It seems to me to be an imagining of advanced technology in the hands of the victorians. The movie of HG Wells' Time Machine is a good example. Terry Gilliam does something similar in his film Brazil although that's advanced technology with a 1940/50s twist.
Wyrd bið ful āræd. "Coffee. The finest organic suspension ever devised. I beat the Borg with it." - Capt. Kathryn Janeway