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On this thread I'll put some episode guides of shows that IMO are worth watching. Most will be quite niche, but here goes.

Early 70's BBC Sci Fi series about a government department investigating unusual problems or crimes involving science and keeping an eye on new science discoveries as a watchdog making sure it's all ethical.


Here is the complete episode guide. 38 episodes were made, 14 are lost, so obviously more info is available on the 24 remaining ones which are available on a DVD boxset.
1.1 The Plastic Eaters
While on a flight to San Pedro in South America, a passenger airliner crashes after all the plastic on board inexplicably melts. Later, scientist Tobias 'Toby' Wren applies for a job at Doomwatch, the governmental watchdog group run by Doctor Spencer Quist; he is immediately given the job, and promptly sent off to investigate the crash. Meanwhile, Quist's colleague Doctor John Ridge investigates at a laboratory in Beeston, and uncovers events surrounding a new experimental chemical. However, Toby soon finds himself on board another airliner, which has somehow become infected with the same plastic-eating virus—it seems his time at Doomwatch may be briefer than he first expected...

1.2 Friday's Child ( missing episode)
Quist and Doomwatch become embroiled in an enquiry into the heart-transplanting practices of Doctor Patrick. Several uncomfortable questions are raised: what has he been doing to a newborn baby that has been placed in his care, and should genetic engineering be permitted in society?

1.3 Burial At Sea ( missing episode)

When a lifeboat crew discovers a luxury cruiser adrift in the English Channel, they find on board a group of wealthy pop stars and their girlfriends—one of whom is dead. Doomwatch investigates, and discovers that the death was not from drug abuse as was previously suspected; instead they begin to uncover the facts behind the dumping of a deadly chemical warfare compound in a deep sea trench, which seems to be far from dormant...

1.4 Tomorrow The Rat
Doomwatch are alerted to reports of a number of attacks on humans by rats. Toby and Bradley investigate the house of Mr and Mrs Chambers, victims of a recent attack; the two scientists lay traps in the kitchen, but the rodents display unusual intelligence by jamming the traps open using cutlery found on a worktop, and then viciously attack the men. Meanwhile, Ridge becomes involved with Doctor Mary Bryant, who has been conducting experiments on a group of rats in a room in her flat - but the rats have managed to escape, and have now turned carnivorous...
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1.5 Project Sahara
Doomwatch is joined by Doctor Robson, sent to undertake tests on the new 'Sahara' spray which is apparently capable of destroying all plant life on the planet. But when Quist receives a phone call from the ministry, he is given orders to immediately suspend both Robson and Toby without any explanation. Closer investigation leads Quist and his team to discover that a new computerised security system run by Commander Keeping and Barker has become far too powerful, and is making its own decisions about government personnel...

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1.6 Re-Entry Forbidden
The first nuclear-powered rocket, Sunfire One, is sent into space with the first British astronaut, Dick Larch, on board. After the rocket enters Earth orbit, Larch enters an incorrect course alteration, and fails to see the error indicator, which results in Sunfire One splashing down in the sea. Quist is asked by Doctor Goldsworthy to determine whether Larch is suitable for any further missions, as another such mistake could result in the spacecraft becoming a nuclear bomb...



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1.7 The Devil's Sweets
While on the way to work, secretary Pat Hunnisett takes a free promotional chocolate from a group of girls on the street. Meanwhile, at the Doomwatch office, Quist and his team are investigating the sudden increase in the country's smokers, and are surprised when Pat arrives and lights up a cigarette for the first time in five years. Quist suspects that there could be a link between the promotional chocolates and 'Checker Board' cigarettes, whose recent sales are doing unexpectedly well. Should subliminal advertising be allowed?


1.8 The Red Sky
Quist takes a holiday, and stays at the Kent home of his friend Bernard Colley and his daughter Dana. He learns of the death of Captain Gort, who inexplicably threw himself off the nearby cliffs after writing the phrase 'the flames of hell' on the walls of his lighthouse home. Colley visits the lighthouse, and he too sees a vision of the sky turned a fiery red. Quist suspects that these strange events are caused by the testing of a prototype jet plane, and that the noise of the engine is being amplified by the structure of the lighthouse, causing sensory damage to anyone caught within its effects...


1.9 Spectre At The Feast ( Missing Episode)
In order to decide on new proposals for dealing with the dangers of pollution on the environment, Quist assembles a conference amongst the world's top scientists. Several of the delegates soon become ill, apparently from food poisoning. However, Quist becomes suspicious, and suspects that the sickness may have been caused deliberately...

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1.10 Train and De- Train
When the Doomwatch team investigates the mass-destruction of wildlife in Somerset, Toby is dismayed to learn that the person seemingly responsible is his old tutor, Ellis. But closer examination uncovers the fact that Ellis is being slowly forced out of his job by American 'de-training' methods, and soon the finger of suspicion is pointed squarely at the company he works for, and his boss, Mitchell...

1.11 The Battery People
Doomwatch hears that in south Wales, tough ex-miners have taken to drinking gin instead of their usual beer, and are unresponsive to their wives' sexual advances, instead preferring to attend secret ####-fighting tournaments. After Quist is asked by the minister to look into the situation, as it is happening within his constituency, he and his team trace the cause to the local fish farm, which is using a special chemical to dissolve the bones in the fish. Unfortunately, this has led to the workforce becoming sterile...

1.12 Hear No Evil (Missing Episode)
In an effort to prevent unofficial strikes by its workforce, a company in the North of England decides to use the latest scientific discovery, and attempts to manipulate both the working and the private lives of its employees by bugging them with listening devices. However, when Quist hears of this underhanded practice he is furious, and decides that the only way to stop the unethical management is to turn their own method against them...
1.13 Survival Code ( missing episode)
A military plane ditches into the sea whilst carrying three nuclear weapons on board. While the RAF mounts a search mission, an unidentified object is washed up on the shore near Byfield pier on the south coast of England. It is found by two men, Geoff Harker and Sam Billings, who decide that it must be a weather-detecting device, and so begin to strip it down for parts. Toby is sent to investigate the device, but he soon finds himself faced with the terrifying prospect of disarming a very live bomb...
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2.1 You Killed Toby Wren
While attempting to defuse the bomb washed up at Byfield Regis pier, Toby Wren was killed. Quist finds himself wracked with guilt, and facing an investigating tribunal. Under pressure from the inquiry, and confronted by a furious Ridge - who holds Quist personally responsible for Toby's death - Quist turns to a psychiatrist for help. Geoff Hardcastle then arrives at the Doomwatch office, bringing with him disturbing news concerning horrific genetic experiments being conducted by Professor Hayland. Ridge decides to investigate, but becomes more involved than he was expecting to...




2.2 Invasion
Whilst exploring in some caves, two boys go missing. Ridge and Hardcastle investigate, but when they visit a local building named Wensdale Grange they are strongly warned off by an army unit, which has taken over the entire area, killing any intruding animals and showing hostility to any human intruders. Doomwatch soon discovers that during the Second World War Wensdale Grange was used as a base for the development of bacterial warfare, and that the chemical weapons which were stored there have now somehow leaked into the local water supply...

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2.3 The Islanders
When the remote Pacific island of St. Simon begins to suffer from dangerous earth tremors, the British government evacuates the two hundred inhabitants and brings them to the safety of mainland Britain. Forced into the bustle of busy life on the mainland, the vast majority of the islanders soon find themselves unable to cope with the modern world, and become objects of curiosity and the butt of jokes. When one of them dies and others get ill, Quist has strong fears about their lack of resistance to common illness in mainland Britain. However, he later discovers that the food they ate on St. Simon causes early deaths, and the islanders are faced with a decision: should they try and stay in a world they don't understand, or should they face early death by returning to their island home?


2.4 No Room For Error
Dr Fay Chantry contacts the team at Doomwatch, asking for their urgent assistance. She is extremely concerned about the work that her company has been carrying out on a new 'wonder-drug' known as Stellamycin. Several children have died, and it appears that their deaths are attributable to the new drug - the country could be on the verge of an epidemic....


2.5 By The Pricking Of My Thumbs
Sixteen-year-old Stephen Franklin stages a prank while in a school science class, but the joke goes wrong, and a classmate suffers horrible facial injuries. When Stephen is then expelled from the comprehensive school, his father, journalist Oscar Franklin, enquires as to why, and how does a scientist named Ensor know of Stephen's genetic past? Stephen suffers from an abnormality of his hands, and he has an obscure genetic defect: an extra Y chromosome. Doomwatch becomes involved when it seems that there may be a genetic explanation for violent and unpredictable behaviour...



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2.6 The Iron Doctor
The intensive care unit at Parkway hospital is using a computer to monitor the patients, but the computer inexplicably allows a patient to die. Quist is warned by the hospital's Doctor Carson that the computer is a model 20/90 that has been modified by Doctor Whittaker, and that it is able to think for itself, making decisions based upon its observations. The only problem is the computer is deliberately killing the patients that it decides are beyond reasonable help...


2.7 Flight Into Yesterday
Quist flies to Los Angeles in order to address an important ecological conference, but at the last minute, he is recalled by the Minister. After the long flight home, he suffers from extreme jet-lag, but this is misinterpreted as drunkenness. Believing Quist to be unable to fulfil his obligations, the Minister orders him to be replaced by Ridge, and the Minister decides to accompany Ridge to the conference. But then the Minister too falls victim to the rigours of excessive jet-lag in a scheme by rival businesses...


2.8 Web Of Fear
What appears to be a yellow fever epidemic breaks out at an exclusive health clinic on one of the Isles Of Scilly. After the island is sealed off from visitors and any possible mosquitoes exterminated, Doomwatch is granted permission to investigate, but Quist's team soon discovers that the illness is actually a mutated new virus. It seems that an experiment into vaccines has gone wildly out of control, and hundreds of spiders are now carrying a deadly new disease...

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2.9 In The Dark
An Irishman named O'Mullin dies from the effects of mustard gas after swimming off the south coast of Ireland. Ridge discovers that the mustard gas originates from February 1946, when a Royal Navy escort vessel sank under the command of Lyon McArthur, a former colleague of Quist at Oxford. Quist learns that McArthur is now increasingly being kept alive purely by machines, and soon he will lose all physical sensations, existing purely as a mind kept alive by mechanical means...


2.10 The Human Time Bomb
At a tower block constructed by the Ampleforth Development Corporation, Fay is working on an environmental report into the conditions there. Property millionaire Sir Billy Langly foresees that by the year 2000 there will be eighty million people living in the country, which will result in a demand for new kinds of housing. He believes that tower blocks are the way forward, but this 'battery' idea of living can result in a particularly depressing urban neurosis - something that Fay is forced to experience firsthand...


2.11 The Inquest
In the town of Sileby, a schoolgirl named Marion Duffy dies of rabies, but no-one is able to identify the source. The inquest into her death is highly controversial, but even more shocking is Colin Bradley's recommendation that every dog within a five-mile radius be destroyed...
More details of this episode below.

2.12 The Logicians
Thieves break into Beresford Pharmaceuticals in Hampshire and steal vital papers. The company's managing director, Jack Priestland is understandably concerned, particularly when the police are unable to find any clues as to how the culprits were able to penetrate the sophisticated electronic security system at the plant. But no-one has considered that Priestland's son Malcolm, a mathematical genius who has been taught by computers, may be the true perpetrator...
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2.13 Public Enemy
When a boy named Jimmy tries to retrieve his football from the roof of the Carlingham Alloys factory, he collapses and later dies in hospital. An inquest reveals that his lungs burnt out as a result of beryllium poisoning. The highly unusual circumstances of Jimmy's death leads to Doomwatch investigating the factory, where a new alloy process is being developed. Then one of the workers named Nicholls dies from a high fall after also getting beryllium poisoning. Quist then starts making health and safety recommendations for the factory costing many thousands of pounds, causing the International company to shut their Carlingham factory down and move production to their Leicester factory, much to the locals' disagreement and anger. Both management and the workforce become increasingly angry about the Doomwatch investigation, which they see as a threat to their profits, ambitions, expansion plans and jobs...
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Sadly most of series 3 doesn't exist anymore, only 3 episodes survive, so there's very little pictorial record left. The three episodes I've seen suggests that series 3 was the weakest by far, so if we've got to lose episodes it could be worse!
3.1.Fire and Brimstone ( Missing Episode)
John Ridge apparently suffers a breakdown from the pressure, and decides that, due to the excessive threat of pollution on the environment, drastic steps should be taken. He steals some phials of the deadly bacteria anthrax, and holds the government to ransom: unless his anti-pollution terms are met, he will destroy humanity by releasing the virus in a number of major cities. A race against time begins - can Ridge be tracked down before it is too late...?
3.2 High Mountain (missing episode)
An inquiry into Doomwatch is begun following the events surrounding Ridge's breakdown. Meanwhile, Quist is summoned to a large country estate in Scotland, where he finds himself offered a new position with both power and wealth in the private sector, but only if he will curtail his investigations into a new drug called disocyanate. Back in London, the Minister decides that it is time to place his own man within Doomwatch, and so despatches Commander Neil Stafford to join the team...


3.3 Say Knife, Fat Man ( missing episode)
Many years ago, Quist worked on the Manhattan Project, which was instrumental in the designing of the atomic bomb codenamed 'Fat Man', used to obliterate the port of Nagasaki during the Second World War. This involvement has continued to weigh heavily on Quist's conscience ever since. Hearing the phrase "Say knife", he recognises a potential threat—one that is tied into a break-in at a plutonium base. A group of young student activists have stolen several radioactive fuel rods, and are planning to construct their very own atomic device...

3.4 Waiting For A Knighthood
Ridge begins to recover from his breakdown, but it is felt that he should not return to duty at Doomwatch. When tins of paint are found stored in his garage, Bradley suspects that toxic fumes from the lead in the paint may have affected Ridge's mind, and therefore been responsible for his erratic behaviour. A debate into the effects of dangerous chemical processes begins, and oil baron Richard Massingham finds himself personally involved when his son Stephen is kidnapped by someone displaying similar symptoms of poisoning...
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3.5 Without The Bomb ( missing episode)
A revolutionary new lipstick goes on sale, containing pheromones designed to act as an aphrodisiac in order to make the wearer more attractive and desirable to men. This prompts Quist and Bradley to begin an investigation into the effects that pheromones have on people, and how they can alter the illusion of free will...


3.6 Hair Trigger
Doomwatch's attention falls on the Weatheroak Hall Medical Research Unit, where mentally ill patients are being given computer treatments as a way of improving their conditions. When Anne Tarrant investigates, she discovers that there are side effects to the process, and that an apparently well-balanced patient can respond violently to a single phrase, and soon a manhunt for a 'rehabilitated' multiple murderer begins...

3.7 Deadly Dangerous Tomorrow ( missing episode)
Ridge continues his ecological crusade by warning against the dangerous side-effects upon the world's developing countries of the chemical insecticide known as DDT. He stages a publicity stunt by flying in an Indian family and setting them up in a tent in the middle of London's St. James's Park. However, the prank backfires when it is discovered that one of them is suffering from malaria...
3.8 Enquiry ( missing episode)
Doomwatch is alerted to a laboratory where a new toxic gas is being developed for military use, available in a 'handy' aerosol can for easy application during conflict. But Quist and Anne's enquiry soon leads them to doubt that the scientists' safety measures concerning the storage of the gas may not be as secure as they think...
3.9 Flood (missing episode)
Quist is concerned by the fact that, approximately every one hundred years, certain extreme weather conditions arise which lead to an increase in the water level of the River Thames —and just one inch higher would result in the whole of London flooding. Even more disturbing is the fact that this increase is imminent...

3.10 Cause Of Death ( missing episode)
Doomwatch is alerted to a laboratory where a new toxic gas is being developed for military use, available in a 'handy' aerosol can for easy application during conflict. But Quist and Anne's enquiry soon leads them to doubt that the scientists' safety measures concerning the storage of the gas may not be as secure as they think.
3.11 The Killer Dolphins (missing episode)
Dolphins have long been established as highly intelligent creatures, and the United States Navy has now begun using them in their new program. They are training the dolphins to act as underwater saboteurs, able to attach magnetic explosive devices to the undersides of enemy ships. Quist investigates the matter, and discovers that these apparently docile creatures are capable of becoming deadly killers - something that he experiences firsthand...
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3.12 SEX AND VIOLENCE- this episode originally due to be transmitted 5th but was pulled by the BBC. This episode has never been aired and ironically does still exist and is included in the dvd boxset. Two possible reasons for its non transmission, 1) graphic Nigerian executions from newsreel shown, 2) two of the characters are thinly disguised versions of real people, Mary Whitehouse and Cliff Richard

Conservative housewives across the country are united in calling for a return to 'decency', rallying against the sex and violence inherent in society's media. When a commission headed by Lord Purvis is set up to decide if the current laws concerning these matters need tightening up, the minister appoints Anne as one of the members of the enquiry. However, when she attends a performance of the controversial new play 'Do It' as part of her research, Anne is attacked by an angry mob. Just what motivates the people who are so consumed by hostile attitudes towards sex and violence in society's culture, and why is multimillionaire Arthur Ballantyne funding them?

More about the above episode and its non transmission, from archivetvmusings.blog

There’s a clear irony in the fact that Sex & Violence, a story which concerned itself with the question of censorship, was pulled from the schedules and was never transmitted. Given the very depleted nature of season three Doomwatch episodes it’s odd, but welcome nonetheless, that an episode which didn’t even make it to the screen somehow managed to survive the archive purges (logic would have suggested it would have been the first to go).

One suggestion for the reason why the BBC got cold feet concerns the use of real-life Nigerian executions. It’s certainly shocking – but this footage had already been transmitted on several occasions prior to this, so it’s reasonable to assume that for viewers at the time the shock value wouldn’t have been too great. And had this really been a cause of concern it would have been easy to excise the section without damaging the narrative flow too greatly (we could have cut away from the clip before the shooting and simply shown the reaction of the watching committee).

It seems much more likely that the episode was pulled since several characters were thinly disguised caricatures of real people. Both Mrs Catchpole (June Brown) and Mrs Cressy (Noel Dyson) have more than a touch of Mary Whitehouse about them. This is made very obvious in the pre-credits sequence, which sees Mrs Catchpole holding forth at a public meeting – held in a church – and railing about the filth thrown at people like her (her audience is comprised of middle-aged, middle-class women) by the intellectual media elite.

Unlike Mrs Whitehouse, Mrs Catchpole isn’t a national figure, therefore she tends to exist around the fringes of the plot. So Mrs Cressy also acts as a Whitehouse substitute – she’s less of a rabble-rouser, but is equally vehement about stamping out sex and violence. Mrs Cressy is a member of the Purvis sub-committee, who have been charged with investigating all aspects of pornography and violence in the media. Quist is also asked to look into the same question, which he’s less than keen about.
Pollution in the air or the sea he can understand, but moral pollution? It’s not his thing at all. But as we’ve seen several times before, Quist starts off doubtful but eventually gets more interested as the story progresses. It’s just a pity that yet again he’s operating on the periphery of the plot. Dr Tarrant is seconded to the sub-committee, which means she’s as an active participant, leaving Quist as a fairly passive onlooker.

The other members are Professor Fairbairn (Brian Wilde) and Steven Grainger (Bernard Horsfall) who tend to lean towards the permissive end of the spectrum. Mrs Cressy and the Rev Charles Garrison (Llewellyn Reees) take the opposing view, which means that Dick Burns (Christopher Chittell) is a valuable floating voter, since he holds no firm opinions either way. Burns, a pop star, is another clear analogue to a real public figure (at the time Cliff Richard had been asked to sit on a very similar committee). Although Burns is a much less straight-laced figure than Richard, the parallel seems clear.
Sex & Violence is a dense, talky episode – a great deal of it revolves around the committee’s debates – which really comes alive thanks to the first-rate guest cast. Brian Wilde and Bernard Horsfall are always a pleasure to watch, whilst June Brown (a decade or more away from achieving national fame in EastEnders) has some sharply written comic scenes. It’s fair to say that Mrs Catchpole isn’t a subtle character though, and it’s no doubt this less than veiled attack on Mrs Whitehouse which sealed the story’s fate. The Doctor Who fan in me was quietly delighted to see Llewellyn Rees and Bernard Horsfall in the same scene (a few years later they’d both appear in The Deadly Assassin).

There’s no stunning revelations here. For example, Anne is attacked by Mrs Hastings (Angela Crow) as she attempts to buy a ticket for an Oh Calcutta type play. Although Anne’s hurt and bruised, she’s much more interested why a law-abiding person like Mrs Hastings would be incited to violence. The answer seems to be that she’s always been fairly repressed about sex (since her parents didn’t talk about it at all) which it probably didn’t take a psychiatrist to work out! It’s also worth mentioning the décor of Mrs Hastings’ flat, which has the most garish early seventies wallpaper you could possibly imagine.
When Quist later wonders exactly why Doomwatch is involved, it’s easy to agree with him. It’s an interesting enough story, but it’s also yet another example of how far the series changed from the early Pedler/Davis ecological tub-thumping.

Possibly the most interesting part of the plot revolves around the character of Arthur Ballantyne (Nicholas Selby). He’s a political figure who’s made considerable capital out of the sex and violence debate (he’s revealed to have financed a number of pressure groups, including Mrs Catchpole’s). It’s easy enough to look around today and find politicians who have risen to prominence on the coat-tails of controversial debates – which is a final demonstration that Doomwatch, even forty years later, can continue to hold a mirror up to our society.

Note: not mentioned in the above article but I read somewhere that the Lord Purvis character had a whiff of the Lord Longford about him.
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S2 E11 THE INQUEST by Robert Holmes. 


A quick look at this episode in more depth.

Always a joy to find another Robert Holmes written episode of any series, because it's usually pretty good. The Dr Who and Blake's 7 writer here comes up trumps with this Doomwatch script. Watched this last evening and it was gripping, but not in the usual Robert Holmes way.
Story- A little girl has died of rabies and Doomwatch's Geoff Hardcastle is sent to the village to investigate. His enquiries lead to an animal research laboratory and a Dr Fane who runs the place. A local " battleaxe' Ms Lincoln convinced a rabid tsetse fly has escaped from the lab and infected the girl and insists that none of the dogs at her residence and kennels are responsible.


Dr Fane tells Geoff the lady has conducted a campaign against his lab, and when someone fires a gun through the window hitting Geoff suspicions fall on Ms Lincoln. Colin Bradley is despatched by Doomwatch to carry on investigating and to speak at the Inquest on Doomwatch's behalf. It's actually nice to see Bradley played by Joby Blanshard get an episode where he has a fair bit to do. He is usually seen in the Doomwatch lab in a white coat being all sciency.


Most of the rest of the episode deals with the Inquest, a lot of chat which Robert Holmes makes exceedingly interesting as Ms Lincoln protects her dogs from accusations regarding rabies ,which Bradley says is the likely source of the rabies, even though Dr Fane's experimentation on tsetse flies is uncovered it is dismissed as far fetched to say the cause of the rabies is from a mutation of DNA. We get a long and interesting rundown of how tsetse flies may indeed develop rabies or a similar disease from a biological process called ' passage" pronounced ' per- sarge'.
The authorities round up dogs in the neighbourhood that are strays and when one is found to be rabid the case seems closed. Unfortunately the dog in question escaped from Ms Lincoln's kennels and when Bradley suggests all dogs within 5 miles are shot as a precaution all hell breaks loose.
When Dr Quist , head of Doomwatch arrives to collect Geoff Hardcastle from hospital and see how Colin is getting on at the Inquest the story takes a twist. The little lad who is the son of the publican has a bite mark on his arm and a Continental vodka unavailable in Britain found in the pub run by the boys father leads to the truth, which I'll not reveal here. Recommended viewing for Robert Holmes diehards.

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    starring Edward Woodward 

Late 1970's BBC Series about a dystopian Britain under the control of fascist government. Woodward plays Kyle , underground journalist and agitator.


1. The Creed Of Slaves
"Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants. It is the creed of slaves" (William Pitt). Home Affairs correspondent Jim Kyle, a journalist for one of Britain's three remaining newspapers, provides secret assistance to people trying to escape the repressive regime. His activities continually bring him into contact with the Public Control Department, its tools of bureaucratic repression and its ruthless Controller Herbert Skardon. However, Kyle's current attempts to help a doctor struggling to help his asthmatic daughter leave the United Kingdom may be hampered by Kyle's ambiguous personal relationship with Deputy PCD Controller Delly Lomas.

2. When Did You Last See Your Father
"We don't make laws, we only carry them out". Despite the Home Secretary's abolition of all exit visa appeals, Kyle successfully helps Doctor Vickers leave the United Kingdom, but without his wife and daughter. Dr. Vickers invests his hopes in the international law which states that his family can join him one month later, provided he can attain residency status in another country. However, the Public Control Department are determined to seal up any possible legal loopholes to block Vickers' efforts and in so doing put an end to Kyle's interference - permanently.

3. Health Farm
"...no barbed-wire, no strait-jackets, no padded cells. After all, this is 1990". When the Public Control Department send union leader Charles Wainwright to the United States of America to promote their cause, the plan backfires disastrously when his speech is littered with dissident criticisms of the bureaucratic nightmare the United Kingdom has become under the stewardship. When he returns home, the PCD are quick to repay the compliment by sending him to an Adult Rehabilitation Centre, a place where offenders against the state (political activists, murderers, thieves, etc) are sent for "correction" under a combination of drug therapy and severe treatments which change their way of thinking. Kyle determines to interview Wainwright and infiltrates the centre, unaware the PCD are ranging their forces against him...
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4. Decoy
"This is an island prison. Getting us all together is one thing. Getting us out is something else". High-profile political adviser Doctor Sondeberg, a man responsible for the rising fortunes of a variety of presidents, pays a state visit to the United Kingdom on a fact-finding mission to understand the workings of the Public Control Department. However, his motives are far more covert than first appearances. Meanwhile, Dave Brett persuades Kyle to obtain permits to allow them to travel around the country to advance his deal with underworld figure Sammy Calhoun - a deal which involves a motorised caravan as a passport for top academics to flee the oppressive regime of the PCD.


5. Voice From The Past
The age of the common man seems to be degenerating into the age of the common denominator". When the Public Control Department take steps to shut down an underground newspaper peddling dissident stories critical of the regime, Kyle provides assistance to its publisher, Avery, in a bid to prevent their interference.

6. Whatever Happened To Cardinal Wolsey
The Ombudsman's Court supposedly exists to hear and review appeals by citizens and consists of a tribunal of judges, but every appeal is rejected despite the legitimacy of the claim. However, one judge, Philip Carter, is determined to fight the corrupt legal system and continually votes to uphold legitimate claims despite always being outvoted by the Chairperson and a weak-willed third judge. Angered by Carter's defiance, the Attorney General demands that Skardon and the PCD find a way to silence Carter. The PCD's plan: a campaign of threats and intimidation against Carter's pregnant wife, who has already miscarried twice. With the help of an American news colleague, Kyle tries to find a way to help the Carters, but the PCD's sadistic Inspector Jones may have already struck too hard at Mrs. Carter.

7. Witness
Dr. Alan Vickers, whom Kyle and Brett helped escape, has been campaigning throughout the United States to get public and world opinion to force the PCD to let his wife and daughter emigrate. The problem is that in his speeches he may have let clues drop that may lead Skardon and the PCD to Kyle. When the PCD go after Kyle's family and a plot to frame Kyle blows up in the PCD's face, Delly Lomas goes to America to persuade Dr. Vickers to return to England to testify against Kyle in return for exit visas for his wife and daughter. Soon Kyle finds himself on trial with the man he helped as the main witness against him .
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8. Non- Citizen
After the Kyle Trial fiasco, Skardon takes his revenge by turning Kyle into a Non-Citizen: stripping Kyle of his ID and Union cards, freezing his bank account and seizing all his assets. With no home, no car, no job, no money, only the clothes on his back and his family missing (and a bugged Non-Citizen ID card so the PCD can track him), Kyle is forced to wander the streets in what seems like a hopeless attempt to survive, especially when he is constantly and sadistically harassed by Skardon and Inspector Nichols. His only hope is that Dave Brett and black marketeer Sammy Calhoun can find him before his mind and will are permanently broken.—

Series 2 1. Pentagons
There's good news and bad news in Britain. The good news: Home Secretary Dan Mellor has been replaced by Kate Smith, and a "pentagon" - one of a growing army of dissident groups - is preparing to take on the hatred PCD. The bad news: the PCD's new Deputy Controller is Lynn Blake, Jim Kyle's former romantic interest, and her first job is the exposure of "Faceless", Kyle's source within the PCD.

2. The Market Price
"This mate of yours is a shark. With his jaws into whole cargoes. Petrol. Fags. Booze. Grub. It's up to us to nanny him?". When availability of food in the supermarkets steadily vanishes, Kate Smith's government turns its attention to black marketeers profiting from illicit supplies. Ministry of Food MP Peter Greville feeds Kyle information about the matter, but soon both he and his family become the focus of suspicion from the Public Control Department.
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3. Trapline

"Who are we out to nail? Careguard, the Home Secretary or Skardon and the PCD?" Jim Kyle is in trouble - he has fallen into the hands of Police Commissioner Hallam. The question is, will Hallam hand Kyle over to the PCD or is Hallam working on his own?


4. Ordeal By Small Brown Envelope
"Authorised Systematic Harassment has enormous potential. The slow and noiseless steamroller of the State. The daily brown envelope dropping on the mat". The Public Control Department, in response to more dissident remarks printed in the underground press from Kyle and Tony Doran, devise a plan to turn the heat up on the pair by employing a systematic campaign of Authorised Systematic Harrassment (ASH). Using all the bureaucratic mechanisms at his disposal, Skardon launches a tirade of officialdom against both men, which succeeds in pushing Doran and his wife to breaking-point.—

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5. Hire And Fire
"If Kyle can uncover those extortionists where an expert PCD man failed, he is obviously implicated with them." When workers fall prey to an extortionist network collecting money in exchange for their continued silence, Kyle's involvement attracts the attention of PCD controller Skardon, who recognizes an opportunity to eliminate the network and the thorn in his side in one stroke.


6. You'll Never Walk Alone
"The authorities have refused me an exit visa for the Chess Championship because they fear I might not come back." Having lost his job as the home affairs correspondent at The Star, Kyle is reduced to covering the European Chess Championship. While there, he meets the chess prodigy Philip Ross, an old friend from the early protests against the dictatorship who has turned into a PCD hack. His victories have resulted in him being hailed as a national hero, becoming known as one of Skardon's Lions. In the meantime, three dissidents plot to take Lynn hostage but Kyle informs her of the plan in advance. Kyle then convinces Ross' American opponent Cyrus Asher to challenge him to a game in New York City before warning Lynn that Ross may plan to remain in the United States as he always takes his family with him when he travels. The dissidents manage to take Lynn hostage, albeit briefly, as she promptly rescued. They question Kyle's loyalty. Kyle advises Ross to tell Asher that he wants to play him in the US but that the authorities refuse to grant him an exit visa since they fear that he won't return to Britain. Ross makes an announcement to that effect on television and the transmission is immediately cut off. Skardon threatens to send him to an Adult Rehabilitation Centre if it happens again. This shakes Ross to the core.

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Posted (edited)

7. Young Sparks
"Kyle'll be back to normal in about an hour. Until then he'll probably show an amusing tendency to tell the truth." Groups of dissidents, once-divided in their opposition to the Public Control Department, are putting aside their differences in a bid to bring down the bureaucratic machine in a consolidated movement. Meanwhile, Skardon increases his pursuit of Kyle, whom he believes he can break and thereby shatter the plans of the opposition.

8. Whatever Pleases The Prince
"We always said there'd be Peace Crimes Trials one day ... We're winning now. There'll have to be a purge of the PCD soon." The dissident assault on the Public Control Department has been successful, but the public suicide of a cell member has resulted in world condemnation of Britain's policies and the PCD being plunged into bitter in-fighting. Have Kyle and the dissidents finally won? Will Skardon and the PCD fall for good, and if they do will the cure prove worse than the disease?
Edited by HawkMan
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5 hours ago, HawkMan said:

Conservative housewives across the country are united in calling for a return to 'decency', rallying against the sex and violence inherent in society's media. Note: not mentioned in the above article but I read somewhere that the Lord Purvis character had a whiff of the Lord Longford about him.

Down with this filth!

His loopy lordship would have banned everything, then pardoned everyone who flouted his ban.

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5 hours ago, HawkMan said:

There’s a clear irony in the fact that Sex & Violence, a story which concerned itself with the question of censorship, was pulled from the schedules and was never transmitted. Given the very depleted nature of season three Doomwatch episodes it’s odd, but welcome nonetheless, that an episode which didn’t even make it to the screen somehow managed to survive the archive purges (logic would have suggested it would have been the first to go).

Never was much rhyme or reason to the BBC's policy on tape-wiping.

I feel particularly bitter at how little of the pre-1976 TOTP archive is extant. Those responsible for the vandalism will no longer be alive. Give them the Oliver Cromwell posthumous treatment. I'd be front of the queue to pelt the corpses with rotten fruit and veg.

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, unapologetic pedant said:

Never seen the Doomwatch TV series. Have seen the film. Quite enjoyed it.

Doomwatch dvd available and occasionally an episode appears on YouTube before it's quickly taken down. At present the opening episode is up on YT,hurry before it goes !

1990 is on YouTube too, episode 1 below.


Edited by HawkMan
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22 hours ago, HawkMan said:

1.11 The Battery People
Doomwatch hears that in south Wales, tough ex-miners have taken to drinking gin instead of their usual beer, and are unresponsive to their wives' sexual advances, instead preferring to attend secret ####-fighting tournaments. After Quist is asked by the minister to look into the situation, as it is happening within his constituency, he and his team trace the cause to the local fish farm, which is using a special chemical to dissolve the bones in the fish. Unfortunately, this has led to the workforce becoming sterile...

What sort of ####-fighting?

####-up or conspiracy?

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, unapologetic pedant said:

Re Doomwatch 2.7.

I didn't get where I am today without recognizing John Barron when I see him.

Delivered a star turn as a clone in Timeslip.

The Minister as portrayed by John Barron didn't get where he was then without being a recurring character in Doomwatch.

1990 is a very disturbing series,  it's gives me an uneasy feeling seeing Britain portrayed as a fascist state with a very casually nasty "antagonists " up against Woodward's heroic Kyle. Previous NHS institutes turned into brainwashing and torture centres, secret police driving people to suicide. I started shouting at the screen at the bas tards of the PCD when I first watched it, it got me hooked.

Edited by HawkMan
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