OUT OF THE UNKNOWN

SEASON 3 CLIPS GUIDE

by Colin Cutler


Sadly this first colour season remains the one least represented in the BBC’s film and videotape library, with only a single extant complete entry.

Alongside the extensive material from The Little Black Bag, clips also exist from three other productions, including three separate scenes from Liar!

Audio fragments exist from each production from this season.

NB. The BBC’s INFAX catalogue listing denotes unspecified entries for Immortality Inc., Beach Head and The Naked Sun. Although the first of these may relate to the single clip that survives from Immortality Inc., at the time of writing it is not known whether these are references to other off-air soundtrack recordings or are simply errors resulting from the early catalogue entries not being updated.

A Radio Times shot from the Hunt sequence, showing Peter Copley and Tom Bowman.

Foreground - Blaine (Charles Tingwell) and Dr Cole (Robert Macleod)

Marie Thorne (Dalia Penn) and Riley (Peter Swanick).

IMMORTALITY INC.

Peter Copley as Hull.TX. 7th January 1969

A single clip (b/w TR) and four audio extracts are known to exist from this production

Story Context: In the year 2110, a group of technicians at the ‘Rex Industries’ corporation are busy orchestrating a ‘time transplant’ operation. Two of the corporation’s top scientists, Tom Clarke (Derek Benfield) and Marie Thorne (Dahlia Penn) are supervising this elaborate process, which involves deliberately engineering a car crash on New Years Day 1969. At the moment of impact, they hope to snatch the mind of it’s victim – a man named Mark Blaine (here played by Peter Van Diesel) - and transport it forward in time to implant in a new ‘host body’...

Summary of Audio Extracts

Extract 1: This first clip picks up the action at a point just a few minutes into Scene 1. Tom and Marie are intently watching a series of readings on instruments in the “Time Transplant” room, which are tracking the movements of Blaine’s car along a motorway on News Year Eve 1968. As the instruments focus in on the precise date and location, Tom instructs the assembled technicians to keep the delicate process stable. The action intercuts between sequences ( on telecine ) of Mark in his car at night and the studio sequences of the technicians at work. When Marie queries the darkness of the picture presented by the instruments monitors, Tom reminds her that they “are coming in at night”.

There is a short break in the clip here, with the action resuming at the point where Blaine is listening to some New Year celebrations (a crowd singing Old Langs Syne) on his car radio. He switches this off, and we resume with the flurry of activity at Rex Industries. Marie asks how long they will have to operate after the crash, and admits to feeling “almost sorry” for Blaine. Tom clinically replies that they’re not really killing him anyway, keeping his eyes on the instruments as the two cars to be involved in the accident bear down on each other…

Tyres screeching as he loses control of his car, Blaine wrestles with the wheel as he sees the oncoming car headlights. Watching the proceedings, Tom’s voice rises excitedly, concerned that Blaine appears to have got the car under control again: “it’s not working – boost the laser!”

Seconds later however, there is a tremendous impact, and the screen on the technician’s instruments goes blank.

There is another short break in the clip at this point (a few seconds in duration), as the hushed technicians are assembled around a panel of lights. The action resumes as the lights on the panel begin flashing one by one, indicating the success of the operation. The assembled crowd cheers loudly. Tom says: “We pulled him over!”

All attention now goes to a covered body emerging from a recess in one of the walls of the room. This is the body into which the mind of Blaine – now played by Charles Tingwell – has been ‘transplanted’.

Duration: 1'40"

Extract 2: A section from Scene 2, in which Blaine (Charles Tingwell) awakes to find himself in his new body, laying prone on a trolley in the transplant operation room. In attendance are Clarke and Dr Cole (Robert Macleod).

Cole is excitedly remarking on how everything is functioning perfectly. Clarke asks Blaine how he is feeling and whether he remembers the ‘accident’. Blaine is puzzled, but recalls how the steering wheel broke and penetrated his chest.

On Clarke’s prompt, Blaine looks down at his chest – feeling it first for a wound and then more intensely for recognition. “But it’s not mine” he exclaims. Clarke hands him a small mirror, explaining how only his body ‘died’ in the crash, and how a time transplant operation had been utilised to pull his mind over. “You’ll get used to the body” he adds glibly.

Blaine simply stares at him, then begins laughing incredulously…

Duration: 1'00"

Extract 3: A sequence from Scene 3, in which Blaine has been introduced by Marie to a man called Reilly (Peter Swanwick), the elderly head of Rex Industries. Reilly is about to be ‘reincarnated’ into the younger body of a selected ‘Host’ (played by Donald Morley), and Marie suggests to Blaine that they watch the process.

The clip begins with the various Radiophonic / electronic music treatments that accompanies the ‘Reincarnation’ process. Dr Cole notes that although Reilly’s body and that of the Host have gone limp, there is as yet no sign of emerging animation in the latter. Marie explains to Blaine that Reilly’s mind is trying to take possession of the body, but clearly he “seems to be having a little trouble”.

The assembled technicians are beginning to panic; more adjustments to the apparatus are hurriedly made. Dr Cole orders the technicians to “lower the boost” and the strange electronic whining of the instruments slowly gives way to an audible heartbeat.

An oxygen mask is applied quickly to the face of the ‘host body’ and the sound of breathing becomes more pronounced and regular. When the mask is removed however, the assembled crowd is shocked to see that the face is deathly pale. Opening it’s eyes, the figure says slowly and menacingly: “My name is not Reilly”.

The technicians realize with horror that the body has gone ‘Reject’, meaning that another wandering spirit – a disembodied presence looking for a physical host - has entered the body before Reilly could complete the process. The Reject stands stiffly, it’s movements ill coordinated. Slowly it looks around the ring of faces and pauses on Blaine. “I know you” it says…

Duration: 2'10"

Extract 4: A sequence from Scene 10, towards the end of the play. The ‘Reject’ has tracked down Blaine to his South Seas hideaway, where he has been forced to flee because of the growing political in-fighting between Rex Industries and the Government. The Reject has at last discovered it’s original identity – ‘he’ is James Robinson, the man who was killed when Blaine crashed his car into that of another in 1969. Robinson’s mind had also been pulled over into the 22nd-Century, but unlike Blaine had been forced to wander in limbo until the opportunity arose to inhabit Reilly’s host body. This temporary body is slowly dying however…
The extract begins at the point where Blaine is reiterating that he does not know who the Reject is, despite the latter’s insistence that they’ve met before. The Reject, his voice now virtually a whisper, explains : “late one night…1969…motorway…. you in your car, me in mine…”

Marie is distressed by the Reject’s appearance - she had known all along about James having been tragically caught up in the time transplant process, but wanted to keep this knowledge hidden from Blaine. “I’m not ready for the Hereafter yet, I haven’t had a chance here on Earth…” says James pitiably.

Blaine realises there is something more involved. He slowly recollects the crash - a flashback sequence in which one specific detail becomes clear: the fact that for a split second he had regained control of the car, but had still willed the crash to happen – a death wish, prompting him to lust for the moment of impact: “I let the car plunge on and I took you with me…”, reflects Blaine.

The revelation engenders a complex moral dilemma for him, prompting Blaine to give up his new body for James to inhabit in turn

Duration: 2'00"

Extract 5

A brief extract from Scene 12, set inside a “Suicide Booth” which Blaine and the Reject have entered to consolidate their pact – both will ‘die’ here, but James will be resurrected in Blaine’s healthy body.

The extract picks up the action as Blaine and the Reject sit in adjacent chairs, listening to the voice of the Booth’s Clerk as she gives instructions: “Place both your hands on the lever in front of your chair. At the sound of the first chime pull your lever firmly towards you. Do not hesitate or release your grip until you hear the second chime”.

“Good bye” says Blaine. The first chime sounds and the lever is pulled ; as the second chime is heard, he releases his grip…

Duration: 40"

Surviving Telerecorded Material

This comprises a brief truncated shot of a sword being plunged into a man’s stomach, over which the sound of the victim’s groaning can be heard. This is almost certainly an excised shot from a lengthy film sequence in the middle of the play, involving Blaine and a group of fellow ‘Hunters’ tracking down a man called Hull (Peter Copley). Hull is a wealthy aristocrat who has bought the services of these ‘professional’ hunters in order to provide himself with a “glorious death” ; their task is to pursue him across his woodland estate and kill him, although Hull aims to dispatch as many of them as possible ( armed with a rapier ) before he meets his own end.

The shot was discovered amongst the batch of excised BBC material held by the Australian Censorship board. Ironically, this was the same section of the play singled out by The Daily Telegraph critic as being a “particularly gruesome sequence”.

(b/w 16TR)

Duration: 5"

Surviving Music and Effects tracks

1. A complete collection of all music (electronic treatments) and effects tracks used in this production also exist in a private collection. This includes the numerous sound effects for the Time Transplant experiment, the Reincarnation sequence, and number of miscellaneous pieces of taped dialogue ( including ‘Robot’ voices and announcements ).

Duration: 9’03”

2. The recording archive of composer Tristram Cary also includes a complete collection of the original incidental music tracks (15ips full track mono). Some of this material duplicates the effects tape noted above. Cary noted that he had “used a small ensemble in which the low end consists of bass guitar rather than a cello or bass, a versatile instrument with a very original sound. In general the instrumental sections seem to be fairly friendly sounds, but certain sections were designed for electronic treatment and the results of these are a bit more horrific”.

Duration: 15’31”

CLIP 1

CLIP 2

CLIP 3

Dr Bogert (Gerald Sim) and Dr Calvert (Wendy Gifford)

The team in conference.

Lanning (Hamilton Dyce) ponders the situation.

Lanning: "If only we knew how it happened".

LIAR!

TX. 14th January 1969

Three clips (b/w 16TR) and two extended audio extracts exist from this production

Context: At the factory plant of ‘United Robots’, a new series of humanoid robots is fresh off the production line. To counter a series of scathing press articles on the perceived “robot menace” however, Director Alfred Lanning (Hamilton Dyce) has invited skeptical journalist Milton Brooke (Robert James) to visit the plant to reassure him that his accusations are unfounded. To this end, he wishes to demonstrate the most recent robot off the production line – RB-34, otherwise known as ‘Herbie”. With Brooke arriving for the demonstration, Lanning sends production manager Milton Ashe (Paul Chapman) down to the factory floor to collect Herbie. Once activated however, Ashe discovers to his horror that RB-34 has the remarkable but unnerving capacity to read the minds of it’s human creators...

Summary of Audio Extracts

Extract 1:

This first extract, covering parts of scenes 7 and 8, overlaps with the end of the second of the surviving video clips (see section below)

Having been activated, Herbie’s telepathic capacity registers the anxiety in Ashe’s mind, particularly his fear lest someone else discovers this and begins a general panic. “If you’re afraid of anyone else discovering me, why not lock me up?” suggests Herbie, indicating a cleaners cupboard on the factory floor. Ashe silently complies, and once Herbie is safely inside he locks the door and hurries back to join Lanning’s group.

A short break in the clip here, within which Herbie picks up one of the cleaner’s tacky romantic story magazines that it finds within the cupboard. The clip resumes with Herbie beginning to read aloud from the magazine: “I’ll never forget the day I told my husband I was in love with another man. For a while he stood silent, pale under his tan, staring at me. ‘You Elsie?’, he gasped. ‘You and Arthur?”

Elsewhere, Lanning is handing out sherries to his assembled team and a very nervous Brooke, who is feigning impatience at the delay in the demonstration (to cover his anxiety about meeting a robot face to face). Lanning tells him that the robot should be arriving with Ashe at any moment now, while Brooke curtly states that he still has other appointments to attend to.

A further short break in the clip at this point, omitting a few lines of dialogue, before picking up again with Brooke sarcastically suggesting that the delay is due to a “last minute hitch”. Lanning confidently replies that this is impossible, just as a very flustered Ashe enters the room and bumbles a very unconvincing explanation about a “last minute hitch”...

A longer section is missing after this piece of dialogue. The missing section covers the heated exchange between Lanning and Brooke, for the latter has detected a crude and hasty ‘cover up’ at work and angrily leaves the room. The clip then picks up the action at the very end of the scene, where Ashe explains his cover-up by telling them of his discovery that Herbie can read minds. Lanning decides they should all go see Herbie for themselves: “You’d better come with me. All of you”.

Duration: 1'15"

Extract 2:

A longer section covering the denouement of the play, with material from scenes 48 through to 51.

Herbie is confronted by Robo-Psychologist Susan Calvin (Wendy Gifford), who has discovered what the robot is up to. She tells the assembled group how the First Law of Robotics compels Herbie to tell people what they really want to hear, even if this means lying ( since it cannot hurt a human in any manner, including hurting their feelings ). Pursuing this line of logic, she then gives Herbie an ‘impossible’ order, instructing the robot that it must tell Lanning and the others of it’s knowledge of the technical error that resulted in the gift of telepathy.

However, obeying this order implies the possibility of a human being hurt, since the robot is aware that both Lanning and the company’s resident mathematician Dr Bogert (Gerald Sim) have been fruitlessly trying to fathom the solution for themselves. Herbie knows that both men cannot stand the thought that a mere robot holds the solution which their ‘superior’ human intellects find insoluble. As a result, Herbie suffers the robotic equivalent of a nervous breakdown, caught between his need to obey a human order, and the law that that says he must not harm a human. Herbie begins repeating the order to itself, which quickly takes on a frenzied note: “I must, I mustn’t, I must, I mustn’t, I must, I mustn’t...” Turning suddenly, he crashes through the door...

This continues into the following telecine sequence, in which Herbie plunges haphazardly down a corridor through swing doors, still repeating it’s illogical order to itself.

The assembled group hear a crashing sound, and exit the room.

A short break in the clip at this point, as the group halt by the top of the stairwell that Herbie has fallen from, looking down disconsolately at what is now a wrecked heap of machinery. The clip resumes as Bogert says lamentably (over a telecine shot of Herbie’s wrecked remains): “now we’ll never know” [i.e.: the origin of the robot’s telepathic ability].

Lanning turns to Brooke and asks him whether what he has just witnessed satisfies him as to the robot’s inbuilt ‘safety factor’. A trembling Brooke admits he is satisfied and Lanning suggests they all return to his office for a drink.

Duration: 2'50"

Surviving Telerecorded Material

Three clips were originally used in the BBC documentary series Towards Tomorrow, in an edition entitled 2001:An Earth Prophecy (TX. BBC 1, 25th March 1969). This still exists as a complete b/w film recording in the BBC archives. As the title indicates, this edition speculated on scientific and social advances thirty years into the future (ironically the Out of the Unknown adaptation of Liar! was also specified as being set at this date), and included extensive interview footage of Isaac Asimov.

Subsequent BBC productions have recycled two of these three clips, although in truncated form. These have included BBC-2’s The Late Show on at least two known occasions - firstly a feature on developments in robotics, and later within a 1992 obituary feature on the work of Isaac Asimov. On each occasion, fragments of these clips were shown alongside archive interview footage of Asimov, mainly from the author’s appearances on the 28/7/65 edition of Horizon and the aforementioned Robot edition of Towards Tomorrow (TX. 28/12/67).

Different sections of these clips then surfaced in the 1997 Future Fantastic documentary series, in an edition entitled I Robot . A brief shot of Olgilvy’s robot being ‘activated’ also appeared in the 23/1/04 edition of the BBC series Inventions that Changed the World. Longer, and for the most part complete, versions of all three clips, probably their first extended outing since their 1969 re-use, were recently presented in the BBC-2 documentary Sunday Past Times (TX.11/9/05).

The most curious re-use of these surviving segments is the now well-known shot of a robot head being constructed ( the head divided into hinged ‘halves’ which are closed around it’s ‘positronic brain’ ) which has been regularly used as part of the title sequence of the American sit-com Malcolm in the Middle.

Clip 1:

A clip from the play’s first scene, showing the robot factory ‘production line’ in operation. This begins with the opening shot of the play, a wide tracking shot of the factory floor, over which the story title and author credit is superimposed. The last few seconds of this shot, which includes the dramatist credit (‘Dramatised by David Campton’) are missing. This continues with a shot of the factory workers manipulating the skeletal framework of a robot arm, whilst in the background we see Lanning, Susan Calvin, Ashe and Bogert assembling to witness the activation of RB-1, their first completed robot. As originally broadcast, this sequence then cuts to the aforementioned shot of the robot’s head section being snapped together.

This section of the clip also appears to be missing the three following shots: a wide shot of Olgilvy as RB-1 being activated and rising from the test bench; the assembled crowd cheering at their success; and a close-up of the first Daily News headline: “Robot Activated”

The 11/9/05 edition of Sunday Past Times however, did screen the next section of consecutive shots (all overlaid with the original accompanying stock music). These are: Olgilvy as RB-2 rising from the test bench; a second newspaper headline warning of “The Robot Menace”; Olgilvy as the newly activated ‘RB-15’ rising into close-up; and a third alarmist headline announcing: “Robots - What is the Government Doing?”

Duration: 32"

Clip 2:

An extended sequence from scene 7. This begins with a long shot of Ashe supervising the activation of RB-34 or ‘Herbie’ ; as the robot stands, Ashe orders it to follow him. The camera tracks back as the two characters begin walking into close-up, then stays on the robot as it comes to an abrupt halt. Ashe returns impatiently and reiterates his order to the robot to follow him. The subsequent exchange establishes Herbie’s telepathic ability, including Herbie picking up on Ashe’s thoughts of Brooke as “a self-important ass” who deserves to be frightened “out of his boots”.

The robot becomes acutely aware that it’s act of mind reading is disturbing Ashe. Because it also senses Ashe’s anxiety about it’s telepathic nature being discovered by others, Herbie suggests that it is locked up out of sight in a nearby cleaner’s cupboard.. “In there” suggests Herbie, walking into the cupboard - Ashe then gratefully locks the door and moves away.

Duration: 1'15"

Clip 3:

A sequence from scene 10, showing the factory’s administration staff (Lanning, Calvin, Ashe and Bogert) discussing the problem of Herbie’s telepathic ability in Lanning’s office.

This begins mid-way through a shot of Bogert and Calvin, the latter stating that the group is not going to solve this problem by attributing blame on each other for an apparent fault in the production process.

Lanning concurs with this, and rising from his seat, summarises the issues as follows: “Let’s consider the situation. We have produced a positronic brain of supposedly ordinary vintage that has the remarkable property of being able to tune in on thought waves”.

Ashe asks what’s wrong with this issue. “Nothing”, Lanning continues, since in itself the fact marks “the most important advance in robotics for years”.

“If only we knew how it happened”, he adds thoughtfully.

Duration: 28"

Rehearsal shot with Commandant Decker (Ed Bishop).

The Humanoids in their village.

BEACH HEAD

TX.28th January 1969

One audio extract is currently known to exist from this production.

Story Context: On a remote and uncharted planet, Commandant Decker (Edward Bishop) attempts to communicate with one of the ‘humanoid’ natives that his survey team has just captured. The alien has been brought into a small domed pavilion adjacent to the team’s spacecraft, where Decker’s team has set up a ‘mentagraph’ – two linked headsets with an output cable leading to a small screen ( which translates thought patterns into visible symbols )...

Extract 1

With Decker and the humanoid having donned their headsets, the clip begins at the point where Decker states the friendly and non-hostile nature of his team: “We will not harm you, we will not harm you...”

The alien’s unspoken reply is swift and alarming, with the scrambled symbols on the monitor screen resolving themselves into the words: “You will never leave” [this planet].

Decker hurriedly persists, stating that they wish to be friends, offering their help and the promise of gifts.

Again the translated reply on the monitor screen is repeated. Waldron (Vernon Dobtcheff), one of the team’s scientific advisors, suggests that Decker should “try to humour him”. In the face of the humanoids implacable and enigmatic resistance, Decker is beginning to panic. He hurriedly insists that: “we will stay, we will stay, we will teach you many good things...”

Duration: 32"

Radio Times billing photo - showing Clive Morton as Doctor Pugh and Milo O'Shea as Doctor Lafcado.

Milo O'Shea as Doctor Lafcado.

SOMETHING IN THE CELLAR

TX. 4th February 1969

Radio Times cover for "Something In The Cellar".Story Context: In the cellar of his rambling Victorian edifice of a home, Professor Monty Lafcado (Milo O’Shea) has been tirelessly building and perfecting a complex computer capable of translating any language, aided by his loyal assistant Fred (Murray Melvin). Unknown to Lafcado, the computer quickly begins to develop it’s own distinct personality -  ultimately revealed to be that of Monty’s possessive mother, who had died several years earlier...

Extract 1: From Scene 2, in which Monty and Fred are first seen experimenting with various settings on the computer lash-up in the cellar. The computer’s ‘output’ speaker emits a curious string of words whilst shooting into the female register: “History, Goldfish, every rough potato” and then disintegrates into a rapid cacophony of sounds. Fred throws a switch to turn the speaker off, saying laconically: “she’s flipped again”.

Monty ponders on this, wringing his hands: “oh dear, it does that – and that curious frequency jump...”

Duration : 26"

Extract 2: From Scene 4, in which Monty is taking an afternoon nap in a ‘fleapit’ cinema which is screening a B-Grade horror movie. It is here that he meets a woman called Bettina (June Ellis), who strikes up a conversation with Monty as he wakes towards the climax of the film.

The extract begins at the point where Bettina is pointing out how the hero of the film is about to rescue a lady threatened by a “seaweed” monster (played by John Lawrence, in a sequence specially shot on 35mm film for the play). Monty asks how she knows the story so well, and Bettina admits to having sat through the same film at the “Majestic” the previous week. The film draws to a close and the finale music begins. Bettina begins to gather her bags and rise...

Duration: 27"

Extract 3: From Scene 8, in which the computer is systematically enunciating (in a monotone “Dalek-like” voice ) a series of words beginning with the letter ‘b’: “bissextile, bisulcate, bisulphate...”

Fred turns to Monty ( who is working out calculations on a blackboard ) and says: “Hungry ol’ cow – she started on ‘er A’s yesterday and now she’s halfway through B”.

Monty is immersed in his calculations: “I think I’ve found a reason for those curious frequency jumps Fred”.

Duration: 25"

Extract 4: Scene 10. In the evening, Monty is working alone in the cellar when Bettina, now employed as his housekeeper, comes in with something for him to eat. She asks about the various pieces of equipment and the strange enunciations of the machine.

Monty attempts to explain to her how the machine works. Feeling ill at ease, Bettina remarks that it sounds like the computer has “swallowed a dictionary”. Continuing to demonstrate, Monty switches the computer to ‘print-out’ only, silencing the unnerving mechanical voice.

Duration: 45"

Extract 5: From Scene 13, in which Fred inspects a part of the computer termed the “D-Circuit”, which he believes is the source of the various technical glitches. As the machine continues to coldly articulate a string of words, the electronic voice suddenly begins to rise in pitch and intensity. “You’re excited today you old cow”, says Fred, looking at the frenzied patterns displayed on the computer’s monitor screens. He looks narrowly at a complicated piece of the system: “I bet it’s that D Circuit”...

Duration: 40"

Extract 6: From Scene 17. The computer has now reached words beginning with ‘S’ and while it quietly drones on in the background, Monty and Fred continue to make fine adjustments to the console. As Monty speculates on a possible fault with the machine’s “modulator”, Fred indicates that the professor has just received two letters from his financial benefactors I.C.M.

Duration: 32"

Extract 7: From Scene 23, in which Fred attempts to tamper with the system’s D-Circuit. With the computer relentlessly ‘Daleking’ away to itself, Fred removes the panels of the cabinet containing the circuit and begins making adjustments. Suddenly the voice rises in pitch again and there is a sudden flash and spit of electrical arcing. Fred screams in agony – as he pulls out his hands from the interior of the cabinet, he sees that the screwdriver he has been using has penetrated his wrist. He grabs this and pulls it out, doubling with pain and shock. The machine’s electronic screaming rises unchecked.

This cuts to a telecine shot of the exterior of Monty’s house. The script indicates this as follows: “A FULL SHOT of the house. FLAT ON. It screams exultantly”.

Duration: 1'05"

Extract 8: From Scene 27. With Fred in hospital, Monty works alone in the cellar. He has just screwed in the last of the bolts replacing the D Circuit panel and is listening to some curious sentences ( once more spoken in a distinct female register ) emanating from the computer’s speaker. Monty checks the machine’s ‘Reading Element’ and realises these sentences bear no relation to the text that has been inputted to the computer.

Duration: 45"

Extract 9: From Scene 37, in which Monty attempts to show ICM representative Harold Pugh ( Clive Morton ) how the computer responds to certain key words relating to sexuality. Monty shouts these into a microphone on the console, then tears off the computer’s printed out response and shows it to Pugh. Bizarrely, it relates to mating patterns, jealousy and love...

Duration: 30"

Extract 10: From Scene 56 through to 60. Acting through the computer, Monty’s mother cruelly deals with Bettina by discharging a huge burst of electrical energy through the house, killing her instantly when she touches a metal contact in the bathroom (this sequence would have shown Bettina backing away from the apparition of Monty’s dead mother in a wardrobe, then stumbling into the adjacent bathroom where she clutches at a tap to steady herself).

Duration: 25"

Extract 11: From Scene 68 through to 69. Monty now realizes that the personality of his dead mother inhabits the computer. His mother’s distorted voice is heard through the speakers: “Mother’s boy – dear old boy, didn’t you guess…”

Monty attempts to switch the console off, but each time he reaches out there is a flash of electrical discharge. The voice calls out sternly: “Mustn’t touch, ..naughty…Mum will be angry...”

Monty rushes to the main switches near the cellar stairs, but again there is a sudden electrical flash. He rushes up the stairs...

“And don’t run away. I want to talk to you. It’s your mother...”

Attempting to flee the computer’s influence, Monty leaves the cellar and runs into the hallway of the house and quickly ascends the stairs. The distorted, echoing voice of his mother can still be heard in the distance: “come back... come back... come back...”

Duration: 1'40"

Extract 12: From Scene 72. Coaxed back by the hypnotic sound of his mother’s voice, Monty returns to the cellar. The soothing voice intones: “dear old boy, mother’s boy, mum’s been lonesome on her own-some, mum wants to talk, nice and cosy on our own-some, just the two of us...”

At this point, Fred and Pugh return to the house and discover Monty lying in a foetal position in the middle of the computer apparatus. The monitors are displaying (in rapid succession) images of his mother’s face, with the echoing voice repeating: “just the two of us, for ever... and ever... and ever... and ever...” [this scene would have then led into the closing credits]

Duration: 1'00"

 

RANDOM QUEST

TX. 11th February 1969

A single clip ( b/w T/R ) and two audio excerpts currently exist from this production.

Radio Times clipping - Keith Barron and Tracy Reed.Story Context: Scientist Colin Trafford (Keith Barron) attends a routine laboratory demonstration at British-Physical Industries. The demonstration goes wrong however, and the resultant explosion knocks him unconscious. When he wakes, he finds himself inexplicably sprawled at the bottom of a stairway in a Gentlemen's Club. Bewildered by his new surroundings and personal appearance, he eventually realises that he has been transported to a parallel world, where his ‘counterpart’ has been living a quite different life...

Summary of Audio Extracts

Extract 1: This first extract bridges the telecine sequence of the laboratory explosion (a blinding flash, with Colin staggering to the camera and falling slowly out of frame) and the opening shot of Scene 2 – an out of focus shot of the club’s Hall Porter (Arnold Ridley) anxiously looking down on Colin and asking repeatedly: “You all right Sir?”

Colin awakes with a start and looks around in astonishment. The Hall Porter, oblivious to Colin’s confusion, continues with his polite fussing: “You must have tripped on the stairs, sir. No bones broken, I hope?”

Colin asks whether he really is here in the club, perplexed that he cannot account for the sudden unexplained change of location. Nor does he recognise the face before him: “What am I doing here…. who are you?”

“Munnings, Sir”, the Porter replies genially, “You know me...”

Duration: 30"

Extract 2: A short section from Scene 8, in which Colin enters the luxurious flat of his alternate world counterpart, which he explores with intense curiosity. Having idly switched on a 1930’s type television set, the picture flickers into life and shows a news broadcast (read by MacDonald Hobley). The clip begins at the point where the newsreader is giving a summary of various ‘contemporary’ world events:

“...many eminent scientists throughout the world were concerned over the latest German experiments, and while there was little doubt that nuclear fission was still a theoretical possibility, the proposed methods of control were totally inadequate (changes sheet). The King’s State visit to Lichtenstein...”

Colin switches the set off and ruminates reflectively: ‘So the random neutron is still at large...” He shakes his head in wonder and goes on to explore the next room.

Duration: 21"

Surviving Clip:

The surviving clip derives from a telecine sequence (shot at Ealing) which shows Colin pursuing a woman called Ottilie (Tracy Reed) down a flight of stairs outside their apartment. She trips on the stairwell and then tumbles down to the bottom (with stuntwoman Roberta Gibbs standing in for Tracy Reed). Trafford rushes to her aid, repeatedly calling her name...

Duration: 6"

The clip derives from a 1970 edition of Nationwide (TX. 22/10/70) and was shown as part of an interview with Roberta Gibbs (NB. although the filmed interview with Gibbs exists on the original colour film, the Out of the Unknown clip derives from a b/w VT copy). The clip was traced by archivist Andrew Martin in September 2005, following a lead from BBC engineer James Insell.

Gladia (Trisha Noble) and Baley (Paul Maxwell).

The Solarian suspects assemble together for Baley's questioning.

THE NAKED SUN

TX. 18th February 1969

Five audio extracts currently exist from this production.

Radio Times billing.Story Context: The year is 22O2. Sent to investigate a murder on the planet Solaria, Earth Detective Elijah Baley (Paul Maxwell) is determined to overcome his ingrained agoraphobia of outside spaces, having lived virtually his entire life enclosed within the domed city of New York...

Extract 1: This first clip begins at the close of Scene 3, which features Baley and his robot partner – R. Daneel Olivaw (David Collings) – travelling in an enclosed windowless capsule to their destination on Solaria. Fearing that his vulnerability to the open air will seriously hinder his status with the Solarians, Baley has lowered a panel which covers an observation window. This causes the light from the ‘naked sun’ to pour into the capsule, and a terrified Baley passes out.

The clip begins with the music that bridges the transition between Baley losing consciousness and his awakening in a Solarian apartment. Opening his eyes, he questions Daneel regarding his new whereabouts. The robot replies that he is in a house specially built for him. Baley is incredulous: “Built for me!”

“On the estate of Hannis Gruer”, explains Daneel calmly, “the Head of Solarian Security”.

Duration : 20"

Extract 2: From Scene 5, in which Baley attempts to interview (via a monitor screen, as the Solarians shun personal physical presence) Corwin Attlebish, the Deputy Head of Solarian Security (Ronald Leigh Hunt). Attlebish curtly reminds Baley about the taboo around physical contact and is sceptical about there being any real ‘mystery’ to the murder...

Duration : 12"

Extract 3: Also from Scene 5, in which Baley makes contact with another eminent Solarian, the sociologist Anselmo Quemot (John Robinson). The Control Robot operating the communication system signifies that Quemot is available for ‘contact’. The sociologist then becomes visible on a monitor screen, stating calmly that he was expecting Baley’s call.

Duration : 12"

Extract 4: From the close of Scene 7. During an interview with Hannis Gruer, Baley watches him drink from a glass of water and collapse, gasping the words “burning” as he clutches his throat. Baley quickly calls for assistance from Gruer’s robots. This cuts to the subsequent scene in which he questions Gruer’s main household robot, followed by the Solarian medical advisor Doctor Thool (Erik Chitty). The elderly doctor advises that Gruer may not survive the poisoning...

Duration : 38"

Extract 5: From Scene 16. In Baley’s Solarian apartment, the detective receives a radio transmission from Earth Under-Secretary Minnim (Sheila Burrell), who calls for his immediate return to Earth. Baley is adamant that he wants to pursue his investigation, and orders a robot to switch off the transmission. R. Daneel Olivaw warns Baley: “You cannot defy the Under- Secretary”.

Duration : 22"

Extract 6: From Scene 17. In Baley’s apartment, the Earth detective requests that all the suspects are brought together in a ‘multi-view’ for questioning (with their holographic images fused together in one space). Daneel initially misunderstands his request and thinks Baley is calling for all the suspects to be physically present in his apartment. Baley corrects him: “No, not see them. They’d regard that as a twentieth century orgy.”

As Daneel leaves to make arrangements, Baley also instructs his robot partner to make his way to the chief suspect’s house. “You know what else I want you to do, Daneel.”

Duration: 37"

Baley (Paul Maxwell) in the communications room.

Radio Times billing.

 Al (Harvey Hall) attempts to track the loss of Medical Kit 674101

Dr Full (Emrys James) performing miracles with the aid of the Bag's instruments.

Angie (Geraldine Moffatt) monitors the proceedings pensively.

Angie (Geraldine Moffatt) demonstrates the Bag's 'foolproof' surgical knife on herself.

Mike (James Chase) and Al (Harvey Hall) watch the horror unfold at 'Bag Control'.

THE LITTLE BLACK BAG

TX. 25th February 1969

Four audio extracts and a series of videotape fragments (comprising consecutive scenes which make up for approximately twenty-eight minutes of the play) currently exist from this production.

The first three audio extracts cover approximately two and a half minutes from scenes 3 - 5, the recovered videotape material comprises scenes 9 – 23, and the last audio extract features material from scenes 24 – 26 (the play’s denouement).

Story Context: A sophisticated Medical Kit is advertently transported back in time from the far future into the twentieth century, where it falls into the grateful hands of the disbarred Dr Full (Emrys Jones) and a scheming woman named Angie Quiller (Geraldine Moffatt). Although unable to retrieve the kit, its ‘supernormal’ creators Mike (James Chase) and colleague Al (Harvey Hall) monitor the use of the bag as its capabilities are ruthlessly exploited...

Extract 1: A segment from Scene 3, set in the Medical Centre that forms the backdrop to the opening of the play. It is here that ‘supernormal’ Mike, ostensibly working as a lab assistant to the inept Dr Gillis (Robert Dean), has constructed a portable time-machine. The clip begins as Mike is describing the operation of the apparatus to a curious Gillis and his equally naive colleague Dr Hemingway (Denis Bowen).

“Touch that switch, turn the dial, it’ll go to wherever you want” concludes Mike casually. As Mike leaves, the two doctors decide they might as well try out the apparatus. Gillis places Hemingway’s Medical Bag inside the machine and then throws a switch. The machine hums into life and the bag duly disappears. At first stupefied, the doctors suddenly realise they have no idea how to reverse the process...

Duration: 50"

Extract 2: A segment from Scene 4, in which the panicking Hemingway goes to meet Al (at the Medical Centre’s ‘stores’) in order to obtain a replacement bag.

Hemingway is furious with Mike and his apparently useless time machine, stating that Mike is “not as bright as he makes out”. Struggling to explain the process, he tries to describe how the machine seems to work on a “one way only” basis. Al queries whether Mike had explained “the recall mechanism”.

"I don’t think he included it in the design”, Hemingway replies, and then switches the subject back to his immediate predicament: “The point is, how am I going to manage without my bag?”

“How indeed”, Al says breezily, “Well, we’ll just have to get you another one”.

Duration: 30"

Extract 3: An extract covering most of Scene 5, set inside ‘Bag Control’. After giving Hemingway a replacement Medical Kit, Al retreats to a hidden control room to the rear of the stores. It is here that he is joined by Mike, whom he berates for being foolish enough to build the time machine and give it to Gillis (reminding him that they should do nothing to alert their so-called superiors to their own advanced intelligence).

Mike is astounded that the doctors were foolish enough to put the medical bag in the time machine. Al then queries where the bag might have ended up, but Mike is at a loss to pinpoint this. While Al attempts to trace the kit, Mike asks whether they should ‘kill’ it, although both acknowledge that turning it off might produce a ‘social loss’.

Al then alerts their superiors, known simply as ‘Control’, to the loss of the bag. Control advise leaving the kit’s instruments switched on, although any “deviations from normal” are to be reported immediately. Mike breathes a sigh of relief at not being asked how the bag ended up on another timescale...

Duration: 1'00"

Extract 4: The final extract features material sadly missing from the recovered video sequence (which is missing the last thirty seconds of the play). The following text outlines the script for these closing moments, immediately following the point that the recovered video sequence comes to a close (finishing after Mike’s line: “That’s no reason to let them discipline me for disobeying orders”). The sections surviving on audio are outlined in red:

Scene 23: Inside ‘Bag Control’

Al: “One murder, two murders. What’s the difference?

Mike: For you? That’s no reason to let them discipline me for disobeying orders. How do I destroy the damn thing?

Al: “Try the kill button”

[Close-up of the ‘kill’ button on the instrument desktop]

Scene 24. Inside Full’s Surgery

Mrs Coleman: “Let me see you do that with your neck”

Angie: “All rightee!”

[Angie inserts the ‘surgical knife’ into her neck (utilising the same sound effect used in an earlier scene in which she demonstrates the knife on her forearm)]

Scene 25: Inside ‘Bag Control’

[Mike’s finger pressing button in Close-up]

The bleeping of the alarm at Bag Control suddenly ceases as Mike hits the “kill’ button.

Scene 26. Inside Full’s Surgery

[Angie’s face - contorting in sudden pain and surprise – falls from frame. Cut to Mrs Coleman giving a gasp of ‘pure horror’]

Mrs Coleman screams!

[After the close-up of Mrs Coleman, the script indicates that there was to be a final shot of the Medical Bag in a ‘corroded’ state and possibly a close-up of Angie’s body on the floor of the surgery]

Duration: 10"

Mary (Julia Lockwood) at the Medical Centre.

Mary Beldon (Julia Lockwood).

1 + 1 = 1.5

TX. 4th March 1969

Three audio excerpts exist from this production.

Story Context: The year is 2020, and Britain is leading the world in the field of effective Population Control. At the outset of the play, local Population Control Officer Henry Beldon (Garfield Morgan) has been awarded a ministerial commendation for his efforts in ensuring that his target population area abides by the computer calculated average – 1.5 licensed children per married couple. However, his pride soon turns to anxiety when he discovers that his wife Mary (Julia Lockwood) is pregnant with a second and unlicensed child...

Extract 1: From Scene 1. Mary and Henry are enjoying a relaxing weekend in their rural cottage retreat, along with Henry’s close friend and colleague John Stewart (Bernard Horsfall). The clip begins as they sit down in the cottage’s living room to watch a television news interview regarding his recent Ministerial Commendation.

As Henry and Stewart switch on the TV monitor, the station’s link-man announces: Now just before we bring you Community Newsreel, here is a time check...

Stewart calls through to Mary, who is gathering together coffee cups in the kitchen: “C’mon Mary – Henry’s interview”.

The announcer continues: “Year 2020. September 3rd. 1815, Precisely”. The jingle that heralds the beginning of the news broadcast begins as Mary enters the room and sits alongside Henry. The headlines begin: “A Ministerial Commendation, First Class, was awarded today to Henry Beldon, Local Population Officer...”

Duration: 50"

Extract 2: From Scene 8, set in Stewart’s office in the Department of Health, where he has called Henry in on a most urgent matter. As his friend arrives, he switches on a monitor screen which shows the white sheet of a computerised print-out. The clip begins as the text on the screen is rapidly displayed– it is a diagnostic report on Mary’s recent medical check-up. To everyone’s alarm, the print-out concludes with: “General Conclusion: The subject is four months pregnant”.

Henry registers amazement and turns in horror to Stewart: “Mary’s pregnant! My God, we’re not licensed for two!”

An incidental music sting at this point, as we cut back to the monitor screen which simply states: “Report required”.

Duration: 25"

Extract 3: From Scene 12B. Back in Stewart’s office, Beldon consults the Central Computer at Westminster for advice and a possible solution to his personal dilemma. Nervously, he types his ‘hypothetical’ question: “Hypothesis. Mother of one, licensed, gives birth to a second child, unlicensed. What action can husband effect to maintain statistical status quo...”

The extract begins as Beldon and Stewart watch as the printed reply appears on the screen, accompanied by the computer’s impassive electronic voice:

“Alternative courses of action: One – Emigrate to severely under-populated area. Suggest Greenland. Two – divorce wife on grounds of criminal negligence. Three- arrange for child to be adopted as laboratory observation specimen. Four- place child in basket and float down river...”

Beldon angrily switches off the set: “Rubbish, the lot of it!”

Stewart hurriedly attempts to quieten his friend’s outburst: “Sssh, Henry – Westminster might be listening in... what would the Minister think?”

Duration: 45"

 

THE FOSTERS

TX. 11th March 1969

Six audio extracts exist from this production.

Radio Times billing.Story Context: Bio-chemist Harry Gerwyn (Bernard Hepton) receives an enigmatic telephone call from the seemingly innocuous Peter Foster (Richard Pearson), informing him that his wife will soon become ill. Investigating the matter, Gerwyn visits Peter at his quiet suburban home, where he appears to be living a life of placid retirement along with his sister ‘Joan’ (Freda Bamford). Gerwyn quickly comes to realise however, that he is dealing with people who boast extraordinary scientific knowledge, as well as a propensity to casually commit murder...

Extract 1: From the opening telecine sequence, in which two youths - Geoff (Anton Darby) and his girlfriend Anne (Pauline Cunningham) - investigate a seemingly abandoned hanger in a disused airfield.

Finding a storeroom at the rear of the hanger (complete with shelves of medical equipment, flasks and bottles), they are covertly watched by the Fosters through a horizontal gap in a partition at one end of the storeroom.

“I will kill the female” intones Joan to her partner. Peter Foster acknowledges this in an “infinitely tired’ tone of voice.

Anne looks around at the equipment and says: “Probably some firm’s taken over the place.”

“Just what I was thinking”, agrees Geoff, “I wonder what sort of racket they’re in then?” [this last line of dialogue would have been heard over a shot of Peter Foster’s hand reaching for a knife].

Duration: 11"

Extract 2: A brief extract from Scene 2, set in the Gerwyn’s home, in which Harry receives his first telephone call from Mr Foster.

The clip begins at the point where Foster is flatly repeating his enigmatic message to Gerwyn: “Your wife may become ill. Be ready for it”. The dialling tone purrs as Foster abruptly rings off.

Gerwyn’s daughter Sally (Ann Penfold) asks who the caller was. A puzzled Gerwyn repeats what he has heard, adding: “But what the hell does that mean?”

Duration: 11"

Extract 3: A longer extract from Scene 3, in which Harry’s wife Mary (Yvonne Manners) is surreptitiously drugged by Joan Foster whilst travelling on a London Tube train.

The clip begins as the train alights at a station; amongst the crowd which boards the train is Joan Foster, who makes her way along the train and sits in a vacant seat next to Mary. As the train starts up again, Joan unfolds a newspaper and pretends to read this, although this is only a ploy to obscure her actions from the fellow passengers.

Accompanied by Wilfred Joseph’s eerie incidental music, the scene continues with Joan hypnotising Mary into immobility and then scratching her hand with an odd looking implement (introducing a chemical into Mary’s bloodstream which will send her into a coma). Her work accomplished, Joan exits from the train at the next station.

Duration: 1'45"

Extract 4: A very brief fragment from Scene 5, in which hospital consultants Calton (Kevin Stone) and Digby (John Dawson) and puzzle over Mary Gerwyn’s comatose condition.

Duration: 7"

Extract 5: An excerpt from scene 7, in which Harry visits the Fosters at their suburban home. Having explained that they are responsible for his wife’s condition, Harry becomes angry, but is quickly subdued by Mr Foster, using the same hypnotic technique employed earlier on his wife.

The clip begins as Peter sits the hypnotised Harry in a chair, with Joan asking calmly: “How is your wide Dr Gerwyn?”. Harry’s voice is flat as he replies: “she’s alright, thank you”.

“That’s better”, says Peter, “please do not make me do that again, it’s most tiring for me”. He then asks if Harry is sitting comfortably and tells him to listen very carefully to what he has to say...

Duration: 32"

Extract 6: From the final scene of the play (shot on film), set in the hanger which formed the backdrop for the play’s opening sequence. Gerwyn has forced the Fosters to take him there, having scratched the hands of the enigmatic couple with the same implement used earlier on his wife. The storeroom of the hanger contains the only known antidote for the poison that has been injected into their system, but it soon becomes clear that the ‘Fosters’ are beyond any medical assistance.

Weakening rapidly, Peter explains to Harry how he and his ‘wife’ are actually beings from another planet, who had taken over the bodies and identities of the ‘Fosters’ in a quest to save their own dying race from extinction.

The clip begins as ‘Peter’ is explaining to Harry how he and his people have similar bodies and share the same natural laws, but they do not share the same society. A cut in the clip here omits several following lines of dialogue, picking up again as Peter is becoming more breathless, admitting to Gerwyn that he and his race are dying. Another cut in the clip at this point loses Peter’s revelation that once they leave their borrowed physical form, the real Fosters will emerge again. His voice then fades and his eyes close.

The clip resumes just after this moment, as Gerwyn stands and walks away (assuming the ‘Fosters’ to be dead). At this point, the ‘real’ Peter Foster re-emerges within his body and his confused voice calls out. Harry looks over and asks tentatively: “are you… the same?”

The real Joan also re-emerges and asks: “What’s happened?” Peter queries whether there has been an accident.

[The clip finishes just before the final line of dialogue – Harry’s rueful reply “ Yes, Mr Foster. Yes, I suppose there was an accident.”]

Duration: 45"

Jon Hoff (David Buck) discussing the navigation plans with Joshua (Owen Berry).

Radio Times photo - Jon (David Buck) and Joshua (Owen Berry).

TARGET GENERATION

TX. 18th March 1969

Five audio extracts exist from this production:

Radio Times billing.Story Context: A multi-generational spaceship is nearing its final destination after 900 years of travel. The inhabitants of the ship have long since forgotten the meaning and purpose of their existence, but they know that the ‘end’ will come when they feel the “tremor” (caused by the ship’s engines slowing down). Only one man in this puritanical, superstitious community – Jon Hoff (David Buck) – knows that when the tremor occurs he is to read a set of instructions bequeathed to him by his dying father. These lead Jon to a sealed and long-forgotten control deck, where he will come to understand the true nature of the ship and it’s inhabitants...

Extract 1: This begins with a scene inside the ship as the ‘Tremor” occurs, with people screaming and shouting as the ship begins to tilt and shudder. This cuts to Jon Hoff and his wife Mary (Suzan Farmer) in their living quarters, with Mary exclaiming that the Tremor has begun and that “the End will come swiftly”. Jon is disbelieving, saying that they do not know that this is the end. Mary is insistent however, claiming that the falling of the Holy Picture (an iconic picture of a Tree) from its place on the wall is “a sign”. The clip ends with a brief cut back to the crowd scenes.

Duration: 31"

Extract 2: Jon’s friend Joe Manx (Ronald Lacey) has followed Jon to the newly discovered control deck of the ship. Joe sees the dictionary that Jon has been using to decipher the instructions for the ship’s navigation and denounces this as blasphemy (since all reading is strictly forbidden on the ship). Jon attempts to reason with his old friend, but Joe exits the room in order to denounce his heresy to the rest of the community. Jon pursues him, calling his name...

Duration: 45"

Extract 3: A very brief fragment of Jon talking to his mentor Joshua (Owen Berry). The old man is urging Jon to say what is on his mind, eliciting Jon’s confession that he has just killed Joe (to prevent him from revealing the control deck to the others).

Duration: 8"

Extract 4. Having disposed of Joe’s body, Jon leads Joshua to the hidden control room. The clip begins as Jon is explaining to the old man how their remote ancestors set the ship on its course when this room was sealed nine hundred years ago. He goes on to relate how generations have lived and died on the ship so that the current inhabitants could reach their destination...

Duration: 11"

Extract 5. An extract from the closing moments of the play, in which the ship has successfully landed on a suitable planet. A hatch has opened and light and sound (birdsong etc) has flooded the control room. Jon and Mary are getting ready to leave and Mary wonders whether the others will disembark with them.

The clips begins at the point where a taped voice announces over the PA system how a deadly gas will be released within the ship within 24 hours (in order to force the inhabitants to exit).

Jon remarks to Mary that their ancestors were “one step ahead of them all the time” and had even taken precautions to ensure that everyone leaves the ship. He takes Mary’s hand and the two of them begin exiting through the hatch [this would have led into the closing credits]

Duration: 11"

THE YELLOW PILL

TX. 25th March 1969

A complete audio recording of this episode, including the opening and closing credit sequences, exists in private hands (see Introduction). A cleaned-up transfer of this recording now exists in the BBC’s archives.

Complete Duration: 47'21"

Steve (Peter Barkworth) prepares Peter Parnell (Donal Donelly).

Steve (Peter Barkworth) and  Peter Parnell (Donal Donelly): "I must need my head examined!"

Parnell (Donal Donelly) and Craswell (Peter Jeffrey) poised to face the 'demons'.

Craswell (Peter Jeffrey) reinvents himself as 'The Mighty Multan'.

GET OFF MY CLOUD

TX. 1st April 1969

Five audio extracts exist from this production.

Marsham Craswell as Multan The Mighty (Peter Jeffrey) and Pete Parnell as Nelpar The Mighty (Donal Donelly).Story Context: Pulp SF writer Marsham Craswell (Peter Jeffrey) has suffered a nervous breakdown through overwork. He now lies in a catatonic state ‘living’ his fantasies rather than writing them, his delirious ravings noted and recorded by a supervising Psychiatrist (Peter Barkworth). The Psychiatrist has an extraordinary idea for bringing Craswell back to reality, involving linking the writer’s subconscious mind to that of ‘down-to-earth’ wily Sports reporter Pete Parnell (Donal Donelly). In effect, he hopes to introduce a dose of “common-sense reality” that will undermine and subvert Craswell’s fanciful imaginings.

At the play’s outset, Pete Parnell is relating a childhood experience to the Psychiatrist, in which an extraordinary technique was employed by Pete’s father to help counter recurring nightmares about the Daleks...

Extract 1: The first short clip derives from the play’s opening ‘flashback’ sequence, shot on 35mm film. In a remote farmhouse, a young Pete Parnell has been having nightmares about Daleks appearing in his bedroom at night. His father attempts to empower Pete by showing him a picture of Colt.45, which he says will ‘enter’ his dreams whenever Pete needs it. The clip picks up the action at the point where Pete is having a further nightmare, within which a group of Daleks enter his bedroom chanting “exterminate, annihilate, destroy” (accompanied by Herbert Chappell’s electronic incidental music rising to a crescendo). Pete lifts the gun out of its picture frame and fires five shots in rapid succession. The Daleks begin screaming as they make a hurried retreat...

Duration: 14"

Extract 2: From telecine sequence 4. Having been rigged up to bizarre form of encephalograph in a private hospital ward, the adult Pete Parnell ‘materialises’ in the subconscious fantasy world of Marsham Craswell. He finds himself in a burning desert with twin suns blazing down on him. Scornfully facing him is the extraordinary figure of Craswell, who has re-created himself as “the Mighty Multan”, laughably adorned in a Pulp-SF ‘gladiator’ costume. Pete takes a diffident no-nonsense approach and says: “How do you do, Marsham Craswell I presume?”

This cuts back briefly to scene 6, in which the ‘real’ Craswell is seen writhing in the hospital bed, moaning at the sudden mental intrusion: “No, no - go away!”

We cut back to the telecine sequence, with Parnell quickly adjusting to his new surroundings and mockingly remarking on Craswell’s bronzed and muscular dreamworld counterpart: “You don’t half tan quickly don’t you?” he quips, “the last time I saw you, you were as white as a bed sheet”.

Hurriedly adjusting to the intrusion himself, Craswell attempts to ‘write’ Parnell in as part of the fantasy, and asks whether Pete is an “Earthman....?” [He later renames Parnell as “Nelpar the Mighty” – see extract 5].

Duration: 30"

Extract 3: [From the subsequent telecine sequence] Finding that he has the power himself to translate his own thoughts into ‘real’ objects in this imaginary world, Pete conjures up a Police Phone Box (the TARDIS prop) in order to request help. Nearby, Craswell is screaming a succession of battle cries and oaths as he prepares to fight against a hoard of alien creatures.

Pete hurriedly calls his friend the Sergeant to help deal with Craswell’s fictional demons: “Oh, hullo Sarge, is that you? Pete Parnell here. Could you get a few of the boys over…”

Irritated by Craswell’s continued ravings, he rounds on him and shouts: “Keep it down will yer? I can’t hear myself think!”

He then gets back on to the phone: “What? Oh we’ve got a bit of trouble on hand…what? Oh, well er…civil disturbance you might call it. Oh, thanks Sarge, yes, I’ll wait – cheers.”

As he puts the phone down, Craswell ravings continue: ‘Hear my Battle Cry, death to them all...”

There is a cut in the clip here, with the action resuming as the Sergeant and a group of Policemen arrive on the scene to make short work of Craswell’s demonic hoards.
“Oh hullo Sarge”, says Pete with relief, “thanks for coming...”

Craswell is horrified at the anachronism of London “Bobbies” intruding in his science-fantasy world: “Madness” he screams...

Duration: 50"

Extract 4: Parnell conjures up a group of Daleks from his childhood nightmare, promising Craswell (who does not recognise the fictional creations) that he’ll tell him about them sometime.

Craswell however, is reluctant to admit anything that counters his own ‘reality’. Accordingly he denies seeing them: “Daleks? Daleks? There are no Daleks here...”

Annoyed at his denial, Parnell retorts: “Oh, don’t be such a sop Craswell, you’re not the only one with imagination.”

Duration: 10"

Extract 5: Parnell and Craswell have made their way to their final destination – the throne room of the High Priestess Garor (Vicki Woolf), the evil nemesis to Craswell’s ‘Mighty Multan’ and keeper of the “Great Diamond” which they must destroy in order to complete their quest.

The clip begins as Garor confronts them and intones that both intruders must die. “I don’t think she’s kidding….”, says Parnell glibly.

Craswell however, is insistent that they must complete their objective. “Behind that shield is the hidden diamond”, he urges, “Nelpar, you must break it down!”

Duration: 10"

 

> INTRODUCTION

> CLIPS LISTING - SEASON ONE

> CLIPS LISTING - SEASON TWO

> CLIPS LISTING - SEASON FOUR

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