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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1955  

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The Quatermass Experiment (TV Series 1953)
Drama | Sci-Fi | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

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 »

Stars: Reginald Tate, Isabel Dean, Hugh Kelly
Quatermass and the Pit (TV Mini-Series 1958)
Drama | Sci-Fi | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A team of scientists search for the origin and purpose of a mysterious capsule found on a building site.

Stars: André Morell, Cec Linder, Anthony Bushell
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

In 1950s England, professor Quatermass' manned rocket ship returns to Earth, but two of the astronauts are missing and the survivor seems ill and unable to communicate.

Director: Val Guest
Stars: Brian Donlevy, Jack Warner, Margia Dean
Sci-Fi | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Professor Quatermass, trying to gather support for his Lunar colonisation project, is intrigued by mysterious traces that have been showing up.

Director: Val Guest
Stars: Brian Donlevy, John Longden, Sidney James
Quatermass (TV Mini-Series 1979)
Drama | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

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 »

Stars: John Mills, Simon MacCorkindale, Ralph Arliss
Horror | Mystery | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A mysterious artifact is unearthed in London, and famous scientist Bernard Quatermass is called into to divine its origins and explain its strange effects on people.

Director: Roy Ward Baker
Stars: James Donald, Andrew Keir, Barbara Shelley
Drama | Mystery | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A separate screenplay by Nigel Kneale for theaters, parallel to the 1979 Quatermass four part mini-series. The story set in the near future involves influences from outer space that are possessing people. Professor Quatermass must save his granddaughter from the clutches of a popular and sinister cult "Planet People" that "performs raptures".

Director: Piers Haggard
Stars: John Mills, Simon MacCorkindale, Barbara Kellerman
The Quatermass Experiment (TV Movie 2005)
Drama | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

A contemporary adaptation of Nigel Kneale's seminal 1953 science fiction serial.

Director: Sam Miller
Stars: Jason Flemyng, Adrian Dunbar, Mark Gatiss
Adventure | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A kindly English botanist and a gruff American scientist lead an expedition to the Himalayas in search of the legendary Yeti.

Director: Val Guest
Stars: Forrest Tucker, Peter Cushing, Maureen Connell
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

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 »

Director: John Gilling
Stars: André Morell, Diane Clare, Brook Williams
Adventure | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

In 18th-century England, the Royal Crown sends Royal Navy Captain Collier and his crew to investigate reports of illegal smuggling and bootlegging in a coastal town where locals believe in Marsh Phantoms.

Director: Peter Graham Scott
Stars: Peter Cushing, Yvonne Romain, Patrick Allen
Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

The European Space Exploration Council sends two astronauts to explore a planet similar to the Earth but located on the opposite side of the sun.

Director: Robert Parrish
Stars: Roy Thinnes, Ian Hendry, Patrick Wymark
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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)
...
 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)
...
 Ernie (2 episodes, 1955)
Desmond Jordan ...
 Young Workman (2 episodes, 1955)
Peter Carver ...
 Australian Commentator / ... (2 episodes, 1955)
Martin Lane ...
 Technician (2 episodes, 1955)
Laurence Shiel ...
 Head of Commission (2 episodes, 1955)
Scott Harrold ...
 Man in Pub / ... (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)
...
 Member of Commission (2 episodes, 1955)
...
 Extra in Riot Sequence / ... (2 episodes, 1955)
Brian Moorehead ...
 1st Guard / ... (2 episodes, 1955)
...
 Hugh Conrad (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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(6 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Hilda Fenemore replaced Nelly Griffiths at very short notice. In fact, Griffiths was still credited in the Radio Times cast listing for Episode Two ("The Mark"). 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

[Dillon and Grice are about to leave their radar site to investigate a meteorite impact they tracked]
Sgt. Grice: [to the Private watching the radar screen] You carry on. Just report that plane when it shows up. Nothing else. Got it?
Private: Yes, Sergeant.
[Dillon and Grice leave]
Private: It's the one I learnt yesterday, Sergeant.
See more »

Connections

Followed by The Quatermass Conclusion (1979) See more »

Soundtracks

Zero Minus Sixty
Composed by Robert Farnon
Courtesy of Chappell Recorded Music Production Library
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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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