Tesla: Master of Lightning

Tesla: Master of Lightning

2000, Biography  -   93 Comments
Ratings: 8.59/10 from 374 users.

This documentary does a wonderful job of conveying the genius that was Nikola Tesla. Watch this documentary and then look around your house. You'll be amazed in the ways in which Tesla impacts our everyday lives. His death ray is also examined and a good discussion of particle beam weaponry follows. Reagan's Star Wars program is also discussed, along with HAARP, the super secret microwave array in a remote part of Alaska.

Tesla was truly a man who knew the secrets of electricity. His thoughts on capturing free energy and transmitting it around the world was truly a humanitarian concept and the video explains how he was stopped by the greedy capitalists and how he died as a penniless man.

Like many geniuses, Tesla was not a conventional man. He gave his life to realize his visions, while others made millions with his inventions. Tragically, he died nearly forgotten.

More great documentaries

Notify of

Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
I campbell
2 months ago

Truly heart wrenching and inspirational

Salvatore Leggiero
3 years ago

Thank you great Nikola, I'll keep you in mind for all the rest of my life!
Great documentary, compliments!

3 years ago

wow so much inspiring and fascinating

Bucur Felicia
4 years ago

This is beyond of my thoughts!

5 years ago

Thomas Edison was a dick. Really smart, but nevertheless a dick.

Daniel Lahey
6 years ago

Man, couldn't they find someone other than Stacy Keach to do Tesla's voice? That is the most annoying, cheesy accent I've ever heard and almost made it un-watchable. If you can block that out, this is a pretty good documentary.

6 years ago

i havent even watch,d it yet :)

John Battle
6 years ago

I very much enjoyed the documentary about the life of Tesla, but I was extremely disappointed in the misleading and downright incorrect explanations of the technical nature of his work. To begin with, the explanation of the benefits of AC power were incomplete and misleading and completely missed the point of his great idea. There are two primary advantages of AC over DC:

[1] It can be generated and utilized to create mechanical power without the use of brushes, a form of sliding contacts needed by DC motors and generators. This indeed has many advantages. The drawing of the AC motor shown in the documentary, however made no sense. It didn't even allude to the idea of creating a "ROTATING" magnetic field by using three phase wingdings or using a capacitor to delay the current to a second winding which is what made the idea beautiful and simple.

[2.]The documentary made mention numerous times about how AC power could be transmitted over long distances without as much loss as DC. The explanation offered, however, involved some sort of idea of pulsating power "pounding' its way down the wires in an AC system. It was painfully obvious that the author had little understanding of the real benefit, which was that power loss is a result of current in the wires and the loss, mostly due to heat, is given by the flrmula, Ploss = I^2*R. Since ac power can easily be "transformed" from high current low voltage to low current high voltage by use of a simple electromagnetic device called a transformer. The power can then be transmitted long distances with little power loss since the resulting current is less. At the delivery end, another transformer is used to convert the power back to low (safe) voltage and high current for domestic and factory usage. This could be done by DC power systems as well fir there were a simple way do the voltage-current transformation but alas there is not, especially in Tesla's time.

What I can't understand is how you could employ good historical writers but completely overlook the science. I suppose some of this derives from the fact that many of the current "intellectuals" study literature and history to the complete exclusion of science and mathematics, and are actually proud of it, viewing math and science as beneath them. This was clearly not the case in the time of Galileo, Newton and Einstein but is a modern age phenomenon. In earlier times, one would hesitate to call themselves an intellectual if he/she were not versed in both philosophical views of the world. Too bad for their students.

6 years ago

What of greatest mind in history, true genius Tesla.
Without his inventions this world will be so much different place.

6 years ago

so what the hell has tesla to do with serbia? as much as with mars and martians.
i'm sick of greaterserbian propaganda pathological lies everywhere i look.

7 years ago

Wonderful documentary. I good balanced mixture of both he human story and the science behind the man. Sad what he had to deal with in the end.

8 years ago

In some respects, this man was one of the foremost examples of purist genius seen fit to be battered down and rendered largely to obscurity by his clearly intellectual inferiors, and of which there are plenty of examples of the same making the rounds today, unfortunately. One could hope that the day will come when this sort of intellectual vanity is willing to take a back seat in the interest of human progress. In a way, what happened to him recalls to my mind all of the losses needlessly suffered in the burning of the library at Alexandria. In other words, we can only be left with the bittersweet memories of what might have been, and of how much farther along we might have progressed by now.

edit- Wow, suddenly happening to reread this a couple of days later ought to serve as a reminder to me never to lay on the keyboard after guzzling two or three beers over my limit... I do hereby most sincerely and emphatically apologize for the rampant pretension inherent in every word of it. ;)

8 years ago

Children are treated to a documentary about this Tesla technology which would have been closest to Flash Gordon's lightning effects but transmission cable free world. It is laughable that the conspiracy theorist never imagined a city with EMF clouds and occasional storms that may harm the health of people. I can imagine that the technology propagandist is likewise the avid environmentalist hoping to monopolize authority over markets and force their self proclaimed EXPERT preferences on the captive audience.

When the cell phones were detected to emit emf, it was considered a health risk and the modern cause of cancer. What more if electricity was delivered wireless like cell phones?

Richard Neva
8 years ago

And today his cars are priced so high only the super rich can afford to have one.

8 years ago

The current from the transformers was stepped up to 20000 volts, LOL. Otherwise great documentary with some engineering humour.

whats up
8 years ago

why there is whole chapter on Edison in school books (less scientist more businessmen )

and not a single page on Tesla (real genius )...not single teacher even mention about him rather they just mentioned Tesla is just unit during physics lecture .. .......after reading brief history of AC vs DC

at the age of 23 I realise that .......what he said at that time ab8 these people ...........
The present is theirs; the future, for which I really worked, is mine

8 years ago

A true genius... innovator....inventor

8 years ago

I didn't realize Edison was such a piece of $@#%

8 years ago

A great documentary about an absolute genius of his day, who was burned left, right, and center from Edison, Westinghouse, etc. This seems to be the common reward for people who are more interested in helping everyone rather than thinking of their own greed. One has to wonder why people like Tesla, Jonas Salk, etc were not driven by greed . Hmmm, I wonder if it could have something to do with morality. Nahhh, it can't be that easy to understand, could it?

10 years ago

What an irony - Serbian man helps build industrial America,
and a century later, Americans throw deathly bombs with depleted uranium on Belgrade and other cities over Serbia, killing thousands of people...

10 years ago

You do not have to create energy from nothing. You can use the already existing energy from the Sun, Earth, and even all the atoms floating all around us. There are literally BILLIONS of watts of energy in our atmosphere already waiting to be reclaimed or used up and converted either back to matter or to re balance the imbalance produced by the activity. The magnetic energy is almost unlimited and is all around us.. All we have to do is learn how to harness or redirect it in a usable stable fashion. I am working on several possible options and none are going to be extreme or expensive. Will try to post as progress is made. Most discoveries are too simple for us to figure out.. We like to make things difficult.. Human nature. Wishing everyone only the best in their endeavors to harness what we already have and make it easy to access and hopefully FREE too. Thanks.

10 years ago

Getting back to Tesla, it would appear that the energy for the particle beam that destroyed the twin towers was somehow diverted from the unreported
(at the time) hurricane that lay off the shore of NYC. Mere explosives of whatever power less than nuclear would have created a pile of rubble much higher than the pile of sh1t delivered instantly by planted informants.

10 years ago

Tesla was great

Sampan Chakraborty
10 years ago

Swami Vivekananda,the great Bengali Hindu mystic and one of the greatest thinker of all time highly influenced Tesla.Tesla since his teenage used to sleep only 2 hours per day but that guy used to hear Swami hour after hour...only a genius can visualize another genius.

10 years ago

An interesting character !!... I'd only ever heard of him as a bit of a 'loon' who'd made up the invention of 'Death Rays'. I now stand corrected!

Milan Pavlovic
10 years ago


Ryan Fulford
11 years ago

while all of you are arguing over what he invented and what he did not invent, or what he deserves credit for or what he does not, you are all missing the clarity and true vision that separates Tesla in the world of "genius". Tesla lacked the drive to succeed in business, but rather he was driven by his own intuition. And despite what some may claim, Tesla does have most of the patents of the devices that changed the world and influenced all of our lives, wether we accept it or not, it is true.

11 years ago

If anyone needs a laugh--check out Jeff Dogwood's comment down below.That has got to be the LONGEST "sentence" I've ever seen.NO PERIODS or COMMA'S!! TAKE A LOOK. I'm still laughing.

11 years ago

the title "genius" is loosely used by people, his ideas were great, but if you research ancient civilization (long before the beloved Greeks that they beat you to death with in present day academia) you will find his ideas rooted from some of the oldest and first stargazers and electromagnetic inventors of ancient Africa. The fact that he dug into the esoteric sciences is a dead giveaway as to what really drove this man's "genius". I like his deep admiration for the cosmos, as above so below.

onnix onnix
11 years ago

There was no money to be made of free electrical wireless transmission, thats why it didn't work... damn MONOPOLY MAN!

11 years ago

there's a great book called 'The Inventions, Researches and Writings of Nikola Tesla '

11 years ago

quote: The aura borellis are a visible sign of the sun's plasma energy.

I'm afraid you are mistaken. An aurora is caused by the collision of energetic charged particles with atoms in the high altitude atmosphere (thermosphere). The charged particles originate in the magnetosphere and solar wind and are directed by the Earth's magnetic field into the atmosphere. They are not plasma they are more akin to a flourescent light bulb.

11 years ago

One aspect of Nikola Tesla's work that is strangely missing from this program is that through his electrical experiments Nikola Tesla discovered the true natural state of electricity. This is what would later fuel his ambitions of the transmition of wireless energy around the world.

As Nikola Tesla described it, the true nature of eletricity is in a gaseous form (his best way to descibe it). And this gaseous form surrounds us, the Earth and it exists everywhere in space.

Meaning that eletrical energy is everywhere including the voids of outer space. That are not so void.

The gaseous form Nikola Tesla may have been referring to is plasma energy but I am not sure.

What solar scientists are aware of today is the tremendous amount of plasma energy that is ejected by the sun every minute. The aura borellis are a visible sign of the sun's plasma energy.

A huge solar storm in 1859 showed the power of the electrical magnetic energy coming from the sun. So eletrical energy does surround the Earth and exists throughout space as perhaps plasma energy.

Another very interesting documentary on this site is called "The Electrical Universe".

11 years ago

this is the ignorance of textbook thinkers which passes for intelligence these days!

11 years ago

This is such a great comprehensive documentary on Nikola Tesla.

The Nikola Tesla invention of transmitting energy wirelessly would no doubt work today as the Earth is surrounded by both magnetic energy and plasma energy from the sun. Unfortunately until a way can be found to charge for this energy it is unlikely to enter everyday use. Why? Because established electrical utilities simply would not allow it.

This documentary also shows the incredible amount of personal determination and single minded focus that inventors must have to succeed. They must block out the negative comments and thoughts of people who are sure that they will not succeed, because they themselves cannot do it. The same is true today of every great inventor.

Special thanks to the writer and producer of this documentary on Nikola Tesla, it was really well done.

Andrej Petrovi?
11 years ago

I have read about Tesla's ability to invent particular electrical circuit in his mind and test it theoretickly. Same way as today Engineers use computer programs. What is it if not genial

11 years ago

As much as I admire the work of Tesla, I can't help but feel that the label of "genius" is bandied about a bit too readily. As I see it, he was a great engineer and somewhat of a visionary, but all that he achieved, relied upon the accrued knowledge of extraordinary thinkers that had gone before him.

For my money, true genius is defined by the ability to think outside of ones own paradigm, and to ask ever deeper questions in an effort to peel back the layers and go beyond the received wisdom of the time, and to ultimately reveal deeper truths. As innovative as Tesla was, I see no evidence of him having done that.

I suspect that if you were ask leading scientists and academics, who they considered most deserved the label of genius, few if any, would cite Tesla. Instead, I suspect (and this is just a few that instantly spring to mind) they'd name people like Aristotle, Newton, Darwin, Faraday, Cantor, Einstein, or Turing. These were people who asked deeply profound questions, and thought far beyond the received wisdom of their day. Of course, most of their stories are, on the face of it, far drier and more academic. There are no exciting photographs of them surrounded by lightning, so they probably don't have the same sort of pop appeal that Tesla seems to have.

One of the stories that I find most moving, is that of Alan Turing. A true genius, if ever there was one. His was one of the most extraordinary minds. Had it not been for his tragic and premature death, I suspect that we would be considerably farther down the road towards true artificial intelligence, and a deeper understanding of the nature of consciousness.

11 years ago

I`m a great fan of Tesla and this is a nice doc that would introduce him to the people who as yet have not heard of him.

It's such a sad testimony of humanity that we do not allow these genius' to flourish and pigs like JPM feed off them. We will probably never know the true extent of his inventions.

11 years ago

If anyone is planning to watch this Documentary, I would recommend that you watch this one first: ''Nikola Tesla: The Genius Who Lit the World'', it's availible here in TDF.

11 years ago

Good Documentary, Very Educational, Interesting Figure.

Read the rest of Nikola Tesla's Poem below (Taken from pbs (dot) org)

"Fragments of Olympian Gossip"

While listening on my cosmic phone
I caught words from the Olympus blown.
A newcomer was shown around;
That much I could guess, aided by sound.
"There's Archimedes with his lever
Still busy on problems as ever.
Says: matter and force are transmutable
And wrong the laws you thought immutable."
"Below, on Earth, they work at full blast
And news are coming in thick and fast.
The latest tells of a cosmic gun.
To be pelted is very poor fun.
We are wary with so much at stake,
Those beggars are a pest—no mistake."
"Too bad, Sir Isaac, they dimmed your renown
And turned your great science upside down.
Now a long haired crank, Einstein by name,
Puts on your high teaching all the blame.
Says: matter and force are transmutable
And wrong the laws you thought immutable."
"I am much too ignorant, my son,
For grasping schemes so finely spun.
My followers are of stronger mind
And I am content to stay behind,
Perhaps I failed, but I did my best,
These masters of mine may do the rest.
Come, Kelvin, I have finished my cup.
When is your friend Tesla coming up."
"Oh, quoth Kelvin, he is always late,
It would be useless to remonstrate."
Then silence—shuffle of soft slippered feet—
I knock and—the bedlam of the street.
Nikola Tesla, Novice

11 years ago

That poor elephant :'(

John Lynch-Strauss
11 years ago

nice documentary, great man!

Sean Finn
11 years ago

Since the death of Leonardo da Vinci, Nikola Tesla is the greatest man the human race has produced.

11 years ago

what an amazing documentary.......what a great man,,,thanks topdocumentaryfilms...thanks WB.