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THE DAILY MAIL 07th June 1972


A Thames TV documentary on the problem of population and supply The Limits of Growth. 'The programme was the first one I've seen that faced the really huge difficulty, the need to redirect the instinctive human drive to multiply into an equally strong will not to. It was not without hope that it could be done, fighting the industrial revolution as an example of successful redirection of instinct.


The wide and lasting influence of Cathy Comes Home suggested that the best way to ignite the imagination of people against some social wrong was to tell a story. The Club of Rome's most helpful ally ought therefore to be BBC1's Doomwatch, but Fire and Brimstone set a deplorably superficial tone for the new series.
The story, Dr Ridge went potty and stole enough anthrax virus from Porton to end life on Earth – worked only as a thriller on the lines of 'Would they recover the last phial before the unwitting carrier broke it?'
The huge moral question of why the virus was being made was lost sight of in the fast and implausible pace of the story, the actors never seemed to have time to think about what they were saying.
It, was not half as imaginative or rousing as Star Trek. A more damaging comparison is with Spy Trap which, though devised as a spy thriller, never loses sight of the moral values. If Doomwatch does not preach as effectively it is useless.

Original article by Peter Black. With thanks to Andrew Wilson and Michael Seely