Death Machines

Saturdays From 10th February, 10.00pm

The shadowy world of torture has emerged into the full glare of front-page news over the past few years, entering our vocabulary so that everyone is aware of what waterboarding, sensory deprivation and stress positions entail. But torture is nothing new, and as these brand new episodes of Death Machines show man has been using the latest technology to inflict pain for centuries. The Romans devised some devilish devices – although were known for their over-vigorous use of them – such as the Human Press, the Crank Wheel and the Tree Tearer. The Medieval and Spanish Inquisition were also vociferous users of machines, things with the horrific sounding names of the Judas Cradle, the Interrogation Chair and the Skin Peeler. A group of experts from a wide range of fields including medicine, engineering, history and industrial design, examine each of the machines and explain how well each one achieved its grim goal.

  • BBC One
  • BBC Two
  • BBC Three
  • ITV1
  • ITV2
  • 4
  • E4
  • Film4
  • More4
  • Five
  • Fiver
  • Sky1