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Four strangely dressed young ladies wearing a checker board patterned miniskirt and silver tights ambush two City Gents with a tray of sweets which they eagerly sample...


The mews within which this activity is occuring happens to be where Pat Hunnisett lives. She's in a bit of a hurry and doesn't look terribly happy, but quickly takes an offered chocolate and eats it.

When she arrives at the office, Bradley is making some tea and scolds Pat for being late, who is sent in to see Quist.

Quist is finishing off a call from the Minister and Ridge is not very happy. The team had been seconded to the Ministry of Health into research on cigarette smoking and Quist takes the credit for reducing smoking by 9%. But the Minister wants them to wrap up the investigation and forget about it which Ridge is keen to do. 'But in a professional manner,' adds Quist. Ridge is sent to check the latest sales figures with Bradley. Pat is sent in and apologises for being late, problems with waiting for the Gas Board and London transport. Quist is not impressed 'We may be employed on unimportant work at the moment but that is no excuse for being slapdash.'

Ridge teases Bradley over the Doomwatch computer but when Bradley sees a 49% increase in cigarette smoking in the GLC area, he refutes the accusation that the computer is up the spout. Quist is interested.

There's been no new brands in the last six months and this figure is as high as when smoking was advertised on the television. Quist gets him to check again. 'What's the matter with everyone today?' Ridge takes advantage of the break to flirt with Pat, wondering why she was late. 'Was it the tall bean pole guardsman or the shorter naval version.' Neither, she stayed in. Whilst munching on a chocolate. 'Don't you realise chocolates are fattening?' 'I'm back on the slimming tablets tomorrow...' She begins to get fed up with Ridge's out and out flirting but before she can have a good go at him, Quist returns and asks Ridge to go out and get some cigarettes from different places. Random samples. Ridge isn't happy and walks off declaring, 'Twenty random samples please...' Bradley gives Pat a cup of coffee. She turns down the sugar, trying to slim...

Meanwhile, Wren has turned up at Farfillers, the manufacturers of Checker Board cigarettes and meets Scott, the managing director. Introducing himself as being from the Ministry of Health, it isn't about the usual inspection.

'Change up to Checkerboard, by Farfillers, of course,'' reads the advertising board in Jack's newsagent. He is selling a packet to a Mrs Tyler and can't understand it - he nearly cancelled his order of them last month and now he's nearly sold out! This is one of the small shops that Ridge is getting his random samples from and knows the owner. He explains he is doing some statistics for the Ministry of Health. 'Checkerboard.' It seems that every tobacconist he has been to has also sold out. But here, it isn't a 49% rise in sales. It's almost 100% here, just Checkerboard! 'There's no accounting for the fair sex, is there?' His biggest buyers are from the chocolate factory over the road. Ridge buys a sample packet and leaves. Outside he notices the large advertising poster for Checker Board and the factory near by...

Wren has returned to the Doomwatch office where Pat is taking notes whilst Ridge and Quist talk. He has just been talking to Brad where it turns out that 70% sales of Checker Board cigarettes are going to women. 'A feminine phenomenon,' says Ridge. Wren relates that Scott, the managing director is very happy with the sales and puts it down to change in advertising. But he said nothing about women. The pattern was changed on the box from black and white to red and blue; red, according to Quist, is known to ad men to have feminine appeal but it's never accounted for more than a small rise in sales. Quist has never heard of their ad agency: Shiptons. It's a small one and hasn't been doing too well recently. And neither had Farfillers - until now. Quist decides to go and see Shipton's boss.

Shipton himself is a typical young man of the Sixties, loudly dressed, long hair and moustache. His office is full of modern designs, pop art. He is smoking a cigarette and takes a phone call, dropping his cigarette onto his lap as he sits down. The call is from Mr Scott He is concerned about the visit from the Ministry of Health. Shipton becomes concerned, if anyone is to question their sales, refer them to him. 'I'm paid for that.' He makes an appointment to meet Scott at The Green Man at 7:30pm... 'And don't worry...'

Quist and his team are brain storming whilst Pat continues note taking. Wren wonders if subliminal advertising is behind the sales rise? Ridge and Wren explain this method to Pat.

'It's a word or picture in a frame. you put it into a film sequence and it goes through so fast the eye doesn't consciously register it. It goes into the sub-conscious.' Ridge picks up: 'The theory is the word or picture stimulates the auto-suggestion to buy the product referred to in the frame.' 'Except it doesn't work,' says Quist. 'Doesn't it?' Ridge and the others stare at an amused Pat as she takes out a packet of cigarettes: Checker Board.

Bradley is setting up checker board patterns on a monitor out in the laboratory.

Pat is having the rare opportunity to talk about herself to Dr Quist. She explains that she had last had a cigarette five years ago, following a dose of the flu. She hadn't wanted a cigarette until yesterday dinner time from a tobacconists in Fleet Street. And she was just passing and suddenly felt like a smoke. She has no idea why she wanted to, but when she went into the tobacconists, she asked for twenty Checker Board. Quist is puzzled that after five years of non smoking, she inhaled a cigarette and felt perfectly alright- albeit a little light-headed. Pat tries to giggle but when offered a Checker Board cigarette by Quist and smokes it, feels unsettled. Bradley says that the ECG is set up. Quist asks Pat to help them with an experiment. She is a bit concerned about being on this ECG thing. Ridge explains that it registers sweat and pulse rate and brain waves ('If we can find any!') Ridge notices the pupils of her eyes are dilated. Pat runs through what she ate yesterday, before one o'clock; not much for breakfast, didn't want to be late for work... Quist smiles at this. Ridge reminds her of the chocolates.

Thus we find Pat Hunnisett, facing a view finder relaying various checker board patterns, She has electrodes placed on her forehead, held down by a rubber hair band. As Brad changes the projection, Quist, Ridge and Wren study the computer bank behind her. As she looks at the patterns, she smokes a cigarette on cue. After they have finished, Quist puts the experiment into context. They have tested a number of random women and found no increase in sweat or pulse rate with or without checker board stimuli. But with Pat, she doesn't respond to the cigarette, but to the pattern. The other women didn't.

The team discuss the results in the office but Quist is taking some persuading over the idea that the chocolates might be behind this. Ridge finds it difficult to get a word in edge ways. Wren had been asked to find the decorated float distributing 'goodies' all over London, a campaign that has finished. He couldn't get samples of the chocolates as they tend to get eaten. They found a wrapper in Pat's waste-paper bin but there is no brand name. Ridge manages to get a word in, and remembers the 100% increase in sales at Jack's newsagents. The factory over the road where the women who bought Checker Board from makes chocolates...

Wren is talking to Pegg, the owner of the chocolate factory, pretending to be a researcher from the ministry asking for 'Information and Research.' They are watching the chocolate making operation from a walk way. Pegg is a little put out, they had a health inspector only last week. Wren asks how did the free offer campaign go? Pegg is surprised Wren knows about this, there was no advertising on the wrapper. It was an experiment, to see if people would recognise the same golden wrapper when they went into a shop. Conditioning them; and sales haven't gone up yet Pegg is worried there might have been complaints. He explains that the idea came from his advertising agents. Wren tries to lighten the atmosphere. 'Tempting isn't it...' he says looking at the pools of chocolate in big vats. 'Stick your fingers in and have a suck!' 'It isn't permitted,' replies Pegg sternly. 'Health regulations.' But the workers, mainly women, can eat as many of the chocolates when they finish. But not the liqueurs. Wren is offered some samples - including some of the free samples Pegg is rather partial to them himself. Wren offers him a Checker Board cigarette.... Pegg takes one automatically. He tells Wren that his advertising agency is Shiptons...

Shipton receives another 'phone call from a worried client - this time Pegg. This time he is more concerned about the lack of any sales increase due to the campaign, something Shipton makes clear. When Pegg says that it was an experiment, Shipton wonders who called it that? The Ministry of Health. That alarms Shipton who tetchily gets rid of his secretary who has brought him a coffee and going through his mail. He repeats his line to Scott earlier about he is paid to deal with anyone poking their nose around... 'I've had similar trouble with another client.' He arranges a meeting with Pegg at the Green Lion at 7:30. He then telephones Scott but his secretary can't put him through because he is in an important meeting... Shipton snarls at the poor woman that he had better call him back.

That meeting is with Ridge, this time pretending to be from the Ministry of Health. Scott tells him if he wants explanations for the success of his brand to see his agency man, Shipton. Ridge leaves Scott slightly suspicious.

Shipton finds Quist in his own office, studying a piece of checker board paraphernalia. 'Very popular cigarette - suddenly.' 'My job. My job to improve business for my clients.' Shipton reckons that the only reason his Ministry is examining Farfello's is because of 'The Big C...' Why didn't Government just ban cigarettes instead of just poking around... Just to feed some facts to the minister... just to show his minions are investigating?' Quist fights hard to control his temper and returns to the attack. 'Your business is persuasion... Are you responsible?' Shipton shows him the advertising posters for Checker Board but Quist is not interested in any link with the brain's colour coding apparatus and feminine sales appeal. 'Checkerboard was a masculine orientated cigarette,' explains Quist. 'Following the first cancer warning sales dropped off. There was a need to soften the image. Most tobacco companies did it. First of all they tried new brands, some worked. But not with Farfillers. They were stuck with Checker Board. You tried to soften the image two years ago by changing from black and white to colour... Are you trying to tell me a massive increase in sales last fortnight had something to do with what you did two years ago?' Quist declines a cigarette and asks him where he studied psychology. He has a BsC. 'So, you will grant me some knowledge.' West Sussex. Quist knows of it. It has an experimental pyschology department. This could be an official enquiry...

That evening, Quist debriefs Wren. One of the free samples is with Brad. As Quist clears up the coffee cups he wonders where John Ridge has got to? Everyone is getting ready to go home. Wren asks Pat out for that drink she offered him but she does not feel too good, has a headache. The phone ring and Brad answers it, stopping Quist from leaving. It's Ridge. 'Have you had a nice afternoon?' he asks. Ridge tells him that he hasn't been wasting his time. He followed Scott down to a pub where he has met Pegg and Shipton. Quist tells him to stay with it. Ridge, who we see in a phone box, looks fed up.

The next morning, Quist is at West Sussex university in their experimental psychology lab where he talks to a Benson. They are standing in front of a cage of pigeons - inside of which is a checker board pattern... Benson is flattered that his small department should be getting such interest. Their work is to get pigeons to respond to a checker board pattern with food and water, hardly experimental. Quist remembers reading his broadcast on the art of conditioning from twelve years ago. Reactions to the patterns without food and water, or the nibble and the bell of Pavlovian psychology. With drugs, asks Quist, sniffing a trail. Possibly phototropine, or a new drug - their own? After being irritated about being a civil servant, Quist questions the increasingly baffled Benson about giving advise to advertising agencies, former pupils preferred. Then he talks about the increase in sales of Checkerboard, the red phenomenon. The enigmatic conversation goes nowhere.

Pat is once again wired up to the ECG and she isn't very happy about running through another series of tests. She still has a bit of a headache and Brad notices she might have a cold as her pulse rate and perspiration is a bit high. 'Over worked...' says Brad. 'And underpaid...' 'We'll both go on strike, shall we?' Wren tells Ridge that the free samples were chocolate liqueurs but if there is any drug in it it will required detail analysis. With Quist back, the tests begin. Pat has been given another chocolate to eat. The test is quite quick but the results are striking - the drug in the chocolate in accumulative. Ridge offers Pat a cigarette and then pulls it away. 'Oh will you get lost?' she says, upset. 'Symptoms are consistent,' decides Quist and marches into his office. Pat is upset. Brad explains that she has the same problem as some pigeons somewhere... 'It's alright, they smoke forty a day.'

For Quist, Ridge and Wren, they seem satisfied with the results. Pat enters demanding an explanation. 'Now, Pat. you may have taken a drug without knowing it.' Phototropine drugs have an effect of altering the brain, to do a specific task. Ridge is impatient. It could take days to get that drug analysed. They need a sample now! 'What are you waiting for?' asks Quist. Ridge is quite surprised and wastes no more time.

How Ridge gets in this time we don't know but he quickly surveys the lab and finds some formulae papers and photographs them. He hears Benson on the phone in the next room but does not eaves drop. The Professor is scared by Quist's visit and is angry with Shipton. 'What I received was not payment... If I knew what you were doing...' He is due to present a paper before a conference next month, the most authoratative on the subject yet.

Shipton puts down his modern telephone and is angry. He sweeps away a drink his secretary brings in for him...

Benson discovers Ridge who carries on regardless, warning him that outside there are twenty men trained in Korean karate. He then finishes and after snapping a pigeon, sets off the fire alarm and makes a run for it. Benson tries to warn campus security that it is a hoax.

Ridge drives away as fast as he can past a baffled gate keeper.

Pat is now feeling very unwell. Alone in the Doomwatch offices, she lights up another cigarette, and decides to phone for an ambulance. She can barely make it into a chair and speak into the phone. 'I'm ill...' She can only give her name before collapsing over her desk, leaving the ambulance and the 999 operators to trace the call.

Ridge tells Quist that Bradley found Pat unconscious and had her taken into West Central hospital. Wren followed on down. Quist has gone down to see Pegg and Scott but they were out. Ridge has taken most of the formulae down to a chemist in the Bayswater Road. He couldn't get any of the actual drug, not without a lorry. Wren phones from the hospital, the doctors want to know what Pat keeps in a saccharine bottle... After putting the phone down, Quist tells Ridge that Pat is in an intensive care unit. Brad returns and he also has no idea what she keeps in a saccharine bottle. 'Saccharine do not react to a phototropine drug!' snaps Quist. They try to work out a chain of events and Quist asks if she was on a diet which leads Ridge to remember the slimming tablets... This horrifies Quist: they have a Benzedrine derivative. It's two drugs reacting against each other. Waiting for Toby on the phone, Quist wonders why they didn't have a male secretary? Quist decides to go down to West Sussex University, even chance that's where Scott and Pegg are...

Dressed like a Sicilian gangster, Shipton is feeding the pigeons in Benson's lab. Scott is outside, having insisted on meeting him and he contacted Pegg. Benson is angry that a link has been shown between him and Shipton. Shipton reminds him that he arranged a considerable grant was given to his department and that saved the experiment since the university were not going to stump up any more cash. 'You didn't question that...' 'My use of the drug was confined entirely to this laboratory.' It is now clear that Benson had given Shipton a sample of the drug to use unofficially within his firm... 'I made no agreement that you could use the drug.' With his stronger personality, Shipton browbeats Benson into submission. Without his money there would be no paper for Benson to deliver next month for his department would have been axed for a lack of the readies! 'Anyway, what's the difference between experimenting on a few people and a thousand... Two thousand.' Benson is appalled. It was alright, asks Shipton, looking at the pigeons, they're alright, aren't they? Benson looks uneasy. The pigeons are fine...

Doctor Green who is treating Pat is told by the female Dr. Gray that another two women have been brought in with the same symptoms and that the man who brought Pat in has brought in a drug that hasn't even been made yet! How can she take a drug before it's been made?

Pegg and Scott have arrived and are waiting outside Benson's laboratory. Pegg isn't sure why Scott asked him here; Scott isn't too sure himself. They discuss Shipton. Pegg tells him that Shipton had promised him free advertising on one of their cigarette posters on the strength of which he could afford to give away a few free chocolates. That's news to Scott. And Pegg isn't convinced by Shipton's assertion that the Ministry of Health is investigating the confection market in order to cover up their victimisation of the cigarette industry. Neither is Scott.

Benson decides to put on a united front against Pegg and Scott something Shipton is grateful for. Benson has gotten rid of the drug and so has Shipton. For the Ad Man, once this is all over, Benson can start all over again. All that is lost is time. The drug works... Again, Benson looks uneasy.

The drug brought in was the wrong one - and it doesn't react to Benzedrine. The medical staff are at a blank. Pat is on her own.

By now, Doomwatch has arrived at the University. Ridge silently confronts Scott and Pegg.

Quist demonstrates what is happening to Pat. A few slimming tablets in a flask with a few milligrams of phototropine drug added and... a sickly orange foam quickly erupts.

Pegg and Scott are worried, even though Ridge is not the police. Pegg is more willing to talk. Poisoned chocolates? Ridge is telephoned by Wren and discovers he got the wrong formulae. After the call, he tells Pegg and Scott that if he doesn't get the right one it will be more than just their businesses that will suffer... Quist has heard the call on the extension. And there are practically more women being brought into the hospitals all over London. Angrily, Quist throws the jar across the room and demands the drug from Benson, but together with Shipton denies all knowledge of it. Shipton even asks Pegg to his face if he knows anything about drugged chocolates! Quist takes the second call from Toby, after telling Benson to go away, gives Wren a few instructions...

Meanwhile Pat struggles on... and Benson makes his escape. Pegg, Scott and Shipton sit in silence whilst Quist and Ridge searches the lab. The third phone call tells Ridge, overheard by Scott, that 'that girl' is dying. Shipton tells Pegg that the drugs were in his chocolates. Pegg is appalled. But Shipton tells him that there is no evidence, so the Board of Trade won't publish names if she dies. 'All we have to do is to sit tight.' Ridge comes into interrogate them, but Scott wants to talk to Quist. Scott is prepared to open all his accounts and correspondence; he did make a grant to the University, they do that sort of thing, for information on the use of packaging, not drugs. They will cooperate because they're innocent of any complicity. 'You paid this department money for information you could get out of any paperback. You never asked if it was worth it.' Scott didn't want to question Shipton, they were doing so well.

The fourth phone call tells John that Pat is dead. Pegg tries to talk, Shipton tries to silence him and Ridge slaps him across the jaw and sends him flying into lockers. The chocolates came from Shipton, the supplier claimed to have picked them up from a disused warehouse! Then its Shipton's turn. He blames Benson. 'He's been pestering me for ages, ever since I went into advertising from here. He wanted to try out his drugs. Oh, pigeons were fine but drugs weren't meant for pigeons, were they?' Shipton claimed that he asked was the drug harmless and was assured so. But it was Shipton who doctored the liqueurs.

Wren tells Pat, that when he phoned Quist to tell him that she showed signs of recovery, Quist asked him to phone back in ten minutes later to say she was dying, and then a to say she was dead! Didn't matter who answered the phone. 'I suppose he had his reasons...' says Pat, who then declines a cigarette.

Much later, Quist and Ridge are alone in Benson's lab. Ridge is still upset. Benson has done a runner and they have Shipton's signed testimony, so the minister should be satisfied. But Ridge blames himself; he should have broken Pegg earlier. Quist tries to let Ridge know what really happened.. 'It was Pat... because you told them, they believed it. You believed it'

RIDGE: Are you telling me that she's alive and you knew it?
QUIST: Sitting up in bed... and cheeky.
RIDGE: You bastard.

Thanks to Michael Seely for the synopsis.


This is a story about manipulation, getting someone to do something that they didn't necessarily want to do but think they do. That's advertising in a nut shell. Informing the great General public that a new product is on the market place is all very well and good, but you need it to make your target consumers not so much WANT the product, as MUST HAVE IT. Aspiration. Desire. And fear if you don't have it.

Two of the advertisers' greatest weapons are sex and fear. Sex is used at the very top of the story. Four mini skirted young ladies, flirting and giggling with two city Gents (who can't believe their luck) are offered chocolates on a plate.

The advertiser manipulates his cigarette clients into thinking their sales increases is a result of his work rather than the drugs he puts into someone else's chocolates! Both the 'Sweet man' and the 'Fag man' are in thrall to Shipton - they need advertisers to promote their product. Or so advertisers tell their clients! A business will look for ANY advantage over their competitors.

The story is not explicit whether the experimental psychologist, Doctor Benson manipulates Shipton into getting him funding his department in return for letting him have a brand new drug or whether it is the other way round. Shipton's trade is persuasion, he tells Doctor Quist. Is he persuading Benson of his version of events - or was the one he gives to Ridge the truth?

Shipton understands the psychology of his clients - or victims. Quist understands Ridge, and uses the possibility of Pat's death to force the truth out of the accused. Whoever picked up the phone to hear Wren's false reports on Pat's deterioration and death, Ridge would have heard. And Quist didn't even have the decency - or nerve - to come out with the truth in the end. He lets Ridge work it out for himself. You bastard indeed. It would have been far more effective if we, the viewer, had discovered the truth at the same time as Ridge. But, alas, that's not what they did. Oh well.

Cigarettes, like pesticide in Train and Detrain, is simply a plot device. The episode is not a warning against smoking in any way. Quist is convinced that they have cut smoking by 9% but, also like the Ministry of Health, don't want any more to do with it. Quist is only intrigued by the sudden rise in sales by one, previously poorly performing firm. It is a bit like The Battery People - a mystery his scientific background wants solving and it uncovers a crime, In this day of cigarette advertising outlawed - and plans were afoot to try and ban even adverts within their sale points - it is instructive to remember this episode was aired eight years after the Royal College of Physicians raised concerns over the health impact from cigarettes. 1971 would see the introduction of health warnings on the packets. 'The Big C' - is mentioned, but that's it.

The story also points out a number of unnecessary drugs and chemicals we pump into our bodies on a daily rate. As well as nicotine from your good old cigarette, but we see Pat on the slimming tablets - which contain a Benzedrine derivative, according to Quist, It was widely used as an appetite suppressant in America. In those days, a scientific tag was a mark of trust. Nowadays in these post Doomwatch days, we prefer homoeopathic remedies. Because they're natural... Come on Doomwatch. Where's your report on that? Here, the Benzedrine react with the phototropine drug. This is the warning of the episode. Things can clash.

As well as looking at advertising, the story also studies the links between business and University departments for whom funding from the private sector was just as important then as it is now.

It shows, again, how - in this case - struggling businesses will take any help that is offered to gain a competitive advantage. A struggling firm funds an under-funded department in a University which gives secrets to a struggling ad agency. For Benson, he wants the prestige from delivering a paper based on his research.

The episode's other theme is experimentation. Shipton is quite happy, and rather proud of the idea of having 'a few thousand' people to experiment upon. To be as fair as you can, he was sure the drug was safe - he took Benson's word for it. But that's where fairness ends. Ethically he poisoned those women. Pat Hunnisett was an unwilling guinea pig for the experiments in the Doomwatch lab but treated as a specimen by Wren, Ridge AND Quist! It is only when she storms into Quist's office and demands an explanation that he tells her. The public and Pat are the pigeons!

This is a great way of using the Doomwatch team integral to the plot rather than side lined by 'this week's guest stars' dominating a writers' plot. This is an ideas episode, a good first series scientific detective story. And there is a peril affecting London, getting worse, affects one of their own. They can't stop it from starting, but they can pinpoint the cause and stop it. Quintessential Doomwatch.

By now, we are seven weeks in and so hopefully by now we are in love with the Doomwatch team and the series itself. The episode shows the Doomwatch team engaged in unimportant work, teasing each other, get snipey, and Quist is slightly more eccentric than usual! As Wren is giving him a report, Quist is clearing away coffee cups and takes a biscuit packet out of his hand. Then, when the phone rings and Brad goes to pick it up, Quist looks up, almost alarmed and tries to get out of the office quick before he is called back. Twice, he lets being called a civil servant annoy him, once by Shipton, and then from Dr. Benson. He throws onto the ground that flask of his demonstration of what was happening inside Pat's stomach. He does not like to be helpless. He has no problem this time in allowing Ridge to break into a lab. No persuasion needed. Perhaps it is because Pat, a victim, is sitting right in front of him. 'Why don't we have a male secretary?' is hopefully an expression of his concern... But her serious illness, he is concerned but will not show it, and then uses her recovery as a tool by keeping it secret and manipulating it.

For once, Quist is not up against Government interests. This is the first story actually to feature a deliberate crime rather than an accident or a side effect covered up by the authorities. Here, he is dealing with a scientist, taking great risks in order to preserve his life's work.

Ridge is as flirty as usual, has a greater line in humour than normal ('Twenty random samples, please... Women, children and me first!') and this conflicts with his feelings over Pat's condition and death. Interestingly, he too treats Pat as a subject during the tests, and upsets her at one point.

Wren is his usual clinical detached self, and for some reason, when interviewing Pegg in the chocolate factory, adopts a rather high pitched, nervous approach, until he sees the chance for an experiment and offers Pegg a cigarette... Interestingly, it seems that Pat has invited him out for a drink at one point, and the chance is declined due to her headache.

Pat, at last has something bit more to do than simper in the office, look good in mini-skirts and big hair, or that rare occasion in Tomorrow, the Rat, gets out of the office to help an investigation. She is actually on location this week! She has a chance to be ill, upset, confused and frightened. In her final scene, the director is trying to make us think we are looking at her death mask. no make up, head slumped forward before she looks up and a jaunty sound track tells us all is well.

Apart from a dinner date in Spectre At The Feast where Wendy Hall dons a face mask to look like an old crone, that's really it for the character. No wonder the actress quits. Earlier I thought they should have kept her recovery dark until the very end. But imagine if they let her die for real...

For the director, David Sullivan Proudfoot, it is another thankless script where he has to make office scenes interesting and lots of little bits of business no doubt worked out in rehearsals to make them more interesting. The third series is often criticised for a lack of film effort, but how does that really make an episode more interesting? There's more film effort in the three surviving episodes of the third season, and judging by the scripts we have story lined on this site (so far), there is more in them than in the first series. This week's exotic locations are the exterior of a chocolate factory, a university campus (with that same befuddled gate man looking at a speeding car twice), and outside a newsagents. Sure, they went inside a chocolate factory, but the way the Pegg/Wren scene was filmed suggested they had limited time to do that shot with only a few cutaways right at the end when we finally see Robert Powell's face. There he is, acting away, and we only see the back of his head. Were they really going to light up a cigarette in a chocolate factory - even in 1970!
Oh, and is The Devil's Sweets a take on Demon Drink?

Reviewed by Michael Seely


Project Number: 02249/4083. It appears this episode was originally planned as No.6 in the run.



13th January SIMON OATES
14th January SIMON OATES
SIMON OATES Rehearsals: 26th January (overtime)


Friday 30th January 1970
Camera Rehearsal: 2.00 - 6.30 (with TK-22)
SUPPER: 6.30 - 7.30
Camera Rehearsal: 7.30 - 10.00 (with TK-22)
The episode overran in the studio?

Saturday 31st January 1970
Camera Rehearsal: 11.00 - 1.00 (with TK-22)
LUNCH: 1.00 - 2.00

Camera Rehearsal: 2.00 - 6.00 (with TK-22)
SUPPER: 6.00 - 7.00
Sound & Vision Line-up: 7.00 - 7.30
Telerecorded: 7.30 - 10.00 onto VTC/6HT/57040/ED


Doomwatch H.Q
- composite computer room
- Quist's Office
University Lab - composite with ante-room
Farfillers Office
Shipton's Office
Phone booth
Part of hospital intensive care unit (iron lung)


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

Tobias Wren

Colin Bradley

Pat Hunnisett

Peter Shipton


Dr. Alan Benson


Miss James

Miss Cooper

Mrs. Tyler


Dr. Gray

Dr. Green

Uncredited Cast


Lab. Technicians


Series devised by

Music composed by

Film Cameraman

Sound Recordist

Film Editor

Studio Lighting

Studio Sound

Script Editor

Assistant to Producer



Directed by

Uncredited Crew






Vision Mixer

Floor Assistant



Sound Supervisor

Gras. Operator

23RD MARCH 1970
9.45PM - 10.35PM

With thanks to John Archbold for the Radio Times listing and cover.


  1. I was just watching "The Devil's Chocolates" on YouTube and couldn't help but notice that the actor John Law looks and sounds like the actor Rupert Vanisstart, who played Lord Ashfordly on the series HEARTBEAT.

  2. Anthony Durrant22 June 2012 at 21:52

    I remember an American program that aired on CBS years ago, possibly as an episode of "Another Page," an educational TV series of the time. It featured a night watchman called Rupert Bentley who falls victim to a chemical reaction between two drugs that he has taken (one for a cold, as I recall). The story was about how to prevent an event such as this from occuring, and I believe the title was "Plastic Shoes."