Ian McDonald in Film and TV

Currently, Ian McDonald is involved in a number of different TV projects. From 2000, Ian works as Extreme Productions, "coming up with deeply un-politically correct TV ideas".


Doomwatch Project

There was a show in the 1970s called "Doomwatch" which as kind of a precursor to the X-Files (but focusing on scientific and technological threats instead of paranoia and UFOs).

Ian is working with a British independent TV producer developing a new series of this show. This is a TV drama series about four very different scientists on the underside of society. They are concerned with investigating abuses of research and technology. There's a rock-climbing eco-babe and a classy Indian biotechnologist who's developed intelligent software agents based around the Angels and Emanations in the poetry and prophecies of William Blake (and they even look like Blake).

Ian describes it as being "rather strange and dark, in the territory of the X-Files, but no UFOs or supernatural. The British BSE scare is straight out of our brief: scary stuff like that. Only scarier. In the new Doomwatch, the government is as much the enemy as corporate culture."

The pilot episode, "Winter Angel", finished shooting at the end of September 1998 and went through post-production at Working Title Television. The series is being done as a series of four two-hour TV movies. The pilot is directed by Roy Battersby who's done work on "Cracker" and "Inspector Morse" and is about misuse of power in the nuclear industry. Future episodes include a nanotechnology smuggling story, a computer virus that can jump from a screen to the human brain and a story invovling biochips made from protein.

The first episode, "Winter Angel", was broadcast in Britain on Channel 5 at 21:00 GMT on Tuesday 7th December 1999.

Forthcoming / In production

Tiger, Tiger

2001-03-02: Ian and the producer Eamonn Devlin are also in the early development stages of a cybercop TV series called "Tiger, Tiger", set in contemporary Dublin among the Celtic Tiger dot coms and software houses. Ian says: "If you're going to stead, steal from the two best, Blake and Bester".

Tonight We Fly

2000-09-14: "Tonight We Fly" is a short file project from BBC Northern Ireland and, according to Ian, "about a retired superhero who's not quite over the hill, yet". According to the author blurb on Tendeléo's Story, it is due out during 2000.

The Gallacello Project

2000-09-14: Ian and the same producer as "Tonight We Fly" and "Chihuahua" are also working on a feature, currently (September 2000) in the very early stages of script development.


2000-08-28: According to the author blurb on Tendeléo's Story, this is a short film project from BBC Northern Ireland due out during 2000. It's supposed to be a black comedy about sex, death, revenge and small Mexican dogs.

Cowboys and Angels

1998-11-03: Also in development is "Cowboys and Angels", a Belfast-based TV comedy-drama series set around an art college.

Desolation Road

1997-05-09: Together with a joint Australian-Indian-British production company, Ian is currently developing Desolation Road as a TV series. He describes it as "Northern Exposure on Mars".

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(*) This page is maintained by Hans Persson. Mail me (unicorn@lysator.liu.se) if you have comments or additions.