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DOOMWATCH is the nickname of a scientific group with the power to assess new technology and ban dangerous developments. It wasn't supposed to cause trouble, but unfortunately for the government, this watchdog insists on biting. This exciting '70s drama series (from the script editor of Dr. Who) is anchored in scientific fact and is frighteningly close to reality...
The Plastic Eaters:
What if a man-made virus with the power to melt all plastic became as infectious as the common cold? Toby Wren accidentally infects his own plane with a virus designed to dissolve waste plastic. Just what you need at 20,000 feet...
Tomorrow The Rat:
Genetic engineering? Tampering with nature in a quest to make Superman? They experimentation is still only being carried out on rats, but with dangerous and deadly results...
First airdate: 9th Feburary 1970
Episodes: 38 (including the banned 'Sex and Violence')
Seasons: 3 on BBC1
Series concluded: 24th August 1972
TO COMBAT WORLDWIDE POLLUTION PROBLEM
RECOMMEND FORMATION NEW GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENT
TO BE CALLED...
That is the message rattled out on the teletype machine preceding the opening titles. The poignant scenes of dead oil-covered birds scattered on the beach and people rolling barrels down a cliff show a devastating effects of petroleum on a local habitat. A timely movie, considering how the United Nations Declaration on the Environment also came out in the 1970's, heralding ecological awareness that arose in Britain in that decade, and that filtered into Doomwatch, inspired by the TV series of the same name, and Dr. Who stories such as The Green Death. In fact, Doomwatch was written by Kit Pedler and Gerry Davis, the co-creators of the Cybermen in Dr. Who.
The story: a year previously, off the island of Balfe, an oil tanker spill caused ecological devastation to the sea and beach. Dr. Del Shaw is sent by Doomwatch to discover the effects of the detergent used to clean up Balfe and to send samples as well as examine the marine life. He gets more than he bargains for, as he discovers a body, and then digs around some more when headquarters report a massive increase in the phytoplankton and animal plankton concentration. His boss, Dr. Quist, asks him for fish samples, and we realize something's wrong when Del's shown a turbot the size of a very large dinner plate. Something else has clearly happened near Balfe, something even more catastrophic than the oil spill. Without giving too much of a hint, "old mother nature has been nobbled."
As for the people of Balfe, they are a "strange closed lot" with an air of secrecy about them. It's the typical small village mentality, where outsiders aren't welcome-(q.v. Dr.Read more ›
Directed by Peter Sasdy ("Hands of the Ripper"), this film is very dark and atmospheric. From the moment scientist Del Shaw (Ian Bannen of Walt Disney`s "Watcher in the Woods") steps on the island, you know that something sinister is amiss. The villagers remain aloof and secretive. The only one who will help Shaw is the pretty young school teacher Victoria Brown (Judy Geeson of Hammer Film Production's "Fear in the Night"). Shaw's life appears to be in constant danger. One night, he is attacked by a mutant creature in the barn; he is nearly clobbered to death.
"Doomwatch" presents us with some highly plausible scientific theories dealing with pollution. The special effects and make up are quite good for that time period. The acting is superb. The extras do a great job of pretending to be superstitious villagers. One can't help but feel sorry for their plight.
I only wish the disaster could've endangered the lives of all those in Great Britain and not just those living on Balfe. The fear of a widespread contamination would have added a great deal of suspense and drama. A higher body count would've also helped.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Doomwatch is the name of a pollution fighting arm of government that comes across a backwards British island full of sick people. Read morePublished on April 7, 2013 by James A. Brice
This movie was the spinoff from the classic tv series from the 1970's.
This series has yet to be released on dvd and that's just lame. Read more
Could they act more suspicious? It would've been a 20 min film of nothing if they had been friendly and the scientist had collected his water samples and just left... Read morePublished on July 3, 2005 by N. Stepro