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Watch this: Making music from failing sci-fi machinery

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Spaceman Hammer
Spaceman Hammer

See if this sounds familiar: a crucial device is refusing to work, but after the hero bangs on the side of the cabinet, it sputters back to life. It's in countless movies and TV shows, but animator Duncan Robson has made the cliché into a strangely beautiful compilation video, pulling from classic sources like Star Wars, Deep Space Nine and Doctor Who, and using the kicks and bangs as percussion against a meditative guitar soundtrack. The result is a surprisingly tender tour through one of the oldest tricks in the sci-fi screenwriting book.