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The Quatermass Experiment (2005)

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Victor Carroon (as Andy Tiernan)
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Blaker
Paul Broughton ...
News Editor
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Colonel
Matthew Flynn ...
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Jane Hill ...
Newsreader
Tracy O'Flaherty ...
Louisa Greene
Greg Sheffield ...
Boy
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A contemporary adaptation of Nigel Kneale's seminal 1953 science fiction serial.

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Drama | Sci-Fi | Thriller

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2 April 2005 (UK)  »

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1.78 : 1
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Trivia

This production was originally broadcast only three weeks before the death of Sir John Mills, who had played Professor Bernard Quatermass in the ITV serial Quatermass (1979). His death leaves Jason Flemyng as the only one of the seven actors to have played the character who is still alive. See more »

Goofs

As Quatermass and Lomax are walking along the corridor towards the press conference there are three shadows on the wall. See more »

Connections

Follows The Quatermass Conclusion (1979) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Uninteresting Experiment
2 September 2008 | by (Isle Of Bute , Scotland) – See all my reviews

The original BBC version of THE QUATERMASS EXPERIMENT shocked a nation way back in 1953 but this remake barely caused a ripple when broadcast three years ago and it's not too difficult to see why . Nowadays television audiences are much more sophisticated and television in the 21st century is more of a bastard child of cinema than theater , but it would be both churlish and incorrect to state that the failings and the lukewarm reception of this remake are down to the audience because the fault lies entirely with the production team

A lot of people have complained about the anachronistic feel of the production . Indeed it doesn't really feel like it's set in the present day despite the scenes set at the Tate Modern and having BBC News 24 giving away exposition . Perhaps the most startling thing are the large number of characters who smoke , something both television production teams and government have cracked down on and I'm possibly correct in saying if this had been made in the Autumn of 2008 none of the actors would be allowed to smoke on screen by law

Director Sam Miller usesa countless number of medium shots . In order to generate tension and atmosphere wouldn't close ups have been more effective ? Of course Miller is directing a live broadcast where anything or everything can go wrong so perhaps we should be more forgiving because of the amount of pressure he was under . Unfortunately any tension and atmosphere is diluted with the amount of clichéd POV shots and over head filming of London which outstay their welcome very quickly . There's also a lack of internal logic to these shots . If you're a mutating monster walking around London dressed in a cloak wouldn't someone call the police , and wouldn't the police be going out of their way to hunt down the mutating monster ? Are we to believe the monster hasn't been picked up on CCTV cameras ? Apparently the story is set in a world where we can send astronauts into deep space but no one has invented the close circuit TV camera . Do you understand the anachronistic criticisms now ?

Some of the problems with the script actually lie at the door of Nigel Kneale . The original version of THE QUATERMASS EXPERIMENT was written as a suspenseful mystery . Alas however it was constructed very much as a whodunnit . Once you know what is happening to Victor Carroon etc there's little mystery involved . It's similar to watching a whodunnit unfold when you already know who did it so there's no surprises . Kneale did construct his story in an episodic form to be broadcast over a period of six weeks which leaves Richard Fell's adaptation very disjointed . In some places it's very slow and in other places so rushed you find yourself thinking if there's been a hitch in the production that stopped a scene being transmitted . We also have to endure a ridiculous scene where an art lover bleats " If you destroy beauty then we don't deserve to go on living " Oh please !

All in all this version of a Nigel Kneale classic is more of a nostalgic gimmick than anything else . If the BBC are thinking of doing a live version of QUATERMASS AND THE PIT then my advice is don't . It'd be terrible to see the greatest SF drama in the history of television turned in to something like this


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