I wasn’t a fan of science fiction, in books or television, but I was a fan of Simon Gipps- Kent in the 70s, so I made a point of watching the story called ‘The Doomsday Men’. It was broadcast on ITV in 1974. The series was based on the idea that some humans were superior and had special powers. As they were born to human parents, the homo superiors or ‘Tomorrow People’ had a ‘breaking out’ as it was called when they became aware of their powers and their special role in the world. This breaking out happened in late childhood or early adolescence. What happened to older human superiors was not explained; this was a world where the special teenagers sorted out the world’s problems.
In the 70s in Britain there was always a steady supply of right wing crackpots calling for a military style take over of the country to prevent it ‘going to the dogs’. This story exploited this idea. A group called The Doomsday Men seek to perpetuate war and want to derail a peace conference where a disarmament treaty is to be signed. Their plans involve seizing a nuclear armed space station to hold the earth to ransom.
One of the Tomorrow People is despatched to the elite Scottish boarding school where the grandson of the leader of the Doomsday Men is schooled. There, he befriends a young Peter who is suffering from the harsh conditions and the unwelcome attentions of the grandson who, inevitably, abuses his position in the school.
I admit, I watched it to see Simon Gipps- Kent in a kilt and not for the sci-fi element. It was a good story, however, and, even without being a fan, I could appreciate the merits of the idea behind the series.