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THE DAILY MIRROR 22nd April 1970


The BBC may not know it, but a handful of avid viewers of their weekly Doomwatch play is to be found in the House of Commons.

Doomwatch is a not so fictional series about a dedicated government department whose job it is to discover and eliminate threats to humanity and its environment by some modern scientific techniques.

The thrilling (and so far always successful) battles are with the technocrats of commerce and the bureaucrats of the State. These are continually trying to knock the public off by poisoning, by noise, and by other ways of upsetting the balance of nature.

How near to real life problems are those which Doomwatch poses?

Some M.Ps, including Labour's Ray Fletcher, think they could be very near indeed.

Inside Page learns that Fletcher and a group of colleagues are planning to form a Doomwatch Committee based on Parliament.

The idea is to discuss regularly with scientists, technologists, architects and planners what sort of fangers future holds and to get Ministers to act out on their warnings.

One of those said to be extremely interested is biologist Dr. Kit Pedler, who helped devise the television series.

Here we see a very early example of the impact Doomwatch was having, and how it was striking a chord with its viewers, especially those with a bit of influence. Kit Pedler's idea of having some kind of governmental monitoring of unchecked science, so eagerly encouraged by the out-going Labour government. And perhaps Kit Pedler was starting to see the kind of role he could have.

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