Fly by Wire (02:55)
“Speed” host Jeremy Clarkson heads to New Zealand where “all the world’s deathtraps” were invented. He is there to try a plane that has no wings. Instead, it hangs from a network of cables that are suspended between two hills.
Programmed to Enjoy Speed (03:54)
Clarkson is surrounded by a pride of ravenous lions as he explores the prehistoric roots of our need for speed. He explains how adrenaline and endorphins helped early man cope with constant dangers he faced; a flood of dopamine rewards thrill-seeking behavior.
Subjective Reactions to Peril (02:33)
Geneticist Dean Hamer describes physiological changes that take place within the body as people face danger. Clarkson heads to Blackpool, England to ride the world’s faster roller coaster; he revels in the experience, but his mom hates it very much.
Clarkson Tests His Limits (05:05)
Clarkson travels to Austria to dabble in a bit of bobsledding and test the limits of his thrill-seeking behavior. Mentor Rob Hinton does little to calm his nerves. Clarkson seems genuinely terrified during the run and even loses the ability to speak.
Extreme Thrill Seekers (05:22)
Some people need to take over-the-top risks in order to get the same rush that others experience on a swing set. In order to better understand them, Clarkson heads to California for dragon boat racing; one in 10 drivers in the sport is killed.
Brain at High Speed (06:48)
German Formula One Champion Michael Schumacher helps Clarkson gain insight into why some people can drive much faster than other ones. Clarkson decides to put his driving skills to the test but winds up in a ditch.
Terror at 24,000 Feet (08:46)
Squadron Leader Andy Green describes the tasks fighter pilots must master to make the grade. Clarkson takes a computer test meant to measure pilot aptitude. He goes on a terrifying ride-along as flight instructor Rhys Williams gets a spinning jet back under control.
Personality Traits of Speed Junkies (03:19)
Clarkson is shocked to learn that Williams drives a very safe and sensible Volvo Estate. San Jose State University’s Keith Johnsgard describes the psychological profile for racecar drivers, jet pilots and others who possess “a mildly psychopathic kind of personality.”
Computer-Assisted Flight (07:57)
The demands on a modern jet fighter pilot are becoming more than any human mind can cope with. Clarkson sits down at a flight simulator to pilot Eurofighter Typhoon, “the easiest plane in the sky to fly.” He observes autopilot at work on a commercial flight.
Credits: Speed: Episode 1 (00:34)
Credits: Speed: Episode 1
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