Channel 4 to create a bionic human in groundbreaking science documentary

Frankenstein: Building The Bionic Human will use $1 million worth of cutting edge limbs and organs to assemble a complete artificial body


Channel 4 has commissioned a groundbreaking new science documentary which will follow a group of robotics experts as they attempt to build an artificial human from cutting edge limbs and organs. 


The project – which sees scientists use $1 million-worth of the latest technology, borrowed from the world’s renowned research centres and manufacturers – is billed as the realisation of a long-held dream to create a human from manufactured parts, using everything from bionic limbs and mechanical hearts, to eye implants and microchip brains. 

In the wake of this summer’s Paralympic Games (which were broadcast on Channel 4) the station plans to explore to what extent modern technology is capable of replacing body parts – or even improving their abilities. The documentary will be presented by psychologist Bertolt Meyer, who has a bionic hand himself after being born with a congenitally missing lower left arm.

The programme – a co-production with Darlow Smithson – will also look into the dangers surrounding man’s advances in regenerative medicine, robotics and artificial intelligence, as highlighted 200 years ago in Mary Shelley’s classic novel Frankenstein. 

C4’s Senior Commissioning Editor for Factual, David Glover, revealed: “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.”


Julian Ware – Creative Director at Darlow Smithson – added, “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.”