In the huge, labyrinthine nuclear bunker meant to shield the survivors in government from the aftermath of atomic war, Level 7 is the deepest and the safest from radiation. But in spite of ... See full summary »

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(dramatisation), (novel)
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Cast

Episode cast overview:
Anthony Bate ...
General
Keith Buckley ...
X127
...
R747
...
X117
Tom Criddle ...
Jane Jordan Rogers ...
Woman commandant
...
Radio man One
Raymond Hardy ...
Michael Bird ...
Colonel
Sean Arnold ...
New man
Anthony Sweeney ...
Air supply officer
Glenn Williams ...
Man
Patricia Denys ...
Woman
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Storyline

In the huge, labyrinthine nuclear bunker meant to shield the survivors in government from the aftermath of atomic war, Level 7 is the deepest and the safest from radiation. But in spite of its hermetic isolation, the nerve center of government is ultimately not safe from the consequences of the holocaust which rages miles overhead. Written by hutch48

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Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi

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27 October 1966 (UK)  »

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This episode was wiped by the BBC and for many years no copy of it was known to exist. However, a copy was returned to the BBC in 2006. See more »

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Gripping sci-fi drama.

Out of the Unknown: Level Seven (the IMDb listing is wrong, the on screen title is definitely Level Seven with the word seven rather than the number 7) starts as a batch of military personnel are gathered & taken down to the mysterious Level Seven, the deepest part of an underground nuclear bunker some four & a half thousand feet under the ground. The new recruits are welcomed by the commanding officer General A10 (Anthony Bate), they are told that they will spend the rest of their lives in Level Seven & will each be given a number to identify themselves, proper names, personal belongings or free will are forbidden. A nuclear missile launch computer controller X127 (Keith Buckley) begins to miss humanity & the life he has been forced to leave behind, then when nuclear war becomes a reality & everything on the surface of the Earth is destroyed or killed by radiation it's only a matter of time before it reaches the handful of survivors in Level Seven...

Episode four from season two of the British produced television sci-fi drama series Out of the Unknown this was directed by Rudolph Cartier & is a fairly gripping & bleak look at the horrors of nuclear war, adapted by J.B. Priestely from the book by Mordecai Roshwald this is pretty heavy stuff & ends with the entire world being destroyed by nuclear fall out & it doesn't get much bleaker than that! To say that Level Seven is bleak is an understatement, from the breakdown of humanity to it's ultimate destruction at the hands of machines & nuclear weapons. Level Seven is very anti establishment as the military is seen as uncaring destroyers, uncaring employers who want to turn their staff into mindless robots with no personality or feelings & ultimately the cause of all the problems rather than the solution. Quite gripping & intense it's amazing how a low budget vintage television show can engage & enthrall so vividly. In fact Level Seven is still as relevant today as it was over forty years ago when first made, they way countries stockpile nuclear weapons & the way the world is going Level Seven is as contemporary as it ever was. The character's are good, the dialogue is full of meaning & depth with warnings, moral messages & social commentary in just about every line spoken & their ultimate fate is a bit of a shocker in a very downbeat ending that gives us no hope. An absorbing thought provoking literate sci-fi drama that is well worth tracking down & spending sixty minutes with.

Originally broadcast during October 1966 the videotape for Level Seven, like most Out of the Unknown episodes, was wiped by the BBC & so were all the 16mm film prints that were made. Or so the BBC thought anyway, back in 2006 a foreign television station who had screened it all those years ago returned their copy which should have been junked years previous but luckily survived the cull. Not set in space or in the future Level Seven looks good & has tidy production design but I can't believe those two cheap chairs the main operators have to sit on, the chairs in my canteen at work look more expensive! Nothing looks particularly dated even though admittedly certain electrical equipment does look old. The acting is good from a solid cast, Michele Dotrice went on to become best known as Betty the long suffering wife of Frank Spencer in Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em (1973 - 1978).

Level Seven is high drama that results in the end of the world due to a nuclear war, a gripping piece of television that has a definite impact & you could say is even more relevant now with the advancement of nuclear technology. With a good survival rate so far, ten of the twelve episodes from season one exist while three of the first four exist from season two, this is the point when massive gaps in the archive appear with only one more complete episode from season two currently known to exist.


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