Some 40 years after the broadcast of the original series, a new audiobook from the world of The Omega Factor is out now – and narrated by Louise Jameson, who fans will recognise as Leela in Doctor Who, but who was also in the original Omega Factor TV series, playing Anne Reynolds.
Festival of Darkness is written by Natasha Gerson, daughter of the original The Omega Factor creator, Jack Gerson.
The original series focused on a covert branch of British Intelligence is assigned to investigate the strange, the supernatural, the ‘Omega Factor’. Journalist Tom Crane (played by the late James Hazeldine), who possesses psychic powers, joins Department 7, the secret government organisation which investigates paranormal phenomena.
As with Doctor Who,The Omega Factor attracted criticism from famed moralist Mary Whitehouse for its sheer levels of terror.
Here’s the blurb for Festival of Darkness:
Tom is supposed to be taking a break from the paranormal, but a plea from Anne draws him unwillingly back. Something is happening to a group of performers at the Edinburgh Festival – preternaturally talented children working closely with Department 7 – and even the usually unflappable Martindale is spooked.
Why is Tom so affected by the children’s performances? Who stands to benefit from their bewitching talents? And what is the connection with the mysterious Morag, who has started haunting Tom’s dreams…?
Big Finish revived the series on audio in 2015, making three box sets set in the modern day with Louise Jameson reprising her role of Anne (now a doctor), and John Dorney playing Adam Crane, the son of Tom.
Natasha Gerson says:
“When I was a teenager in the 1970s, a little younger than Gill (one of the characters in Festival of Darkness) I was lucky enough to take part in shows at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. One was a student production of the ballet I mention in the story. At that time, the city and the Festival were atmospheric and thrilling and also – to me, my Father’s daughter – really spooky! When we did some OB filming in Edinburgh for The Omega Factor, it reinforced these feelings. With those thoughts and memories in mind and the later development of the Big Finish audio series, I had my starting point for the novel.”
The Omega Factor: Festival of Darkness audiobook is available now on download at £9.99. Listeners new to the world of The Omega Factor can download episode 1 of Series 1 absolutely free here.