14 MARCH 1958, Page 7

1 1 is REMARKABLE how little fuss there has been over

Mr. J. B. Priestley's television play Dooms- day for Dyson, which Granada put on last Monday. Even five years ago it would surely have been rejected out of hand, with its horrors, its propaganda and (this above all) its delightful parody of the Prime Minister. The play did not really come off : I had the impression that Mr. Priestley was unable to make up his mind between horror and satire; the two never fused, and the result was a ragbag of theatrical clichés. None the less, it would have been very effective if Mr. Priestley had not insisted on overloading his dice. He is too experienced to develop his theme in the old-fashioned way by making his villains wicked; but instead he makes sure that they are stupid. Airman, scientist, journalist and politician are all represented as being, in their various ways, drivelling idiots. The effect is merely to lessen the terrors of the author's doom; it is hard to take an argument seriously when one side is a joke. A pity, because there was the germ of a good play.