Formula for Danger

1960 | United Kingdom

A young boy escapes to Britain from the fictional Ostonia, a country in Europe. In his possession is a secret formula (Formula 987) discovered by his scientist father (Stratford Johns), a victim of political opression. The formula is for a chemical that could shake industry. But should it fall into the wrong hands, the world would be facing a disaster like no other before. 

Soon after his arrival in England, Erik Stahl (Joseph Cuby), hotly pursued by foreign agents, takes refuge at a London secondary modern school where he makes friends with two students Roger (played by 17-year old David Langford) and Pat (played by 12-year old Jeanette Bradbury). Here the school lab is put to good use as the youngsters try out the formula much to the startled amazement of their science teacher (Ken Watson). But Erik's experiment brings him to the attention of the nosey Herr Schmeilder, as well as the ruthless businessman Mr Petersen (Peter Stephens). When the press get to hear of it Erik is soon facing a moral dilemma. His father has told him that if the discovery is likely to be used for evil he must destroy it immediately. 

Formula for Danger
Formula for Danger

Formula For Danger was a 7-part 30-minute Sunday adventure series broadcast at 5.15pm throughout March and most of April 1960. Programme Consultant was Mary Field, former Head of the Children's Film Foundation at this time working for ATV. "Of course we must start with a good story," she was reported as saying in the TV Times, "but that is no reason why we can't also put over a message. In this case it's a simple argument that science must be above politics and personal gain. The inventor has a right to stand up against politicians and big business." 

Producer Cecil Petty had the help of technical experts from the Regent Street Polytechnic in London, in setting up a jungle of test tubes, pipes and retorts for the experiment scene while script-writer Vivian Milroy was even more adventurous by creating a new language - Ostonian - using a mixture of German, Russian and Norwegian, even going so far as to produce a glossary of basic 'Ostonian' terms. Four of the cast received so much fan mail that ATV teamed them up again later in the year for Mill of Secrets

Published on December 13th, 2018. Written by Based on original TV Times articles. Adapted for Television Heaven.

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