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The pollution which contaminates the waters surrounding a small island transforms those who drink it, creating deformations and violence. Doomwatch sends a team to discover what is happening...
Doomwatch (1972. 1 hr, 28 min, 21 sec) is a science fiction film, based on the television show of the same name and directed by Peter Sasdy who has a long career as a director of television. It shows in his direction, which has the feel of an extended episode, rather than a movie. Fans are likely to be disappointed to discover that the original cast appear only infrequently.
This time the focus is turned towards the fine Scottish actor, Ian Bannen, who plays Dr. Del Shaw. Shaw travels to an island, Balfe, which seems twined with the island in The Wicker Man, with a frightened, suspicious and closed mouthed community, not the sort of behaviour that would make a scientist think twice!
But Shaw is a member of Doomwatch, an organisation set up monitor the effects of changing technology on the environment. Shaw quickly determines that there is something wrong with the fish, so goes scouting for possible culprits. In a great sequence he confronts the navy which are dumping into the sea nearby, the navy admit to dumping nuclear waste, “only radioactive waste?” is Shaw’s reply, so that’s ok and Shaw has to look again.
While the film has The Wicker Man vibe it does not have that film's desire to push boundaries, so that whilst the film's heart is in the right place the end result feels more like something from the sixties, than the seventies. In the end it’s eminently watchable without being exciting.
The print has been restored and while it’s not perfect, there are issues with grain and fluctuating colours, it’s still an improvement and watchable.
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