BBC 1964 - 1965
R3: Ministry Of Research Centre Number Three
A State of Anxiety
Script : N J Crisp
Director : Moira Armstrong
TX : 20th November 1964

Cast : Patricia Healy (Jill Travers), Jacqueline Blackmore, Barry Stanton, Kenneth Edwards, Betty Cooper, Gerald Young, Ernest Hare, Norman Wynne and Edmund Warwick.

Publicity : R3 - The start of a new thirteen-part series concerned primarily with scientists and their problems - both at work and at home:

To most of us scientists are shadowy, remote figures. We seldom understand what they are up to, and are none too sure that we would like it even if we did. For this image fiction is largely responsible, since the scientist in a play or story has rarely, until now, been allowed to do more than brew something rather unpleasant in a test tube before being left in his laboratory by a writer thankful to return to more sympathetic and easily understandable characters. The result is that our picture of the scientist tends to be one-dimensional. About the real nature of his work, we know next to nothing. Yet as one of them has said recently: "Scientists are people, too …".

The new BBC-1 series which begins tonight is concerned primarily with such people, and the world in which they move. It deals, in particular, with the staff of R3, Research Centre Number Three; a fictional establishment, true, yet only as far removed from reality as the Ministry of Research to which it supposedly belongs is removed from the real Ministry of Science - which is not very far. For although the series is in no sense documentary, the scientific content is as accurate as it is possible to make it. The initial thirteen episodes cover a wide field of present-day research, ranging from missiles to meteorites to the side-effects of drugs in everyday use. But the prime concern of the stories is people - scientists and their problems, and the conditions in which they work in the 1960s.

It is a series which goes beyond the laboratory door and into the daily background of a scientist's life: "an ideal framework," says script editor N J Crisp, "for strong, articulate drama". Produced by Andrew Osborn, who shaped Maigret into one of the most successful of all television series, R3 is the work of a team of writers. Notable among the cast of half a dozen regular characters, who will frequently be joined by others brought in for a particular play, are John Robinson as Sir Michael Gerrard, the Director of R3, and Elizabeth Sellars as Doctor May Howard. John Robinson, who played the title role in the first BBC Television Quartermass series in 1955, has since appeared in such productions as Maigret and The Cocktail Party. Many viewers will have seen Elizabeth Sellars in The Prisoner, Dial M For Murder, and The Philadelphia Story. Tonight, in "A State Of Anxiety", we meet Sir Michael and his colleagues in a story which combines all the important elements of R3. There is the research project, closely allied to real projects under way at the present time, in which Doctor Peter Travers sets out to investigate the effects of stress. Most people are subject to it at some stage in their lives, and it can be a cause of mental and physical illness, but very little is known about how this happens.

Travers has an idea which "might give us some real answers for a change" - but it is difficult to find the right person as subject for a complicated experiment which is by no means entirely safe. There is, too, the home background of the people involved, which has its effect on their work in the laboratory; and there are the administrative headaches faced by a senior scientist like Sir Michael Gerrard. As he explodes to a civil servant from the Ministry: "Damn it, man, why must you begrudge us in this way? Who do you regard spending money on science as an immoral extravagance?". (Radio Times, November 12, 1964).

Notes : Series 1 was originally transmitted on BBC-1 from 9:25pm to 10:15pm.
John Robinson, who portrayed Sir Micheal Gerrard, was born in Liverpool in 1911. Famous for his role as Professor Bernard Quatermass in the 1955 BBC series Quatermass II. He also turned up in episodes of Out Of The Unknown, The Saint and The Champions. He died of cancer in 1979.

Against The Stream
Script : N J Crisp
Director : Bill Hays
TX : 27th November 1964

Cast : Griffith Jones (Doctor Sibley), Rosemary Nichols (Jenny), George Roubicek (Doctor Ralph Cox), Leonard Sachs, Rosamond Burne, Ian Cunningham, Hugh Lund, Robert Hughes, Hal Dyer and Tom Macaulay.

Publicity : R3 - Griffith Jones as Doctor Sibley and George Roubicek as Doctor Cox are guest stars in tonight's story - Against The Stream: For two years young Doctor Cox has been working at Research Centre Number Three investigating the properties of a group of drugs which includes several well-known proprietary brands. Now he is ready to publish the result of his experiments in a paper which throws some doubt on the safety of one such drug, the widely sold PL7. Cox's conclusions are less than welcome in some quarters, for vast commercial interests are involved. He sets out to answer criticism with further investigation - but the question is whether Sir Michael Gerrard of R3, embroiled in his constant tussle with Whitehall for more funds, can give him the backing he needs. And Cox, although a good scientist, is also a poorly paid one, with a fiancée and his own future to consider.

The problem is typical of those facing Sir Michael Gerrard as head of a large scientific establishment where many different research projects are under way. John Robinson, who plays Sir Michael in this new series, is well equipped for the part. He was Doctor Quatermass in the second of the three extremely popular BBC Television Quatermass serials; while at the end of the war he was assistant Town Major of Berlin, responsible for liaison between the Army and the civic authorities. His television experience goes back to the days "when the cameras couldn't move and in playing a scene members of the cast had to stand shoulder to shoulder". It could, perhaps, be taken as a tribute to his portrayals of scientists that during the run of Quatermass II he was asked in all seriousness by a young reporter: "Have you done any nuclear research of your own?". (Radio Times, November 19, 1964).

Notes : Elizabeth Sellars, who played season one regular Dr May Howard, was born in 1923. Her most active period was in British cinema in the 50's. She also appeared in the memorable During Barty's Party episode of Beasts.

On The Spike
Script : Bill Strutton
Director : Terence Williams
TX : 4th December 1964

Cast : Richard Carpenter (Willis), Eric Thompson (Haley), Kevin Brennan, Stephanie Bidmead, Carol Austin, Bryan Marshall, John Maxim, Frank Cowley, Frederick Schiller (Doctor Brinkman) and Fred Kitchen.

Publicity : R3 - With Moultrie Kelsall As Doctor Fratton The Deputy Director Of R3 In Tonight's Episode On The Spike: A local newspaper report visits Research Centre Three to check a rumour about a promising new project, and the Deputy Director, Doctor Fratton, makes it tactlessly plain that the Press is not welcome. When, later, a sequence of alarming events occurs at R3 and uninformed publicity could be dangerous, Fratton has reason to regret telling the reporter: "This is not Liberty Hall for any impromptu caller who expects to be met with tea and a lantern-slide show".

The remark is typical of Fratton, a scientist who spends most of his time on administrative work; an expert collector of facts, who knows R3 backwards, but has a personality which has earned him a reputation for pomposity and lack of humour. Playing the part in this new series is Moultrie Kelsall, a Scot from Glasgow who took a degree in engineering before turning to the theatre. In 1931 he joined the BBC in Scotland, later came to London, and produced many radio and television programmes before leaving in 1947 to concentrate on acting and writing. He has since done a great deal of broadcasting and appeared in numerous television productions, among them Doctor Finlay's Casebook, and the serials Kidnapped and Witch Wood (on BBC-2). Kelsall now lives in Edinburgh, a man of many interests, from architecture to antique furniture - and the very antithesis of the single-minded Doctor Fratton, who is warned by Sir Michael Gerrard (John Robinson), Director of Research Centre Three: "Our laboratories are not holy temples surrounded by barbed wire and notices saying `Keep out, you would not understand'". (Radio Times, November 26, 1964).

Notes : Bill Strutton also wrote the memorable William Hartnell Dr Who story The Web Planet. Terence Williams also directed episodes of Survivors. He would later become a producer and work on shows such as Hadleigh, The Chinese Detective and Big Deal.

The Patriot
Script : E Y Bannard
Director : Eric Tayler
TX : 11th December 1964

Cast : Albert Lieven (Doctor Frank Hillman), David Langton (The Minister), Alex Scott (Doctor Max Ranki), Peter Bathurst and Rosalie Westwater.

Notes : Eric Tayler had produced the early BBC adaptation of Isaac Asimov's The Caves Of Steel in 1964.

Script : Elaine Morgan
Director : Terence Williams
TX : 18th December 1964

Cast : Wendy Craig (Iris Preston), Joseph O'Connor (Doctor Hugh), Norman Bowler (Doctor John Calvos), Stanley Walsh (Bill Smith), Patrick Durkin (Studs Maguire) and Thomas Hare (The Reporter).

Notes : Actor Simon Lack was born in Scotland in 1915 and begun his career with an uncredited appearance in the 1939 film Goodbye Mr Chips. His main body of TV work came in the 60's and 70's with roles in Ghost Squad, The Saint (The Organisation Man), The Avengers (False Witness), Doomwatch (In The Dark), Dr Who (The Mind of Evil and The Androids of Tara), 1990 and two episodes of Jason King as Inspector Mazoil (Buried in the Cold Cold Ground and Toki). Another notable appearance was in the 1955 BBC production The Creature which was written by Nigel Kneale. Lack died in August 1980.

The Short Cut
Script : Bill Macllwraith
Director : Moira Armstrong
TX : 26th December 1964

Cast : Ronald Lacey (Hugh Cassell) and William Gaunt (Doctor Wilmer).

Publicity : Young Doctor Wilmer has dreams of glory. A knighthood, perhaps, even the Nobel Prize. At Research Centre Three a new substance, Noralin, has been isolated in the blood-stream, and Wilmer has found what he believes to be a connection between Noralin and certain kinds of mental illness. His colleagues are skeptical; the evidence, they say, is too thin. But Wilmer wants to take a short cut. Why not give a normal person Noralin and see if it produces schizophrenic behaviour? True, the substance has not yet been accurately analysed, but he is perfectly prepared to take it himself. Says Doctor Morton: "You don't know the first thing about it, but you're willing to dose yourself with it. If you're such an idiot, you don't even deserve time off to go to your own funeral".

In tonight's story, Doctor Wilmer's attempts at instant research lead to that strange territory of the mind where hallucination takes over from reason and nothing is what it seems to be. For there are others who, like Wilmer, are interested in taking short cuts - not to scientific glory, but to new frontiers of human experience. And Noralin is similar to another drug with which some people have visited heaven; even though others have had to make do with hell. (Radio Times, December 17, 1964).

Notes : Born in 1922 Edwin Richfield had a career which spanned forty years. His notable TV genre appearances include The Invisible Man, The Avengers (Girl on the Trapeze, The Removal Men, The White Elephant, Too Many Christmas Trees, Dead Man's Treasure and All Done With Mirrors), Out of the Unknown (Liar), UFO and Dr Who (The Sea Devils and The Twin Dilemma). Often cast as a military officer Richfield also appeared in the film versions of Quatermass 2 and Quatermass And The Pit. He passed away in 1990.

The Forum
Script : Bill Macllwraith
Director : Bill Hays
TX : 2nd January 1965

Cast : Peter Wyngarde (Doctor Henfi Lefevre), Moira Redmond (Doctor Anna Shastikani), George Coulouris (Professor Vergas), Richard Matthews, Thomas Baptiste, David Blake Kelly, James Bree (Professor Chernev), Warren Stanhope, John Ringham (Mr Sarevsky), John Tate and Diane Elliott.

Notes : Derek Benfield is now better known as Robert Wainthropp, husband of the crime busting Hetty Wainthropp in Hetty Wainthropp Investigates. Previous credits include Frank Skinner in Timeslip and two episodes of Doomwatch (Public Enemy and Flood). This episode guest starred James Bree as Professor Chernev.

Patterns of Behaviour
Script : N J Crisp
Director : Eric Tayler
TX : 9th January 1965

Cast : John Scott, Richard Armour, Sheila Dunn, Donald Hoalth, Charles Hill, Janet Rossini, Sandra Brown and The Ronnie Prince Trio.

Notes : Richard Wordsworth was a regular face in Hammer films including The Revenge of Frankenstien (1958), The Camp on Blood Island (1958), The Curse of the Werewolf (1961) and the infected astronaut Victor Caroon in The Quatermass Experiment (1955). TV wise he appeared as Juluis in The Tripods. He died in 1993.

The Fratton Experiment
Script : N J Crisp
Director : Peter Dews
TX : 16th January 1965

Cast : Nancie Jackson (Mrs Fratton), John Law (Doctor Crawley), Peter Tory, Judith Smith, Barry Wilsher, Margery Withers and Joan Geary.

Publicity :
R3 - Tonight's Episode Features Elizabeth Sellars As Doctor May Howard: When a greetings telegram is delivered to Doctor May Howard at Research Centre Three, she shrugs off her colleagues' curiosity with "It's my birthday, that's all"; but to Jack Morton and Peter Travers, it seems that the occasion calls for a celebration dinner at a country club. As Morton says: "All this time, and we've never done anything like it before … it's funny how the people you work with can still be almost strangers". By the end of the evening the three scientists have learned a lot about each other and, perhaps, themselves - and found not a few surprises along the way. Elizabeth Sellars, who plays Doctor Howard, has long been one of the most attractively familiar actresses on television, ranging from classics like The Second Mrs Tanqueray to such modern plays as John Mortimer's Too Late For The Mashed Potato.

She scored a personal triumph in the West End in Tea And Sympathy, and in her many films has played opposite such leading men as Jack Hawkins, Humphrey Bogart, Marlon Brando, and Richard Burton; but she feels that "television is more realistic. It gives an actress so much more scope". Married to a Harley Street surgeon, she studies law as a hobby, has passed some of the examinations necessary to qualify as a barrister, and could well echo May Howard: "If a girl has an urge to do something - science, if you like - she doesn't just have to be as a good as most men, she has to be a damn sight better". (Radio Times, January 7, 1965).

Notes : Peter Dews (1929 - 1997) also directed episodes of the 1965 science fiction thriller Undermind. Andrew Osbourn was the producer of the 1st season. He would later produce When The Boat Comes In and passed away in 1985.

The Critical Moment
Script : Bill Macllwraith
Director : Bill Hays
TX : 23rd January 1965

Cast : Michael Culver (Lieutenant Lewis), Glyn Owen (Captain Richards), Jerome Willis (Lieutenant Commander Johnson), Philip Latham, Michael Wisher and Maurice Hedley.

Synopsis : If helicopters continue to crash there must be a reason. But what if no fault can be found with either man or machines?

Notes : Bill Hays was born in 1938. He would later contribute to the 1982 anthology of science fiction tinged dramas under the banner of Play For Tomorrow with a play called Shades. This episode was repeated on 19th January 1969.

The Angel
Script : Bill Macllwraith and Donald Bull
Director : Moira Armstrong
TX : 30th January 1965

Cast : Not available.

Notes : Moira Armstrong would later direct for the 1971 LWT series The Guardians.

The Astronaut
Script : N J Crisp
Director : Terence Williams
TX : 6th February 1965

Cast : Richard Pasco (Jim Bartley), Ann Morrish (Ruth Bartley), Alex Scott (Doctor Max Ranki), Roy Hills, Michael Sarson, Eric McCaine, Tom Bowman, Nancie Jackson, Jean Marlow and Norman Pitt.

Synopsis : A man returns from outer space. Is there something wrong with him? And if so - what?

Notes : Moultrie Kelsall was born in 1901 and was a familiar face of 50's and 60's British cinema. Other notable TV roles include Drummond in the Doomwatch episode High Mountain and Sir Angus in The Persuaders! episode A Death in the Family.

A Whole Lot Of Reasons
Script : Donald Bull
Director : Peter Dews
TX : 13th February 1965
Cast : Patricia Healy, Vladek Sheybal, James Ottaway, Donald Douglas, James Dyrenforth and Betty Cooper.

Notes : Donald Bull also wrote for Out Of The Unknown (Something in the Cellar). Before entering TV scriptwriting he had produced many scripts for 1930's British cinema including The Arsenal Stadium Mystery (1939).

Publicity : R3: Given the unusual setting of a large government research centre, R3 was conceived as a series with a scientific content as accurate as it was possible to make it, but primarily concerned with people. Their stories would be told in plays which would go beyond the laboratory door and into the background of a scientist's life in the 1960s. The large audience which R3 has built for itself is evidence of its success; millions have become familiar with such staff members of Research Centre Three as Sir Michael Gerrard, Doctor May Howard, and Doctor Peter Travers - who figures largely in tonight's last story of the present series. The nature of the human brain is one of the big open questions in science today, and returning from a conference on brain physiology in Germany Travers is excited by new developments in the field: "a real attempt to find out what life and consciousness are". Setting up an ingenious experiment as his own contribution towards discovering the answer, he discovers that as usual resources as lacking. At home the same snag is troubling his wife, Jill, and when out of the blue Travers is offered a means of solving both work and family problems at a single stroke he has to make the kind of decision that has faced many British scientists in recent years. (Radio Times, February 11, 1965).

The Big Balloon
Script : David Chantler
Director : Douglas Hurn
TX : 6th July 1965

Cast : Ralph Michael (Commander George Murray), Don Borisenko (Buzz), Isobel Black (Diana), Donald Bisset, Iain Anders, Elric Hooper, Roy Spencer, Mark Singleton, John Baker and Bob Beaumont.

Publicity : R3 - John Robinson Returns As The Director Of Research Centre Three In Tonight's New Series: Scientific research is the business of the establishment known as R3, but it is the people working there who are the prime concern of the dramatic BBC Television series which tonight returns for its second season - people who happen to be scientists, their stories told in plays which go both into the laboratory and into the background of a scientist's life today. At R3 they do research work for the government and for firms which cannot afford their own facilities, and also undertake research in specialized fields for larger organizations. The new series is mainly involved with the Consultancy Service, R3's trouble-shooting department. Its task: to solve problems which are beyond ordinary expertise.

At least one of the staff is already familiar to viewers: Sir Michael Gerrard (played by John Robinson), Director of Research Centre Three. Joining him are Michael Hawkins as Philip Boult, in charge of the Consultancy Service, and Oliver Reed as Doctor Richard Franklin, Boult's right-hand man. In tonight's first story, by David Chantler, all three are behind the effort to get "The Big Balloon", launched on its journey to the edge of space: Gerrard dealing with Washington, Boult in the control room aboard an aircraft carrier, Franklin in the gondola of the balloon with Commander Murray, a veteran of many stratospheric balloon ascents. The flight has been called off many times - six attempts because Murray has judged conditions to be too dangerous. Now he cancels the flight yet again. Is he a coward for refusing to go, or is his a courageous refusal to yield to the pressures of time and money? Franklin and Boult have different opinions - but Murray's true motives can only be revealed by a seventh attempt in which there is just one real danger … death. (Radio Times, July 1, 1965).

Notes : Writer David Chantler had worked on the American TV shows The Invaders and the 1950's TV version of Superman. Series 2 was originally transmitted on BBC-2 from 8:25pm to 9:15pm.

Unwelcome Visitor
Script : John Maynard
Director : Paul Bernard
TX : 13th July 1965

Publicity : R3 - Unwelcome Visitor: Broadcast warnings about dangerous substances lost or in the wrong hands are familiar to us all, but only those closely concerned know the dramas that are often played out when a parcel of drugs is left on a bus seat, when carelessly guarded detonators are picked up by children, or radioactive materials accidentally thrown out with laboratory refuse. Nowadays the dangers from chance contact with radioactive substances seem the most frightening of all, so there should be edge-of-seat viewing in tonight's R3 story, when a rare isotope goes missing. The occasion could hardly be a worse one for the Director of Research Centre Three, Sir Michael Gerrard (John Robinson), for two of his most trusted men - Philip Boult (Michael Hawkins) and Doctor Richard Franklin (Oliver Reed) of the Consultancy Service - had the isotope in their possession when it was lost. Sir Michael's first anxiety is that it has got into the wrong hands - he has good reason to suppose it may be in the hands of a child who does not realize how dangerous it is. But he has other and equally urgent reasons for wanting to recover it as quickly as possible. For one thing, R3 have promised to test the isotope as a suspected factor in an outbreak of illness at the hospital. The tests cannot go on until the isotope is found - and until it is returned to the hospital the urgent treatment of patients with malignant tumours cannot proceed. (Radio Times, July 8, 1965).

Cast : Hugh Burden (Mr Cargill), Karol Hagar, Peter Stenson, Rhoda Lewis, Denis Cleary, Michael Newport (Peter Armstrong), David Morrell, Anne Godfrey, David Cargill, Michael Guest, Bill Matthews, Philip Collins and Julian Hand.

Notes : Oliver Reed's previous TV credits to this series included two episodes of The Saint (The King of the Beggars and Sophia). Director Paul Bernard had been a production designer and had worked on the sci fi anthology show Out Of This World.

One Free Man
Script : William Emms
Director : Bill Hays
TX : 20th July 1965

Cast : Muriel Pavlow (Sarah Randall), Lyndon Brook (Doctor Randall), Nicolette Bernard (Valentina Kubishev), Donald Pickering (Watkins), Warren Stanhope, Brigit Forsyth (Secretary), Dickie Martin and David Charlesworth.

Notes : Writer William Emms also wrote the William Hartnell Dr Who adventure Galaxy Four and the first episode of Redcap.

Experiment In Depth
Script : N J Crisp
Director : Paul Bernard
TX : 27th July 1965

Cast : Edward Judd (Peters), Jeremy Young, David Blake Kelly, Donald Hoath, Stephen John, Nicholas Evans, Aubrey Morris, Peter Noel Cook, Philip Anthony, John Rees and Brigit Forsyth (Secretary).

Synopsis : Undersea exploration becomes an experiment in survival.

Notes : Micheal Hawkins, who played season two regular Philip Boult is the father of Hollywood actor Christian Slater. Further telefantasy credits include The Avengers(The Deadly Air and The Golden Fleece), Out Of This World (Dark Star), Doomwatch (The Plastic Eaters) and Survivors (Manhunt).

Black Warning
Script : Arden Winch
Director : Bill Hays
TX : 3rd August 1965

Cast : Alan browning (Frank Bradley), Kenneth Colley (George Barratt), Heather Stoney (Beryl Barratt), Alex MacIntosh, Patrick O'Connell, Robin Parkinson and Michael de Morgan.

Synopsis : An experiment in survival after a nuclear attack

Notes : Arden Winch also contributed towards the 1973 show Moonbase Three.

In Your Own Backyard
Script : Diana Deacon
Director : Micheal Leeston-Smith
TX : 10th August 1965

Cast : Gordon Gostelow (Robert Keegan), Frances Cuka (Christine Goddard), John Woodvine (Tony Bond), John Line, Keith Anderson, Christopher Tranchell, James Hamilton, John Kidd, Jonathan Drew, Henry Davies, Judy Child, John Evitts, Ken Watson and Ellis Dale.

Synopsis : A local shopkeeper decides to take action against R3.

Notes : Micheal Leeston-Smith also directed the Dr Who adventure The Myth Makers.

Witch Doctor
Script : Julian Bond
Director : Douglas Hurn
TX : 17th August 1965

Cast : Jack May (Peter Thompson), Hilary Bamford (Ann Thompson), Michael Poole, John Abineri, Colin Wilcox, Frederick Pyne, David Valla, Martin Huntley, Alan Downer, Richard Pescud, Kevin McHugh, Emrys Leyshon, Michael Beint, Frank Sieman, Wanda Moora, Noelle Finch and Arthur Hewlett.

Synopsis : R3's faith in itself is put to the test. Suffering from an incurable disease, Peter Thompson has given up all hope. His wife Ann however persuades him to see a faith healer.

Notes : Julian Bond also contributed an adaptation of The Little Black Bag to Out Of The Unknown.

And No Birds Sing
Script : Douglas Young
Director : Bill Hays
TX : 24th August 1965

Cast : Suzy Kendall (Diana McHale), Garfield Morgan (Vernon), Ken Jones (Eric), Frances Machin, Garry Mason and Maurice Hedley.

Synopsis : In using science to benefit himself, man is sometimes his own worst enemy.

Notes : The script editor for the 2nd season was Ken Levison. He would later write the screenplay for the 1974 horror film Madhouse which starred Vincent Price. Ridley Scott was a designer on this episode.

A Sudden Change of Programme
Script : Neil Shand
Director : Paul Bernard
TX : 31st August 1965

Cast : Andrew Crawford (Doctor Simon Bartram), David Garfield (Owen), Terence Longdon (Peterson), Jeanne Moody (Alison Bartram), Keith Pyott, Rosemarie Reede, James Belchamber, Alec Wallis, Peter Howell, Edward Long and Gordon Whiting.

Synopsis : Can industrial man ever be satisfactorily replaced by machinery?

Notes : Neil Shand was a writer on Spike Milligan's Q sketch series from 1975 to 1980. This episode featured Terence Longdon, who played Garry Halliday in the BBC series of the same name.

It's Better To Know
Script : Kenneth Cavender
Director : Micheal Leeston-Smith
TX : 7th September 1965

Cast : Bernard Archard (Green), Clare Austin (Louise Boult), Michael Brennan (Sarbutt), Philip Madoc (Cobham), Mike Pratt (Croxley), James Lynn, Tom Adams, Antoinette Galletti, John Castle and Talfyn Thomas.

Publicity :
R3 - Bernard Archard Plays A Military Interrogator In Tonight's Story: Psychology is one of the scienes in which Research Centre Three is closely interested - particularly R3's Consultancy Service, the trouble-shooting department headed by Philip Boult. An efficient professional, he is a man who deals in things and ideas, not people; but in tonight's story, dealing with people becomes to him a matter of vital importance. One of the people he encounters is a Major Green - a role in which Bernard Archard makes his second appearance on BBC-1 this week: on Sunday he completed his role as Ovington in the six-part classic serial The Heiress Of Garth.

This tough, military-looking actor is in fact a soft-spoken, gentle sort of person who likes opera, gardening, and staying on the Sussex farm which he owns with his married brother. He is also modest: he knows from personal experience just how narrow and arbitrary is the line between success and relative failure as an actor. In 1945 he began his career doing one-night stands in Wales with a company which toured in a lorry. He had spells at the Chesterfield and Sheffield reps, and for a time he helped to run the Malvern Festival Company. Then he tried to move into television, but by 1958 he was so depressed at his lack of success and money that he decided to emigrate to Canada. His passage was booked when, suddenly, he got "a tiny, tiny part in a BBC documentary". This led to another tiny part, another postponement of his ticket, a bigger part, and finally a cancellation of the ticket. Soon after came his big break - as Colonel Oreste Pinto in Spycatcher. "This was the chance one had always moaned at not getting - and yet getting it was the purest luck. The theatre is so wasteful: you can have all the talent in the world, but you must have luck as well". (Radio Times, September 2, 1965).

Synopsis : Who is the stranger Philip Boult is living with?

Notes : This episode boasts a notable cast including Mike Pratt (Geoff in the original Randall and Hopkirk Deceased), Philip Madoc and Bernard Archard.

A Source of Contamination
Script : Donald Bull
Director : Douglas Hurn
TX : 14th September 1965

Cast : Cyril Luckham (Andrew Furness), Iza Teller (Hedi), John Junkin, Leslie Glazer, Richard Gatehouse, Bruno Barnabe, Walter Horsbrugh, Betty Cooper and Freddie Earlle.

Synopsis : After a lifetime of fruitless research, can Andrew Furness be saved from tragedy?

Notes : One of the guest actors for this episode was John Junkin who's other notable telefantasy credits include The Avengers (Dressed To Kill and Never, Never Say Die). Cyril Luckham was also a guest star in this episode.

Good Clean Fun
Script : William Emms
Director : Paul Bernard
TX : 21st September 1965

Cast : Archie Duncan (Dromble), Glynn Edwards (Plowden), Kevin Stoney (Winthrop), Margery Withers (Miss Flint), Sean Tresilian, Annest Williams, Terry Palmer, Vivienne Dodds, Richard Mathews, Mary Holder and Edward Rees.

Notes : This episode stars distinctive character actor Kevin Stoney who also appeared as Mavic Chen, Tobias Vaughn and Tyrum in the Dr Who adventures The Dalek Masterplan, The Invasion and Revenge of the Cybermen. Other telefantasy credits include The Prisoner (Chimes of Big Ben), The Avengers (Mission...Highly Improbable), Counterstrike (Nocturne), Out of the Unknown (The Fosters), Doomwatch (The Plastic Eaters), Ace of Wands, The Tomorrow People, Space 1999, The New Avengers and Blake's Seven (Hostage and Animals).

Personal Appearance
Script : Edwin Ranch
Director : John Robins
TX : 28th September 1965

Cast : Alexandra Bastedo (Laura Croft), Tom Criddle (Martin Smith), Barry Letts (Mark Parrit), Clive Morton (Lord Hollington), Anne Allen (Anne Allen), Susan Jameson, Deidre Turner, Bernard Ganley, Peter Roy and Roy Purcell.

Synopsis :
When Richard Franklin gets mixed up with television it exposes an unexpected side of his personality.

Publicity : Oliver Reed Who Plays Richard Franklin Of R3: There are several unexpected things about Oliver Reed who plays Richard Franklin in tonight's last episode of R3. He has a British and an American fan club, he plays Rugby for Rosslyn Park, has appeared in films like Curse Of The Werewolf, and has a young son who is a demon incendiarist. The last bizarre touch is that he lives in that haven of suburban normality, Wimbledon, and has done so all his life. The British section of the Oliver Reed Fan Club has not allowed his appearance as the rather good-natured though highly-professional Richard Franklin in R3 to pass unnoticed. There has been an influx of letters to Radio Times - some of them couched in terms usually reserved for the heroes of The Man From U.N.C.L.E. For Mr Reed himself his role in R3 is a deliberate attempt to break up an image. It is almost his first chance to play a nice, relatively happy character. Most of his work so far has been in films; already at twenty-seven he has appeared in twenty-five of them. He has had seven starring roles in Hammer productions in which "nice" characters are usually fairly thin on the ground.

"In fact, making these films was really my rep experience," he says. He never had the traditional theatrical apprenticeship on the stage, and achieved the remarkable feat of going into television without any acting experience. He attended an audition for a children's television production of Richard III and was picked straight away to play the King. At present Reed is conscientiously shedding his fangs and metaphorically wiping off the blood of his horrific acting past. He was much praised for his role in The System, and his portrayal of Debussy in the BBC Television film of that name, directed by Ken Russell attracted a lot of attention. He admires being a modern-dress Henry VIII in Russell's next production. Reed is not scientifically inclined (the test tubes he handles in R3 are quite foreign objects to him) or manually skilful. "I'm hopeless with a saw or hammer. I leave that to my son". Mark, aged five, is evidently of a slightly destructive bent. Just after Guy Fawkes night he decided he wanted a bonfire in his bedroom. He rushed to his father and proudly announced: "I've fired my room". The men of the local fire brigade were need to put out the conflagration. (Radio Times, September 23, 1965 - Article by Bernard Adams).

Notes : Director John Robins (who also produced this 2nd season) would later specialise in comedy and worked on sitcoms such as Nearest and Dearest, Love Thy Neighbour and Man About the House.

Now seen as a conceptual and spiritual forerunner to the acclaimed
70s BBC series Doomwatch this mid sixties series was intended to demystify the roles of scientists and portray them as ordinary people facing everyday problems. The series was not strictly science fiction but did touch upon the related areas such as space plagues, drug side effects, robots replacing men in manufacturing and post holocaust survival.

The programme was set in the Ministry of Research, Research Centre Number Three (hence R3) and was popular enough to survive two seasons of thirteen episodes. The second season concentrated more on the trouble shooting department of R3 which investigated problems beyond normal expertise and featured a young Oliver Reed amongst the regular cast.

Quatermass, John Robinson, was on hand to play the head of department, Sir Micheal Gerrard for both seasons. There is sadly no know remaining episodes, though a trailer for one episode was discovered on the end of a tape at the BBC's Windmill Road facillities in early 2004.

Text © Andrew Screen and Matthew Lee, 2003.

Regular Characters
Portrayed By
Sir Micheal Gerrard
John Robinson
Miss Brooks
Brenda Saunders
Season One Only Regulars
Dr May Howard
Elizabeth Sellars
Dr Peter Travers
Richard Wordsworth
Dr George Fratton
Moultrie Kelsall
Dr Jack Morton
Simon Lack
Edwin Richfield
Betty Mason
Janet Kelly
Tom Collins
Derek Benfield
Maxwell Foster
Season Two Only Regulars
Phillip Boult
Micheal Hawkins
Dr Richard Franklin
Oliver Reed

The series was produced by Andrew Osborn (Series 1) and John Robins (Series 2). Script Consultant and Script Editor for Series 1 was N J Crisp. Script Consultant and Script Editor for Series 2 was Ken Levison. Music for the series was composed by Ken Thorne (Series 1) and Ken Thorne and Albert Elms (Series 2).

Please note synopsis are taken from the original Radio Times listings for the day of transmission.