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Thread: Doomwatch

  1. #1
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    Hi, my name is Scott, I run a brand new site dedicated to the BBC TV Series Doomwatch.

    Basically, any information people can give me about Doomwatch will be very welcome. At the moment I am still looking for Jonathan Alwyn and Darrol Blake two of the series directors as I would really like to contact them.

    If you are an artist or a writer yourself I am also looking to commission new stories and artwork for my website, so that people new to Doomwatch can appreciate, just what a gem this series really was.

    I have visited this forum several times and it never ceases to amaze me what a great community this is.

    Please feel free to PM me.

    Cheers

    Scott
    Last edited by JamesM; 10-01-16 at 04:16 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Country: UK Moor Larkin's Avatar
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    My favourite was the one where they had a bacterium that ate plastic and it got aboard an aeroplane. I saw the one with the big rats again recently. There was a James Herbert novel that was hugely popular amongst my school-friends around that time, about giant, clever rats. I've wondered since which came first..........



    I remember we all like the curly-haired young scientist who sold his soul to be Jesus later on. But the head Doomwatch bloke was pretty good in a reassuring daddy kind of way, although I've no idea who he was. He was a bit of a reborn Quatermass I think........




  3. #3
    Super Moderator Country: UK batman's Avatar
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    name='Moor Larkin']

    But the head Doomwatch bloke was pretty good in a reassuring daddy kind of way, although I've no idea who he was.


    He was Dr Quist ... played by John Paul.




  4. #4
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    I did not like the episode with the hen running around with a human face. There were other animals of the same ilk. But I enjoyed the other episodes if you did not take it too seriously.

  5. #5
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    Doomwatch missing episode search...

    I would like to know if anyone would help me in the search to recover the missing episodes of Doomwatch. Even if you think you may have or know anybody that was taping the series and has duplicate episodes. I would still like to hear from you. I am hoping that much like Doctor Who, someone may have audio tapes of the transmitted episodes, where these don't exist in the BBC archive. I am also looking for help with reviews, story submissions and memories from those who watched the series and those that produced it. All submissions of Doomwatch related stories are welcome. If anyone knows about the overseas broadcast details of Doomwatch, can you help me out please? I have very little info to go on.

    Details of the BBC's 1970's series of DOOMWATCH follow:

    The political and scientific thriller series DOOMWATCH centred on a team of scientists led by the incorruptible and guilt-ridden Dr Spencer Quist, established by the government to appease public concern over scientific progress by monitoring it, which proceeds to embarrass the government by regularly doing just that. Predicting what could happen if a particular experiment or technology got out of hand, the series was anchored in scientific fact and is sometimes close to reality.

    The series was created by the writing partnership of script editor Gerry Davis and qualified doctor and medical researcher Kit Pedler, which had formed when they created the Cybermen for Doctor Who. Pedler provided thoughts on more than a dozen areas of science and technology which concerned him, which he and Davis developed into outlines that were generally passed onto other writers for scripting (with one concept, about hospital automation, passing through the hands of no fewer than three separate writers who each started from scratch before reaching the screen). Among the writers whose work was shown were Doctor Who stalwarts Louis Marks, Dennis Spooner, Brian Hayles and Robert Holmes, while the series's producer Terence Dudley would later take the same role on Terry Nation's Survivors.

    Aside from John Paul, still well remembered as the star of Probation Officer, as Dr Quist, the cast of Doomwatch featured a career launching role for the young Robert Powell as idealist Toby Wren, with Simon Oates as the more cynical ex-spy and ladies' man John Ridge, a character not dissimilar to the one he'd previously played in The Spies/The Mask of Janus. 38 episodes were recorded and all but one aired between 1970 and 1972, with a spin-off film starring Ian Bannen and Judy Geeson produced between seasons two and three.

    The series's greatest strength was the frequency with which real life events would echo its fears, at the time of transmission or even during recording, though other concepts have proven unfounded in later years and can now seem slightly comical. As a result it struck a chord with audiences and its cast and crew alike, with actress Jean Trend (who joined the cast for season two) taking onboard Kit Pedler's fears about wasteful packaging and water use long before such lifestyle changes became widely fashionable, while Simon Oates chose to leave the series after the second season as he felt that, without Kit Pedler's direct involvement, it had already lost its edge (though he did agree to return for some third season episodes, and remained keen to participate in any revival until his recent death). But this also proved its Achilles' Heel, as producer Terence Dudley became so keen on his vision of the series that he clashed with Pedler and Davis, who left mid-way through season two, with Pedler publicly attacking the third season on BBCtv. This perhaps contributed to the decision to end the series after its third run, with the season cut back by one episode leaving a completed script unproduced, while a completed episode, Sex and Violence, was pulled from the schedules and left unshown.

    Ironically, Sex and Violence is one of the few third season episodes that still exist, though it still remains unshown, despite being scheduled for transmission by UK Gold during the early 1990s. Unfortunately, Doomwatch was produced just early enough to be a victim of the BBC archive purges, with five episodes missing from season one, and nine from season three (season two is thankfully complete). It is the series' 40th Anniversary next year and it would be a perfect time for people to search for and come forward with new missing material.

    From season one, the PAL 625 master tapes of The Plastic Eaters, Project Sahara, Re-Entry Forbidden, The Devil's Sweets, The Red Sky, The Battery People were all preserved intact, along with the final season two episode Public Enemy, and the third season episodes Waiting for a Knighthood, Hair Trigger and the aforementioned Sex and Violence. Black and white film prints made for overseas sale were also retained for the entire season two.

    In addition, Canada's CBC purchased the first season episodes Tomorrow The Rat and Train and De-Train in 1971, along with the entirety of season two, and these NTSC 525 line recordings were returned to the BBC in the early 1980s. The CBC had screened all the episodes they had except Train and De-Train, second season opener You Killed Toby Wren(which opens with a recap of the final scenes of the missing first season finale Survival Code) and Public Enemy.

    Since then, rather astonishingly, no episodes of Doomwatch have been among the gems turned up by episode hunts, though there is reason to hope that more of season one may exist, as at least one of the crew was given a black and white film print of a favourite episode. Unfortunately, the episode writer Gerry Davis chose was The Red Sky, which is intact in colour, but it suggests more prints were made, and that other production staff might still have them somewhere.

    Details of the missing episodes follow below.


    Friday's Child

    16/02/1970

    Missing


    Burial at Sea

    23/02/1970

    Missing


    Spectre at the Feast

    13/04/1970

    Missing


    Hear no Evil

    04/05/1970

    Missing


    Survival Code

    11/05/1970

    Missing


    Fire And Brimstone

    05/06/1972

    Missing


    High Mountain

    12/06/1972

    Missing


    Say Knife,Fat Man

    19/06/1972

    Missing


    Without The Bomb

    03/07/1972

    Missing


    Deadly Dangerous Tomorrow

    17/07/1972

    Missing

    Enquiry

    24/07/1972

    Missing


    Flood

    31/07/1972

    Missing


    Cause Of Death

    01/08/1972

    Missing


    The Killer Dolphins

    08/08/1972

    Missing

    An official BBC list can be found here

    BBC Online - Cult - Treasure Hunt - The Missing Episodes - Doomwatch

    Article text courtesy of Anthony Brown and Scott Burditt

    at Doomwatch.org
    Last edited by JamesM; 10-01-16 at 04:18 PM.

  6. #6
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    Hi, I am adding a Doomwatch Memories page to my site, if anyone would like to contribute. Am i ok adding the appropriate comments made above?



    David Tulley is the only one i have so far! lol



    Doomwatch Memories

  7. #7
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    Ok, have a few now...

    Doomwatch Memories

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    Hi everyone, sorry it's been a while since I posted here. I thought everyone might like to know I have received the following new information for episodes recorded from Season 3. Below is the BBC's records for the VT Recording numbers used for all episodes except Say Knife, Fat Man. If anyone knows a way that these can be checked against existing tapes please let me know.

    Thank you

    Scott

    DOOMWATCH.org

    SEASON 3

    1. Fire And Brimstone 05.06.72
    EPISODE MISSING Recording No. VTC/6HT/76772

    2. High Mountain 12.06.72
    EPISODE MISSING Recording No. VTC/6HT/78624

    3. Say Knife, Fat Man 19.06.72
    EPISODE MISSING

    4. Waiting For A Knighthood
    26.06.72 625 Line VT

    5. Without The Bomb 03.07.72
    EPISODE MISSING Recording No. VTC/6HT/78446

    6. Hair Trigger 10.07.72
    625 Line VT Recording No. VTC/6HT/77370

    7. Deadly Dangerous Tomorrow 17.07.72
    EPISODE MISSING Recording No. VTC/6HT/78941

    8. Enquiry 24.07.72
    EPISODE MISSING Recording No. VTC/6HT/78773

    9. Flood 31.07.72
    EPISODE MISSING Recording No. VTC/6HT/77977

    10. Cause Of Death 07.08.72
    EPISODE MISSING Recording No. VTC/6HT/79082

    11. The Killer Dolphins 14.08.72
    EPISODE MISSING Recording No. VTC/6HT/76928
    Last edited by JamesM; 10-01-16 at 04:19 PM.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Country: England cornershop15's Avatar
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    As Doomwatch star John Paul doesn't have a thread, I think this is the most suitable place to
    post the article, from the 'Viewerpoint' column of the TVTimes beginning 29th November 1959:


  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by batman View Post
    He was Dr Quist ... played by John Paul.



    Is the actress Gabrielle Drake?? Does anybody know which episode this is?

  11. #11
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain mariocki's Avatar
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    It could be Wendy Hall, one of the regular cast. She also appeared in 2 Man In A Suitcase episodes.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by mariocki View Post
    It could be Wendy Hall, one of the regular cast. She also appeared in 2 Man In A Suitcase episodes.
    Well done, it is indeed her!

  13. #13
    Senior Member Country: England phil's Avatar
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  14. #14
    Senior Member Country: UK agutterfan's Avatar
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    At long last, I know many of our members will be interested like me in the forthcoming release of the surviving episodes of the BBC TV series on DVD. See http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B...pd_ys_cs_all_8 though of course shop around as Amazon may not be the cheapest.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Country: England billy farmer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by agutterfan View Post
    At long last, I know many of our members will be interested like me in the forthcoming release of the surviving episodes of the BBC TV series on DVD. See http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B...pd_ys_cs_all_8 though of course shop around as Amazon may not be the cheapest.
    Quite a few negative reviews, on Amazon (for the DVD release of Doomwatch).
    Last edited by billy farmer; 06-04-16 at 06:41 PM.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Country: New Zealand Anthony McKay's Avatar
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    My order has not turned up yet, but for the price I don't expect any of the whistles and bells the Amazon reviewers are demanding. I'm just happy to see that someone has taken the risk of a commercial release of all the episodes including 'Sex and Violence.'

  17. #17
    Senior Member Country: England phil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anthony McKay View Post
    My order has not turned up yet, but for the price I don't expect any of the whistles and bells the Amazon reviewers are demanding. I'm just happy to see that someone has taken the risk of a commercial release of all the episodes including 'Sex and Violence.'
    Agreed, Simply Media are doing a great job releasing obscure old tv shows. Complaining about no extras, imperfect menus and no remastering (pretty unlikely), when surely the episodes themselves are what it's about.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Country: UK agutterfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phil View Post
    Agreed, Simply Media are doing a great job releasing obscure old tv shows. Complaining about no extras, imperfect menus and no remastering (pretty unlikely), when surely the episodes themselves are what it's about.
    You'll notice that Simply Media responded to the complaints, and quite fairly too. The only genuine beef is that since you have to create menus anyway, the lack of episode titles is a bit annoying. Like many members on this site I've bought DVD-Rs from off-air VHS sources of material otherwise unavailable and for me, in the end, like phil and Anthony , it's about being able to see the episodes, and I'd given up hope of ever seeing this show (notice it's not a BBC release). Haven't got round to 1971 on my back purchases yet (still in 1970) but will it get it soon.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain Mark O's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by supamum View Post
    I did not like the episode with the hen running around with a human face. There were other animals of the same ilk. But I enjoyed the other episodes if you did not take it too seriously.

    Can anyone tell me the title of this episode please, I have vague recollections of this image, I've not purchased the DVD as yet, but I will if this is on it, cheers......

  20. #20
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    It's the series two opener, YOU KILLED TOBY WREN.

    Though a rubber-masked chicken with another false head stuck to its back and a dog with a bald skull-cap on third-eight minutes into the episode may just be worth keeping as a vague memory...


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