Tough ex-miners in South Wales drinking gin instead of the traditional beer, giving their wives the cold shoulder and secretly turning to cock-fighting. It all sounds wildly out of character to Dr Quist and his team, who investigate despite the fact that all this is taking place in the Minister's own constituency.
A fish is scooped out of a large indoor pool by an coveralled worker whilst another injects it with a syringe. The fish is released. A walk-way gantry splits the room in half. There are several of these large indoor fish pools. The Welsh workers are predominantly older men, except for a young lad, Bryn– who the foreman Vincent Llewellyn spots and tells him that you can't do the job wearing gloves. The boy protests that the Colonel told him to but Llewellyn retorts that the Colonel doesn't have to do the job. Dai, a man twenty years older than the 40 year old Llewellyn stands up for the boy, fed up with Llewellyn always picking on him. Llewellyn sacks him; he is offered a fight, outside, man to man. 'Lost your bloody guts, along with your wife!' taunts Dai. The fight begins after Dai calls him a nancy boy! The English Colonel appears on the gantry and stops the fight, Dai is told to get out. Llewellyn tries to apologies to the Colonel but it is forgotten. Dai was a trouble maker. Colonel Smithson wants to know why the men aren't wearing gloves; he had given explicit orders. Llewellyn explains that the men find it easier without them. Smithson tells the men to get back on with their work, and then mentions to his foreman that next week their MP is coming down to visit and he wants something impressive to show him – he has just been made Minister of National Security. Llewellyn makes a show of putting on his gloves but instantly pulls them off again when the Colonel has gone. Bryn protests but Llewellyn doesn't care 'He knows, boy. He knows.' The other workers do the same and carry on injecting the fish...
Project Number: 02249/4088
It appears that Moris Farhi was commissioned to work on a version of this script around January 1969 and was briefly known as "Any Man's Death" around May 1969 before reverting back to The Battery People as originally envisaged.
Tuesday 3rd March 1970
Camera Rehearsals: 2.00 - 6.30 (with TK-45)
SUPPER: 6.30 - 7.30
Camera Rehearsals: 7.30 - 10.00 (with TK-45 till 8)
Wednesday 4th March 1970
Camera Rehearsals: 11.00 - 1.00 (with TK-45)
Camera Rehearsals: 2.00 - 6.00 (with TK-45)
SUPPER: 6.00 - 7.00
Sound & Vision Line-up: 7.00 - 7.30
TELERECORD: 7.30 - 10.00 VTC/6HT/57685
Extra recording time is needed...
Camera Rehearsals: 5th March (overtime)
The episode is scheduled for transmission on Monday 13th April 1970 but not actually transmitted until 27th April (2 weeks later), so must have originally been planned as episode 9.
Factory (fishtanks), & Colonel's Office
Doomwatch composite (without General Office)
Red Lion; Bar, Snug, Kitchen
3 telephone corners:
Jones's newspaper office
Before the scene where Smithson is introduced to Ridge in the inn, a phone call back to London has been cut. Ridge is still feeling ill after watching the cock-fight and asks for no humour from Quist. 'I don't expect to eat at all today.' Quist wonders if he has any real facts or sentimental hunches: 'The worst kind – sentimentality about animals.' He gives Ridge a couple more days as Ridge decides to try Colonel Smithson's Battery Farm.
Dr. Spencer Quist
Dr. John Ridge
Colonel Archibald Smithson
The Minister John Davies
Uncredited Cast / Non Speaking
Series devised by
Music composed by
Assistant to Producer
27TH APRIL 1970
9.45PM - 10.35PM
With thanks to John Archbold for the Radio Times listing and cover.