S. Navy — USS Ronald Reagan is a 4.5 billion-dollar Nimitz-class supercarrier. Powered by two nuclear reactors, the 1,100 ft (340 m) long vessel is equipped with all the necessary facilities to house 6,000 personnel and over 80 aircraft. Viewers are given an exclusive look at how the crew of this 'floating naval base' is put through a series of tests in order to obtain their flight deck certification. Take a glimpse at the various facilities on the ship that keep the 6,000-strong crew fed, rested, and entertained. 2004-09-15[2]
02  Germany Autobahn German Autobahnen — What began as a racing track grew into a sophisticated high-speed road system, linking to almost all the major cities in Germany. The Autobahn boasts super thick road beds, 4% or less grades, wide lanes, and utilises sophisticated technology. 2004-10-06[2]
03  United Kingdom
Channel Tunnel Undersea tunnel between Coquelles, France and Folkestone, United Kingdom — The Channel Tunnel or Euro Tunnel is one of the world's longest underground rail tunnels, and links England with France. Consisting of two rail tunnels and a small service tunnel, it totals 153 km in length. This episode looks at the race between the British and the French to complete the tunnelling of the Channel Tunnel and the obstacles faced in its construction. 2004-09-22[2] 2004-09-13[3]
04  United States Sears Tower (now the Willis Tower) Tallest building in Chicago, Illinois — For 20 years, the Sears Tower held the record for the world's tallest building. Completed in 1973, the 110 stories high building is almost half a kilometre tall. And it still holds the record for having the world's highest antenna. John Zils, structural engineer and designer of this mega-structure, shares some of the tower's secrets. And get a behind-the-scenes look at some of the various systems and controls that are vital to the building, such as security monitoring, elevators, the water and power distribution that supplies its many floors, and even the machines that clean the windows. 2004-09-29[2]
05  Japan Kansai International Airport Airport on artificial island in Osaka Bay — Located 5 km off the coast of Osaka, Japan is the Kansai International Airport. The airport is built entirely on a man-made island, 4 km long and 1 km wide. The only link between the island and Osaka is by the world's longest 2-tiered bridge. Although the airport is built to withstand earthquakes and typhoons, the artificial island itself is sinking faster than anticipated. This episode looks at various measures that are taken to keep the airport 'afloat,' and the various facilities and services available to keep the airport running. 2004-10-13[2]
06  Japan Akashi Kaikyo Bridge World's longest suspension bridge — In 1955, two ferries sank along the Akashi Strait in Japan, killing 168 children. The tragedy led to 30 years of research to design a bridge that would link Awaji Island to Kobe. The bridge would need to be able to withstand severe earthquakes and typhoons. In 1988, Japan began construction of the world's longest, highest and most expensive suspension bridge. This episode presents a stage by stage look at the construction of the bridge, and the obstacles faced in its construction, including the Kobe earthquake in 1995. 2004-10-20 2004-09-20[4]
07  Brazil  Paraguay The World's Most Powerful Dam (Itaipu Dam) Dam on the Paraná River — In the Paraná River of South America, lies the Itaipú Dam. Costing 20 billion dollars, the Itaipú Dam is the world's largest and most powerful hydroelectric power plant. It is the culmination of the efforts, accomplishments, and co-operation of two countries, Brazil and Paraguay. This episode examines the efforts undertaken and the sacrifices made to construct the dam, including how the largest diversion channel was constructed to divert water from the world's 7th largest river away from the main construction site. 2004-10-27 2004-09-27[5]
08  Malaysia Petronas Towers Twin tower skyscraper in Kuala Lumpur — Designed by Cesar Pelli, the Petronas Towers were the tallest buildings as of their completion date. Located in Kuala Lumpur, the 88 story, 450m tall twin towers carry an Islamic geometrical influence, and are a symbol of Malaysian pride. To foster competition, the contract for the construction of the towers was awarded to two different construction companies, each assigned to work on one of the towers. This episode examines the race between the companies to each complete their tower first, as well as various construction challenges, including soil quality issues, the unique cement mixture that was needed as a steel substitute, and tropical weather. 2004-11-10 2004-10-04[6]
09  United States Inside a Super Casino The Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, New Jersey — Megastructures gets an inside look at the 13-year design and construction of Atlantic City's towering new casino, the Borgata. 2004-12-01[7]
10  United States Money Factory U.S. Treasury 2004-12-31

Season 2 (2005)[edit]

# Country Title Subject Original airdate Credits
01  United States Golden Gate Bridge Iconic bridge over San Francisco Bay in San Francisco 2005-03-02 [1]
02  United States Alcatraz Former prison island in San Francisco Bay, California 2005-03-16
03  United States Inside The Pentagon Headquarters of the US Department of Defense in Arlington, Virginia 2005-04-01
04  Singapore World's Busiest Port Port of Singapore, Republic of Singapore 2005-05-13 [2]
05  South Africa Tau Tona, City of Gold World's deepest mining operations in Carletonville, South Africa 2005-05-21
06  United States Las Vegas 2005-06-22
07  Canada Ultimate Oil Sands Mine
Black Gold (Oil Mine)
Syncrude and Shell Canada in oil sands located in Alberta, Canada 2005-07-20 [3]
08  Canada Diamond Diggers Ekati Diamond Mine, Canada's first diamond mine, near Lac De Gras, Northwest Territories, Canada 2005-07-27 [4]
09  United States Sea Launch Ocean Odyssey and Sea Launch Commander 2005-08-03 [5]
10  Netherlands North Sea Wall Delta Works 2005-05-28 on NGC (UK)[8] [6]
11  United Arab Emirates The World's Most Extreme Island (Impossible Islands)[9] Dubai's artificial palm islands, United Arab Emirates 2005-09-13 [7]
12  United States Indianapolis Motor Speedway Car racetrack in Speedway, Indiana 2005-09-13 [8]
13  Netherlands Port of Rotterdam (Super Port) The largest port in Europe, in Rotterdam, Netherlands 2005-09-20 [9]
14  United States Air Force Transport (Mega Plane) C-5 Galaxy with the U.S. Air Force 2005-09-20
15  United States North Branch Correctional Institution (Hi-Tech Prison) High Security Prison, Allegany County, Maryland 2005-09-27 [10]
16  France Airbus A380 (World's Biggest Airliner) Biggest jumbo jet in commercial service 2005-10-04 [11]
17  United States USS Virginia Virginia-class submarine with the U.S. Navy 2005-10-11 [12]
18  United States Ultimate Casino Venetian Hotel Resort Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada 2005-10-18[10] [13]
19  United States The Ultimate Roller coaster Kingda Ka roller coaster at Six Flags Great Adventure theme part in Jackson, New Jersey 2005-10-25 [14]
20  United States Spy Fortress NORAD North American Aerospace Defense Command, Colorado 2005-11-08[11] [15]
21  Germany Berlin Train Terminal (Berlin's Grand Central) Berlin Hauptbahnhof station in Berlin, Germany 2005-11-15
22  United States Boston's Big Dig Central Artery / Tunnel Project in Boston, Massachusetts 2005-11-22 [16]
23  Netherlands Ultimate Oil Rigs Construction of new oil rigs 2005-12-06 [17]
24  Kazakhstan Baikonur Cosmodrome Russian space launch facility in Tyuratam, Kazakhstan 2005-12-13
25  United States Inside Grand Central Railroad terminal in New York City. 2005-12-08[12] [18]
26  France World's Tallest Bridge (Millau Bridge) viaduct near Millau, France 2005-12-20 [19]
27  China Mega Ship Orient Overseas Container Line / OOCL Atlanta ship 2005-12-27 [20]
28 - Deep Sea Drillers 2005-12-31 [21]

Season 3 (2006)[edit]

# Country Title Subject Original airdate Credits
01  Germany Berlin Wall Wall dividing Germany during the Cold War 2006-03-14 [22]
02  Denmark  Sweden Impossible Bridges: Denmark to Sweden Oresund Bridge between Copenhagen and Malmö, Sweden 2006-04-18 [23]
03  Greece Impossible Bridges: Greece Rio–Antirrio bridge, Gulf of Corinth, Greece 2006-05-02 [24]
04  United States Hoover Dam Colorado River border between Nevada and Arizona in USA 2006-02-11 on Five[13] [25]
05  United States Inside "NCIS" Naval Criminal Investigative Service of the U.S. Navy 2006-05-30
06  United States Garbage Mountain Puente Hills Landfill in Whittier, California 2006-08-01 [26]
07  Sweden Ice Hotel Working hotel made of ice near Jukkasjärvi, Sweden 2006-08-01
08 Supertanker Seri Amanah, a Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) carrier ship 2006-08-31 [27]
10  Panama Panama Canal Unlocked Panama Canal Expansion Project, Central America 2006-10-19 [28]
12  Iceland Rockeaters of Iceland Kárahnjúkar Hydropower Plant 2006-12-31
20  China Impossible Bridges: China Lupu Bridge in Shanghai, Runyang Bridge in Jiangsu Province, and Sutong Bridge near Suzhou 2006-07-11[14]

Season 4 (2007–2008)[edit]

# Country Title Subject Original airdate Credits
01  United Arab Emirates World's Tallest Hotel Burj al-Arab Hotel in Dubai, United Arab Emirates 2007-07-09 [29]
02  Malaysia SMART Tunnel SMART Tunnel for road and storm water drainage in Kuala Lumpur to relieve traffic congestion as well as to prevent flooding within the city 2007-07-14
03  Bermuda RMS Queen Mary 2 2007-07-16 on Five[15]
04 Emblem of the Antarctic Treaty.svg United States South Pole Station A science facility at the South Pole (Amundsen–Scott South Pole Station) 2007-11-06 [30]
05  China Beijing Water Cube Beijing National Aquatics Center built for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics 2008-05-13[16]
06  United States Bridge Breakdown Demolition of the (1927) Carquinez Bridge in the San Francisco Bay Area 2008-05-15
07  United States 747 Destruction Evergreen Air Center storage facility for decommissioned aeroplanes in Marana, Arizona 2008-05-16
08  China Shanghai Super Tower Shanghai World Financial Centre in Shanghai, China 2008-05-20[16]
09  China China's Ultimate Port Yangshan Port in Hangzhou Bay 2008-05-27[16]
10  United States Sinking an aircraft carrier Creating the world's largest artificial reef with USS Oriskany in the Gulf of Mexico off Florida 2008-05-29
11  Finland The World's Biggest Cruise Liner The building of cruise liner MS Freedom of the Seas 2008-06-04
12  China Beijing Olympic Stadium the building of the main stadium for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics 2008-08-05 [31]
13  China World's Biggest Casino The Venetian Macao, the world's biggest casino in Macau ?
14  Iceland Icelandic Super Dam The building of the Kárahnjúkar Hydropower Plant, Europe's biggest dam in Iceland ?
15  Germany Future Trains Maglev train ?
16  United Arab Emirates Building the World The World (archipelago) of artificial islands in Dubai ?
17  United States Train Wreck the recycling of obsolete train locomotives in the USA ?
18  China Building Green Beijing 2010 environmental improvement plan in Beijing, China ?
19  France Switzerland Atom Smasher The Large Hadron Collider at CERN near Geneva, Switzerland 2008-07-31 on NGC (UK & IE)[17]
21  United States Ultimate Sub (Super Sub) USS Texas (Virginia-class submarine) in the U.S. Navy ?
22  Spain United States Man Made Sun
Sun Engine
Experimental solar collection farms in Spain and near Las Vegas, Nevada ?
23  United Kingdom Super Pipeline Gas pipeline from Norway to Great Britain ?
24  United States Hawaii Superferry catamaran ferry service between Hawaiian Islands from 2007 to 2009 2007-08-26 on NGC (UK & IE)[18]
25  United States Deep Earth Drillers The world's largest geothermal power complex 2008
26  Bahrain World Trade Center Bahrain World Trade Center (Manama) 2008
27  United Kingdom The World's Biggest Shredder The 560 tonne "fragmentiser" based at Newport Docks. 2008
28  United States Earthquake Glasshouse Academy of Sciences, California 2008

Season 5 (2009–2010)[edit]

# Country Title Subject Original airdate Other Airdate Credits
01  United States Grand Canyon Skywalk Grand Canyon Skywalk 2009-02-28 (NGC UK)[19] 2009-04-02[20] [32]
01  United States Extreme Helicopter S-64 Skycrane 2009-06-16
02  United States Skyscraper (Ultimate Skyscraper) Bank of America Tower at One Bryant Park, NYC 2009-10-01 [33]
03  United Kingdom UK Super Train / Britain's New Railway High Speed 1 2010-01-08
04 ? Wave Energy 2010-05-27
05 ? Secrets of Oscar Tar Bridge 2010-10-09
06  China China's Smart Tower 2010-11-26
07  United States Future Bridge Follow the record-breaking effort to rebuild the Minneapolis I-35W bridge in only 17 months, with a focus on its unique engineering 2010

Season 6 (2011)[edit]

# Country Title Subject Original airdate Credits
01  United Arab Emirates The Leaning Tower of Abu Dhabi Capital Gate 2010-05-04 on NGC (AU & NZ)[21] [34]
02  Turkey Time Bomb Tunnel Building the Marmaray Tunnel, a 13.5 km (8.4 mi) long undersea railway tunnel in Istanbul, Turkey. 2011-01-29
03  Singapore Singapore's Vegas[22][23] Building the Marina Bay Sands Resort and Casino in Singapore 2005-10-05 on NGC (AU & NZ)[24][25]
04  China World's Tallest TV Tower Building one of the world's tallest TV towers, the Guangzhou Sightseeing and TV Tower (now called the Canton Tower 2011-02-11 on 7mate[1]
05  Taiwan Ecoark 2011-03-27
06  South Korea Korean Superlink Busan-Geoje Fixed Link 2011-11-17

Unknown season[edit]

# Country Title Subject Original airdate
09  Bosnia and Herzegovina Bridge of Mostar 2004
25  United Kingdom London Olympic Stadium 2012-05-03
26  United Arab Emirates World's Tallest Skyscraper Burj Khalifa 2012-09-17
27  United States Phantom jet F-4 jet ?
28  Kazakhstan Worlds Biggest Tent Khan Shatyr Entertainment Center ?
33  India Atmosphere (Kolkata) Atmosphere - A luxury residential superstructure in Kolkata 2015
30  Malaysia Second Penang Bridge The building of the second bridge connecting Peninsular Malaysia to Penang Island spanning a total of 24 km, and 16.9 km of that over water 2014-09-16
31  India India's Solar Power House Kamuthi Solar Power Project ?
32  India Mundra Port Mundra Port ?

Unknown season 2[edit]

# Country Title Subject Original airdate
01 - "Machines of War": Tanks History and evolution of the tank 2006-03-08
02 - "Machines of War": Cruise Missile The history and development of the cruise missile 2006-03-10
3 ? Science of Steel The world's metal construction material of choice 2006-03-11
12 - "Machines of War": Guns The history and evolution of the gun 2006-03-13
14 - Science of Brick The world's oldest man-made building material 2006-03-15
15 3 Science of Concrete The world's most used building material 2006-03-16


Megastructures: Built from Disaster[edit]

  1. "Megastructures: Built from Disaster – Bridges" // Wednesday, 26 August 2009 8–9pm on Channel 5
  2. "Megastructures: Built from Disaster – Ships" // Thursday, 3 September 2009 8–9pm on Channel 5
  3. "Megastructures: Built from Disaster – Tunnels" // Thursday, 10 September 2009 8–9pm on Channel 5
  4. "Megastructures: Built from Disaster – Stadiums" // Thursday, 24 September 2009 8–9pm on Channel 5
  5. "Megastructures: Built from Disaster – Trains" // Thursday, 8 October 2009 8–9pm on Channel 5
  6. "Megastructures: Built from Disaster – Skyscrapers" // Thursday, 15 October 2009 8–9pm on Channel 5

Ancient Megastructures[edit]

  1. "Ancient Megastructures: The Great Pyramid"
  2. "Ancient Megastructures: The Colosseum"
  3. "Ancient Megastructures: Chartres Cathedral"
  4. "Ancient Megastructures: Istanbuls Hagia Sophia"
  5. "Ancient Megastructures: Machu Picchu"
  6. "Ancient Megastructures: Angkor Wat"
  7. "Ancient Megastructures: Petra Cathedral"
  8. "Ancient Megastructures: St Pauls Cathedral"
  9. "Ancient Megastructures: The Alhambra"

International broadcasts[edit]

In January 2020, Indonesian TV channel, NET interested to broadcasting Megastructures in Indonesia in July 2020.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b About the Channel – 7mate – Channel 7 – Yahoo!7 TV Archived 23 February 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ a b c d e LOFT, KURT (13 September 2004). "Floating City Of A Carrier Makes Show Of Force - By KURT LOFT". Tampa Tribune, The (FL). p. 1. ISSN 1042-3761. Retrieved 29 July 2020.
  3. ^ Chater, David (11 September 2004). "TV Choice - Monday 13 September". Times, The (London, England). pp. –39. ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 29 July 2020.
  4. ^ "The Guardian: Five". Guardian, The (London, England). 20 September 2004. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 29 July 2020.
  5. ^ Dugdale, John (26 September 2004). "Critics' choice - Monday 27 September". Sunday Times, The (London, England). pp. –64. Retrieved 29 July 2020.
  6. ^ "TV Mail: PICK OF THE DAY". Evening Mail (Birmingham, England). 4 October 2004. p. 19. Retrieved 29 July 2020.
  7. ^ Staff Writer, ELAINE ROSE (30 November 2004). "TV / NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC PROGRAM EXPLORES ALLURE OF THE BORGATA". Press of Atlantic City, The (NJ). pp. B1. Retrieved 3 August 2020.
  8. ^ "Leicester Mercury: Tales from Greece". Leicester Mercury (England). 28 May 2005. Retrieved 2 August 2020.
  9. ^ Engpedia Archived 4 December 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ Lawrence, Christopher (17 October 2005). "Struggling NBC Thursday in desperate need of an intervention". The Las Vegas Review-Journal. pp. 1–. Retrieved 2 August 2020.
  11. ^ THE GAZETTE, ANDREW WINEKE (8 November 2005). "'MegaStructures' takes a look at how NORAD was built". Gazette, The (Colorado Springs, CO). pp. –6. ISSN 1531-2607. Retrieved 2 August 2020.
  12. ^ BUCKMAN, ADAM (8 December 2005). "'GRAND' OPERA - WHAT YOU MISS WHILE DASHING FOR THE 6:18". New York Post (NY). p. 088. ISSN 1090-3321. Retrieved 2 August 2020.
  13. ^ Cox, Roger (11 February 2006). "The Scotsman: Staying In: Terrestrial Highlights". Scotsman, The (Edinburgh, Scotland). p. 20. ISSN 0307-5850. Retrieved 2 August 2020.
  14. ^ REDDING, ALESIA I. (9 July 2006). "Bridge film takes native on odyssey". South Bend Tribune. Retrieved 2 August 2020.
  15. ^ "First lady of the Atlantic". Daily Record, The (Glasgow, Scotland). 14 July 2007. p. 21. Retrieved 2 August 2020.
  16. ^ a b c "National Geographic Channel International Commissions NZ company NHNZ for Megastructures China Special". Throng. 5 May 2008. Retrieved 26 February 2011.
  17. ^ Jackson, James (26 July 2008). "Digital Choice;Television;Thursday 31". Times, The (London, England). pp. –59. ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 2 August 2020.
  18. ^ WILKINSON, KAIJA (4 September 2007). "Hawaii Superferry stars in TV documentary this week". Press-Register (Mobile, AL). p. 01. Retrieved 2 August 2020.
  19. ^ "Megastructures". Times, The (London, England). 28 February 2009. p. 91. ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 29 July 2020.
  20. ^ Rose, Elizabeth (23 March 2009). "Grand Canyon Skywalk documentary premieres April 2, 2009 on the National Geographic Channel". Retrieved 29 July 2020.
  21. ^ Houston, Melinda (3 May 2010). "pay tv - Tuesday May 4". Sydney Morning Herald, The (Australia). p. 8. ISSN 0312-6315. Retrieved 1 August 2020.
  22. ^ ""Megastructures" Singapore's Vegas (TV Episode 2010)". IMDb.
  23. ^ ""Megastructures" Singapore's Vegas (2010)". IMDb.
  24. ^ Leong, Grace (14 August 2010). "The MBS SkyPark story - on TV soon". Business Times, The (Singapore). Retrieved 2 August 2020.
  25. ^ Kirsty Heysen; Lawrie Masterson (3 October 2010). "BEST OF FOXTEL". Sunday Herald Sun (Melbourne, Australia). pp. X22. ISSN 1038-3433. Retrieved 2 August 2020.

External links[edit]