The Omega Factor (1979)

UK, 13 June -15 August 1979
an1 episodes, 10 episodes, average 50m
videotape, colour, 4:3
mono, English

A British science fiction/horror television series created by Jack Gerson.

Premise

A journalist finds himself drawn into the machinations of an ultra-secretive department of the British government that specialises in investigating cases of the paranormal and the inexplicable.

Episodes

The Undiscovered Country (13 June 1979)
Visitations (20 June 1979)
Night Games (27 June 1979)
After-Image (4 July 1979)
Powers of Darkness (11 July 1979)
Child's Play (18 July 1979)
St Anthony's Fire (25 July 1979)
Out of Body, Out of Mind (1 August 1979)
Double Vision (8 August 1979)
Illusions (15 August 1979)

See also
Haunted (1967-1968)
The X Files (1993-2018)

Press

1979
Television Today 23 August 1979 p.18
“A sort-of pseudo-psychic-cum-espionage thriller […] it vies with ATV's Sapphire & Steel in the unintelligibility stakes, while conjuring up such Saurian fossils as drugged coffee and sinister butlers to winch forwards the creaking machinery of its story […] All in all, There was little or nothing memorable, new or worthwhile in eight hours and 20 minutes of peak television viewing. The only explanation is that some Organisation has Taken Over the Minds of BBC Scotland […] turning their usual canniness to incoherence and unoriginality.” – from a review by Hazel Holt

Television Today 12 July 1979
“[I]t is not as bad as it sounds […] What tricks and time leaps there were director Paddy Russell and his [sic] team treated with an awareness that this was indeed a genre and as a result had been done before. Where the series does lift itself, albeit with a slight creaking of the muscles, onto a comparatively original level is with the idea that a government department has been set up to study and channel the psychic energy of the brain into something useful to the defence of the realm.” – from a review by Gordon McKerrow

Television Today 23 August 1979 pp.18; 19
“The Omega Factor […] is already low on detail and observation. It's hard to tell one character from another. Hard to keep track of anything much, since series creator Jack Gerson seems determined to give us a crash course on just about every mind-bending phenomenon there is […] With such an impossible workload, it's not surprising that the investigators in the series come over as such a bunch of amateurs. Nor is it surprising that each episode has not the slightest continuity with the others. It's a writer's graveyard” – from a review by Laura Swaffield

References

Periodicals

  • Radio Times vol.223 no.2900 (9 June 1979) pp.9-10 – article
  • Radio Times vol.224 no.2912 (1 September 1979) p.82 – review (by Roy Stemman)
  • Radio Times 11-17 August 1979 p.46 – illustrated article
  • Radio Times vol.224 no.2912 (1 September 1979) p.82 – article
  • Starburst no.213 p.31 – article
  • Television Today 26 April 1979 – note (BBC Scotland's four new titles)
  • Television Today 21 June 1979 – article
  • Television Today 12 July 1979 – review (by Gordon McKerrow)
  • Television Today 23 August 1979 pp.18; 19 – note (Mrs Whitehouse attacks Omega Factor), review (by Hazel Holt); review (by Laura Swaffield)
  • Time Screen no.7 (revised) p.30 – note

Books

  • The Complete Directory to Science Fiction and Horror Television Shows pp.589-590 – credits, episode guide