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>
Nigel Kneale was still writing the final episodes when the first episode was broadcast, and had only a vague idea how it would end. See more »
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 »
One morning, two hours after dawn, the first manned rocket in the history of the world takes off from the Tarooma Range, Australia. The three observers see on their scanning screens a quickly receding Earth. The rocket is guided from the ground by remote control as they rise through the ozone layer, the stratosphere, the ionosphere, beyond the air. They are to reach a height of fifteen hundred miles above the Earth and there learn what is to be learnt. For an experiment is an operation designed...
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I gave my friend Ange a loan of my old VHS tape of QUATERMASS AND THE PIT and because her video recorder decided to chew up the tape Ange bought me the BBC DVD trilogy by way of compensation . I hadn't even known the trilogy had been released via the BBC and I'm not entirely sure if I'd have spent my own money buying it since I had the PIT on tape until I lent it to Ange , and I wasn't too keen on QUATERMASS 2 but it also meant I'd finally get to see the two surviving episodes of THE QUATERMASS EXPERIMENT and if I didn't like them it only meant that I'd wasted an hour of my life
Hmmm I wouldn't say that I wasted an hour of my life because I've always wanted to see this TV drama ever since I saw the Hammer adaptation in the late 1970s but I have no doubt that this is the weakest of the BBC Quatermass trilogy . Fair enough you might laugh at the space sequences of QUATERMASS 2 and grumble that it's painfully overambitious but the German expressionist sequences in episode five make it a truly memorable piece of television even when watching it today . Watching the first two episodes of TQE there's very little than can be described as memorable
Perhaps I'm not being very charitable because that's the frame of mind you have to watch this in , but even so you'll probably be left unimpressed . You have to remember that there was still within the British psyche ( It was obvious in 1953 that we'd lost the peace ) so unlike a female audience on its original broadcast you can't really empathise with Judith Caroon's fear that her husband might not be coming home since we tend to live long uninteresting lives in the 21st century . You may also forgive the long drawn out manner the story is told since it's broadcast live and since it's very much a mystery the contemporary audience must be given time to wonder why are two of the crewman missing and how is Victor Caroon able to suddenly speak German ? The unfortunate thing is anyone who bought the DVD knows why and where the story is heading so it's not a piece of television that would have stood up to repeated viewings even if the last four episodes had been recorded for posterity
There are some other problems for an audience who aren't overwhelmed by charity and that is the production values . After the final episode TQE was broadcast it was decided at the BBC to set up a special effects team . In other words there was no special effects team during any of the six episodes broadcast and it shows . Without knowing this you'll be scratching your head wondering that there's something missing . There might be something of a novelty watching a sci-fi drama with zero effects involved but you can't help thinking you're watching something that has the production values of the average school play . It should also be pointed out how painful it is listening to very middle class actors trying to speak in BBC " Working class " accents - Mockney doesn't even begin to describe them
Still you should never look a gift horse in the mouth and I did thoroughly enjoy seeing an unabridged copy of QUATERMASS AND THE PIT and QUATERMASS 2 , not to mention an informative documentary on the writer Nigel Kneale entitled THE KNEALE TAPES so thanks very much for my gift Ange
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