Several years after the previous serial took place, Professor Quatermass is trying to perfect a dangerously unstable nuclear-powered rocket engine. After a disastrous test firing in ... See full summary »
Young workers are dying because of a mysterious epidemic in a little village in Cornwall. Doctor Thompson is helpless and asks professor James Forbes for help. The professor and his ... See full summary »
In the near future, civilisation has broken down to the barest fragment of recognisable life. Young people are forming gangs and dominating the wrecks of cities like London. But the ... See full summary »
In 1920 an archaeological expedition discovers the tomb of an ancient Egyptian child prince. Returning home with their discovery, the expedition members soon find themselves being killed ... See full summary »
A missile, launched by the team led by Prof. Quatermass, lands in the English countryside. Of the three members of the crew, two have mysteriously disappeared. The third one, barely alive, ... See full summary »
Harry Spalding and his wife Valerie inherit a cottage in a small country village after his brother mysteriously dies. The locals are unfriendly and his neighbor Dr. Franklyn (a doctor of ... See full summary »
In the countryside of England, the Duc de Richleau a.k.a Nicholas welcomes his old friend Rex Van Ryn that has flown to meet him and Simon Aron, who is the son of an old friend of them that... 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 ... See full summary »
Several years after the previous serial took place, Professor Quatermass is trying to perfect a dangerously unstable nuclear-powered rocket engine. After a disastrous test firing in Australia, his future son-in-law, Captain John Dillon, draws the Professor's attention to a strange hollow meteorite which interrupted an Army Training exercise. Quatermass and Dillon investigate, and discover a vast government production plant which has some connection with the meteorites. After coming in contact with the noxious gas contained inside the meteorites, Dillon is taken away by the plant's security guards. When Quatermass presses this issue with an old civil service acquaintance, he learns that the plant is supposedly making synthetic food. Both men learn that this is untrue, and that the true products of the plant will threaten the world itself. Written by
Christopher M. Buckey <ChrisBuckey@nospam.msn.com>
Special effects crewmen Bernard Wilkie and Jack Kine make an appearance in the Episode Six ("The Destroyers") as technicians assisting Professor Quatermass with his spacesuit. This was because the rubber spacesuit costume John Robinson wore was so heavy it prevented him from reaching his mark for the next scene, so he had to be carried across the studio. See more »
During the rocket launch in Episode 6, the rod supporting the model rocket can be seen. See more »
By far the most frightening serial ever shown on British TV and in 1955 the Beeb took the unprecedented step of warning viewers before each episode that under no circumstances should children view this film and anyone of a nervous disposition would be best advised not watching. My own father, a man one would view as strongly masculine to the core was absolutely terrified at the concepts here and deeply disturbed by the music - Holst's Planet Suite: Mars: The Bringer of War. For years after and until his death in fact, he could never listen to that piece of music without leaving the room. I begged mum to let me watch it (I was 10) - she knew me well enough to let me thank God!
The story by scifi specialist Nigel Kneale was hi-tech stuff then. Alien spores infiltrated the earth's atmosphere crashing to earth in small rock-size meteorites. On contact by individuals, the smallest stream of vapor would escape and enter the victim who became "one of them" - looking unchanged, but "taken over" body-snatcher style! As always, a major Government cover-up allowed an enormous domed plant to be built - quite impenetrable and unaccountable seemingly to anyone. Of course, once Bernard Quatermass was on the case, things moved along.
The first real horror came at the end of episode 2 I think when Quatermass stumbles across some poor worker who has tumbled down a flight of metal steps having tried to get into the dome. He is covered with a black shiny resin burning him to death. Might sound a cack now, but in 1955 it was gruesome and horrific. As the extent of the "takeover" becomes apparent, Quatermass and his small team of assistants realise they must break into the dome at all costs. What they find is seared on my mind for all time. The dome is full of boiling slimy protoplasmic shapes which rear up as the camera pans closer..thats the only way to describe them, existing in an artificially created environment which is a replication of the conditions upon their own asteroid. As the credits rolled on that episode, not too many people in Britain would have been saying much!
Ultimately, the dome is destroyed despite the "thing's" valiant attempts to defend their earth-base. The concluding episode saw the locating of the asteroid and Quatermass's final flight there to destroy the alien threat. One would today laugh at both the rocket and the alien life-forms as they all but crushed the ship in the dying seconds. You wouldn't have laughed in 1955!
Val Guest's big screen remake: ENEMY FROM SPACE many years later, was certainly OK but could never hold a candle to this original work which as many have commented is just about impossible to find. I actually have a softcover book of this great film series, complete with the entire dialog and several plates from the old black and white serial. It is one of my favorite possessions.
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