1 9 8 4 (UK)
6 x 30 minute episodes
Colin (Pete McCarthy), Martin (Tony Haase) and policewoman Wendy (Rebecca Stevens) are leading dull lives in the (fictional) new town of Middleford when the arrival of an American stranger (Robin Driscoll) suffering from amnesia coincides with a series of increasingly bizarre events including a rain of liver, giant killer prawns roaming the sewers, migraines so severe that they cause heads to explode, and zombies taking over the supermarket.
The town mysteriously contains no children.
Martin believes a strange, radioactive briefcase is behind the town’s problems. The American has the key to the briefcase and he, Colin and Wendy open it and learn the truth of the situation . . .
Middleford is in fact a 21st-century rehabilitation prison located on a satellite orbiting the Earth and the town’s residents are all inmates who have had their memories and personalities erased.
It turns out that Colin was the prison’s designer but he later rebelled against the evil nature of the system and was sentenced there himself.
The American is a pulp fiction writer who has been tasked with writing new personalities for the inmates until his wife, Wendy, was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment and he has now come to break her out.
Unfortunately, his arrival has triggered a B-movie style doomsday scenario based on his book, The Night it Rained Liver, and the only way he can stop it and save Wendy from a grisly death is to sacrifice his own life.
The series ends with Wendy making her escape, Colin being recaptured and forced to watch as his prison starts receiving child prisoners, and Martin promising retribution after regaining his own identity as a political activist.
The Channel 4 series debuted on Saturday 14 July 1984 and ran for six weeks. The series had originally been performed as a play at the Edinburgh festival in 1983 by the Cliffhanger Theatre Company – comprising Robin Driscoll, Tony Haase, Pete McCarthy and Rebecca Stevens.
Episodes were filmed on location in Brighton and Maidstone.
The “They’re coming” man
Prof. John Filmore