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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 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>
Excellent Science Fiction Television if you can find it
Unfortunately, at the current time Quatermass II is really only available in bootlegs of varying quality. That's how I saw it, though the copy I found is of pretty good quality considering the rarity of the material.
Like most folks, I watched all the movie versions of the Quatermass saga before seeing any of the hard-to-find BBC television serials. The effects are, of course better in the silver screen treatments, but the television serials let a lot more exposition and explanations get out, so things make even more sense and characters and situations get fleshed out in some rather interesting ways...the movie (Enemy From Space) has an unmanned rocket being launched at the aliens, while the serial has Quatermass and a fellow scientist taking the rocket up to face the aliens.
John Robinson makes a great Quatermass...very arrogant and domineering, but at the same time you can sense some concern for humanity in the man. He's no quite as good as John Mills in the last installment of the series (The Quatermass Conclusion), but he does make the serial much more enjoyable than the movie (nothing against Brian Donlevy in that particular production).
It's also fun to see Roger Delgado (best known as The Master on Doctor Who) in the role of the reporter who comes with Quatermass to the strange little town of Wynnerton Flats.
Unless you frequent the newsgroups and video-trading circles, you don't have much chance of finding this little gem...but if you do, remember that it is definitely worth the four hours to watch.
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