In one hundred and fifty years the pharmaceutical industry has gone from selling snake oil to controlling the future of the human race  

Dick Bannerman’s daughter Montana has always admired international pharmaceuticals giant Bendix Schere, the very image of a modern, caring company, so when they offer her Nobel Prize-winning father the genetics research facility of his dreams – and an end to his financial worries – she is jubilant.

The future also begins to look bright for Monty, who has spent a decade eking out a living as PA to her father, when she meets fellow employee Conor Molloy, a young American patents lawyer. The attraction is mutual but Conor is holding something back from her, some dark secret about the company that, until now, has seemed the answer to Monty’s prayers.

Then she receives a visit from a newspaper editor whose pregnant daughter and unborn baby have died horrific deaths. And so, he reveals, have two other expectant mothers and their babies. The link? The fertility drug Maternox, Bendix Schere’s biggest-selling product.

Monty, at first reluctant to take such fears seriously, is soon convinced that something is rotten beneath the veneer of “The World’s Most Caring Company”, for as she starts investigating, people start dying in mysterious accidents. She finds herself plunged into a nightmare as the trail leads to the centre of a conspiracy of beathtaking scale, with grotesque implications for the human race: in global corridors of power, science is being harnessed by the darkest forces in the universe …

The Alchemists: Channel 5 television series

Alchemist television mini-series shown on Channel 5! Alchemist was filmed as a two-part miniseries by Red Rooster (owned by Chrysallis) co-financed by Channel Five and CLT-UFA International. Directed by the award winning Peter Smith (who made John LeCarre’s A Perfect Spy) it starred Grant Show (Melrose Place) Ruth Gemmell (Fever Pitch) and Edward Hardwicke (perhaps best known for his portrayal of Watson). It screened in the UK on Monday Nov 15 and Tuesday Nov 16 1999 and was Channel 5’s highest ever rated drama. The Alchemists was also the highest ever rated drama on Japan’s Wowow channel.