Reel to Real - Technicians on TV

Are technicians and technical skills being shown on TV? And if so, are the depictions any good? TMIH grabbed its score card and took a look…

There’s a school of thought that you can only be what you see. As such, the careers we see on TV undoubtedly influence the paths we dream of following. Seeing genius detectives solving cold crimes on CSI, or someone nailing biscuit week on the British Bake Off can send us to sign-up to a forensic or cookery class pronto!

So, we were wondering, how is the awesomeness of technicians and technical skills depicted on the silver screen? We grabbed our scoring pads, sat on the settee and took a look – read on to see what we discovered…


Homer Simpson – The Simpsons

Nuclear Safety Inspector / Former Technical Supervisor



Homer Simpson has had many careers – 188 at least!  He’s been an astronaut, country singer manager and even mayor… but did you know that his day job is a technical one!? He’s a Nuclear Safety Inspector and Former Technical Supervisor, which means he should be using his knowledge to assess technical safety and improve safety standards… what he actually does however…

Our depiction verdict: 1/10 – technicians in nuclear are a lot brighter than this (thank goodness!) Take a look at the apprentices at the UKAEA. 

Violet Baudelaire – A Series of Unfortunate Events

Engineering Technician (in Training)

Technicians are key to innovation and invention. They use their theoretical knowledge of practical issues such as materials and mechanisms to offer solutions and make things happen – take a look at our Technician Stories! A noteworthy example is Violet Baudelaire. Thrilled by blueprints, the eldest of the three Baudelaire orphans is always using her knowledge of physics and engineering, to invent practical contraptions and get her and her siblings out of deathly scrapes!

Our depiction verdict: 9/10 – if you find yourself taking things apart and putting them back together or improving them like Violet, maybe you should consider a technical career!

Ryan Sinclair – Doctor Who

Light Vehicle Technician (in training) 

Doctor Who Series 11 – Ryan (TOSIN COLE) – (C) BBC / BBC Studios – Photographer: Henrik Knudsen

Before Ryan Sinclair found himself transported to the Doctor’s Tardis, he was an aspiring mechanic and vehicle technician studying for an NVQ! What he had learnt so far has come in handy – his mechanical engineering expertise helped him to get a solar-powered boat up and running so the Doctor and her companions could explore an alien planet. Want to learn more about technical qualifications? Take a look at our new apprenticeships page or click here to learn more about what it takes to be a light vehicle technician.

Our depiction verdict: 10/10 – technical education qualifications from NVQs to T-levels can give you skills for life – whether for a career as a technician or a space explorer fighting Daleks…


Have you seen a technician on tv or impressive display of technical skill that we’ve missed? Or do you disagree with our scores? Let us know on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook



Sign up to our newsletter