Pete Townshend has finished a visionary rock opera he began nearly 30 years ago, a work that foresaw the birth of the Internet.

"Lifehouse" will be heard for the first time Dec. 5 on Britain's Radio 3, the BBC announced this week in London.

The former Who guitarist began work on the futuristic epic in 1971, two years after the huge success of "Tommy," his story of a messianic deaf, mute and blind boy.

An early version of "Lifehouse" performed in 1971 drew a lackluster response, so Townshend, now 54, shelved it.

On at least one level, the work is surfacing right on time.

" 'Lifehouse' is an apocalyptic journey set across the industrial wastes of Britain on the last day of the millennium," the BBC said.

"The play addresses the spiritual consequences of a move away from physical human congregation to digital networking and the power of music."

The Sex Pistols are likely to acquire cinematic, if not musical, respectability next year when a documentary about the short-lived punk combo opens in movie theaters.

Director Julien Temple's "The Filth and the Fury" boasts interviews with the group's surviving members, while the late Sid Vicious appears on never-before-aired interview footage.

Mark Ordesky, president of Fine Line Features, the distributor, expects an early 2000 release for "Filth," which is in post-production and should be ready for fall film festivals.

It promises to be a more complete and historical view of the band than Temple's 1980 film "The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle."

"This film depicts the Sex Pistols as it really was, not how you wanted it to be," said John Lydon, a k a vocalist Johnny Rotten, who steered clear of "Swindle."

After shocking Britons in 1976-77 with their loutish behavior and crude songs like "Anarchy in the U.K." and "God Save the Queen," the Sex Pistols broke up during a chaotic U.S. tour in 1978.