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The Guardian - 28th March 1971


A new series of the BBC's 12 million viewer anti-pollution opera Doomwatch is waiting for a starting date. Meanwhile Kit Pedler, the scientist behind the series who wants to set up a real doomwatch team, has had an encouraging stream of letters from fellow boffins wanting to join.
We went to see him – in a tiny cubicle at the Institute of Ophthalmology, where he takes beautiful microscope pictures of eyes when he's not dreaming up new pollution horrors for the Doomwatch hero, Dr Quist to investigate. Pedler says lots of scientists are fed up with the half truths and hysteria floating about the pollution scene.
Somebody has already nick named the projected team Pedler's meddlers. If it gets going it won't be anything like the television version. Pedler says the super-hero approach of Dr. Quist makes him sick. His dream is to have all the world's pollution data at the team's fingertips, stored on a computer.
Even super Quist doesn't have that, we suggested gently. 'No,' said Pedler, 'but it should be possible.' When we said 'Er... funds?' Pedler hinted at very rich friends whose consciences might be prised open and the lucrative possibilities in a pollution spine chiller he's just finished which his publishers are confident will be a worldwide best seller. It will need to be good. It is called 'The Death of Plastic.'

(The Death of Plastic was obviously changed to Mutant 59: The Plastic Eater which actually features no characters from the TV version of DOOMWATCH ). A review of this book by Michael Seely will feature in the DOOMWATCH Fanzine Issue 3.

With thanks to Michael Seely

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