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From C18 automata to Superheroes and Digital Living

Blockbusters around the world: From the Indian Superman to Batman in the Philippines, Iain Smith and Matthew Sweet look at the hidden history of unlicensed superhero films.

Playwright Charlotte Jones, author Laurence Scott, New Generation Thinkers Lisa Mullen and Iain Smith join Matthew Sweet.

Charlotte Jones discusses her new play set in a Quaker community during the Napoleonic Wars. Matthew Sweet visits Compton Verney Art Gallery with Lisa Mullen to see the exhibition, 'Marvellous Mechanical Museum' which re-imagines the spectacular automata exhibitions of the 18th century. Laurence Scott talks about the ideas in his book, 'Picnic Comma Lightning' which explores the way digital advances are changing the way we live and what we reveal about ourselves. And, from the Indian Superman to Batman in the Philippines, film historian and New Generation Thinker Iain Smith looks at the hidden history of unlicensed superhero films produced around the world.

Iain Robert Smith is a Lecturer in Film Studies at King's College, London.

Laurence Scott is a New Generation Thinker Lecturer in Writing at New York University in London and the author of 'Picnic Comma Lightning' which is to be broadcast as the Radio 4 Book of the Week from July 16-20th.

The Marvellous Mechanical Museum is at Compton Verney until September 20th 2018.

Charlotte Jones's drama The Meeting runs at the Minerva Theatre, Chichester from 13 July – 11 August

New Generation Thinkers is a scheme run by the BBC and the Arts and Humanities Research Council to select ten academics each year who can turn their research into radio.

Producer Fiona McLean

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46 minutes