Doomwatch – tape 1807

Back to UK Gold with some more knockabout japes from the boys and girls (though mostly boys) in the Doomwatch team.

The tape opens with the end of The Onedin Line, Peter Gilmore’s sideburns acting manfully.

Then our first episode, The Islanders. John Ridge is taking fingerprints from a lot of people when another group burst in, complain about being treated like criminals, then start acting like criminals, throwing tables over and generally being boisterous.

The people are the population from a remote island, who had not had contact with the mainland for 150 years, who had to be relocated to the mainland after earth tremors, and they’re not happy that they’re being ignored, and that there’s no work for them to do.

But there’s another problem – members of the community are getting sick and dying. A post mortem shows a hepatic problem which, when coupled with a regular bout of flu, was enough to finish the man off.

So Quist takes the opportunity to join a survey on the islanders’ home, looking for some clue as to why they might suffer this particular medical problem.

He looks at some fish, and discovers traces of mercury. There was a shipwreck carrying a cargo of mercury decades ago, which is seeping into the fish stocks and the land. So the islanders can’t go back.

But they decide they’d be happier back on their island and they vote to return.

After another flash of Onedin’s facial hair, there’s another episode of Doomwatch, in No Room For Error, a new resistant typhoid bug has emerged, possibly leading to an epidemic. The only drug that might have an effect has been held up by Quist and the Doomwatch team.

New Doomwatch starter Fay Chantry is imposed upon by a professor to find out why Doomwatch are holding up the treatment, but Quist tells her he submitted his report weeks ago, and approved the drug for use.

Some familiar faces in this episode include the Master, Anthony Ainley

Anthony Ainley

And John Wood, Professor Falken himself.

John Wood

This episode is basically an extended version of that scene in every episode of House where the doctors have to trace the source of infection at the victim’s home. They have to find out where a group of children might have been exposed to small doses of an experimental antibiotic.

After this, recording switches again, with another bit of Onedin, then another Doomwatch, but this episode is incomplete as the tape runs out before the episode ends. Luckily, it’s an episode I’ve looked at on a previous tape, By The Pricking of my Thumbs.

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