Edge of Darkness

This is another series watched, because there was nothing on telly.  It was a birthday or Christmas present: more and more I’m watching 4:3 out of choice.  Well, maybe not choice as there’s nothing on, but I do like these old series.  This one is from 1985.  You’ve time to savour them.

Mat Irvine did the special effects.  I remember going to a talk he gave about his work and he mentioned the project he was working on: Magnox, except he said they’re going to call it Edge of Darkness.  Silly title, we all agreed.  As it turned out, the title was utterly perfect.

Edge of Darkness is full of nuclear paranoia, Thatcher Government cover-ups and wonderfully takes its time to develop.  Troy Kennedy Martin wanted to write a thriller in which the main character turn into a tree.  Hard to see how that idea turned into the realistic drama that appeared on screen.  The cast and crew vetoed the tree idea.

There are more than a couple of scenes that scare the hell out of me.  One the Geiger counter, its clicks are frightening.  They get faster before the main characters turn a corner and then the thing goes berserk and it becomes almost a continuous tone.  There’s also a scene with telephones that I particularly wanted to see again.  It really stuck with me for all these years.  I realised recently that it must have inspired a scene in the near-future novel I’m finishing at the moment.  My scene is different from what I remember (I’m influenced, not stealing) and that memory in turn has warped over the years from what’s actually on screen, but nevertheless I can see parallels.

Eric Clapton’s music is superb too.


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