Cult TV Essentials: The Omega Factor
The Omega Factor was a British television series produced by BBC Scotland in 1979. It was created by Jack Gerson and produced by George Gallaccio, and transmitted in ten weekly episodes between 13 June and 15 August 1979.
Despire only lasting for one series of ten episodes, The Omega Factor gained an objections of public moralist Mary Whitehouse, who called the episode “Powers of Darkness” “thoroughly evil” because it depicted hypnosis, the supernatural and a man burning to death.
Journalist Tom Crane (James Hazeldine) possesses untapped psychic powers that bring him to the attention of the scientists who comprise Department 7, a secret “need to know only” government organisation which investigates paranormal phenomena and the potential of the human mind. The phenomena explored include hypnosis, brainwashing, extra-sensory perception, telekinesis, poltergeist phenomena, out-of-body experiences and spiritual possession.
Crane joins Department 7 as a means of finding and getting revenge on Edward Drexel (Cyril Luckham), a powerful rogue psychic who is responsible for the death of Crane’s wife in an automobile accident. Crane’s work with the department, and his own psychic gift, lead Crane to suspect a deadly conspiracy by a mysterious organisation called Omega to take over the world using mind control.
The members of Department 7 include physicist Dr. Anne Reynolds (Louise Jameson), an old friend of Crane’s wife, and the secretive head of the department, psychiatrist Dr Roy Martindale (John Carlisle).
Most episodes see the driven and impetuous Crane in impatient conflict with the cautious Martindale, with Anne (who falls in love with Crane, though she also has a brief relationship with Martindale) caught in the middle.
Various subplots develop over the course of the series – notably Crane’s hunt for Drexel, his growing suspicions about the Omega conspiracy and his developing relationship with Anne.