Worldwide icon-chevron-right Europe icon-chevron-right United Kingdom icon-chevron-right England icon-chevron-right London icon-chevron-right Mechanical Marvels: Clockwork Dreams

Heads up! We’re working hard to be accurate – but these are unusual times, so please always check before heading out.

Mechanical Marvels: Clockwork Dreams

Mechanical Marvels: Clockwork Dreams

Mon Jun 3, 9-10pm, BBC4

By Adam Lee Davies
Advertising
According to many futurists, the technological singularity – the moment when our computers and gadgets will be sufficiently advanced to achieve sentience and (possibly) go on a Terminator-style mecha-rampage – is soon to be upon us.

Here, Professor Simon Schaffer resets the dials to offer a potted history of our relationship with clockwork automata that began with the humanistic adornments to the town clock in Bern, Switzerland, 500 years ago. It’s a curious journey that takes in Victorian fakery, rollerskating geniuses and the surprising but credibly presented role that these animated confections played in the build-up to the French Revolution.

Schaffer – as regular listeners to Radio 4’s ‘In Our Time’ will attest – can be a somewhat doleful presence, and doesn’t exactly keep things zipping along, but he presents the information clearly and concisely, and the surviving automata he shows off are true marvels.
Recommended

    You may also like

      Advertising