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Steampunk / Live-Action TV

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Steampunk in live-action TV.

  • The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. blended weird sci-fi elements with the 1890s old west.
  • Castle had an episode set in a steampunk-themed club, and Castle went all-out getting into the part. The episode in question is held up as one of the few mainstream shows who got steampunk right, and was the result of an open challenge after the... less than stellar use of it in NCIS:LA mentioned below.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The TARDIS doing steampunk:
      • The wooden Victorian-style TARDIS console room used in Season 14 of the original show looks pretty steampunk nowadays as well.
      • The Eighth Doctor's ridiculously sexy new steampunk TARDIS interior from the 1996 TV movie.
      • The Eleventh Doctor's first console room has some steampunk nods.
    • "The Evil of the Daleks" has a definite steampunk feel. Or would have done, if the 1967 audience had known about steampunk.
    • "Tooth and Claw": The Doctor brings up the concept, without naming it, while talking about what the werewolf could do if it managed to gain power over the British Empire in 1879, suggesting that it would accelerate technological development and specifically mentioning steam-powered starships.
    • "The Girl in the Fireplace" has clockwork robots in Gorgeous Period Dress. Beautiful and Nightmare Fuel in one package.
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    • "The Next Doctor" (set in 1851) has elements of this, including a hundred-foot high steampunk Cyber-King.
    • "A Christmas Carol" is set on a human colony world with a Victorian era aesthetic, resulting in the expected steampunk trappings.
    • "The Crimson Horror" is set in 1893 Yorkshire, and as a result the villain's technology is very steampunk-looking.
    • "Deep Breath", set in 1890s London, has steampunk clockwork cyborgs.
  • The short-lived 2013 Dracula starring Johnathan Rhys Meyers played around with the concept. In this version, Dracula is a technical genius who is able to provide a renewable source of electricity which would replace oil as a source of power. The fallout from such a device is the driving force for the season along with Dracula's quest for revenge against the Order of the Dragon (that made him a vampire).
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  • Firefly, while not strictly steampunk, does contain a lot of steampunk themes (mixing 19th century aesthetics with sci-fi elements and storylines) as well as steampunk character types such as the Wrench Wench, and went a long way toward popularizing the genre.
  • Fringe: The episode "Brown Betty" has steampunk and Schizo Tech designs throughout the episode. Although the episode was more Diesel Punk as a whole.
  • Lantern City takes place in an entirely steampunk parallel world.
  • Legend had a genius inventor character based on Nikola Tesla who created all manner of steampunk gear, but the world at large didn't have it.
  • Murdoch Mysteries: James Pendrick is a brilliant inventor and an eccentric entrepreneur whose inventions have definitely Steam Punk aesthetics with lots of gold, brass and metallic surfaces embellished with clocks, gauges and measuring instruments. The inventions include an electric carriage, a proto-aeroplane, a gliding suit, a rocket intended to reach outside the atmosphere (carrying a man no less) or a hyper-train called the Pendrick FLASH (FLASH being an acronym for Frictionless Levitated Accelerated Subsurface Hyper-train).
  • NCIS: Los Angeles: In one episode, Abby goes to a "steampunk bar". But the steampunks are really just goths wearing brown, they all act rude like punks are expected to act and their vocabulary is laced with words borrowed from Harry Potter.
  • The short-lived (six episodes) series QED showed an American inventor, played by Sam Waterston, coming to Edwardian Great Britain and having adventures there.
  • Revolution: The Georgia Federation has reverted to this full-stop, converting buses and agricultural machinery to steam power in response to the loss of electricity. Miles notes that their standard of living is substantially higher than that of the Monroe Republic at least partly as a result ("The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia").
  • The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne is a steampunk series on the Sci-Fi Channel set in the Victorian era.
  • Stargate Atlantis:
    • In one episode, Col. Sheppard and Dr. McKay have been playing an RTS game they had found on the station, where they each built up and controlled neighboring countries. At least, they thought it was a game, until they finds a planet with countries built up exactly like they had specified. Dr. McKay's country is fully steampunk, with leather and brass, goggles, steam power and dirigibles.
    • While this is probably the only episode to invoke the trope intentionally, many other planets of the week in both Atlantis and Stargate SG-1 have cultures that are clearly at an 1890s level, from tech to fashion, though it bears little, if any, relevance to the plot. Many establishing shots of smoke-filled cities with skies full of airships, science labs full of brass tubing and smoked glass. The show's artists/costumers, at least, were clearly fans of the genre.
  • Tin Man, a re-interpretation of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, has a distinct steampunk feel to at least the architecture and machinery, with just a tiny bit of cyberpunk thrown in for higher tech purposes. Appropriate to the setting. See "Literature." The Oz books were loaded with steam-tech.
  • Torchwood: Captain Jack, captured by Torchwood agents in the 19th century, is interrogated by means of a Patent Electric Torture Device, with the inventors' faces on the lid.
  • Warehouse 13 plays with this, especially in terms of aesthetics, although it's a bit closer to Diesel Punk in terms of the artifacts being handled (like the Farnsworth). The field agents, however, use fairly standard modern tech aside from the aforementioned Farnsworthsnote  and Tesla guns. Although when Helena is a field agent, she prefers her own steampunk equipment.
  • The Wild Wild West is one of the earliest examples of steampunk on television. Practically every other episode featured a mad scientist outfitted with Verne-style tech.

Alternative Title(s): Live Action Television


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