Theatre 625 (1964–1968)
9 user 21 critic

The Year of the Sex Olympics 

Set in a future when the world is dominated and run by television, where language has become almost redundant and all "tensions" - love, war, hate, loyalty - have been removed. ... See full summary »





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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Co-Ordinator Ugo Priest
Deanie Webb
Tony Vogel ...
Nat Mender
Lasar Opie
Vickery Turner ...
Kin Hodder
Lesley Roach ...
Keten Webb
Hira Talfrey ...
Patricia Maynard ...
Custard Pie Expert
Brian Coburn ...
Custard Pie Expert
Custard Pie Expert
Wolfe Morris ...
Custard Pie Expert
Braham Murray ...
Custard Pie Expert


Set in a future when the world is dominated and run by television, where language has become almost redundant and all "tensions" - love, war, hate, loyalty - have been removed. Overpopulation is a problem, so there are gluttony programmes to put people off food and pornography programmes to put them off sex. There is artsex and sportsex, and now this - the year of the Sex Olympics. Audience attention begins to wane, however, until TV executive Ugo Priest works on a new concept - a reality-based programme in which a couple is stranded on a bleak island, without the aid of any modern technology, and their efforts to survive filmed twenty-four hours a day. A concept which may sound familiar in the age of reality TV... Written by UK DVD blurb

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

television | futuristic | See All (2) »







Release Date:

29 July 1968 (UK)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Leo Mckern was offered a major role. See more »


Lasar Opie: Old days, I think they called that _despair_. Right, Coordinator?
Misch: She cross, too. That Deanie.
Lasar Opie: You see? The danger force of these bad feelings? We seen fear and anger, worry and pain and so on... Soon, I think, one called _grief_.
See more »


Featured in The Martians and Us (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

Both Prophetic And Dated But Most Of All Disappointing
5 January 2011 | by (Isle Of Bute , Scotland) – See all my reviews

There's no doubt in my mind the most influential dramatist in the history of British television is Nigel Kneale . He was the script writer who defined that television drama should be as ambitious as cinema while remaining as intimate as theater . He will always be synonymous with his QUATERMASS serials but has also contributed other great pieces of drama over the decades . One of them THE YEAR OF THE SEXUAL OLYMPICS has steadily become something of a legend in itself in that it predicts a future obsession with what is now described as " reality TV " , so does the teleplay live up to its legendary status ?

In my opinion not really . OLYMPICS does have some very clever concepts but somewhere along the line the ideas seem somewhat badly executed . The story itself seems to owe a lot to Orwell's 1984 telescreens aren't used to spy on people but to rather control them . People are natural voyeurs and if you give them what they want via the telescreen they'll eventually become desensitized to their desires . You can understand the point behind Kneale's logic but you're also left with the feeling that Kneale has failed to bring a bigger subtext to his subject . Certainly in his 1979 QUATERMASS serial you recognise a wonderful subtext of science vs faith with science at its most dangerous and destructive eventually saving the human race but there's a spark of genius missing from this 1968 drama

The production values do not help either . I for one am grateful that it's preserved on monochrome . Can you imagine how garish and gaudy everything would have looked in colour ? It's a constant problem of late60s/early 70s film and television where the future tends to look too futuristic to remain credible . Kneale doesn't help his cause either by having everyone talk in a trans-Atlantic " Newspeak " . Again you can understand the thinking behind this - the World has become assimilated by American pop culture - but combined with Michael Elliot's rather weak direction it's like listening to a parody of American film moguls and makes for a rather ridiculous acting style not helped by deliberately written idiosyncratic speech patterns where

" Does he know what he's saying ? " becoming

" He know what he say ? which soon becomes irritating . It's not helped either by the casting of Leonard Rossiter and Brian Cox whose future well known roles become more of a hindrance than an advantage

All told THE YEAR OF THE SEX OLYMPICS is a massive disappointment . As many people here have said it shows sign of prophecy but this is heavily negated by rather poor production values , weak directing but most of all a lack of streamlined storytelling on the part of the writer . One can't help thinking how well this drama would have been remembered if it wasn't for the birth of reality TV at the turn of the century

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