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R3

1 9 6 4 – 1 9 6 5 (UK)
26 x 50 minute episodes

A soap opera from the BBC, set at Research Centre Three (hence “R3”) – a division of the Ministry of Research – featuring the professional and private lives of the scientists and boffins who worked there for the government.

The first season dealt primarily with the world’s problems – drugs, bombs etc – in a more serious manner. Like Doomwatch a decade later, it made a virtue of dramatising contemporary scientific issues.

Sir Michael Gerrard (played by former Professor Quatermass, John Robinson) was director of the unit, supported by his number two, Dr George Fratton (Moultrie Kelsall).

Beneath him worked a team of dedicated scientists, struggling to cope with the morality of certain experiments and the social consequences of new discoveries.

The second of the two seasons was more adventurous (and therefore more fun) than the first, featuring spies and secret agents, with the action moved to R3’s elite unit, Consultancy Service, where the boss was Philip Boult (Michael Hawkins) and his deputy was Dr Richard Franklin (played by a young Oliver Reed).

Future Alien director Ridley Scott was among the series’ set designers.

Sir Michael Gerrard
John Robinson
Dr Richard Franklin
Oliver Reed
Miss Brooks
Brenda Saunders
Dr George Fratton
Moultrie Kelsall
Dr May Howard
Elizabeth Sellars
Philip Boult
Michael Hawkins
Tom Collis
Derek Benfield
Stubbs
Maxwell Foster
Betty Mason
Janet Kelly
Dr Jack Morton
Simon Lack
Mr Pomeroy
Edwin Richfield
Dr Peter Travers
Richard Wordsworth

Episodes

A State of Anxiety | Against the Stream | On the Spike | The Patriot | Thunderbolt | The Short Cut | The Forum | Patterns of Behaviour | The Fratton Experiment | The Critical Moment | The Angel | The Astronaut | A Whole Lot of Reasons || The Big Balloon | Unwelcome Visitor | One Free Man | Experiment in Death | Black Warning | In Your Own Back Yard | Witch Doctor | And No Birds Sing | A Sudden Change of Programme | It’s Better to Know | A Source of Contamination | Good Clean Fun | Personal Appearance