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THE TOMORROW PEOPLE-The Doomsday Men
THE DOOMSDAY MEN
1-Dressed To Kill
Chris Harding is in his white van, possibly a 1966 Ford. It has graffiti written on it including Kilroy Was Here with a less than artistic face and hands drawn on it. Stephen in red sweater and turtle neck and new hair cut (on the commentary, PVC says he looks Chinese) is with Chris in the passenger side. The van starts to smoke under the hood so Chris pulls over to the side of the road. Stephen tells him the salesman told them or Chris who later told Stephen that the van is worth 130 thousand miles left in it. Chris still feels the van will take him round the world. A policeman with a Hitler moustache is giving out traffic tickets to cars parked illegally. He moves over to a parking meter and hits it so that the arrow register shows that a car is over its excess time, which it is not. He gives that car a ticket and looks over at Chris’s van. It is not starting and the policeman smiles, seeing a new victim. Stephen touches Chris to give him encouragement and then tells him he will be back. He is wearing one of the silver rectangle jaunting belts. He jaunts to the Lab. There, Liz is sewing and wants to try it on Stephen, whatever it is she is sewing. She comments that TIM got Stephen’s measurements wrong. TIM tells her that he cannot be an expert on everything. Stephen doesn’t look happy but asks to borrow a matter transfer box, like the belts, one of which John had made, originally for Chris. When John asks what it is for, Stephen honestly tells John, “You wouldn’t approve,” but John okays it anyway and lets him borrow it. Stephen appears back in the van. Chris complains, wishing he could be taught how to do that. Stephen says, “Who knows, Chris, maybe one day.” Stephen attaches the machine to the van’s front dash and when Chris asks what it does, Stephen gives him a voice, “You’ll see in a second.” It works and the policeman arrives to put a ticket on the van front. Stephen gives him a strange high pitched voice, “Byeeeeee.” The van vanishes and the policeman, leaning to put a ticket on it, falls onto the ground.
THEME SONG and titles: DRESSED TO KILL
Liz and John play chess. John sets Liz back (they’ve played this or a game or games like it in THE BLUE AND THE GREEN and A RIFT IN TIME). Smugly, he tells her in two moves he’ll win. Stephen doesn’t want to come down to show them his new outfit. Tim says he is shy. Chris comes into the Lab via the door (and despite what others say, the door control is the same as usual). He wants to thank Stephen for helping him out with the van earlier. Chris hears that Stephen may be bashful and he wonders why. John laughs, “Stick around, kid.” From above rooms, Stephen calls, “Send Chris away.” Chris calls up, “Charming.” John tells Chris to stay. When Stephen descends the stairs, he is wearing a kilt. John laughs, “Well, hello, Scotland.” Someone whistles, probably John. Stephen tells them to shut up. Liz thinks he looks sweet. Chris tells him that he wouldn’t last a minute in any school he goes to. Stephen tells him it is a special school and Chris tells him it would have to be. NOTE: Of interest is that in a comic story in LOOK IN, Stephen infiltrated another Scottish school and befriended a scientist’s son to find out about a secret invention and spies…and it was a Kenny/Carol era story. That same story was remade and retooled to be a Liz/John era story in a novel. In that novel, events of DDMen might have been referred to but more on that later. Chris wonders what is going on. John asks if he has heard of the Doomsday Men but he hasn’t. They are a secret society Liz explains (on commentary Nick thinks she looks pissed and he’s bleeped on the UK version of this but not the Australian version; they also make commentary that she looks drunk and her wig is crooked; she doesn’t and it’s not, they’re just joking) and she goes on to explain they want to preserve war and consider it to be a noble and pleasurable pass time. Chris calls them crazy. John tells him that they believe the Doomsday Men are going to try to stop the signing of a peaceful World Disarmament Treaty in Geneva. TIM puts a photo up of Leftenent General Arthur McLelland, nicknamed Iron Mac. This man stopped a rebellion out East. He was born August 25th, 1910, educated in Repesco Prep School in Brighton and in Sclartz Internaut 1923 in Dresden a boarding school in pre Nazi German. He left in 1928 and joined the Royal Military Academy of Sandhurst. He was commissioned in Scotts guards in 1930. (All of this info is said fast and furious and the spellings might not be correct, nor the info itself). When Chris starts to wonder what Stephen will be doing, Stephen tells him he’s not going to join as a drummer boy. When TIM asks John if he wants him to go over the General’s military career, John says, “No, thank you, TIM.”
TIM puts a photo up of Douglas McLelland, the General’s grandson. Douglas attends Glen College in Scotland. Chris then realizes that Stephen will join the school to get close to Douglas and find out what Arthur is up to. “Got it in one, Chris,” Stephen smiles. Stephen calls John a sissy and tells him that he’s not going to freeze his knees in a kilt. On the commentary, they make note that John and Stephen are mirroring each other’s standing…with their hands locked in either pockets or the sporran, both near their crotches. On commentary, when Nick ask PVC to talk about William Relton who played Douglas, PVC makes the first of many jokes which seem to have more truth in them than not. PVC calls him, laughingly, “a mincing old puff.” He’s also bleeped out. Nick Young jokes about beating behind the bush. PVC says that Will stayed with him at his mum’s house in Q’s? He says they got on but and they still do but “Not after he hears this.” He hasn’t spoken to him in 15years or so.
At Glen College, Paul Frazer (Simon Gipps Kent who played in NIGHTMARE OF EDEN on DOCTOR WHO) shows Stephen to his bed. He warns Stephen not to trust Douglas, who runs their dorm. They have inspections every day and Douglas has ways of dealing with people who cause them to lose points in the dorm competitions. Stephen moves to shut the window near his bed and finds out that there are no glass panes in the windows to outside. Paul assumes Dr. Laird’s voice and accent when describing the toughness of the school: no heat and plenty of fresh air and exercise. Paul moves closer to Stephen and asks if he’s wearing anything underneath. Stephen backs away. Wearing anything underneath is against the rules and Paul tells him if he is, he’ll have to take them off. Stephen thought that was just an old musical joke but he will be like the proverbial monkey. The other boys are on a run.
Not much later, John and Liz are eating. With Paul gone, Stephen communicates telepathically and this is the first time I’ve noticed that when they telepathically communicate, sometimes they mouth the words, actually speaking them. The high pitched whine that accompanies the telepathic messages is on a long time here and it drives Nick Young a bit loony but he thinks it the sounds of the Lab. The bed is made of concrete, he telepaths to them. He figures that breakfast will probably be cold porridge and raw haggis. He also tells them he’s found out one of their best kept secrets. “They don’t. They just don’t.” It is that he has to put his underwear in a drawer and explains it is very drafty. John and Liz laugh at him. On commentary as you might imagine everyone is laughing and making jokes, including PVC who claims he would be dangling on the floor. The commentators explain that the set is probably from a prison show which from the sound of it is WITHIN THESE WALLS with Googie Withers which Liz Adare did 2 eps of. Nick makes note of Roger Price’s anti establishment feel: first the traffic cop and now a shot at Gordonstoun, a real life tough Scotland school. When the boys return, one of them has long long hair and from the back, the commentary makers think that Richard Speight might be back.
Douglas and about four other boys and Paul return. Stephen meets Douglas who calls him Jamieson and demands he be called McLelland. He tells Paul to show Jamieson around the school and Paul takes Stephen outside. Douglas murmurs that it is not a welcome Stephen is going to like.
Later, Douglas holds a rope behind his back. Paul comes in and takes off his shirt to get ready for early bed time. Paul asks Douglas to go easy on Stephen. Douglas pokes Paul’s lower chest with his stick and throws him toward the bed. ! Stephen returns from the welcome speech from Dr. Laird. Douglas makes note of his unusual belt and pokes it, nearly hitting the button. Stephen, undercover, lies that his grandfather wished him to wear it as a family tradition. Douglas tells him it is not standard uniform but he won’t stand in the way of family tradition. When Stephen thanks him, he tells Stephen to call him McLelland as if using first names has to be earned. Douglas tells him that the have something of a tradition here too: for first night students. Stephen mocks, “Yes I thought WE might have.” Douglas turns on Paul, who cowers. Stephen defends Paul, telling him that he was not told anything. He knows that all schools have tricks and it’s to be expected. “One expects a few tricks, does one?” He moves at Stephen.
Night in the Lab: John is laying down reading a book. Stephen appears, all tied up, his hands behind his back, on his knees. They tied him up and left him under the fire escape as part of an initiation ceremony. John gets mad that Stephen is running away from a school boy prank. Stephen says, “It’s all right for you!” John orders TIM to jaunt him back, warning Stephen not to go untying himself using his special powers. Stephen, as he vanishes, looks at John, pleading, “They might leave me out there all night. I might freeze to death.” John asks TIM if he was too hard on Stephen and TIM answers, “No.” TIM tells him that Stephen can take care of himself. They talk about a fear of bullying. John feels like a Scarlet Major which is a reference from a poem (Base Details) by Siegfried Sassoon about the First World War. John asks if TIM knows of it and TIM gets it and starts reciting it but John finishes the ending:
If I were fierce, and bald, and short of breath
I'd live with scarlet Majors at the Base,
And speed glum heroes up the line to death.
You'd see me with my puffy petulant face,
Guzzling and gulping in the best hotel,
the Roll of Honour. "Poor young chap,"
I'd say -- "I used to know his father well;
Yes, we've lost heavily in this last scrap."
And when the war is done and youth stone dead,
I'd toddle safely
and die -- in bed.
On the commentary, PVC says the bald man they are talking about is Mike Holloway. Nick tells PVC not to worry that Mike wouldn’t waste his time listening to this commentary. Earlier they commented that Simon’s make up didn’t cover his body and it looked gray. Nick also kept commenting on his V on his jumper. The actor who plays Dr Laird they mention is on the Archers with a “face for radio.”
On the fire escape, Stephen struggles at his bonds but stops as Dr Laird (on commentary, they think Laird is played by Noel Gordon and that he’s on CROSSROADS) meets Arthur below the terrace, and the pair talk about the entire plot. Stephen is lit with a kind of halo light on his head. There are also birds cawing during this. The entire thing is on film and very well done with a nice feel and nice location shooting. Arthur knows their brotherhood is not supposed to show emotion but he might not see Douglas again and he’s worried that his enemies might use the boy and his love for the boy against him. His affection for the boy is well known. Laird says the plan is a good one and he will make sure the boy is taken care of and not harmed. Laird molds and trains the Doomsday Men of tomorrow from among the boys here. NOTE: there is a Rover in the scene and PVC thinks it is Roger Price’s but Nick Young states that Roger had a different car. They wonder, correctly, why Stephen couldn’t just wear his AE Suit and pretend to be wearing a kilt. I don’t know. This AE suit thing might have been found out if Stephen were…uhm, probed at all.
Not long after this and still night, Douglas opens the lights in the boys’ sleeping room and hits their beds with his stick to wake them up and then taunts them with details of his dinner with Dr. Laird: salmon, roast duck or something like that. Paul asks him to stop, he is very hungry. Douglas rants about empty vessels make the most noise. Douglas warned Paul that if he looked outside at Stephen, he’d put him out there as well and indeed he would have. Paul tells him it is a bitter night cold outside and wants to get Stephen inside. Douglas feels that after a meal like that a person can’t help but feel generous and merciful. Paul and another handsome long haired boy bring Stephen in and untie him. Paul looks Stephen over, “He looks all right.” Douglas is impressed by Stephen’s lack of whining and his courteous good manners when he thanks Paul and Douglas. Stephen tells him he doesn’t mind ancient traditions. Douglas looks Stephen over, walks around him, and puts his stick on Stephen’s body in a most homo erotic way. He thinks there is hope for Jamieson yet.
Liz is eating. Stephen telepaths to Liz and John, who seems to rush in from the left side. Was he sleeping? He tells Stephen telepathically that “Of course he was up,” but he didn’t seem to be but he’s wearing his full outfit again. There’s an interesting VEE effect of Stephen’s face filling the middle of the screen as John and Liz eat on either side of the VEE. John apologizes to Stephen, feeling he was rotten. Stephen says, “Yes, you were rotten.” He goes on to tell John it was good that he was because a few moments after being back there, he saw Arthur and Laird talking about how the entire school is a training ground for Doomsday Men and how the two men are in it up to their necks. It sounded to him as if Arthur is going on a suicide mission but he thinks soon he will be asked to join the Doomsday Men. The pair tell him to be careful: he says he will be all right. He can telepathically smell their bacon and eggs. He tells Liz when you are as hungry as he is, you can smell food telepathically and he guessed correctly what they were eating. For him it was early morning PT (phys ed?) training and porridge, cold with no sugar and two tablespoons of salt. John feels he will be fit as fiddle. Stephen, sitting on the bed, telepaths, “If I live that long.” NOTE: In one of these sitting scenes the shadow of a boom mike is seen.
Soon, all the boys including Stephen are doing training on an obstacle course. There are swinging ropes, rope ladders, wooden walls to climb, brick walls to climb, and rugby. They also have to pass revolving sticks and swing over mud pits, crawl through things, ab sailing, etc. We get to see Stephen’s shirt ride up with wear. There is a long haired blond boy that Nick Young on the commentary is in disbelief over as “That’s Tarzan of the Apes, that bloke is.” The commentators feel that would not be allowed in a school like this, especially not now. Also PVC notes that this training area is near Box Hill.
After it is over, we hear showers running. Stephen and Douglas come out and are in various states of getting dressed. Stephen is barefoot and bare-chested but soon puts on his shirt but doesn’t button it yet. On commentary, PVC notices his Yiddish necklace he wore that means LIFE. Not sure if he is Jewish or not, but this would seem to indicate PVC was but from the commentary, it seems he may not be and yet he jokes that his name might be Moishe Vaughn Clarke. It is interesting they let him wear this. One of them, or both of them have large watches on. It’s hard to hear but as the boys talk of commissions in the army, Nick Young does a put on voice, “I want to be a rear admiral.” He also says stuff like, “…I’ve not rolled him over of late,” when watching Will R talk to PVC and makes comments about PVC’s “Hairy Sporran.”
Anyway, Douglas and Stephen discuss fear and being scared. Stephen tells him that his grandfather used to tell him that true courage is overcoming fear. Douglas feels Stephen showed real courage last night. He asks Stephen what his goals will be and Stephen hears John’s instructions in his head: “if anyone asks you must tell them a lie. Tell them you want a military commission.” Stephen changes this slightly but tells Douglas he wants to be an army officer. When Douglas asks if Stephen wants Sandhurst, Stephen smiles that if he can get enough A’s. Douglas tells him about his grandfather and Stephen smiles about having friends in high places. Douglas tells him that sort of thing counts for nothing. One has to rely one’s self. “You’re only as good as yourself.” He tells Stephen that despite his doubts, at first, he thinks he’s a good sort. He tells Stephen to call him Douglas when Stephen thanks him as McLelland. Stephen tells him his first name for the first time, “My name’s Stephen by the way.” Douglas also has doubts whether or not the war they love will last and that even now there is peace business going on. Stephen fakes it when he says that women and cowards run this world and it should be stopped. Douglas tells him that some of them are in a secret club, a secret society but that term is childish, Douglas states. Stephen wants to join so Douglas will talk to some of the others.
At the lab, Stephen is eating pizza. He tells Liz and John that emptiness is next to godliness in that place. And he aches all over. John tells him he’s only been there one night and day. Stephen tells him this mission will be the death of him. John rubs his hair, “Oh, you poor little boy.” Liz tells Stephen to think of the kids who are always on boarding schools like that and that can’t jaunt 500 miles to stuff their faces with pizza. John asks, “SO how is our mad kilted Doomsday Man getting on?” Stephen childish, asks, “ME?” his face full of food. He says they have a code word for the mission Arthur is going on, “Operation Silver Thread.” NOTE: Liz is using a slide rule. When the space station first appears, we hear RIDE OF VALKERYIES. John’s hair looks neater and less long, a better cut? To me it looked good either way.
In space is the United Nations Space Station Damoclese which is there to keep peace thanks to a peace treaty. The others discuss this. Liz thinks it is crazy and that no one ever saved the world by threatening to destroy it. They wonder how the Doomsday Men will get the station. TIM tells them that a United Nations international crew man it. It can destroy rockets, manned or unmanned, that might get too close to it. Stephen thinks the Doomsday Men are going to hi jack it somehow. John wants him to get back to the school and John points and Stephen’s food vanishes.
At the school, Paul parades in and out of the dorm room, just missing Stephen as Stephen appears out of thin air. Stephen says he was exploring. Paul gives him a message: Douglas wants to see him in the gym. He warns Stephen about Douglas and not to trust him. On commentary, PVC says that Simon wore the dress in their relationship. Stephen thinks he and Douglas are getting on well. Paul tells Stephen not to trust him.
Stephen walks into the gym and can’t find anyone. We hear a NEW slower version of the TP Theme song and it’s quite effective. In the reprise next ep, we hear an extra bit of soundtrack to this exact same scene --a kind of heartbeat added to the music and more TP theme but slower and different but not very different to this ep’s version. Stephen hears laughing and then someone says “SHHH,” probably Douglas. A fencing saber comes flying down at his feet, thrown and slid to him. Stephen tells him to stop playing games. Douglas appears with a saber in his hand, telling him, “It’s no game, Jamieson. So you want to be a Doomsday Man, then ick up that sword and show us how you can fight.” Stephen with his hair VERY long now, picks up the sword and feels it, “This isn’t a practice saber. It’s sharp it can kill.” Douglas tells him that he and two other boys, who come out from both other sides of Stephen---so that Stephen is surrounded---also have sharp sabers that can kill, too. Stephen looks at the sword and up at the boys, then around. He can’t kill or be violent…what can he do…
REVIEW: I must admit I’m particularly fond of this story and of this ep, as the last bit of this episode is the first thing I have ever seen of the TP. I believe it started from when the boys were training on the obstacle course to the end and I must admit that I read they couldn’t kill and the dilemma Stephen was in was what I believe is the heart of the show: teens who can’t kill or even do anything overly violent to defend themselves, peaceful, in bad situations, unable to give in or give up in time and space and on Earth, surrounded by enemies and sometimes friends…trying to save the world or the universe. AND this show is one of the only ones that featured, at least in the 1980s but even the 70s, young heroes, not 20 somethings or older. I love MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE but the characters there are all much older than the characters here. This echoes that show but with younger heroes, it also is a forerunner of stuff like the terrific ALEX RIDER books. And 21 JUMPSTREET, which to be honest was also from MOD SQUAD but also from MAN UNDERCOVER with David Cassidy. Now, that show might have been influenced by this but maybe not. I mean PVC at his age here, does look like David Cassidy as will be mentioned in the commentaries later on. Okay, one cannot deny the gay factor that runs rampant over this show, but mostly over this story, and this ep in particular. We have shirtless boys, boys being mean to each other, boys being loyal to each other, boys whining, boys being brave in the face of cold and other threats, ropes and bondage, the kilt, the stick, the underwear gag, the peace vs war thing, and so much more. William Relton does indeed, whether or not he is or not, garner the feeling of a gay repressed villain who just need the right boy to love and to love him back. Nick Young states that this story impressed him (he’s never seen it) but resembles a 1940s movie about boarding school. In that respect it does have a sort of softer TOM BROWN’S SCHOOL DAYS feel to it. The DDS Men are a perfect set of villains for the TP and I’m sorry they didn’t come back in a story somehow and that Douglas and Paul, who later find out about the TP didn’t become full allies or friends or even TP themselves. In any event, this showcase for Stephen is just fantastic and lives up to the premise and the promise of adventure and can’t be more different from A RIFT IN TIME and THE BLUE AND THE GREEN if it tried. And thankfully for the first time, there are NO aliens.