Thursday, October 29, 2009

Doom Watch Watch: Human Time Bomb



Another brilliant episode. This one's about 1970s tower blocks. The developer says they're wonderful, DoomWatch aren't convinced, so they send plucky Dr Fay Chantry to investigate. After six weeks living in a tower block, she's utterly crackers.

DoomWatch's initial reaction is "pull yourself together, silly woman", but then, after a few scotches, they look into it and realise that the building itself is driving the residents mad... and Faye will be next. Or, as Dr Quist puts it when dictating his report on the way home: "Why, when birds are caged together it's necessary to cut off their beaks to prevent them from tearing each other apart... Birds... Fay!" before rushing off to stop her beating a handyman to death with a hammer.

It's a drab and distressing story of how what looks like an enormous conspiracy is actually just a sad matter of people being driven very gently crazy by small windows, bad lifts and flimsy cupboards. It's easy enough to laugh at the general datedness of the episode, but the contrast between Fay in her tiny box and Dr Quist swanning around posh London clubs is telling indeed.

4 comments:

Rob Stradling said...

I never knew about this... and it pre-dates Ballard's "High Rise" by a good few years. So *that's* what Steven Wyatt ripped off for "Paradise Towers", then...

Skip said...

See? This blog has a purpose. It's not just about regrettable shunts.

Doomwatch.org said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Doomwatch.org said...

Hi Skip, I offer to you an unedited complete review of Doomwatch for my fanzine.Your reviews are very amusing and I love them. I hope you don't mind, I linked to your site from my News Page, please let me know as soon as you can.As I say you will have complete unedited control over what is published. Thank you

Scott