We think our world is safe – and for the most part, it is. Most of the everyday things we encounter exceed minimum safety and engineering requirements. But they all have a breaking point. Every last one of them. And when something as explosive as a fuel tanker crashes, it can cause devastation across an entire city block. BREAKING POINT orchestrates a series of jaw-dropping experiments and spectacular stunts to test the sturdiness and stability of those big things we use and take for granted everyday – such as a house, a car, or a boat. And that’s when the fun really gets started! Through a series of progressively dangerous and destructive tests, the team must figure out just what it takes to break it. From armoured limousines and houses to boats and tankers, get inside the heart of the destruction like never before. Then, with the latest forensic technology, discover how the team uses the information from the lethal flaws to engineer ingenious ways to make it safer; proving that sometimes the only way to improve something is to destroy it.

Go inside the heart of a massive fire, crash or explosion as this original six-part Canadian series investigates the limits of what houses, fuel tankers, buses or armoured vehicles can withstand. It’s not as easy as it sounds! The team suffers setbacks, must overcome obstacles and struggle to find just the right force to destroy each object. But their work pays off in an improved – if sometimes “unconventional” – new design that’s stronger, better and safer.

The masterminds behind BREAKING POINT are definitely not your typical lab rats. Co-host Jonathan Tippett is an artist, industrial designer and mechanical engineer from Vancouver. He has a degree in Mechanical Engineering and has worked in the fields of marine hydraulics, fuel cells and medical devices for the last 10 years. In 2006 he, along with three others, designed and built The Mondo Spider. Tippett is currently working on Prosthesis, a 5m tall, 2000kg, wearable walking machine running on a hybrid-electric microturbine power plant

Tippett’s “partner in crime” is Christopher Hackett. Born and bred in New York, Hackett is an artist, metalworker, and the director of the Madagascar Institute, a Brooklyn-based art combine. Hackett likes his coffee strong, his physics Newtonian, and is a firm believer in the “build it, then measure it” approach.

BREAKING POINT: “Armoured Limo”

Mobile protection for presidents and princes, Hackett and Tippett try to break the toughest limo in the world. They try to outwit the vehicle by searching for the weak points: The glass? The engine? The wheels? But, designed to survive hostile assaults, the armoured limo defeats their inventive extreme engineering skills. So what do they do? Hackett and Tippett call in the Army, of course, to help them destroy the four-wheeled fortress. And even the Army finds they must use ever-increasingly powerful weapons to break the bomb-shelter on wheels. But once the breaking point has been found, it takes some strange – and explosive – solutions to make it tougher still.


Buses are built tough to transport precious cargo. But Hackett and Tippett’s attempts to destroy it become ever-more extreme as they find a worthy opponent for their explosive talents. When nothing they inflict on the bus seems to affect it, they turn to the power of the natural world in a final, dramatic attempt to find its breaking point. But then comes the second part of their mission: having broken the bus, they need to make it even tougher and their skills are tested to the limit once again. Don’t miss the cliff-hanger ending!


Houses are built to last. But Hackett and Tippett need to find the home’s weak spot – there has to be one somewhere! – in order to find its breaking point. They are surprised to find which of their attempts to blow up the house actually work, while some of their more extreme measures don’t. After breaking the house into tiny pieces, their solution leads to a nail-biting finale with a race against time – and a lit fuse…


Handle with care. Gasoline promises an explosive reaction if you’re not vigilant. But Hackett and Tippett specialize in not being careful – so they’re ideally suited to the task of trying to destroy a gas-transporting tanker. Their attempts to find the breaking point of the tanker get progressively extreme as they discover the tough-built tanker’s secrets. Finally, Tippett and Hackett achieve destruction with an incendiary solution that – quite literally – takes the tanker sky high. But then, a bigger challenge: how to make the tanker even tougher.


In this episode, Hackett and Tippett leave land behind to challenge the seaworthiness and resilience of a North Atlantic lobster boat. And, built to withstand 30-metre swells and savage storms, this small boat is tougher than they bargained for! With assaults from land, air and sea – and a healthy dose of high explosives – Hackett and Tippett take on the boat that refuses to swim with the fishes. Then, after they finally break it, they’ve got to re-make it even stronger. And the solution has to be tough enough to survive the deadliest maritime threat of all: an iceberg.


Most sensible people run away from fire. Firefighters can’t – they must charge right into the heart of the blaze. The toughest fire-fighting vehicle is the Forest Firetruck. Hackett and Tippett must find the breaking point of a vehicle designed to not only conquer fire but also smash a path through trees to reach the flames. With escalating attempts at destruction barely leaving a scratch, it seems the Firetruck challenge might defeat these two destruction mavericks. And when they finally do break it, then comes something even tougher – making this life-saving monster even stronger.

BREAKING POINT is an original production developed and produced for Discovery Channel Canada by Dragonfly Film and Television Productions Limited.