The names Newton, Edison, Tesla loom large in the roll-call of great scientists.
Their achievements are inscribed in the history books, their discoveries are the milestones by which the long march of progress is measured.
But for these distinguished figures, and for many other notable scientists and inventors, the 'official' version of their lives and works is only half the story.Newton wrote far more on the esoteric realm of alchemy than on the physics and optics that have made him famous.
Telsa, whose inventions underpin so much of the modern world's electrical infrastructure, hatched many extraordinary schemes that we owe more to science fiction than science fact.
Edison, the American archetype of the practical inventor, celebrated for his phonographs and light bulbs, attempted to construct a telephone for speaking with the dead. "Great Scientists, Mad Science" explores the lives of some of history's exceptional scientists, contrasting their quests for the incredible and the absurd with their more conventional achievements and inventions, asking whether the latter would have been possible without the former.