Quatermass and the Pit (1958)

TV Mini-Series  -   -  Drama | Sci-Fi | Horror
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A team of scientists search for the origin and purpose of a mysterious capsule found on a building site.

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Title: Quatermass and the Pit (1958– )

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1

Year:

1959 | 1958

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Cast

Complete series cast summary:
...
 Professor Bernard Quatermass (6 episodes, 1958-1959)
Cec Linder ...
 Dr. Matthew Roney (6 episodes, 1958-1959)
Anthony Bushell ...
 Colonel James Breen (6 episodes, 1958-1959)
John Stratton ...
 Captain Potter (6 episodes, 1958-1959)
Christine Finn ...
 Barbara Judd (6 episodes, 1958-1959)
Michael Ripper ...
 Sergeant (5 episodes, 1958-1959)
Harold Goodwin ...
 Corporal Gibson (5 episodes, 1958-1959)
Clifford Cox ...
 First Private / ... (5 episodes, 1958-1959)
Brian Gilmar ...
 Second Private / ... (5 episodes, 1958-1959)
Alexander Moyes ...
 Narrator (5 episodes, 1958-1959)
Brian Worth ...
 James Fullalove (4 episodes, 1959)
Richard Shaw ...
 Sladden (4 episodes, 1959)
Richard Dare ...
 Private Secretary / ... (4 episodes, 1958-1959)
Kenneth Seeger ...
 Sightseer / ... (4 episodes, 1958-1959)
Tony Quinn ...
 News Editor (3 episodes, 1959)
John Walker ...
 Private West (3 episodes, 1958-1959)
Robert Perceval ...
 Minister / ... (3 episodes, 1958-1959)
Ian Ainsley ...
 Police Inspector (3 episodes, 1958-1959)
Noel Howlett ...
 Vicar Gilpin (3 episodes, 1959)
Edward Burnham ...
 Official (2 episodes, 1959)
Allan McClelland ...
 1st Journalist / ... (2 episodes, 1959)
Bill Shine ...
 2nd Journalist / ... (2 episodes, 1959)
Harold Siddons ...
 Electrician (2 episodes, 1959)
Bernard Spear ...
 First Customer / ... (2 episodes, 1959)
Patrick Connor ...
 Policeman (2 episodes, 1959)
Hilda Barry ...
 Mrs. Anne Chilcot (2 episodes, 1958)
Victor Platt ...
 P.C. Ellis (2 episodes, 1958)
Kenneth J. Warren ...
 Young Constable (2 episodes, 1958)
Howell Davies ...
 Mr. Chilcot (2 episodes, 1958)
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Storyline

When a skull is found during building works at Knightsbridge, London, the work is halted in order that a full archaeological dig can proceed. The diggers delve deeper, finding more skulls, but also finding some form of tube-like shell made of a ceramic like material. The Ministry of Defence believe it to be an un-exploded bomb, but when they manage to dig inside the shell, dead insect-like creatures are found. The MOD continue with their story, but Professor Quatermass's theory that the insects are Martians who visited Earth over five million years ago is proved to be correct with drastic consequences. Written by Rhino <rhino@blueyonder.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

22 December 1958 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

The Pit  »

Box Office

Budget:

£17,578 (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

Michael Gough was on the shortlist for Captain Potter. The role eventually went to John Stratton. See more »

Goofs

During the cliffhanger of Episode Two ("The Ghosts") the interior of the capsule is still streaked with dirt and clay. When this scene is reprised at the start of Episode Three ("Imps and Demons") the capsule is completely clean, even though no time is supposed to have elapsed. See more »

Quotes

First Private: [watching Quatermass examine the capsule] What's the boffin up to?
Cpl. Gibson: Gonna open it up with his little pocket knife.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Alchemists of Sound (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Mutations No. 2
Written and Performed by Trevor Duncan
Courtesy of Conroy Music Library
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Never forgotten
21 November 2006 | by (London) – See all my reviews

"Sladden"!- nearly 50 years later few it seems have forgotten, (who could forget) the name, and the scene where, terrified-possessed, seeking sanctuary in a church, he collapses - and the gravel underneath him, moved by some evil telekinesis, churns in waves? Like others, childhood walks home at night following the screening became panic-stricken runs. I was never able to fully watch the final episode

  • one glimpse of that incandescent THING hovering in mid-air proved


much too much (I think they cut it from the VHS version).

Watching it now, the programme has in some ways gained rather than lost in power. The implication of the sequence and ages of the discoveries in the pit makes the room seem suddenly colder, kicking off a roller coaster of rising hysteria. The struggles of Quatermass: brilliant, strong minded, humane, brave; against demonic possession bordered on the harrowing. What a fine performance by Andre Morelle. Breen - wonderfully cast - and played. Anthony Bushell's voice always was high and rather edgy. For the first time this quality was fully exploited as the unimaginative military man fought a losing battle against things beyond his imagination. I once met him by chance in 1985 in a bus queue in Oxford and asked about Quatermass. He was, rather disappointingly, amiable and civil.

The music, the sound effects - just perfect.

Many special effects - amazingly for '50's live TV - would not disappoint today - the whipping heavy cables, the air completely filled with debris in motion, as if every inanimate object had itself become possessed. The CREATURES - so creepy and repellent - how could anybody stay alone in a laboratory with one of them propped up on a tray? And who failed to jump violently when one just slightly but suddenly moved?

Now I notice the slight pauses at scene changes and the long scenes in very small sets - while the main set was being prepared for the next scene. A distraction? No, a chance steady the nerves! Whatever happened to the vessel? Does it still exist? If it does, which of us could casually walk inside?

Quatermass and the Pit excelled in nearly every aspect where other productions might just score OK in most and good in one or two. In terms of the impact it made it can only come second to Orson Welle's 1938 radio production of "War of the Worlds" where the listening public really believed that the Earth was being invaded. That though was mainly achieved by sleight of hand. Quatermass and the Pit convinced through compelling logical story development, fine acting and brilliant production.


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