HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Lodgers, The
Eagle vs Shark
American Assassin
Die, Mommie, Die!
All the Money in the World
Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds, The
Black Panther
Children's Hour, The
Mayhem
Sphere
Guyver, The
Night School
Loveless
Ragtime
Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters
Murders in the Rue Morgue
Wound, The
Scalawag
Let's Get Harry
Girl with Green Eyes
Sunchaser, The
Tom Jones
Downsizing
Defiant Ones, The
Centerfold Girls, The
Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, The
120 BPM (Beats Per Minute)
Police Academy 3: Back in Training
Safe Place, A
Saturday Night and Sunday Morning
   
 
Newest Articles
Bad Taste from Outer Space: Galaxy of Terror and Xtro
A Yen for the 1990s: Iron Monkey and Satan Returns
Hey, Punk: Jubilee and Rock 'n' Roll High School
Help! with The Knack: Richard Lester in 1965
Roll Up, Get Yer Free Cinema: The Shorts on the BFI Woodfall Blu-rays
Time for Heroes: The Dam Busters and How I Won the War
Hell is a City: Midnight Cowboy and Taxi Driver
Boris Goes Bonkers, Bela Goes Bats: The Old Dark House and Mark of the Vampire
Charles Bronson's Mid-70s: Breakheart Pass and Others
Kids in America: The Breakfast Club vs Metropolitan
80s Dance-Off: Staying Alive vs Murder-Rock vs Breakin'
The Cinematic Darkside of Donald Crowhurst
Dutch Courage: The Flodder Series
Coming of Age: Boys on Film 18 - Heroes on DVD
Country and Irish - The secret history of Irish pop culture
   
 
  Alternative 3 Tomorrow's WorldBuy this film here.
Year: 1977
Director: Christopher Miles
Stars: Tim Brinton, Gregory Munroe, Carol Hazell, Shane Rimmer, Richard Marner, David Baxt, Alec Linstead, Norman Chancer, Anthony Roye, Patsy Trench, Phoebe Nicholls, Ivor Roberts, Linda Cunningham, Nancy Adams, Jonathan Hieatt-Smith
Genre: Science Fiction, TV Movie
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Tonight's episode of Anglia Television's documentary series Science Report is a very special one as it details a top secret plan that reaches to the highest echelons of world government. The story began as an investigation into the so-called "Brain Drain", that is the case of British scientists leaving their home country to work more lucratively abroad, but as they delved further the programme makers discovered that certain of these scientists were vanishing without trace despite their claims to have emigrated for a better job. And perhaps they have emigrated - only not from the country...

The supposed final epsiode in the series Science Report of 1977 was meant to be broadcast on April Fool's Day, and indeed the end credits state clearly a copyright notice dated "April 1st 1977", but due to one of those strikes that punctuated the seventies in the United Kingdom it wasn't shown till June. Because of this, many viewers didn't realise it was all a joke and there was a minor storm in the press for a few days afterward, as if the programme makers were at fault for the gullibility of their viewers.

But how much of it was made up? As the years passed, more people grew convinced that Alternative 3 had been onto something. Actually it was scripted by David Ambrose, intended to be a throwback to the infamous Orson Welles radio adaptation of War of the Worlds which supposedly panicked parts of the United States when it was broadcast, but after that was over nobody believed that there really had been a failed Martian invasion.

So why does this programme remain convincing? Apart from the presenter - a genuine current affairs presenter - it was cast with actors and some are recognisable faces from the time such as Phoebe Nicholls, Richard Marner (now better known for sitcom 'Allo 'Allo!) and Shane Rimmer, the go-to-guy for an American accent in many British productions, which points to a hoax. Rimmer played an astronaut who claimed to have seen an unusual something on the moon which after a lot of plying with alcohol he reveals to be a secret base.

The whole conspiracy, revealed at the end, is that the powers that be have designed a way to leave Planet Earth behind and take the best brains with them. This is because global warming is going to make our world uninhabitable quite soon, a prescient notion for 1977 which offers the air of authenticity. Even if the programme was invented, the conspiracy theorists say, they were definitely stumbling across a very real situation. Whether you accept that or not, Alternative 3 (the title refers to the plot, the third alternative to non-survival) is in places quite eerie, professionally made and, a few wooden line readings apart, has the ring of truth about it. In the days of British television scandal over lies and misdirection, you can bet no one would try anything like this again, and it still seems an awful lot of bother to go to for an April Fool's trick. Music by Brian Eno.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3370 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme song?
Spectre
The Ups and Downs of a Handyman
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
  Jamie Nichols
Andrew Pragasam
George White
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
   

 

Last Updated: