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
The special effects explosive charge used for the final explosion was so powerful that Cec Linder had to stand between it and the camera, otherwise the camera might have been damaged. Linder also had to be wet down and don fire-resistant clothing and eye-pads to prevent being burnt by fire or blinded by the flash. As a result, he had to reach his mark without being able to see it! See more »
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 »
Do you know what you're implying? That we owe our human condition to the intervention of insects.
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I envy anybody who was lucky enough to watch this one the first time around! Seeing the re-released video version today I can imagine what a mind-blower this must have nearly 45 years ago. An amazing technical achievement for the time, while the movie remake had a bigger budget and was in colour, it's debatable whether it actually bettered this original TV version. A plot that mixes science fiction and the occult in a way reminiscent of some of H.P. Lovecraft's later stories, added to inventive (low budget) direction, and generally strong acting, especially from Andre Morell (possibly the best Quatermass of them all), this is a must see for any genuine SF fan. Nigel Kneale deserves a place in the history of fantastic television and cinema, and this is one of his best efforts.
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