Professor Bernard Quatermass, Director General of the British Experimental Rocket Group, launches the first manned space flight from Australia. A malfunction sends the rocket and its three ... See full summary »
Professor Bernard Quatermass, Director General of the British Experimental Rocket Group, launches the first manned space flight from Australia. A malfunction sends the rocket and its three man crew thousands of miles off course. When the rocket returns to Earth, it crashes in Wimbledon. To the shock of Quatermass, his team, and the spectators who gather around the crash site, only one of the three crewmen, Victor Carroon, is still aboard. Carroon seems unwell, barely able to talk. Examinations of the rocket by both Quatermass and Scotland Yard's Inspector Lomax reveal that something attacked the crew of the rocket as they were on course back to Earth. Even more alarming is that Carroon seems to be undergoing some sort of metamorphosis, which is accelerated by a botched kidnapping attempt by foreign agents. Written by
Christopher M. Buckey <ChrisBuckey@nospam.msn.com>
During the scene in the Daily Gazette office at the start of Episode Two, the image collapses and turns negative before returning to normal. This was a fault during transmission preserved by the telerecording process. See more »
[the News Editor is on the phone taking a report about the rocket's crash landing.]
Oh, all right.
How junior can a junior local correspondent be? Gone to ask the man in the next phone box when it happened!
What is it tonight? "The Man with Staring Eyes" or "Robbed While They Watched Television"?
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As a seven year old when I first saw this on television (not ours, because we didn't have one in 1953) it was simply the most terrifying and funk-inspiring piece of horror on offer. Many elder citizens complained to the BBC that they had no right showing such diabolically upsetting images during family viewing times (despite the fact NOT that great a percentage of families HAD television then.....and only 9 inch screens at that, for the most part)
It was the first of Nigel Kneale's FOUR Quatermass tales and for its time, was extremely frightening, even on a small screen. A rocket ship returns to earth and crashes. Two of the crew are killed and a third found in a totally disorientated state. He slowly metamorphosises into a most unpleasant alien being, half cactus - half God knows what. Although only having the benefits of prehistoric special effects available to them, the thing was just horrific and much of the scare-factor was lost in its translation to the big screen a few years later (THE QUATERMASS XPERIMENT). Precisely the same outcome was evidenced in the movie adaptations of Quatermas II and Quatermass and the Pit (FIVE MILLION YEARS TO EARTH)
Nigel Kneale's imagination and innovative writing places him right up there with Arthur C. Clarke. This show is a wonderful (and still deeply disturbing) memory. How many sci-fi flicks have since ripped off this man into monster concept? SPECIES 2 for example? (The less said about that turkey the better!)
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