Martin, Troy Kennedy

Tagged: Author

(1932-2009) Scottish-born scriptwriter, in England from childhood, best known for non-fantastic work such as the BBC police procedural series Z Cars (1962-1978), which he created and for which he supplied scripts intermittently; brother of Ian Kennedy Martin. Some of the Satirical nihilism of his script for the film Kelly's Heroes (1970), directed by Brian G Hutton, disappeared when the studio cut twenty minutes from the film before its release. Martin is of sf interest for his Television adaptation for the BBC of Angus Wilson's The Old Men at the Zoo (15 September-6 October 1983 five episodes), which harshens Wilson's reticent take on the British Dystopia depicted, as what looks like an ongoing World War Three spreads from the Middle East; and for scripting Edge of Darkness (4 November-9 December 1985 BBC2 six episodes), which because of its impact later aired on BBC1. The protagonist, a police officer searching for his daughter's murderer, gradually uncovers a Paranoia-justifying conspiracy between the UK government and private American interests involving (among other issues) the storage underground of highly radioactive waste and plutonium; the release of a portion of the latter above-ground generates a Disaster whose implications echo futurewards. The ghost of the protagonist's daughter, clearly a projection at first, gradually takes on solidity as the embodied voice of Gaia, proclaiming the planet's negative judgment on the human race while simultaneously giving evidence that convulsive Climate Change is imminent. [JC]

Troy Kennedy Martin

born Rothesay, Isle of Bute, Scotland: 15 February 1932

died Ditchling, East Sussex: 15 September 2009

works

  • Edge of Darkness (London: Faber and Faber, 1990) [filmscript: televised 1985: pb/]

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