Monday, 13 June 2011

DOOMWATCH - The Plastic Eaters


Doomwatch is a retro Brit Science Fiction tv series from the 1970s. It was rather edgy for the time and was regarded as a little anti establishment. Many thought it fueled the belief that communists from Moscow were running the BBC. This is because politicians were portrayed as irresponsible and lacking in their duty to protect the population from egotistical scientists and money making industrialists.

OK then, lets live in that world and enjoy the way this tv series was presented, because this outlook did add to the way the programme gripped people.

Doctor Spencer Quist runs a team of people that monitor scientific projects with an outlook of protecting the general public from the dangers of unrestricted scientific exploration. The government ministers don't like the Doomwatch team and the egotistical scientists don't like them either. Sometimes experiments are done without the Doomwatch team's knowledge and Doctor Quist's side only come upon these dangers when experiments go wrong.

The first story introduces us to the established team through the eyes of a newcomer called Toby Wren (Robert Powell.) He is thrown into the battle straight away because of an aeroplane crash. The British government wants to keep the team in the dark because they have developed an enzyme that eats plastic. Great Britain has a problem with waste plastic - it does not rot and an enzyme that can eat plastic might be an answer to their dilemma. They could cure the pollution problem of plastic waste if it could rot away like other refuse.

However, such an enzyme can eat through the plastic surrounding electrical wire. What if it escaped on a plane and started to rapidly eat all plastic components? Then what if it escaped into the world and its industries?

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