The BEST Episodes of Doomwatch
Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!
Last Updated: Dec 31, 2019
Network: BBC One
Doomwatch is the code name of a semi-secret government department set up to keep an eye on, and try to contain, potentially hazardous scientific research. A highly independent team, headed by the incorruptible Dr Quist, observe the scientists while MI6 observe them. Projecting what could happen if a particular experiment or technology got out of hand, this exciting 1970s drama series is anchored in scientific fact and is frightingly close to reality…
#1 - The Plastic Eaters
Season 1 - Episode 1 - Aired Feb 9, 1970
What if a man-made virus with the power to melt all plastic became as infectious as the common cold? When a plane crashes in South America, in quite extrodinary circumstances, it's up to Dr Quist's team to avert further disaster.
#2 - Tomorrow, the Rat
Season 1 - Episode 4 - Aired Mar 2, 1970
Genetic engineering? Tampering with nature in a quest to make Superman? The experimentation is still only being carried out on rats, but with dangerous, and deadly results...
#3 - Project Sahara
Season 1 - Episode 5 - Aired Mar 9, 1970
The time is fast approaching when a person's entire history - educational, medical, criminal, even financial - may end up as a foot of computer tape in some impenetrable central file. Worse still, a man's future career may depend upon the computer's evaluation. This week the Doomwatch team fall under the baleful eye of a newly established security section.
#4 - Re-Entry Forbidden
Season 1 - Episode 6 - Aired Mar 16, 1970
A new, nuclear-powered rocket is being tested, with the first British astronaut aboard. The smallest error could turn it into a flying nuclear bomb spreading radioactive fallout over a wide area of Europe. And an error does occur.
#5 - The Devil's Sweets
Season 1 - Episode 7 - Aired Mar 23, 1970
Four strangely dressed young ladies wearing a checker board patterned miniskirt and silver tights ambush two City Gents with a tray of sweets which they eagerly sample...
#6 - You Killed Toby Wren
Season 2 - Episode 1 - Aired Dec 14, 1970
... Ninety seconds to go, says Quist from the end of the pier as Toby Wren on the other side is cutting wires leading inside a ticking nuclear bomb, wedged amongst the struts of the pier support. As two suited men arrive to take over, Toby, full of relief, thinks he has succeeded in disarming the explosive. But to his horror, he discovers one more wire, and he has dropped the clippers into the sea. As he tries to manually undo the wire from its terminal, the trip motor activates....
#7 - Invasion
Season 2 - Episode 2 - Aired Dec 21, 1970
DOOMWATCH MAN HELD DR JOHN RIDGE, 38, a member of the controversial Doomwatch team was held for 24 hours today by a 'mystery' Army unit in a remote Yorkshire village.....
#8 - The Islanders
Season 2 - Episode 3 - Aired Jan 4, 1971
ISLANDERS FLEE The 200 inhabitants of the tiny Pacific Island of St Simon are to be evacuated. The British Government believes that this mini protectorate is in grave danger following recent earth tremors. A Royal Navy frigate is now steaming towards the island to bring people home to the country their forefathers left two centuries ago.
#9 - No Room for Error
Season 2 - Episode 4 - Aired Jan 11, 1971
We see a distressed young girl being made comfortable in an isolation ward. The Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Ian Phelps is told by the hospital's Senior House Officer that the young girl, Doreen Taylor, who has typhoid, is not responding to any of the other antibiotics. It is a totally resistant strain. There are four other suspect cases, all from Doreen's school and they have visited a lot of areas. 'So it's bad, we could be on the verge of an epidemic,' says Phelps. 'Yes. And absolutely no effective drug to fight it with.'...
#10 - By the Pricking of My Thumbs...
Season 2 - Episode 5 - Aired Jan 18, 1971
A school chemistry lab and some unsupervised senior students, MacPherson and Jenkins are preparing a prank on one of their own... However, a friend of theirs, a very tall boy called Stephen Franklin is worried if they have calculated the amount that the others are pouring into a test tube... Paignton, a rather obnoxious Billy Bunter type victim of the prank gets a face full of test tube fragments and scalding liquid as it explodes in his face. The boys watch in horror as Paignton screams and screams and screams....
#11 - The Iron Doctor
Season 2 - Episode 6 - Aired Jan 25, 1971
A geriatric hospital ward at Parkway and a very elderly patient, George Mason, connected to a drip feed, is delighted with a letter he has received telling him that his great-grandson is to be named after him. His fellow patient in the next bed, Mr Faber is pleased for him. Watching George on a small monitor screen are Doctors Carson, Eric Godfrey and the Duty Nurse who are all pleased for him. Godfrey thinks it is all thanks to the monitoring equipment which dominates the room in the form of huge units. 'The computer?' sneers Carson. 'It did not give him his great grand-son.' 'Kept him alive to see him,' points out Godfrey. They can hear voices from the monitor as the boss of the hospital is giving a conducted tour to VIPs of their impressive outfit. 'Whitaker's sunshine tours!' says Carson.
#12 - Flight into Yesterday
Season 2 - Episode 7 - Aired Feb 1, 1971
Ten Downing Street, and the Minister is anxiously waiting the arrival of Doctor Quist who is late for an important meeting with the Prime Minister. Duncan blames the traffic, Quist is being driven by car from the airport. The Prime Minister's secretary is also alarmed. Quist suddenly bursts in, he is unsteady on his feet, confused, slurring his speech and looks exhausted. He blames the driver for getting lost. He asks to be briefed on the meeting and is taken into the meeting leaving the Minister in no doubt what is wrong with the man. 'He's drunk! Doctor Quist is drunk...'
#13 - The Web of Fear
Season 2 - Episode 8 - Aired Feb 8, 1971
In a sauna, the sweaty body of the Minister of Health, is dictating to the equally sweaty Richard Duncan a set of instructions for a commission to investigate flooding in the Thames Valley but has no intention of setting a date just yet. That won't satisfy Doctor Quist, comments Duncan. 'Blast Doctor Quist! I'm on holiday!' Fed up with being in this sweat box, the Minister tries talking to a third person in the sauna but the man has a fit, and starts convulsing on the floor. Together, Duncan and the Minister try to get the man on to a bed...
#14 - In the Dark
Season 2 - Episode 9 - Aired Feb 15, 1971
A swimmer, just off shore from the jagged Scottish coastline, swims, unaware, into a mustard coloured substance floating on the sea... It's effect upon him is swift. His skin feels like it is on fire, and he gasps for air as he lungs seize up....
#15 - The Human Time Bomb
Season 2 - Episode 10 - Aired Feb 22, 1971
By the year 2000 there'll be over eighty million people living in this country. They'll want cars and places to park them. They'll want clothing and feeding and educating and work to do...to say nothing of housing...
#16 - The Inquest
Season 2 - Episode 11 - Aired Mar 1, 1971
Geoff Hardcastle is visiting a laboratory talking to Doctor Henry Fane, who is surprised Doomwatch are taking the allegations seriously. There is an organised vendetta against his work, and him personally. There is a woman in the village called Miss Lincoln, a crank, thinks Fane. He blames her for the slashed tyres, broken windows, and water being put into the fuel for the boilers. She has turned everybody against them, it drives away his assistants. The problem is she is a dog lover. She found out that they had a license to experiment with animals and that was it. 'God knows what she is going to do next.' The shot that rings out, smashing a window seems to be his answer. Furious, Fane goes to phone the police– but then sees Geoff Hardcastle lying on the floor, clutching his arm, very still...
#17 - The Logicians
Season 2 - Episode 12 - Aired Mar 15, 1971
A plan of a building, its security, the location of a safe, a ventilator grille, a security alarm... and a group of three young teenagers are planning a raid. 'tomorrow's the big day!'
#18 - Public Enemy
Season 2 - Episode 13 - Aired Mar 22, 1971
A street alongside a tall factory and a young teenager, Jimmy Brookes, is kicking his football along the road when an exceptionally high kick sees it land on the roof of the factory! Borrowing Mr Tom Walsh's ladder, Jimmy climbs onto the roof, and Walsh gets on with his window cleaning. Then he notices the boy is in distress, staggering along the roof, choking, gasping for air. Walsh quickly climbs up the ladder and brings the lad down to the road. ...
#19 - Friday's Child
Season 1 - Episode 2 - Aired Feb 16, 1970
#20 - Burial at Sea
Season 1 - Episode 3 - Aired Feb 23, 1970
#21 - The Red Sky
Season 1 - Episode 8 - Aired Apr 6, 1970
A land rover pulls up underneath a light house high up on a cliff overlooking the English channel. Bernard Colley and his daughter Dana sees their friend Captain Tommy Gort coming out of the building to greet them – they think. But instead he is lurching, a haunted expression on his face towards the edge of the cliff. The Colleys are horrified. 'Why the hell isn't Quist here?' says Bernard. They run after him but they are too late. Gort stops at the edge of the cliff, clutching his head in pain. Inevitably, he topples over and plunges to his death.
#22 - Spectre at the Feast
Season 1 - Episode 9 - Aired Apr 13, 1970
#23 - Train and De-train
Season 1 - Episode 10 - Aired Apr 20, 1970
A small boy runs across a field into a forest, snapping a stick of a tree as he goes. Stick in hand he pauses by a tree to catch his breath while looking around the forest. He hears a noise from the tree above which scares him and he runs off. He sees a squirrel in the tree and throws the stick at it and hides behind another tree. He makes his way up the tree trying to reach the squirrel he threw the stick at. As he gets close the animal falls stiffly from the tree. The squirrel lies dead on the forest floor....
#24 - The Battery People
Season 1 - Episode 11 - Aired Apr 27, 1970
Tough ex-miners in South Wales drinking gin instead of the traditional beer, giving their wives the cold shoulder and secretly turning to cock-fighting. It all sounds wildly out of character to Dr Quist and his team, who investigate despite the fact that all this is taking place in the Minister's own constituency.