Peter: the Human Cyborg, review: the only problem with this inspiring film was that it ended too soon –

Posted: September 2, 2020 at 1:53 am

without comments

Peter Scott-Morgan is blessed with a rare abundance of positive mental attitude. Receiving a devastating diagnosis of motor neurone disease in 2017, he decided not to give into fate but to set about subverting it. His plan: to use his background in robotics to become a pioneer, part-human, part-machine.

That none of the necessary technology existed didnt deter him. For two years Peter: The Human Cyborg (Channel 4) followed his quest inspired by everything from Doctor Who to fellow MND sufferer Stephen Hawking to source new technology to replace body parts and bodily functions that the disease would steal from him, gradually locking him intoa body unable to move or even speak.

The ambition was huge: a rigid, self-propelled exoskeleton, new plumbing to cater for nutrition and waste disposal, synthetic speech via a computer hardwired to his brain, a responsive screen avatar to replace immobile facial features. The journey took him, and us, to places where technology really was beginning to look capable of fundamentally changing humanitys relationship with disease and physical frailty. Maybe even mortality, eventually.

But for now, the science stubbornly lagged behind the rapid progress of the disease, unable to do everything Scott-Morgan hoped of it. Even so, what he achieved in two years was phenomenal. By the time we left him, in March this year, the disease had locked him in almost totally. For six months hed been voiceless, breathing through a tube, wholly dependent on his partner of 40 years, Francis. Still, hed just had delivered his cutting edge new wheelchair, complete with built-in life support, a comms computer and on-screen avatar.

It feels like Ive woken up on another planet, Scott-Morgan said. Or rather his new synthetic voice did his first utterance since losing speech to a laryngectomy. Now is not the end of anything, he added. This is where the fun begins.

Disappointingly, though, that was the end of something: the film. And while it closed on this powerful note of uplift and optimism, as a viewer it left us hanging. What happened next? How did he cope during the pandemic? How did he get on with his new kit?

It is a rare compliment these days to complain of a documentary being too brief. But this was an exception.

See the original post here:
Peter: the Human Cyborg, review: the only problem with this inspiring film was that it ended too soon -

Related Post

Written by admin |

September 2nd, 2020 at 1:53 am

Posted in Mental Attitude