Stephen Fry's hour-long exploration of the life and legacy of Johann Gutenberg. Beautifully, filmed and directed, this was an absolutely first-rate piece of television. Fry was at his most engaging (which is saying something - he was just adorably perfect for this programme) and clearly enthused and passionate about his subject - no mere frontman for another's script here.
Fry demonstrated how, through his invention of the printing press and moveable type and his subsequent creation of his famous Bible - 180 copies, 12 printed on vellum, and first displayed at the Frankfurt Trade Fair in 1454 - Gutenberg was the father of mass-production.
In the documentary, Fry travels round France and Germany on the trail of the ultimately rather tragic Gutenberg, learns how to make paper, and actually handles (albeit through cotton gloves) one of the original copies of the Bible (the thrill this gives him is palpable - we can almost feel the goosebumps he experiences). Back in the UK, he works with a team of craftsmen to found some type (he gets to make a letter 'e'), construct a replica of Gutenberg’s machine and then print a replica page of the Bible on authentic linen paper made by Fry (and including his own little 'e').
The lingering shots of the work in progress, the newly cast letter, the double wooden thread on the press, the hand-illuminated pages of one of the original Bibles were gorgeous and the editing was perfectly judged. It was a truly excellent piece of television - almost, as Fry described Gutenberg's Bible itself, 'more beautiful than it needed to be'.
So please, special please, if you didn't watch it, do try to catch it on the BBC iPlayer here. (It's available to view online for six more days, or you can download it for 30 days.)