Macmillan's Marvellous Motion Machine by Jules Horne

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BBC Radio 4, 19 May 2011
Set in 1840, Macmillan's Marvellous Motion Machine told of the efforts of blacksmith Kirkpatrick MacMillan (Scott Hoatson), to create a primitive bicycle. The sheer effort of doing so obsesses him to such an extent that he has little time for anything else - women, socializing. Eventually he creates it and rides the 70 miles from Dumfries to Glasgow to show it off. Unfortunately he has an accident in the city, as he rides straight into a little girl's leg. Fined five shillings in court, he loses the desire to pursue his dream and gives the bicycle away to one of the maids at Drumlannig Castle. She passes on the idea to Gavin Dalziel, an engineer, who becomes rich as a result. Meanwhile MacMillan returns to his trade, a happier if not wiser person.
Constructed as a dialogue between MacMillan and the bicycle (John Kazek), Jules Horne's play looked at the relationship between human beings and machines. Often this can prove so symbiotic as to transform the human being into a quasi-automaton. This is what happens to MacMillan before he rides to Glasgow. On the other hand, the machine has no feelings for anything except itself; it does not acknowledge MacMillan's sufferings. All it wants to do is to become the prorotype for the latest form of transport; in other words, achieve a reputation for itself. Dalziel helps the bicycle accomplish this, although we have no idea what will happen to the engineer in the future.