Directed by Alan Bridges
Network, out now
Rushed to hospital, the victim of a road traffic accident is examined – and the doctors discover he is not of this Earth. The patient isn’t the only alien: there are others on his trail, and the hospital quickly comes under siege…
All that most SF fans know about this 1966 movie is that Roger Marshall scripted it from a story by Robert Holmes – who then reworked many of the beats for his introduction of Jon Pertwee’s incarnation of the Time Lord in the 1970 Doctor Who story Spearhead from Space. Yes, a lot of the revelations of episode 1 of that tale match the early part of this film, and you can spend your time playing compare or contrast.
Or you can forget about the Doctor Who connections, and sit back and enjoy a fun slice of British sci-fi. It may have predictably low production values in certain areas (costume design and the alien spaceship in particular), but there’s a good cast – including Edward Judd and Glyn Houston – and a few well-directed set pieces by Alan Bridges, who makes good use of the black and white medium. The characters are painted in shades of grey – the medical staff don’t necessarily want to get involved, while those responsible for the car accident consider making it a hit and run – which adds a nice element of uncertainty and unpredictability.
Verdict: An enjoyable piece of British SF. 7/10