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Quatermass and the Pit 

A team of scientists search for the origin and purpose of a mysterious capsule found on a building site.
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1  
1959   1958  

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Quatermass II (TV Mini-Series 1955)
Drama | Sci-Fi | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Professor Quatermass is trying to perfect a dangerously unstable nuclear-powered rocket engine. After a disastrous test firing in Australia, his soon-to-be son-in-law, Captain John Dillon, ... See full summary »

Stars: John Robinson, Monica Grey, Hugh Griffith
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
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Professor Bernard 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 7.1/10 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
The Quatermass Experiment (TV Series 1953)
Drama | Sci-Fi | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 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
X the Unknown (1956)
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A radioactive, mud-like creature terrorizes a Scottish village.

Directors: Leslie Norman, Joseph Losey
Stars: Dean Jagger, Edward Chapman, Leo McKern
The Quatermass Experiment (TV Movie 2005)
Drama | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

Professor Bernard Quatermass' manned rocket ship returns to Earth but two of the astronauts are missing and the survivor seems ill and unable to communicate.

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

Dr. Thomas Bolton fights for the use of anesthetic in surgery and uses himself as a guinea pig, but soon finds himself addicted.

Director: Robert Day
Stars: Boris Karloff, Betta St. John, Christopher Lee
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Aliens arrive on Earth to possess the bodies of humans. One of their first victims is a young man, whose new wife soon realizes something is wrong with him.

Director: Gene Fowler Jr.
Stars: Tom Tryon, Gloria Talbott, Peter Baldwin
Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A centenarian artist and scientist in 1890 Paris maintains his youth and health by periodically replacing a gland with that of a living person.

Director: Terence Fisher
Stars: Anton Diffring, Hazel Court, Christopher Lee
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Cast

Complete series cast summary:
André Morell ...  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 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 Clifford Cox ...  First Private / ... 5 episodes, 1958-1959
Brian Gilmar Brian Gilmar ...  Second Private / ... 5 episodes, 1958-1959
Alexander Moyes Alexander Moyes ...  Narrator 5 episodes, 1958-1959
Brian Worth Brian Worth ...  James Fullalove 4 episodes, 1959
Richard Shaw Richard Shaw ...  Sladden 4 episodes, 1959
Richard Dare Richard Dare ...  Harrison - Private Secretary / ... 4 episodes, 1958-1959
Kenneth Seeger Kenneth Seeger ...  Sightseer / ... 4 episodes, 1958-1959
Tony Quinn Tony Quinn ...  Jacko - News Editor 3 episodes, 1959
John Walker John Walker ...  Private West 3 episodes, 1958-1959
Robert Perceval Robert Perceval ...  Minister / ... 3 episodes, 1958-1959
Ian Ainsley Ian Ainsley ...  Police Inspector 3 episodes, 1958-1959
Noel Howlett ...  Vicar Gilpin 3 episodes, 1959
Edward Burnham ...  Official 2 episodes, 1959
Allan McClelland Allan McClelland ...  1st Journalist / ... 2 episodes, 1959
Bill Shine ...  2nd Journalist / ... 2 episodes, 1959
Harold Siddons Harold Siddons ...  Electrician 2 episodes, 1959
Bernard Spear Bernard Spear ...  Arthur - First Customer / ... 2 episodes, 1959
Patrick Connor Patrick Connor ...  Policeman 2 episodes, 1959
Hilda Barry Hilda Barry ...  Mrs. Anne Chilcot 2 episodes, 1958
Victor Platt Victor Platt ...  P.C. Ellis 2 episodes, 1958
Kenneth J. Warren Kenneth J. Warren ...  Young Constable 2 episodes, 1958
Howell Davies 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>

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 December 1958 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

The Pit See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

£17,578 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(6 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Paul Whitsun-Jones was asked to reprise his role as James Fullalove from The Quatermass Experiment (1953) but was busy on another project. He was replaced by Brian Worth. 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

Sladden: Yeah, I reckon this'll cut through pretty well anything that exists. I did steel armor plate with it six inches thick, just like that! Oh, it was legal. Bloke shut in a strong room, I got him out. Secret job, like this one.
Col. Breen: Then I'm glad you don't talk about it.
See more »

Alternate Versions

All commercial releases prior to the 2004 DVD box set are an edited omnibus version. Several scenes written to allow actors to move between sets during the live broadcast were removed, along with the opening and closing titles. See more »

Connections

Follows Enemy from Space (1957) See more »

Soundtracks

Vision
Written and Performed by Trevor Duncan
Courtesy of Impress Music Library
See more »

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User Reviews

"I thought I heard....I DID hear!"
11 November 2001 | by uds3See all my reviews

The line above, uttered by Professor Bernard Quatermass in the abandoned and derelict building in Hob's Lane, Knightsbridge, remains one of the most chilling moments of dialog ever uttered on either the television or theatrical screen. I was twelve at the time and came as close to wetting my pants that night as I have since. (with the possible exception of the day I received a letter postmarked R.A.A.C. telling me I had been conscripted into the Australian Army in 1967 - THINK about it!)

So far ahead of its time QUATERMASS AND THE PIT, Nigel Kneale's third installment in the Quatermass series, was a brilliant pot-pourri of horror, sci-fi, mysticism, the occult and just plain scripted genius. It was estimated that more than 3/4 of Britain were tuned-in to the 6th and final episode - the rest we presume, didn't have television!

Distinguised British actor Andre Morell WAS the perfect Quatermass, Senior Government scientist and head of Rocket Research, assigned to an investigation of the presumed 'unexploded bomb' unearthed during a routine archaeological 'dig' at Knightsbridge, subsequent upon the discovery of a human skull during building excavation there. Following the unearthing of the object virtually unmarked, yet located BELOW the skull, since carbon-dated as being at least five million years old, extreme paranormal occurrences are recorded which in 1958 were simply terrifying. Their power can still be seen even in the creaky and grainy old B & W video re-edit that was released some years ago and which I regularly watch, probably as much to re-capture my youth as to be thrilled once again.

This was a cerebral trip, Neve Campbell really wouldn't have slotted in here! It was a DIFFERENT fear back then...cabalistic markings, disturbing sounds, ghosts and demons you couldn't see, but KNEW were there (that awesome utterance in the summary!) and the biggest fright of all - the dead martian as it rustled and slipped through that web of decaying strands that had held it in place all those centuries! The big-screen color re-make FIVE MILLION YEARS TO EARTH was OK but lost all the POWER of the TV original and remains a pale imitation.

To have been able to watch this epic piece of film-making AT THE TIME was a great privilege, I don't think today's audience are going to feel quite the same about Freddy Krueger or Jason Voorhees in 2046. (although I HAVE to say, I rather LIKE these guys...they're almost family now!)


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