One day a man sharpened a stick. Thousands of years later another man split an atom. This documentary is the story of what those men, and others like them, created. Be they simple tools or feats of engineering and science, killing machines have always been at the forefront of engineering and innovation and have shaped not just the ever-changing face of war but human history as well.
As human communities developed – and developed rivalries – reaching for handy heavy objects could not guarantee victory in a battle. And so inventively, imaginatively, we began to develop better ways of killing each other… and we never stopped. State sponsored weapons programs have an estimated annual output of $USD 1.5 trillion, in contrast IEDs can and are being manufactured by almost anyone for next to no cost, and the debate as to whether or not civilians should be able to arm themselves with deadly firearms is ongoing.
But, no matter if they’re being revered or reviled, no one can deny that killing machines have been at the forefront of human innovation, scientific insight, and resourcefulness throughout history.
This six-part series combines archive and original material to tell the often amazing, and sometimes surprisingly amusing, story of man’s determination to kill. Each episode focuses on a different battlefield or breed of killing machine and shows how mankind has shaped, remade, and perfected his tools for war, from sticks and stones to weapons capable of ultimate annihilation.