'Classic' Telly

Doomwatch

THIS PAGE LAST UPDATED

07/12/99

DOOMWATCH

(episodes c.50min colour)

S1

13 episodes

09/02/70 - 11/05/70

 8 episodes currently exist

S2

13 episodes

14/12/70 - 22/03/71

 ALL episodes currently exist

S3

12 episodes ( inc. 1 unbroadcast)

05/06/97 - 14/08/72

 3 episodes exist ( inc. 1 unbroadcast)

.

38 episodes ( inc. 1 unbroadcast)

.

BBC Production

 ALL existing episodes are in colour

Series based on science-fact, with the premise of a government department set up to question the ethics and validity of the days technological innovations and scientific advances. Often at odds with big business and those who had instigated the department, Dr. Spencer Quist the bureau chief was almost always able to prove a point.

The cast varied slightly in each of the three seasons, with dramatic departures, new recruits and semi-resident characters; but Quist stuck it out to the last.

TOMORROW, THE RAT

When viewed today (aside from the fashions) the stories hold up extremely well, with many themes that have been recurrent over the past 25 years as valid now as they were then. The production values are excellent for the time and provide a very good example of the style of early '70s television drama. Suffering from the BBC archive purges of the '70s (like the better documented Dr Who) a very representative range of episodes survive today, including the dramatic depature of Robert Powell's character (which is retained only in a brief reprise in the pre-credit sequence of the following story).

BOOKS RELATED TO THE SERIES by Kit Pedler & Gerry Davis

UK

VIDEO RELEASE INFORMATION AT THE BASE OF THIS PAGE

UK

By the third season a few implausible themes had crept in; probably with the intention of grabbing ratings. With the use of footage of a Nigerian firing squad carrying out an actual execution in the episode "Sex and Violence"(never transmitted in the UK) the programme finished on a low, with another episode not even completing production.

At least it had given it's audience three years of intelligent and thought provoking drama. The series spawned a feature film of the same name (1972, Tigon) starring Ian Bannen and Judy Geeson; with John Paul and Simon Oates reprising their characters, albeit with secondary billing. An often overlooked series today - it's well worth a look if you ever get the opportunity. 

 

WITHOUT RIDGE OR WREN

NEW EPISODE

A feature length pilot for a proposed 'NEW' series was aired by Channel 5 in the UK on Tuesday 7th December 1999 at 9pm. This 2 hour feature had Trevor Eve as the lead character in an update, with actor Philip Stone portraying an elderly Spencer Quist.

 

UK Gold

 last known UK transmission

*although all episodes (except 'Sex an Violence') have been transmitted by UK gold not all were reshown during the last run on this channel.

season1

exist?

story title

info

availability

01

YES

The Plastic Eaters

an aeroplane melts in the air

PRV

02

NO

Friday's Child

a test tube baby causes a storm

n/a

03

NO

Burial at Sea

the dangers of dumping waste in the oceans

n/a

04

YES

Tomorrow, the Rat

super rats, with a liking for humans

PRV

05

YES

Project Sahara

big brother's watching you

UKGold

06

YES

Re-entry Forbidden

error on a spaceflight, was it a human factor?

UKGold

07

YES

The Devil's Sweets

advertising and chocolate don't mix

UKGold

08

YES

The Red Sky

aircraft sound waves, causing suicides

PRV

09

NO

Spectre at the Feast

scientists at a conference are falling ill

n/a

10

YES

Train and De-Train

the connection between AC3051 and wildlife extermination.

UKGold

11

YES

The Battery People

marital upsets for a group of factory workers

UKGold

12

NO

Hear No Evil

a company in dispute with its workforce

n/a

13

NO*

Survival Code

bomb disposal at a busy resort ending exists as reprise in next episode

n/a

season2

exist?

story title

info

availability

01

YES

You Killed Toby Wren

repercussions after the death of Toby Wren cause Quist to wrestle with his conscience

PRV

02

YES

Invasion

two cavers disappear near a chemical dump

UKGold

03

YES

The Islanders

refugees encounter a harsh polluted new world

UKGold

04

YES

No Room for Error

a new drug is killing rather than curing

UKGold

05

YES

By the Pricking of My Thumbs...

a genetic disorder makes one boy appear to be a freak

UKGold

06

YES

The Iron Doctor

a mechanical doctor plays with lives.

UKGold

07

YES

Flight into Yesterday

jet-lag, is there a need for concern?

UKGold

08

YES

The Web of Fear

yellow fever on the Scilly Isles

UKGold

09

YES

In the Dark

Euthanasia condoned! Guest starring former Dr Who Patrick Troughton

UKGold

10

YES

The Human Time Bomb

the dangers of high rise living

UKGold

11

YES

The Inquest

a death from rabies calls for drastic action

UKGold

12

YES

The Logicians

a financial crisis is just a problem requiring a solution for a group of bright students

UKGold

13

YES

Public Enemy

industrial pollution

known to exist

season3

exist?

story title

info

availability

01

NO

Fire and Brimstone

Ridge uses anthrax to threaten world powers

n/a

02

NO

High Mountain

Quist is given a tempting offer

n/a

03

NO

Say Knife, Fat Man

a nuclear device in the wrong hands

n/a

04

YES

Waiting for a Knighthood

lead free petrol and a kidnapping

UKGold

05

NO

Without the Bomb

family planning gone wrong

n/a

06

YES

Hair Trigger

controversial treatment of mental illness

UKGold

07

NO

Deadly Dangerous Tomorrow

immigrants and the homeless

n/a

08

NO

Enquiry

a harmless chemical weapon!

n/a

09

NO

Flood

a high tide in London

n/a

10

NO

Cause of Death

killing with kindness!

n/a

11

NO

The Killer Dolphins

dolphins trained to work with explosives

n/a

12

YES

Sex and Violence

untransmitted in UK (broadcast overseas)

has aired overseas

00

NO

The Devil's Demolition (aka I Never Promised You a Rose Garden)

never completed

scrapped during production

n/a

Top

.

.

.

Top

Year

UK(PAL)

Title

Format

Distributor

Cat No.

1995

vol.1

 THE PLASTIC EATERS

TOMORROW, THE RAT

episodic (unedited)

Total Home Entertainment*

THE20037

1991

vol.2

# THE RED SKY

# YOU KILLED TOBY WREN

episodic (unedited)

BBC Worldwide

BBCV4478

VHS

# Discontinued - still available in some clearance stores

.

*RE-ISSUE

Double Packs

Year

 

Title

Format

Distributor

Cat No.

1st published 1971

Mutant 59 : The Plastic Eater

 MUTANT 59:

THE PLASTIC EATER

Paperback

Pan

ISBN0330237969

1st published 1974

Brainrack

BRAINRACK

 

Paperback

Pan

ISBN0330245902

 

 

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All Original Material © 1997-99 Peter Culley

PRODUCTION CREDITS: DOOMWATCH TV Series

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