Drama in the Lab: The R3 Story
R3 - or R.3 if you prefer, is the Ministry of Research Centre Number Three. This was a BBC1 series which ran for two series from 1964 to 1965. Nothing survives bar the briefest of fragments and a pile of paperwork and scripts. It is only remembered today due to its similarity with the hit BBC1 series 'Doomwatch' of which Saturday Morning Press customers are familiar with!
Created by genuine research scientist Dr Stephen Black and dramatist Norman J Crisp, R.3 takes the scientist away from science fiction and explores the motivations, dilemmas, pressures, risks, worries and fights of scientists working within a cash starved government funded facility. The second series took R.3 beyond its rural Oxford setting and into the world of the technological trouble-shooter, investigating a high-altitude balloon, rescuing a stricken submersible, understanding why production line robots keep breaking down, investigating 'safe' pesticides, a faith healer, recovering a lost isotope, and helping a seaside community living with pollution.
The cast was headed by second BBC Quatermass John Robinson as Sir Michael Gerrard, and supported by Elizabeth Sellars, and for its second series, none other than Oliver Reed, making a rare appearance in a television series.
The production of each series is explored and all twenty six episodes are story-lined in detail, including several which did not make the grade.
Price £11.99. 324 pages. Cover by Robert Hammond.