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SteamPunk Music, TV and Films

Steam Punk Music

Steampunk music is very broadly defined. Abney Park’s lead singer, Robert Brown defined it as, "mixing Victorian elements and modern elements." There is a broad range of musical influences that make up the Steampunk sound, from industrial dance and world music to folk rock, Punk cabaret to straightforward punk, Carnatic to industrial, hip-hop to opera, darkwave to progressive rock, barbershop to big band.

Joshua Pfeiffer (of Vernian Process) is quoted as saying, "As for Paul Roland, if anyone deserves credit for spearheading Steampunk music, it is him. He was one of the inspirations I had in starting my project. He was writing songs about the first attempt at manned flight, and an Edwardian airship raid in the mid-80’s long before almost anyone else…". Thomas Dolby is also considered one of the early pioneers of retro-futurist (i.e., steampunk and dieselpunk) music. Amanda Palmer was once quoted as saying, "Thomas Dolby is to Steampunk what Iggy Pop was to Punk!"


Steampunk has also appeared in the work of musicians who do not specifically identify as steampunk. For example, the music video of "Turn Me On", by David Guetta and featuring Nicki Minaj, takes place in a steampunk universe where Guetta creates human droids. Another music video is "The Ballad of Mona Lisa", by Panic at the Disco, which has a distinct Victorian Steampunk theme. A continuation of this theme has in fact been used throughout the 2011 album "Vices And Virtues" in the music videos, album art, and tour set and costumes. In addition, the album Clockwork Angels (2012) and its supporting tour by progressive rock band Rush contain lyrics, themes, and imagery based around steampunk. Similarly, Abney Park headlined the first "Steamstock" outdoor steampunk music festival in Richmond, California, which also featured Steampunk bands Thomas Dolby, Frenchy and the Punk, Lee Presson and the Nails, Vernian Process, and others.


SteamPunk Television and Films

The 1965 television series The Wild Wild West, as well as the eponymous 1999 film, featured many of the elements of advanced steam-powered technology set in the Wild West time period of the United States.

The 1979 film Time After Time has Herbert George "H.G." Wells following a surgeon named John Leslie Stevenson into the future, as John is suspected of being Jack the Ripper. Both use Wells' time machine separately to travel.

The 1982 American TV series Q.E.D., set in Edwardian England, starred Sam Waterston as Professor Quentin Everett Deverill (the series title is the character's initials, as well as the Latin phrase quod erat demonstrandum, which translates as "which was to be demonstrated"). The Professor was an inventor and scientific detective, in the mold of Sherlock Holmes. In the show, the lead character was known primarily by his initials, Q.E.D.

The 1986 Japanese film by Hayao Miyazaki Castle in the Sky, was heavily influenced by steampunk culture, featuring various air ships and steam-powered contraptions as well as the story line centering on a mysterious island which floats through the sky. This is accomplished not through magic as most stories would resort to but instead relies on massive propellers as is fitting for the Victorian motif.

The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr., a Fox Network 1993 TV science fiction-western set in the 1890s, featured elements of steampunk as represented by the character Professor Wickwire, whose inventions were described as "the coming thing".


The short-lived 1995 TV show Legend on UPN, set in 1876 Arizona, featured such classic inventions as a steam-driven "quadrovelocipede" and night-vision goggles, and starred John de Lancie as a thinly disguised Nikola Tesla. Alan Moore's and Kevin O'Neill's 1999 The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen graphic novel series (and the subsequent 2003 film adaption) greatly popularised the steampunk genre.


The 2007 Syfy miniseries Tin Man incorporates a considerable amount of steampunk-inspired themes into a re-imagining of L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.


The Syfy series Warehouse 13 features many steampunk-inspired objects and artifacts, including computer designs created by steampunk artisan Richard Nagy, aka "Datamancer".


The BBC series Doctor Who (which premiered in 1963) also incorporates steampunk elements. During season 14 of the show (in 1976), the formerly futuristic looking interior set was replaced with a Victorian-styled wood panel and brass affair. In the 1996 American co-production, the TARDIS interior was re-designed to resemble an almost Victorian library with the central control console made up of eclectic and anachronistic objects. Modified and streamlined for the 2005 revival of the series, the TARDIS console continued to incorporate steampunk elements, including a Victorian typewriter and gramophone. Several storylines can be classed as steampunk, for example: The Evil of the Daleks (1966), wherein Victorian scientists invent a time travel device.

Steampunk has begun to attract notice from "mainstream" American sources as well. For example, the episode of the TV series Castle entitled "Punked" (which aired on October 11, 2010) prominently featured the steampunk subculture and used Los Angeles-area steampunks (such as the League of STEAM) as extras. The GSN reality television game show Steampunk'd features a competition to create steampunk-inspired art and designs which are judged by notable Steampunks Thomas Willeford, Kato, and Matt King.

Steam Punk Video Games

A variety of styles of video games have used Steampunk settings. Borderlands 2 which is set in a wasteland/steampunk environment, The Chaos Engine is a run and gun video game inspired by the Gibson/Sterling novel The Difference Engine (1990), set in a Victorian steampunk age. Developed by the Bitmap Brothers, it was first released on the Amiga in 1993; a sequel was released in 1996. Other steampunk-styled video games include the first-person shooter BioShock Infinite (2013), the Dishonored (2012) stealth game, the role-playing games Final Fantasy VI (1994), Final Fantasy IX (2000), Dark Chronicle (2002) and the late Middle Ages/Victorian age styled Thief series (1998). The graphic adventure puzzle video games Myst (1993), Riven (1997), and Myst III: Exile (2001) (all produced by Cyan Worlds) take place in an alternate steampunk universe, where elaborate infrastructures have been built to run on steam power. Guild Wars 2 has plenty of steam punk inspired content, the most notable are the Engineer player class, as well as the Charr race, with their industrial technology and aesthetics. Many steampunk themes can be found within World of Warcraft particularly the 'Gnome' race within the game. Many of the items which can be created via the Engineering profession are of a steampunk nature and also named in a similar fashion. The first person shooter Timeshift (2007), developed by Saber Interactive, was intended to have a significant steampunk element and some steampunk-style technology did remain, eg airships, in the final game. There is also a free 2D tower defense game Steampunk Defense, developed in 2012 by Nickelodeon and Dreamgate, which features a fully steampunk-style theme.




A to Z of Steam Punk, SteamPunky, Steampunkyish, & Steampunkified Films.

A

April and the Extraordinary World

B

The Ballad of Uhlans

C

The City of Lost Children

D

Dood van een Schaduw

E

The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec (film)

F

Frankenstein's Army

From the Earth to the Moon (film)

G

The Golden Compass (film)

H

Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters

Hugo (film)

I

I'm a Cyborg, But That's OK

Into the Woods (film)

The Island at the Top of the World

L

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (film)

M

Master of the World (1961 film)

The Mysterious Geographic Explorations of Jasper Morello

S

The Sheriff of Fractured Jaw

Sherlock Holmes (2010 film)

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

Snowpiercer

Stardust (2007 film)

Steam Trek: The Moving Picture

Steamboy

T

Tai Chi 0

Tai Chi Hero

Terry Pratchett's Going Postal

Thelomeris

The Three Musketeers (2011 film)

Time Bandits

V

Van Helsing (film)

Van Helsing: The London Assignment

Vidocq (2001 film)

W

War of the Worlds: Goliath

Wild Wild West

STEAMPUNK EXPLAINED :

What Is Steam Punk

Steam Punk Art & Design

Steam Punk Fashion & Literature

Steam Punk Styles & Settings

Steam Punk Music, TV and Films

Steam Punk Culture & Community


SteamPunk Music, Television, Films and Games - it’s getting everywhere

Arliss Loveless character in steampunk costume from the film Wild Wild West

Steampunk style band

Abney Park