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Deadly Dangerous Tomorrow: The Scripts for Six Missing Doomwatch Episodes [Paperback]

Terence Dudley , Martin Worth , Ian Curteis , Michael Seely
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

31 July 2012
DEADLY DANGEROUS TOMORROW is a compilation of six scripts for episodes from the legendary 1970s BBC drama series DOOMWATCH which no longer exist in the BBC's archives as they were considered to be of no further commercial value. Doomwatch is a team of government scientists who investigate current scientific and technological research which could prove hazardous to Mankind. Unloved by industry and governments alike, it is headed by the Nobel Prize winning physicist Dr. Spencer Quist, a man who never forgot that he was one of those who had helped to create the first atomic bomb. His crusade was to prevent a deadly, dangerous tomorrow... The scripts included in this volume are: Spectre at the Feast by Terence Dudley Dr. Quist convenes an anti-pollution conference in the luxurious Jayson's Hotel but some of the delegates begin to fall ill and experience terrifying hallucinations. Food poisoning? Or are they being targeted by one of the worst polluters in the country: Newington Chemicals? Fire and Brimstone by Terence Dudley The strain of preventing environmental catastrophe in the face of governmental indifference proves too much for Dr. John Ridge and he suffers from what appears to be a nervous breakdown. He steals phials of anthrax from Porton Down and tries to shock the Governments of the world into acting now before it is too late. High Mountain by Martin Worth Doomwatch is finished and Dr. Quist is facing an uncertain future. He receives an offer to spend a weekend with the family of a rich industrialist in Scotland where he receives an extraordinary job offer, one with much power. But with it comes a catch, and Quist has to rely on help from a very unlikely source. Say Knife, Fat Man by Martin Worth A consignment of plutonium is hijacked and all the evidence points to London gangsters in league with a foreign power wanting nuclear weapons. Or is that what they are meant to think? Who else would want to build a nuclear bomb in the heart of England? Deadly Dangerous Tomorrow by Martin Worth A family of sick Asians, recently smuggled into the country, are found squatting in a tent in St James Park, next to Buckingham Palace. Who is behind this appalling publicity stunt and what connection does it have with an American mission to ban the pesticide D.D.T.? Flood by Ian Curteis Two flood warnings over two successive nights in London is more than just a coincidence and Doomwatch are ordered by the Minister to explore every possibility in just a couple of hours. Is this a natural or a man-made phenomena? As London is put on full Flood Alert, the problem for Quist and the team appears to be that the Minister already knows the answer. These stories from the first and third series of Doomwatch are the only way to enjoy the episodes which no longer exist in the BBC archives. They have been constructed from a mixture of rehearsal and camera scripts along with notable camera directions giving a flavour of what the episodes may have looked like on transmission.. High Mountain appears as both rehearsal and camera scripts since many changes were made during the transition. Each story comes with a set of footnotes, explaining the background and references that would have been familiar to viewers of the time. Also included are extracts from promotional material for the third series written by Terence Dudley, and letters by Martin Worth. Author profits from this book are donated to the East Anglian Air Ambulance charity - this does not apply to purchases made through Amazon.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Miwk Publishing Ltd; First edition (31 July 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1908630205
  • ISBN-13: 978-1908630209
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 13 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 510,507 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Michael Seely has been a Doomwatch fan ever since he saw the first episode on an almost unwatchable VHS recording over twenty years ago. Rather than wait any longer for a book on the subject to appear, he decided to do it himself. Michael has contributed to Scott Burditt's Doomwatch.org site and to a small number of genre fanzines and magazines on a variety of subjects. He is currently working on a number of projects including the biography of Dr. Kit Pedler. He lives and works in Norwich, is married to Stacy and has two children, Marcus-James and Cara-Catherine.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
This is a collection of 6 scripts from the classic 1970s BBC sci-fi show, Doomwatch. they all come from episodes that have been wiped from the BBC archives and, sadly, we're unlikely to ever see again. It's great that this book can help us fill in that gap a little.

I've never found raw scripts the easiest thing to read, but sometimes it's the only way to access a story and you just get on with it. This book makes things quite a bit easier with footnotes that add extra depth to the scripts. There are quite a few typos, but that's a very minor quibble. It's a nice, professional looking book on high quality paper that's been produced by someone who obviously loves the show and knows a huge amount about it.

My only real disappointment with the book (and, again, it's a somewhat minor one) is that only one of the scripts is from the first season, when the program's instigators Gerry Davies and Dr Kit Pedler (creators of Dr Who's Cybermen and writers of the first story to feature regeneration) were still at the helm. The remaining five are from the third season, when Davies and Pedler had left and there was less of an emphasis on the science. That said, it's interesting to read about the third season, which is the least represented in the archive and so was the one I knew least about.

The episodes themselves are something of a mixed bag:

"Spectre at the Feast" is the only first season episode covered and seems to have been a great example of the show at its best with an interesting (if somewhat convoluted) scientific plot which fits in very well with our current views on pollution.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well-researched and informative. 31 July 2013
This is a book about the development of the seminal BBC sci-fi series "Doomwatch", complete with detailed episode guide for the series and guides to the main characters. It's printed on high-quality paper and looks very professional. It's been meticulously researched and is obviously a labour of love. A must for any fan of the series and very highly recommended for anyone with an interest in cult TV.

The episode gives a detailed synopsis, guide to the development and production of the episode and (where possible) an indication of audience reaction. This is particularly valuable for the episodes that sadly fell victim to the BBC archive purge of the mid-70s.

The author has interviewed actors, production staff, directors and authors to make this a very informative history of the programme. Particularly welcome is the detail on the third season, which I previously knew little about.

The character sketches make interesting reading- again, very well researched, but the author is clearly has his favourite characters and ones that he's less keen on. Fair enough, as it's his book, but I'd've preferred something a little more objective than subjective. A minor quibble.

Another minor quibble is the number of typos, but far fewer than other self-published books I've read and they only slightly distract from the flow of the writing.

The only negative comment that I would say is that there's very little scientific analysis for a book that claims to "place the programme's fiction firmly within contemporary fact". What analysis there is is often slip-shod, inaccurate and often simply wrong. But (cover claims aside), this isn't a book about the science behind the series, but the series itself and in that it excels itself.

I'd also have liked to see more than a throw-away mention of the final, unproduced episode.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Start Again. Put It Right. 19 Sep 2014
This is very much a labour of love, about one of the most sceptical, idealistic, and ground-breaking television dramas ever made. Seely has thoroughly researched his subject, and brings a winning combination of precise analysis and personal enthusiasm to his writing. Comprehensive in its scope, insightful and intelligent. If there is any flaw - as with quite a few of Miwk's books, there are a good many typos (if Miwk wants a proof-reader, I'd be happy to help): and it would have been good to have seen at least some of the photos that Seely found but which could not be included. Other than that, this book comes highly recommended to anybody with an interest in intelligent, mordant television.
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