Quatermass II (1955)

TV Mini-Series  -   -  Drama | Sci-Fi | Horror
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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 »

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Title: Quatermass II (1955– )

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Season:

1

Year:

1955
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Cast

Complete series cast summary:
John Robinson ...
 Professor Bernard Quatermass (6 episodes, 1955)
Monica Grey ...
 Paula Quatermass (6 episodes, 1955)
...
 Dr. Leo Pugh (6 episodes, 1955)
John Stone ...
 Captain John Dillon (4 episodes, 1955)
Charles Price ...
 2nd Guard / ... (4 episodes, 1955)
Dermot MacMahon ...
 3rd Guard / ... (4 episodes, 1955)
Stephen Scott ...
 Guard / ... (4 episodes, 1955)
Manny Michael ...
 Guard / ... (4 episodes, 1955)
Austin Trevor ...
 Fowler (3 episodes, 1955)
Edwin Brown ...
 Paratrooper / ... (3 episodes, 1955)
Peter Roy Taylor ...
 Paratrooper / ... (3 episodes, 1955)
Rupert Davies ...
 Vincent Broadhead (2 episodes, 1955)
Michael Golden ...
 Paddy (2 episodes, 1955)
John Miller ...
 Stenning (2 episodes, 1955)
John Rae ...
 E.G. McLeod (2 episodes, 1955)
Denton De Gray ...
 Technician (2 episodes, 1955)
Ian Wilson ...
 Ernie (2 episodes, 1955)
Desmond Jordan ...
 Young Workman (2 episodes, 1955)
Peter Carver ...
 Australian Commentator / ... (2 episodes, 1955)
Martin Lane ...
 Technician (2 episodes, 1955)
O'Donovan Shiell ...
 Head of Commission (2 episodes, 1955)
Scott Harrold ...
 Man in Pub / ... (2 episodes, 1955)
Roger Delgado ...
 Hugh Conrad (2 episodes, 1955)
Bryan Kendrick ...
 2nd Technician (2 episodes, 1955)
Malcolm Watson ...
 Member of Commission (2 episodes, 1955)
Carl Lacey ...
 Member of Commission (2 episodes, 1955)
Robert S. Young ...
 Member of Commission (2 episodes, 1955)
Bernard Dudley ...
 Member of Commission (2 episodes, 1955)
Stephen Dunne ...
 Member of Commission (2 episodes, 1955)
Reginald Jessup ...
 Extra in Riot Sequence / ... (2 episodes, 1955)
Brian Moorehead ...
 1st Guard / ... (2 episodes, 1955)
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Storyline

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>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

22 October 1955 (UK)  »

Box Office

Budget:

£7,552 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(6 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Writer Nigel Kneale could not think of a dramatic title for the story, so he simply named it Quatermass II and justified it to himself by giving the same name to the nuclear-powered rocket which features centrally in the story. See more »

Goofs

When Dillon and the Sergeant are in the Land Rover, the shadow of a studio technician can be seen crossing the rear window of the vehicle. See more »

Quotes

Prof. Bernard Quatermass: Dillon, there's something on your face!
See more »

Connections

Remade as Enemy from Space (1957) See more »

Soundtracks

Mars, Bringer of War
Composed by Gustav Holst
Performed by the Philharmonic Promenade Orchestra
Conducted by Adrian Boult
Courtesy of Pye Group Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
QUATERMASS II {Episodes 1-6} (Rudolph Cartier, 1955; TV) ***
10 November 2006 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

The 1957 film version of "Quatertmass II" was superior to its predecessor, and one can only assume that the serial was too; again, it obviously goes deeper into the various themes than the film does, but it's interesting to see how Kneale was able to compress his own work without losing the essential quality and potency of his concept (we've seen several films which have had large chunks removed from them with the result that one would hardly recognize the original - but it's certainly not the case with the Quatermass series!).

All things considered, I guess I prefer the films to the serials for two reasons: one, the fact that the former - even if still done on a low budget - were invariably more polished (given their crisp photography as opposed to the fuzziness of a TV program); the other reason is the essential tautness of the films - the serials don't necessarily feel draggy and are certainly never boring but, watched in one sitting (which, I guess, was never the intention to begin with!), Kneale's gripping and thought-provoking plots could make for a tiresome overall experience!!

John Robinson replaced Reginald Tate (who had died in the meantime) as Professor Quatermass; he does a good job at it but, from the three actors who performed the character on TV (I haven't watched John Mills in the final serial, named simply QUATERMASS, from 1979), he's the one who comes closest to Brian Donlevy's interpretation in the first two films and which so dissatisfied Kneale! The cast also features Hugh Griffith as Quatermass' assistant and future stalwart of British horror cinema Rupert Davies as a government official.

The fact of these being live broadcasts was betrayed more than anything else during this particular serial by the surprising number of lines flubbed by the actors throughout - chief among them Robinson himself! Besides, even if scenes that were made memorable by the films (which I obviously watched prior to the serials) generate their own tension and excitement on the small screen, the film's ending is preferable to the one presented here - in which Robinson and Griffith are flown into outer space in order to destroy the planet which was attempting to colonize Earth.


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