At the exclusive Hotel Jayson’s diner’s are eyeing up Lobsters in a giant fish tank before entering the restaurant. Quist is attending an Anti-Pollution Conference in London and sits with four men; Benjamin Fielding (Chairman of Newington Chemicals Ltd), Dr. Robert Whitehead (Chief Scientific Advisor to Newington Chemicals), Professor Miklos Egri (Hungarian Biologist) and Dr. Heinz Bau (German Ecologists). A waiter hands out cigars whilst another serves Brandy. The Head waiter checks that Mr Fielding is happy, which he is as he requests that Kenri knows his soufflé was superb! Quist refuses a Cigar and Fielding jumps on this exclaiming that he knew he would be a non-smoker and probably thinks it is pollution as well. Quist diplomatically agrees. Mr Fielding continues to bait Quist making a joke about his alarmist nature to which the other men laugh. Quist as ever gives a brilliant repost “ You choking yourself to death’s not relevant to the conference and it doesn’t alarm me in the least. What does concern me is you choking everybody else by spewing peroxides into the air and pumping organic silicones into the rivers”. Fielding reminds him that he is at the conference to provide evidence. Whitehead notices Cockroaches in the bowl of fruit in front of him and creates a stir. Egri helps him gather up the tablecloth. The Head waiter appears and refutes Whitehead’s claims. When the cloth is opened there are no cockroaches in sight just a mess of broken glasses, china and fruit.
At Doomwatch, Quist, Bradley, Ridge and Egri are in Quist’s office examining evidence of five hundred and thirty cases of hallucinations, deafness and loss of balance across the country. Bradley’s is obviously trying to feed the information into the Doomwatch computer but it is playing up and he asks to be excused. Dr. Ridge suggests that it’s substance misuse or alcohol abuse. Quist would agree if most cases were teenagers but Whitehead is in his mid fifties. Egri admits he saw something too even though he doesn’t drink before Whitehead’s outburst but he didn’t let on.
Regarding the conference Dr. Quist quips “Is there any doubt we’re up to the dandruff in dung?” Quist interrogates Egri but draws a blank. Bradley comes back into the office with the news that there were five other cases at the hotel. Dr. Ridge suggests the conference is being sabotaged. Quist asks Bradley to check with B.M.A for information on the hallucinations. Quist tells Dr. Ridge that sabotaging the conference is the last thing that Fielding would want to do as he’d only be putting off the inevitable. Quist thinks he actually wants to discredit it. He wants to answer the pollution accusations then justify them whilst delaying any political action.
At Jayson’s Fielding is dictating to his Sue, his secretary whilst drinking coffee in the luxurious penthouse suite. Whitehead enters and pours himself a coffee. Fielding continues his dictation touching upon the fact that anti pollution measures have to be considered with the needs of the National Economy. When he finishes his dictation he asks Sue to distribute it to Sir George Robson and Lord Holland. Sue then leaves the two men. Fielding asks Whitehead if he is feeling better noting that he thinks that Whitehead drinks to much and asks him to restrain himself whilst at the conference. Whitehead retorts with “Power is an appetite I don’t indulge” Fielding tells him that he doesn’t know what he is missing and no cirrhosis of the liver to go with it”. Fielding laughs when Whitehead says “No, merely paranoia” Fielding asks him if Whitehead actually enjoys anything. Cambridge is his answer. Fielding wonders what bothers Quist. Whitehead tells him that he helped to make the atom bomb and radiation killed his wife. Fielding feels he has the measure of Quist as he says “Ah! That’s better. Revenge! The blindest passion of them all” Whitehead thinks that Quist isn’t the real concern as five more cases of hallucinations have been reported with Jonkheere the Dutchman confined to his bed. Fielding is concerned that he will be blamed for this and wants to know what is going on. White head makes a joke about Cesare Borgia being renowned for his hospitality. Fielding is amused by this.
At Doomwatch Quist introduces Egri to Toby and Egri tells him that he is delighted to meet him. Quist tells him that he’s a renegade physicist working in biology. Egri is impressed. Pat enters the room and Egri asks Pat, for a dinner and he won’t take no for an answer. He had met her at the airport and was impressed by her kindness. Ridge and Wren are also quite impressed with his charming technique!
Synopsis by Michael Seely
Memories from the cast and crew
Project Number: 02249/4090
THE SUN 13th April 1970
BBC1's popular Doomwatch programme draws in 10 million viewers each week. Many of these are women more interested in the actors than in the action.
Project Number 2249/4090
Tuesday 24th March 1970 T.C.4
14.00 - 18.30 Camera Rehearsal
18.30 - 19.30 DINNER
19.30 - 22.00 Camera Rehearsal
Wednesday 25th March 1970
11.00 - 13.00 Camera Rehearsal
13.00 - 14.00 LUNCH
14.00 - 18.00 Camera Rehearsal (with TK34 from 16.00)
18.00 - 19.00 DINNER
19.00 - 19.30 Sound and Vision line-up
19.30 - 22.00 TELERECORD: DOOMWATCH: SPECTRE AT THE FEAST" VTC/6HT/57940
Tuesday 31st March 100 - 1700 TVR
Dr. Spencer Quist
Dr. John Ridge
Tuesday 24th & Wednesday 25th March 1970
Wednesday 25th March 1970
Men for Conference/Diners
Music composed by
Assistant to Producer
Monday 13th April 1970
9.45PM - 10.35PM
With thanks to John Archbold for the Radio Times listing and cover.