The Monsters
BBC 1962
Episode 1
TX : 8th November 1962

Notes : George R Foa would later direct for both The Wedneday Thriller (The Cellar) and Thirty Minute Theatre (The Enchanted Night) as well as produce the 1965 BBC adaptation of Shakespeare's Love's Labours Lost.

Music for the series was composed and conducted by Humphrey Searle and performed by Members of the Sinfonia of London Orchestra.

Publicity : The Monsters: It was in 1942 that Wilf Marner first saw the monster of Lake Kingswater. He was on Home Guard patrol at the time, and when he tried to report it, they nearly put him inside for being drunk on duty. Now, after ten years, Wilf has seen it again. "And so have other folk, if they'd admit it. They're feared of being laughed at". But one man isn't laughing: John Brent, Professor of Zoology, on honeymoon with his wife Felicity at the lakeside hotel. He knows that for centuries there have been stories of some strange creature in the lake - and in tonight's first episode of The Monsters he begins to wonder … can there possibly be a connection between whatever it is out there and the body found floating in the water. This exciting new four-part adventure serial is the first collaboration between two well-know television playwrights, Evelyn Frazer and Vincent Tilsley, and it is in the tradition of that memorable serial No Wreath For The General - with which Evelyn Frazer was closely associated. (Inspiration note: the collaborators worked out their story over lunch at Television Centre the day after watching a Panorama report on the Loch Ness monster). Producer of the serial is George Foa, whose long experience with BBC Television includes thirty-eight productions of opera and, among recent plays, Blood Wedding and Ghosts. The director is Mervyn Pinfield, who has worked with George Foa on a number of productions. Postcript for science-fiction addicts: The Monsters is conceived on two levels. Beneath the mystery story lies a strong theme - the nature of survival both of human and animal life on this planet.. (Radio Times, 1962).

Episode 2
TX : 15th November 1962

Notes : Special Effects for the series were provided by Bernard Wilkie and Stewart Marshall.
Writer Evelyn Frazer also saw two scripts produced for the anthology show Mystery and Imagination (Room 13 and Casting The Runes).

Publicity : Strange things have been known to happen around lonely Lake Kingswater, the reputed home of a Loch Ness-type monster. And now that a government agent has been killed by what seems to have been a large and savage creature, Professor John Brent (played by William Green) is keener than ever to unravel the lake's legendary secrets. But the arrival of the dead man's sister, Esmee Pulford (Helen Lindsay), brings a different kind of problem for him and his wife, Felicity (Elizabeth Weaver) - in the second episode of this serial. (Radio Times, November 8, 1962).

Episode 3
TX : 22nd November 1962

Notes : Film Editor for the series was Keith Latham.
Vincent Tilsey also wrote episodes of The Prisoner (The Chimes of Big Ben) and Mystery and Imagination.

Synopsis :
Why did Professor Cato have a miniature submarine? Why did he use it to make the police think there was a "monster" in Lake Kingswater? And what went wrong? Do the monsters really exist after all? Tonight John Brent finds out some of the answers.

Episode 4
TX : 29th November 1962

Notes : Film Cameraman for the series was John McGlashan.
Elizabeth Weaver later appeared in the Out Of The Unknown episode (The Little Black Bag), The Saint (The Contract) and as a series regular in Doomwatch as Dr Anne Tarrant.

Synopsis : John Brent's quest for the monsters in Lake Kingswater now seems absurdly unimportant compared with what he has discovered about Professor Cato. The fate of the dinosaurs seems irrelevant when the fate of manking is in the balance. Yet in an astounding manner the survival of man is vitally affected by the survival of the monsters.

Regular Characters
Portrayed By
John Brent
William Greene
Felicity Brent
Elizabeth Weaver
Mark Dignam
Howard Milroy
Clifford Cox
Gordon Wing
Van Halloren
Alan Gifford
Professor Cato
Robert Harris
Esme Pulford
Helen Lindsay
Sgt Oakroyd
Norman Mitchell
Wilf Marner
Howard Douglas
Philip Madoc
George Pravda
Kenneth Mackintosh
Colonel Swinton
Clive Morton
PC Mills
Stuart Hoyle

Written by Evelyn Frazer and Vincent Tilsley, produced by George R Foa and directed by Mervyn Pinfield. The series was designed by Stewart Marshall. No episodes are know to exist

A forgotten four-part serial concieved over lunch in the
BBC canteen the day after the writers had watched an episode of Panorama reporting on the existance of Loch Ness monster.

Zoology professor John Brent and his newlywed wife Felicity honeymoon in the Lake District in a hotel situated beside a lake which has had many mysterious sightings of creatures reported over the centuries. After the mysterious death of a government agent the couple become involved with the bizarre scientist Professor Cato who is using a submarine to make people believe there are onsters in the lake. The Brents finally find out that the lake does contain monsters, prehistoric denizens rise from the lake to terrorise the local community.

Special effects for the series came courtesy of Bernard Wilkie and Stewart Marshall (who was also the designer of the series), whilst writer Evelyn Frazer and producer George Foa had previously worked together on the critically acclaimed science fiction play The Critical Point (produced in 1957 and 1960).

The Monsters was made as a 35mm film recording. However on the BBC archive slips relating to it, it states that a memo came on 18th April 1963 stating the serial was not going to be repeated, and the programmes were junked on 14th August 1963. There is no indication that 16mm copies were made for BBC Enterprises. The only known surviving clip relating to the serial is an appearance of one of the monster costumes on Points of View transmitted 26/11/62.

Thanks to Andrew Martin for supplying details on the state of the series in the BBC Archives.