Inventive new science fiction series
by Sylvia Clayton
All the familiar nightmares of the nervous air traveller and a few new ones were fused into the first episode of Doomwatch, the science fiction series which began last night on BBC1 television.
“I'm damned if I know where we are,' said the pilot, trying to land a plane in which everything plastic, from cups to ceilings was starting to liquefy like melting chocolate.
The idea behind the series is the setting up of a small government department to see that man is protected from the hazards of scientific research. “The Plastic Eaters” pivoted on a formula useful for destroying plastic waste but lethal when uncontrolled.
The hero is an intrepid Nobel prizewinner, Dr Quist, who with his dedicated team fights against the evils that science can invent and politicians permit. It is rather like a Doctor Who for adults which is not surprising since the authors, Kit Pedler, a professional scientist and Gerry Davis, both worked on the children's programme.
It looks a vigorous, inventive series produced at such a spanking pace by Terence Dudley that one overlooks holes in the plot/. John Paul, best known in the ITV “Probation Officer” series, gives Quist an indignant integrity.
I was pleased to see that Robert Powell, whom, I thought too scholarly to be a labourer in a recent play, is cast as Quist's assistant and credited with a first at Cambridge.
With thanks to Michael Seely and Andrew Wilson