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... Ninety seconds to go, says Quist from the end of the pier as Toby Wren on the other side is cutting wires leading inside a ticking nuclear bomb, wedged amongst the struts of the pier support. As two suited men arrive to take over, Toby, full of relief, thinks he has succeeded in disarming the explosive. But to his horror, he discovers one more wire, and he has dropped the clippers into the sea. As he tries to manually undo the wire from its terminal, the trip motor activates.

The conventional explosion throws Quist, Ridge and Air Commodore Parks to the ground... Climbing up to look through the shattered windows, Quist murmurs 'Non-nuclear.' Ridge stares at him. 'Wren... who told Toby?' Air Commodore Parks snarls: 'When will you people learn not to interfere?'


The Minister is reading a report on the Byfield bomb business and can barely contain his excitement. Not only did Quist interfere, he did not follow instructions from the police! Listening to this is Harry, the Permanent Secretary who understands the subtext only too well. If the police doesn't get Quist, the Minister will. The Minister accepts that Doomwatch is an excellent watchdog but it must learn to come to heel and it will do it a lot better without Doctor Quist. 'I believe Quist to be unstable... he's responsible for the deaths of three men.' Harry leaves with orders to set up a tribunal of enquiry. 'Without delay, please. There'll be questions in the house.'

The episode titles roll over the Minister working on the report.

Barbara Mason is waiting in the Doomwatch office for someone to arrive and takes a call from Geoff Hardcastle, phoning from the pub close by hoping to speak to Quist. He had written to him sometime again. She introduces herself to Colin Bradley who welcomes her to the outfit, tells her where the coffee is to be found! She relaxes and enjoys his gentle humour.

The Minister has a preliminary meeting with Air Commodore Parks in his office and as he pours him a sherry quizzes him over his role in the operation to recover the missing warheads. He explains it was standard procedure to call in Doomwatch in situations of technological hazard, ever since the Minister made it so. Parks also explains that the other weapons were recovered. 'Without the doubtful aid of Doctor Quist,' conjectures the Minister. Presumably the bomb at Byfield Regis would have presented them with as little problem. Parks would rather the tribunal answer that as there had been interference before Quist arrived there. The Minister does not get the point, and focuses on Quist not following advice from Parks – and from Quist's own team! Parks recalls Ridge's attitude – vehement. 'There's certainly no love lost.' The Minister is intrigued...

After a bit of misunderstanding, Ridge meets Barbara and they shake hands. Colin tells John that Pat is now out of hospital and has gone home back to Yorkshire. 'Poor kid,' says Ridge. 'She fancied him rotten. Mind you, no taste.' He walks off, carrying a large envelope. Colin explains Ridge's appearance to Barbara. 'Most people think of scientists as stockbrokers in white coats but what they really are are a bunch of weirdies!' Ridge wants to know where Quist is – he has something to show him... Colin explains that he's gone to see Toby's parents. That's a coincidence as Ridge wants his opinion on this... A large photograph of Toby, which he pins to the noticeboard next to his desk. Barbara recognises the picture. Ridge: 'How does that grab your apples?' Barbara replies: 'Would you like some coffee?'

A little later, sipping his coffee and his feet in his desk, Ridge waits for Quist's return. With his arm bandaged up, Quist walks in, and stops at the sight of the photo. He looks down at Ridge in silence and walks to his office, ignoring Bradley and Barbara. Geoff telephones again and Barbara asks Ridge how do you get through to Doctor Quist? 'Always been a mystery to me darling.' She goes through to see the man, warned by Ridge not to let him frighten you. Quist is initially distracted and irritable as she goes in to tell him about the call. Quist is more concerned about getting an advert in the Times and the civilised Sundays and The New Scientist and the Ecologist. But as she leaves and asks him if he likes a cup of coffee, he smiles and relaxes and would like some very much. Outside, Barbara asks Bradley what does she do with the paper? Ridge is appalled by the advert and gets angry over Quist's haste. 'He's not bloody human.' Quist rushes out, he finally recognises the name Hardcastle. 'The boy who resigned from Norfolk last week, it was in all the papers. Hardcastle the biologist, extra uterine conception. Test tube babies. He resigned in protest. He's applied to come here.' Ridge has been bubbling under all this... 'Well, his heart's in the right place. Doesn't believe in substitutes, ambitious too, obviously spends all his time with situations fatal.' Quist is lost for words but then tells Barbara if Geoff phones again, he would like to speak to him. Ridge wants a confrontation but Colin holds him back and Quist goes back to his office. Ridge goes to the Feathers to get quietly stoned. Whilst Quist, perched on his desk staring into the distance...

At the bar, Ridge's banter with the elderly bar maid gives Geoff Hardcastle an introduction. Ridge is hostile and contemptuous at first but takes a drink from him. Geoff denies that he wants to join Doomwatch, he wants their help. 'To stop my professor's work without crucifying him.' His professor, Eric Hayland is trying to produce the first animal/man hybrid. Human material has been inserted into an animal's egg cell although it is a lot more complicated than that. Fertilisation is then standard procedure. 'Your man is merely making a monster,' says Ridge in summary. 'In this case, a chicken with a human head.'

Quist goes to see Harry, the Minister's permanent secretary and tells him that he has had enough. He wants to resign. It will be seen as a confession and it is a personal indulgence, interprets Harry. Did he kill three men or saved three million? Harry will not accept his resignation. Quist ponders. 'It was a long time ago... that I realised the most important thing in life... is life. Not science, not technology, politics, religion, riches, power, none of these were sacred. Only life. Sum total of man's knowledge written down for all to read. What is it amount to? Better to be a live idiot than a dead genius.' 'How would you rate a live genius?' Quist cheers up a little bit at this flattery. Harry recommends some leave. Quist takes the bait: he has too much to do. He needs a replacement for Wren, needs to increase his establishment. He needs a doctor as he is swamped with medical enquiries. Harry suggests a holiday again. It is not sick leave and the routine chop. 'Stop feeling sorry for yourself. And see a doctor.' Harry hands him a card. A head shrinker. Quist is alarmed when the implication sinks in. 'you think I'm bonkers!' It's a friendly warning – prove them wrong.

Bradley is showing Barbara the computer when Ridge brings Geoff into the office but is told he has been summoned to see the Minister and is virtually forced to go home and change!

Ridge is in a respectable suit and faces the Minister who asks him if he enjoys his work. 'Most of the time,' Is any job hugely enjoyable? The Minister says his is. 'Perhaps that's because you're the boss.' 'Greater responsibility does not extend greater enjoyment.' 'No, but power does.' The Minister thinks that is what Ridge wants, his record shows traces of irresponsibility.' Ridge defends himself: he goes for short cuts, they're running out of time. The Minister gets to the point: Quist may have to be replaced. 'without Quist, there would be no Doomwatch.' 'You're too modest.' The Minister is not offering Ridge Quist's job. He is simply sounding him out should the need arise to advertise the post externally. In the future. Ridge understands. 'Doomwatch is becoming a nuisance, you're clipping our wings.' The Minister disagrees. The notion is to expand Doomwatch. 'Words like pollution and environment have become increasingly fashionable and so have the pressure groups that use them. There is a very good case of increasing your establishment. Lack of investigation into an increasing number of complaints could, if the complaints are pressed, could result in considerable embarrassment to the economy. Then there are feelers from the States. They're very impressed with Doomwatch over there – there the problem is even greater than here. The White House is suggesting a liaison, an exchange of information that could give us a certain political advantage...' He tells Ridge to think it over.

Talking the matter over with Geoff, Quist thinks his squeamishness is indulgent. Finish his PHD. It's the triviality of his work in infertility during a population explosion that concerns Geoff. Quist can't see how he can hope. Ridge bursts in and Quist tries to engage him and Geoff explains Quist thinks he is being squeamish. Ridge thinks it's disgusting and is amazed Quist condones it. Quist tells him to keep a sense of proportion. Ridge explodes! ' Proportion! It's filthy! It makes me sick! It's the worst imaginable kind of debauchery and believe me, I've been around, including the back streets of Cairo and if you don't do anything about it-!' Quist sharpens and asks Geoff to leave and he hurriedly exits.. Quist coldly tells Ridge to continue. 'You were saying...' Ridge tells him that he will do something, and throws aside a chair. 'You're sacked! ... You've outgrown your usefulness. It's not only your insolence, it's your total lack of judgement.' Ridge finds that almost funny. Quist continues: 'You've been needling me ever since y-' He stops, Ridge picks up. 'Ever since you killed Toby Wren...' 'You bastard.' 'I may be, but if you didn't enjoy wallowing in guilt up to here about that (pointing at the nuclear mushroom clouds on the walls) Toby Wren would be alive today.' 'Enjoy...' gasps Quist. 'You haven't got an honest feeling in your body. You're an emotional hypocrite. You're a self-indulgent bloody murderer. What's more you're finished, bust, kaput!' 'Get out!' shouts Quist. 'With pleasure.!' Ridge storms out of the office and of the building, Geoff scurrying behind him. Shaken, Barbara had a letter for him and one for Quist, which Bradley takes in and is allowed to read it. It's the Tribunal of Enquiry. He is expected to attend on Thursday, the second day. Bradley tries to help the shaken Quist but is quietly turned down. He is left alone, thinking...

In the pub, Geoff brings Ridge over a drink, feeling slightly guilty but Ridge tells him it goes back a long way. He wants to see the lab, despite Geoff's assurance that his professor is not a monster but a gentle and dedicated man. They discuss strategies to see the lab without arousing suspicion. Geoff doesn't want Hayland pilloried by sentimentalists. Geoff suggests he works on Judith Lennox

Quist gets to meet his psychiatrist – a woman, Doctor Anne Tarrant who tries to make him feel relaxed and at ease, which is difficult for Quist. They run through brief details of his life, and then she asks him about the bomb. 'Which one?'

Ridge is taking out Judith Lennox for dinner in Norwich and it costs quite a lot! Ridge is seducing her quite successfully it seems, but Judith doesn't think she can show him around the lab without asking the professor. They fix it for tomorrow – the Professor will want to show him himself. 'He's really rather like a child!' Ridge agrees... 'I've met children like that... Your place or mine?'

The gruff Sam Billings is before the Tribunal: The Chairman is flanked seated between Dr. Warren, a nuclear physicist and another unidentified gentleman. Billings explains he thought the bomb was a bit of flotsam and jetsam and that it was his daughter who got in touch with Dr. Quist (or Twist, as he insists on calling him!). Warren asks him if he tampered with the bomb: the fact that Billings' son in law 'squirted a few drops of juice' the bomb appals him! The Chairman moves onto the arrival of the police.

Barbara is trying to locate Ridge and is astonished to learn that he is in Norwich!

The next man before the tribunal is Air Commodore Parks who relays what happened when Ridge phoned him to tell him that they had found the third bomb. Parks was amused when Ridge told him that the chances of a conventional explosion was probable but not a nuclear one, something he had been saying since the incident began. He then told Quist through Ridge to clear the pier as he was sending in a unit to deal with it. Quist refused to do this. 'With tragic results,' says the Chairman. Parks states that Quist's conduct was reprehensible. 'I formed the opinion that he was unbalanced. Under considerable stress. There was even a time when I thought he and Doctor Ridge would come to blows.' Ridge was suggesting that he was over-compensating for his part in the Manhattan Project. This is explained to the third member of the tribunal as the first atomic bomb.

Later that day, Quist asks Tarrant if it is an indulgence not to forgive oneself? They never thought the atom bomb would be used. They even wrote letters to the White house, all 130 of them, drop it out in the ocean. But then they would have the real thing to come, says Tarrant. 'Your bomb stopped the war. It saved more lives than it took.'

At the end of the first day of the Tribunal, the Minister is delighted. He thinks Quist's goose is absolutely cooked. Positively overdone! Harry isn't too sure. Not all witnesses have been heard. Who remains to be heard but Ridge?

Quist remembers how he watched his wife die over a very long time. 'I suppose an obscenity needs an obscene sacrifice. The last thing she said to me was “Start again, Put it right.” I was 37. most mathematicians did their best work before they're 25. Mine was killing a quarter of a million Japanese, and the only woman I ever loved. And now Toby Wren, sacrificed on that altar.' Anne asks him if he feels guilty that he didn't die with the bomb. Suicide? No, not if he disarmed it. He made The Bomb and he atones by disarming this one. Quist disagrees. He believed there to be a risk of nuclear explosion. He then relates how he saw the parents of Toby Wren, nice, decent people, who were proud of their son, and how proud he was to have worked for Quist. He felt like a murderer.' Emotion overwhelms him.

The next morning, the search is still on for Quist.

Ridge meets Hayland who is an avuncular, gentle little man but starts to raise suspicions when Lennox remembers that Geoff promised not to say anything about the experiment to the press when he resigned. Ridge wants to see the hybrid. 'There's nothing for Doomwatch here,' says Judith. 'Well, I'll be the judge of that.' Judith is shocked, and Hayland confused. 'Show him nothing, Professor.' Ridge accuses Hayland of creating monstrosities just for fun. Lennox defends the man, we can see why Hayland is well loved in his department. He is on the way for discovering the problem of immune rejection. He has made it possible for a sterile woman to host her eggs in another uterus. Ridge enters a restricted area and see the experiments. He sees the two headed chicken, with a human head. Coldly, Lennox shows him a mammal – a monkey with a human head. Ridge goes to attack Hayland but a lab assistant gets the blow. 'You ape!' says Anne Lennox, as equally disgusted as Ridge is by what he has seen. 'There's worse horrors than this,' warns Ridge. 'It's what goes on inside your head.' 'does anything go on inside yours?' Hayland thinks the man's jaw is broken and the police should be called. 'I'll see the home office cancels your license. There'll be no more animals, this is where your experiments stop.' 'How wrong you are,' says Anne, 'we have all the animals we need to complete the experiment.' She decides to tell him everything. It will appeal to his morbid little mind. 'Give this to the newspapers: those are animal/man hybrids.
What we are working on is a man/animal hybrid. We have women volunteers. ... I'm three months pregnant myself. Think of it, John Ridge. Had we met three months ago, ... you would have been its father.' Ridge is lost for words and returns into the major lab, slowly and almost uncertain on his feet. Lennox twists the knife in. 'You're not only a narcissistic, nasty thug, you're a hypocrite. A sick hypocrite. I don't think you're capable of any genuine feeling. You came here knowing exactly what you find... and yet you're shocked, aren't you? .. But you enjoy it, don't you? You enjoy it. You're wallowing in morbidity up to here. You make me sick.'

Quist is waiting to see the tribunal with Harry. He wants to see them now but Ridge is first... Quist is gloomy at the thought of any support from him.

Ridge, with a bandaged hand, answers the Chairman of the Tribunal what he said to him in the operations room. He thought at the time that Quist was indulging in a morbid sense of guilt. The Chairman then runs through the events but Ridge corrects him. Quist did not continue disarming the bomb after order to leave. They had learned after the phone call that the 'idiots' on the pier had shoved an electric charge into the bomb. The shield motors were running, they calculated twenty five minutes before they triggered the explosion. 'Conventional explosion,' says Warren. 'Or nuclear.' 'Impossible, ' declares Warren. 'Prove it,' says Ridge. How can Warren be sure that the damage might not have armed it, considering the arming mechanism is inside the bomb? What about the leakage? The boy who found it is still in hospital. The chairman calms Ridge down. 'I'm sorry, our friend here had better do his homework. He's no match for Quist, he'll make mince meat out of him.' 'We shall see.' Ridge concludes that Quist did the right thing and wasn't indulging in a sense of guilt. It wasn't his fault that he didn't die. 'He has the sharpest, most elegant mind I know, he is also the most morally courageous. Without him there would be no Doomwatch. So if you want Doomwatch, you're stuck with him.' The Chairman, who seems to have been taking against Quist, does not look too happy.

Harry tells Quist that he is now on. 'Good luck, Spencer.' On the way to the enquiry, he passes Dr. Tarrant who has been giving evidence. This time Quist does not disguise his surprise, pleasant he hopes. She tells him to put it right, start again. Quist asks her if he can see her again, not professionally. 'You have my number.' He walks in.

Bradley is on the phone and is relieved to hear that Ridge had arrived at the enquiry.

Quist tells the enquiry why he ordered the Superintendent of police to leave the pier with no authority to do so. He believed the chance of explosion to be certain, even nuclear. 'The weapon had been tampered with and digital countdown commenced.' Twenty five minutes to the trigger mechanism being activated. Warren thought that this time was best spent evacuating the pier. The explosion would have just damaged the pier, two thousand pounds worth of damage. 'You, Doctor Warren, are a very important physicist. Are you saying that the fault locks always fail-safe?' The dismantled parts were recovered and showed that to be so. But this is evidence in hindsight. Damage had caused radiation leakage. Had these parts not been jettisoned into the sea by Toby Wren, the area would have been irradiated by the conventional explosion. 'A safe dose dissipated at sea.' Quist would call it off-shore... What is a safe dose? Quist quotes from another important physicist -Dr Alan Moore of Stamford University. No one knows what constitutes a safe dose. Warren differs with some of Dr. Moore's conclusions. Quist has sprung his trap. 'As I differ with some of yours.' Even the Chairman seems satisfied.

The Minister sits glumly at his desk and tries to perk up when Quist enters, having been cleared by the Tribunal. He pretends to be delighted. 'We shall have to be more careful in future.' Quist thinks that would look very good on his letter headings...

Ridge is clearing his desk in to a brief case. Quist enters and tells Barbara to get in touch with Hardcastle. Quist goes up to John and asks him what is he doing? 'Bits and pieces. I'm a sentimentalist.' 'So am I.' 'Yes, I know.' Quist holds out his hand which is taken. Quist goes into his office. Ridge glances at Barbara and Colin who have been watching, and then quickly look away. Ridge takes down the picture of Toby Wren and puts it into a drawer, and slams it shut.

Synopsis by Michael Seely 


Doomwatch is back for its second series – but not with a bang, more of a elongated and loud growl. This episode has emotional explosions, true, but rather than saving the day again, proving Doomwatch's and Quist's worth, it seeks to tidy up from Survival Code's mess and dabbles in genetic engineering for the third time, but does not seek to pass judgement.

It is hardly surprising that the most famous and talked about episode from Doomwatch's first series had to be tackled head on at the start of the second. There was no way it could be business as usual with fall out, different from the type Doctor Quist had been trying to prevent. As well as dealing with the death of Toby Wren, the episode also had to introduce two new characters, Geoffrey Hardcastle, the proto-Toby Wren, and Barbara Mason, replacing Pat Hunnisett. Terence Dudley also wanted to sow the seeds for his vision of Doomwatch, now that he had been rid of his turbulent priest and arch-bishop in the form of Kit Pedler and Gerry Davis. This episode was made half way through the production run of the series, and has no credit for a script editor. Political and international themes expressed here would be developed by Martin Worth for his mid series episode Flight Into Yesterday.

Yet again, the idea of guilt as an indulgence is a theme for Terence Dudley. We first hear it in Tomorrow, the Rat, then Spectre at the Feast (both times described as cosy...) and here it is again! In those two episodes, it is either a senior civil servant or a business man accusing a scientist of guilt. Here, it is Quist who bears the brunt as he comes to terms with Toby's death. This follows on from Survival Code where Ridge accuses Quist of indulging in his own morbid guilt over the Manhattan Project, and we hear Quist talk of what he contributed towards in small detail, but it is enough. But after Ridge has had his own morbid indulgences exposed in quite sharp relief, he realises Quist had done the right thing. Ridge's diagnosis was not altogether incorrect about his mentor, but in this case he was wrong. And just to add to the indulgent guilt trip, Geoff is also accused of it, kindly, regarding his research as trivial.

The sub-plot of the animal/man hybrid is simply there to allow Ridge to indulge in his own sense of morbid self indulgence. Ever since Friday's Child, the chemist has displayed a queasiness over extreme biology. His own lack of judgement, displayed in that story, comes to the fore here. Hardly surprising because he is grieving for Toby's death and puts the blame solely at Quist's feet.
He also made his feelings on genetic engineering quite plain in Tomorrow, The Rat. Anne Lennox is the opposite of Mary Bryant. He doesn't realise until it is too late that she has become an experimental body herself, and it completely stuns him to learn that she is willing to give birth to a human/animal hybrid.

The parallels between Quist and Ridge are sharpened when you consider that in Fire And Brimstone, Ridge claims to have killed three men to protect millions in the service of the State during his time in MI6. Quist is made to see that the three men killed at Byfield Regis had indirectly but potentially saved three million. The two unnamed bomb disposal experts Parks sent in were dead men anyway. They arrived seconds before the explosion and could not have prevented a conventional explosion and the subsequent irradiation of the area.

The horror of what the scientists at Los Alamos had achieved is fact. The scientists, like Quist, saw the bomb as a deterrent. The initial Trinity test blasts was enough to make them realise the horrific consequences of what they had created. They made it, but it wouldn't be their decision to use it. It was a time of total war. Germany had only surrendered after being reduced to rubble, mile by mile, street by street, and the Japanese soldier had an even greater dose of brain-washing. The taking of a single island could result in massive casualties. So, Anne Tarrant's assertion that the Bomb saved more lives than it took is certainly one that was held by many at the time, and for those who remember the war, and this will include Terence Dudley, the argument is seen in these terms. Saving American lives was what mattered to President Truman. There was even a financial argument! $2 billion had been spent on the project. If the bomb was not used by the end of the war, 'critics would argue that Los Alamos had simply been a refuge for liberal intellectuals keen to escape the war. Furthermore, every parent of every GI, soldier, or airman killed after the Trinity Test would argue that his or her son had died in vain.' (The Bomb, page 72.) At the time, no one saw the difference between this and 20,000 tons of TNT. Conventional raids on Dresden and Tokyo 'rivalled anything that an atom bomb promised to achieve.' Tarrant believes that the bomb will never be used again.

Quist was also seeing the slow death of Helena, his wife, from radiation poisoning as well.

Air Commodore Parks is definitely sticking the knife in to the man he despises in Survival Code, as in his testimony, he does not mention that the bomb had been tampered with, and that when his unit arrived they would have had no chance to deactivate it in thirty seconds or so! Parks and his complacency is clear in this episode.

One wonders just how are we meant to experience the Animal hybrid sub-plot. Are we as viewers meant to think it is worth while in pure research terms if it helps the problem of infertility? Is this research meant to be seen as an indulgence in a world over-populated? Is it there to appeal to our squeamishness as viewers, who enjoy the occasional gruesome scenes and ideas that Doomwatch was so good at? Is it pointing a finger at us or those critics who did not like what they faced in the first series or reacted to each week's horrors with 'How appalling!' reactions.

Dudley does not present Professor Hayland as a Frankenstein nor as a Nazi scientist. He is a sweet little old man who will play Ridge's dying father in Cause of Death. Perhaps Dudley is pointing the finger at Pedler; whose moral message is seen in terms of black and white, and those in opposition are fools and villains. Hayland would not have been written as sympathetically (he's got crutches too!) in the first series. And in another blow for Women's Lib, Dr Judith Lennox is strong, and dedicated to her work to the point where he is three months pregnant by it! In a delicious scene, she twists the knife into Ridge's metaphorical guts and gets no comeuppance from it.

Geoff Hardcastle is brought in; smoothly performed, clinical and dislikes sentimentalists, his objection to Hayland's work is based on the current concerns of population explosions. He does not want to see his Professor crucified by a morbid media. This too is a very different approach for a Doomwatch script. Normally someone is concerned about something unethical being performed or downright dangerous, as we shall see in later episodes. Quist sees no objection to the research as such. Emotions are kept locked up. Dudley has written an episode that let's us think it through for ourselves, which is how he feels drama should work, rather than telling us how to react. It will become the template for the third series.

Simon Oates's performance in this episode is outstanding. John Paul is equally brilliant, either losing his temper, or those long, reflective stares into the distance as a drum tolls in the background (it happens to Ridge as the implication sinks in), or standing up to the Tribunal quietly and authoritatively, or dissolving into tears. Only Colin Bradley is continuing his work seemingly unaffected, on the outside at least. The script does not give him an opportunity to say how he feels.

Barbara Mason is given a fine line in reactional comedy, and Vivien Sherrard pulls it off rather nicely. We won't see her again until the fourth episode.

Reintroduced is the Minister played by John Barron, completely differently from the sinister figure he was presented as in The Plastic Eaters. Suddenly he has swallowed a dictionary or at least a PG Wodehouse novel, has gotten himself a huge office, and is presumably the minister for National Security again. What ever happened to the Welsh bloke? The Minister is called George, only a year before he gets a knighthood and a surname – to say nothing of a wife! He is presented as more anti-Quist than anti-Doomwatch. He sees it as a political tool, which is hardly surprising, as that's his job. The ethics is left to Quist.
Talking of ethics... Really, dating your shrink is never a good idea! Or, come to that, dating a client! Still, something obviously happens. Anne Tarrant will soon let her hair down and other things to become Mrs. Quist! She tells him to start again, put it right, quoting Helena Quist's last words to her husband.

And so he does. 

Reviewed by Michael Seely


Project Number: 02240/4417
4th September 1970 To Gerry Davis. Terms have been agreed as follows:- Terence Dudley. Basic fee £600. Title: HE KILLED TOBY WREN “Please let me have details of delivery and acceptance in due course.' Ben Travers.

Camera Rehearsals: 15th October (Overtime)
Telerecorded 16th of October 1970 VTC/6HT/62604

The Guardian 16th December 1970

Doomwatch (BBC) is an excellent artefact. This constructed creature can be in your house, say. half an hour before you notice the lack of pores and pulse. The characterisation is routine; one guilt ridden genius, one swinging assistant, one salt of the earth lab man, one wide eyed Girl Friday, one slippery Mister Minister. The writing is punchy but pedestrian. The plot neat and gaudy.
Part of the story involved a genetic cross between man and animal. It is sometimes a little difficult to disentangle in Doomwatch where fact ends and fiction begins. The grafting of inspired guesswork on scientific reality is so neat. does Mr Moore of Stanford University whose opinion on radiation Quist quoted exist? Probably. Do cross mutations of men and mammals exist? Probably not.
It is perfectly possible that scientists engaged in such ready rows. ''You're a narcissistic, sadistic thug. A hypocrite, a sick hypocrite. You make me sick.' But, of the six scientists seen, one was summarily blown up, one had a broken arm, one a bandaged hand from breaking the jaw of a fourth and the fifth was pregnant with a man/animal foetus. Oh, there was a six on crutches but I presume his disability was normal...
The production does it proud and as thrillers go, it goes with a bang. It aims to be and is primarily entertainment, and considering the subject matter, how's that for horror?

Original article by Nancy Banks-Smith two days after You Killed Toby Wren is transmitted With thanks to Michael Seely for typesettingand Andrew Wilson for supplying this classic Newspaper article.

New Scientist 31 Dec 1970

New Route to hybrid cells may aid genetic carpentry
from Monitor by Graham Chedd, Peter Stubbs and Gerald Wick
The work on hybrid cells by Henry Harris and his group at Oxford inspired noty only a recent Doomwatch episode on the box, but also research at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Washington, that may one day lead to a simple method of transplanting the nucleus of one mammalian species into the egg of another. A second source of inspiration for Roger Ladda and Richard Estensen of the Institute was the observation, first made about three years ago, that the drug cytochalasin B will cause cultured mouse cells to expel their nuclei. Ladda and Estensen now report (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, vol67, p1528) the manufacture, with the aid of cytochalasin B, of mouse cells containing the nuclei of chickens. They suggest that their technique will be useful, for studying the mechanisms of cell division and malignancy. And they also speculate, in a rather enigmatic final sentence, on the possibility of genetic engineering with the technique, using it to develop cell lines which could be immunologically tolerated by the patient and supply an enzyme which he had previously lacked.

The article above does not name but refers to You Killed Toby Wren
With thanks to Michael Seely


Dr. Spencer Quist

Dr. John Ridge

Tobias Wren

Geoff Hardcastle

Colin Bradley

Barbara Mason

Dr. Anne Tarrant

Sam Billings

Dr. Judith Lennox

Dr. Warren

Professor Eric Hayland


Len White

1st. man on pier

and guest stars

The Minister - Sir George Holroyd

Air Commodore Parks

Chairman of Tribunal

Permanent Secretary


Pre-title sequence written by

Directed by

Theme Music by



Series Titles

Studio Lighting

Studio Sound


Assistant to Producer

Produced and directed by


14th December 1970
9.50pm - 10.40pm 

Notes: This episode Introduces Geoff Hardcastle, Barbara Mason and Anne Tarrant

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