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 typesetting for doomwatch.org and Andrew Wilson for supplying all of these fantastic classic Newspaper articles.