TV Worth Watching: Mechanical Marvels Clockwork Dreams from the BBC

TV Worth Watching is a new series highlighting my favorite television viewing. I am a big fan of UK television, so you are sure to see many UK shows and movies featured here. — Douglas

TV Worth Watching: Mechanical Marvels Clockwork Dreams

Another amazing documentary from the BBC which explains how innovations in clockwork led to more and more lifelike automata designed for the entertainment of the rich in the early 18th Century. I am always amazed at the quality of these BBC Documentaries and how much I learn with each one. I have had the pleasure, in the past, to see some amazing automata at a performance at the Magic Castle and I have always been fascinated with them and amazed at how complex these devices could be, especially considering that most of them were made long before what we think of as “technology” even existed. 

Mech marvels

Watch “Mechanical Marvels Clockwork Dreams” directly on YouTube

“Documentary presented by Professor Simon Schaffer which charts the amazing and untold story of automata – extraordinary clockwork machines designed hundreds of years ago to mimic and recreate life.

The film brings the past to life in vivid detail as we see how and why these masterpieces were built. Travelling around Europe, Simon uncovers the history of these machines and shows us some of the most spectacular examples, from an entire working automaton city to a small boy who can be programmed to write and even a device that can play chess. All the machines Simon visits show a level of technical sophistication and ambition that still amazes today.” — BBC

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