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Edwardian Insects on Film

Charlie Hamilton-James tries to recreate amateur naturalist Percy Smith's 1908 film The Acrobatic Fly, in which a bluebottle juggles a series of objects, and tells Smith's story.

In 1908, amateur naturalist Percy Smith stunned cinema goers with his surreal film The Acrobatic Fly. Featuring a bluebottle juggling a series of objects, the film became front page news. Now wildlife cameraman Charlie Hamilton-James attempts to recreate this fascinating film.

Along the way, Hamilton-James (helped by Sir David Attenborough, who saw Smith's films as a boy) tells the story of Percy's remarkable career and reveals the genius behind this forgotten pioneer of British film.

1 hour

Last on

Mon 13 Mar 2017 00:40

Alien Nation Season

Alien Nation Season
Edwardian Insects on Film is part of a special season of BBC Four programmes supersizing the insect world. Discover the other programmes in the season below…


Role Contributor
Presenter Charlie Hamilton-James
Producer John Holdsworth
Director John Holdsworth
Executive Producer Emma Morgan