Dr Del Shaw, an environmental scientist, is brought in from a government watchdog called Doomwatch to test the effects of pollution from a sunken oil container on the populace of Balfe, an island off the Cornish coast.

The islanders are generally unfriendly towards Dr Shaw and his questioning. Even the young local schoolteacher, Victoria Brown, not a native to the island, is guarded towards him.

Dr Shaw eventually discovers that the navy is responsible for dumping radioactive waste in the waters off the island. That combined with chemicals from an unethical waste disposal company is causing a disfiguring disease among the locals that eat the fish.




TimeOut: The series intentions of the original series have been forsaken for a half-baked horror thriller.

TheSpinningImage: Never gets quite exciting enough, or fulfils its early promise. It holds the attention nonetheless.

TheTerrorTrap: A captivating environmental horror. Good performances, with a powerful but bittersweet climax.



Victoria Brown: Just leave them alone Dr. Shaw. That’s all they want – to be left alone.



  • Directed by Peter Sasdy
  • Produced by Tony Tenser
  • Music by John Scott
  • Cinematography by Kenneth Talbot
  • Production company Tigon British Film Productions



  • Based on a BBC television series.



Ian Bannen — Dr Del Shaw | Judy Geeson — Victoria Brown | John Paul — Dr Spencer Quist | Simon Oates — Dr John Ridge | Jean Trend — Dr Fay Chantry | Joby Blanshard — Colin Bradley | George Sanders — The Admiral | Percy Herbert — PC Hartwell | Shelagh Fraser — Mrs Betty Straker | Geoffrey Keen — Sir Henry Leyton | Joseph O’Conor — Vicar | Norman Bird — Brewer | Constance Chapman — Miss Johnson | Michael Brennan — Tom Straker | James Cosmo — Bob Gillette