Channel 4 science doc to build bionic human

Channel 4 Senior Commissioning Editor for Factual, David Glover, has commissioned a ground-breaking new science documentary from Darlow Smithson which brings together a team of robotics experts to attempt to build a complete human body.

Frankenstein: Building The Bionic Human is using $1 million-worth of cutting edge limbs and organs for the experiment, borrowed from some of the world's leading research centres and manufacturers.

Scientists have long dreamt of creating an artificial human, while - for just as long - there have been warnings about the potential consequences.

This summer's Paralympics demonstrated just how far modern technology has come in its ability to replace body parts and even improve abilities, while developments in regenerative medicine, robotics and artificial intelligence are advancing at dizzying speeds.

The programme's presenter, psychologist Bertolt Meyer, who has a bionic hand himself, wants to find out how close bio-technology is to catching up with - and even surpassing - Nature, exploring the technologies at the forefront of bionics and investigating their potential impact on our future.

From bionic limbs and mechanical hearts, to eye implants and microchip brains, science is beginning to emulate science fiction and open up new frontiers - it's the dawn of a bionic revolution that could change our society forever.

But as man and machine merge, new dangers loom. And ever since Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein two centuries ago, writers, philosophers - and the makers of science fiction from Doctor Who to Blade Runner - have warned about the hubris of playing God and the dangers of creating a superhuman monster beyond our control.

David Glover, Senior Commissioning Editor for Factual, said:

"This film is genuinely strange. We asked a psychologist with an artificial arm to build a 21st century Frankenstein's monster copy of himself out of bionic body parts. What starts off as a guided tour of the wonders of modern technology, actually becomes a slightly disturbing journey - a bit like the original Frankenstein."

Creative Director at Darlow Smithson, Julian Ware adds;

"We are always looking for ways to tell stories in innovative ways, but building a complete human artificial body has been one of DSP's most ambitious undertakings yet. By creating our own Frankenstein out of artificial body parts, we hope to engage the audience in a revolution that is changing the face of medicine."

Frankenstein: Building The Bionic Human is a co- production with Darlow Smithson, an Endemol company and Smithsonian. The Executive Producer for DSP is Julian Ware. It is directed by Tom Coveney and the Assistant Producer is James Pope.

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