Based on existing scientific data and research currently being carried out in this country, this drama examines a not-too-distant future in which the financial rewards for scientific advance leave moral scruples surplus to requirements.
As we approach the end of the millennium, we are increasingly dependent on technology. Our professional and social lives have changed so much over the last few decades that it is virtually impossible for us to comprehend what life would be like without necessities like light, heat electricity and transport.
And yet we are also aware that these things are powered by limited resources: the earth’s supplies of fossil fuels will have been used up by the end of the next century - so what then?
Demand will be so high by this stage that ecological means of power-production will not be sufficiently effective, For a while, it seemed that nuclear power would provide the answer, but it has proved far too volatile a medium to exploit on a grand scale.
For that is the nature of nuclear power — it is an incredibly dangerous process: the slightest mistake can result in catastrophe and the waste products remain poisonous for hundreds, if not thousands of years,
In fact, it is the disposal of spent fuel that is the greatest difficulty. So, imagine if there were a way of getting rid of the waste without poisoning the planet - if there was some kind of secure disposal system that would simply remove the problem.
This is the project that renegade scientist Toby Ross is spearheading. After stealing the work of fellow boffin Neil Tannahil (Trevor Eve, above), he has the means to unite the cheapest source of energy with an insatiable nuclear waste disposal system by creating the world’s first manmade black hole.
On the point of moving abroad with his radiographer wife, Meg, Cambridge astrophysicist Neil Tannahil has no idea that his work is being used for such nefarious ends until he is approached by Dr Spencer Quist,
Quist is the ageing founder of the original Doom Watch organisation which has been monitoring Toby Ross’s covert experiments for several years. Believing he has found a kindred spirit in Tannahil, he outlines his fears and manages to persuade his colleague to take over the investigation into Ross’s potentially catastrophic work.
With the help of computer genius Hugo Cox and environmental scientist Teri Riley, the Tannahils try to uncover the extent to which Ross has put his theories into practice, but soon find themselves drawn into a web of corrupt and unaccountable powers, where so-called ‘security forces’ will stop at nothing to protect their guilty secret.
Only after the horrific deaths of three of his colleagues, including Dr Quist himself, does Tannahil begin to realise that it is too late to walk away. In fact, he has no choice but to confront those behind this dangerous empire, because the whole project is out of control and so is the black hole!
Neil Tannahil…Amanda Ooms
Spencer Quist…Philip Stone
Toby Ross…Miles Anderson
Hugo Cox…Dallas Campbell
Teri Riley…Allie Byrne
Writers: Ian MacDonald & John Howett
Producer: Peter Lee Wright Director: Roy Battersby.
A Working Title Television & Vanson Production