Mrs Norman attempts to kidnap a baby (Giles) from a Mrs Patrick and claims in court that it's her son, as she claims the baby has had her dead son's heart transplanted into him, without her permission. Doomwatch investigate the heart transplanting practises of a Doctor Patrick. The baby in question does have a new heart and the baby's father is a heart surgeon who conducted the transplant. The other baby died at the same hospital at the right time, but his heart wasn't removed and no-one can track down where the donor heart came from until they discover it's not a human heart. Doomwatch uncover the gruesome genetic engineering practices of Doctor Baring Patrick...
As the first series of Doomwatch was launched, Friday’s Child was described by the show’s co-creator Dr Kit Pedler as “the story closest to home”. It starts as a case of suspected murder, builds to a mystery, then ends as a scientific Horror story. Pedler continues: “In that one, we moved into the field of producing animal hearts which cannot be rejected by human tissue. I know that may sound all right — but... there’s a horrifying twist in it.”
The theme of Doomwatch was explained by Pedler’s creative partner Gerry Davis. “The days when you and I marvelled at the ‘miracles’ of science — and writers made fortunes out of Sci-Fi — are over. We’ve grown up now, and we’re frightened. The findings of science are still marvellous, but now is the time to stop dreaming up Science Fiction about them and write what we call ‘sci-fact’. The honeymoon of science is over.”
A very limited amount of filming was achieved before the studio days. This consisted of the pre-credits sequence (duration two minutes, six seconds), two short sequences inside the Patrick household (duration: thirty-nine seconds and one minute four seconds) and a shot of Ridge breaking into Dr Patrick’s laboratory (duration: forty-nine seconds).
The production was directed by Paul Ciappessoni, a man who had worked in BBC Drama during the Sixties. His previous credits include the first season Adam Adamant episodes: Allah is Not Always With You, The Terribly Happy Embalmers and The Doomsday Plan. By the time he came to direct Friday’s Child, he had already helmed The Plastic Eaters, and would later direct Re-Entry Forbidden. Ciappessoni chose his own son Sam to play Giles Patrick in this story.
Camera Rehearsals: Friday 9th January 1970 (included some overtime) between 2.00pm and 6.30pm with an hours break then continued from 7.30pm to 10.00pm (TK-22)
Telerecorded: Saturday 10th January 1970 onto tape VTC/6HT/56829/ED/D
Between 10.00pm and 10.30pm some work on The Plastic Eaters filming was also done on this day.
Editing: Monday 12th January during the morning from 10.30am to 1.00pm, while the evening of that day was used to complete editing on the debut story between 4.00pm and 7.00pm.
If someone whispers 'He steals hearts' don't go all sentimental. It may be meant literally. As heart transplants increase spares may become scarce.
Dr. Spencer Quist
Dr. John Ridge (appears on film)
Mrs. Sylvia Patrick (appears on film)
Mrs. Norman (appears on film)
Passer-by (appears on film)
Shopkeeper (appears on film)
Series devised by
Music composed by
JIMMY PURDIE (JAMES PURDIE)
Giles Patrick (appears on film)
Mr Norman (Saturday 10th January only)
Secretary (Saturday 10th January only)
Three Male Magistrates (Saturday 10th January only)
CHARLES ADEY GREY
One Female Magistrate (Saturday 10th January only)
Two Male Clerks of Court (Saturday 10th January only)
Three Men in Court (Saturday 10th January only)
Assistant to Producer
Assistant Floor Manager
T.M.1 (Studio Lighting)
GERRY BORROWS (GERRY BURROWS)
16TH FEBRUARY 1970
9.40PM - 10.30PM
THE PATRICK EXPERIMENT
Film Sequences Used
With thanks to John Archbold for the Radio Times cover.