Doomwatch: Review: The Movie

doomwatch_film_DVD_cover_screenboundStarring Ian Bannen, Judy Geeson

Directed by Peter Sasdy

Screenbound, out June 20

The Doomwatch team investigate an isolated village…

Hot on the heels of the recently released episodes of the classic TV series comes this restored version of the 1972 movie, which sees the main television cast reduced to pretty much a cameo appearance in favour of Ian Bannen’s new boy, Del Shaw, who’s sent on the mission. It plays up the horror side of the franchise rather more than the extrapolation from science fact that characterised the series, but it is still recognisably Doomwatch.

Bannen makes a credible scientist while Judy Geeson is good as the local schoolteacher, concerned at the effects on the community of an oil spillage. Unfortunately you can almost feel the lethargy and boredom exuding from George Sanders (just compare his performance with that in Village of the Damned!), which makes the movie feel slower than it actually is.

The restoration is decent – particularly if you compare it with the print that turns up on the Horror Channel regularly – but no extras save the trailer.

Verdict: An interesting sidestep for the TV series, but an entertaining slice of British SF in its own right. 7/10

Paul Simpson

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