Quatermass Rewatch (starting 11/05/20)

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Best Quatermass Instalment?

The Quatermass Experiment (1953)
0
No votes
Quatermass II (1955)
0
No votes
Quatermass and the Pit (1959)
4
67%
The Quatermass Conclusion (1979)
2
33%
The Quatermass Xperiment (1955)
0
No votes
The Creeping Unknown (1956)
0
No votes
Quatermass 2 (1957)
0
No votes
Quatermass and the Pit (1967)
0
No votes
The Quatermass Memoirs (1996)
0
No votes
The Quatermass Experiment (2005)
0
No votes
 
Total votes : 6

Re: Quatermass Rewatch (starting 11/05/20)

Postby shuzbot » Tue May 19, 2020 11:13 pm

Servorobot wrote:They’ve done a pretty good job, but there’s parts that no matter how much work they put in irs never going to look brilliant.


If you are talking about the TV series, I disagree.

The lighting is a bit bright at times so some of the backdrops look flat or the contrast is off. Also there is a distortion around the edges of the screen on the VT sections, not sure if that's cos they were using a wide angle.lens that wasn't the best fit or what. But those are minor gripes. It's rather fabulous for its time.
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Re: Quatermass Rewatch (starting 11/05/20)

Postby Servorobot » Tue May 19, 2020 11:34 pm

shuzbot wrote:
Servorobot wrote:They’ve done a pretty good job, but there’s parts that no matter how much work they put in irs never going to look brilliant.


If you are talking about the TV series, I disagree.

The lighting is a bit bright at times so some of the backdrops look flat or the contrast is off. Also there is a distortion around the edges of the screen on the VT sections, not sure if that's cos they were using a wide angle.lens that wasn't the best fit or what. But those are minor gripes. It's rather fabulous for its time.


I was talking about the picture quality overall.

On the inserts the picture is nice and sharp, but other bits are very soft and are never going to look as good.

Considering the age of the material I think they did a great job. I’d read people moaning online about the quality, but I think some people just like to moan really, there’s nothing wrong with this restoration.

One thing I did notice in the first episode was Christine Finn’s movements around the mud. There was a strange sort of elegance to her movements and picking up on what you said earlier there is an interesting aspect to her performance and the character. When Roney goes off to get Quatermass he leaves her to keep an eye on the bomb disposal team.
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Re: Quatermass Rewatch (starting 11/05/20)

Postby Servorobot » Tue May 19, 2020 11:43 pm

Anybody else got any rewatch suggestions?
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Re: Quatermass Rewatch (starting 11/05/20)

Postby The Wooksta! » Wed May 20, 2020 10:25 am

We're swimming in suggestions, but in light of the Quatermass stuff, I'd recommend the Kneale/Cartier 1984, which is on youtube*, largely because you see the evolution of Cartier's techniques as he progresses to The Pit.


*Acting on a tip off from a guy on a long dead forum I was a member of, I picked up a Spanish issue DVD of the terrible 1950s film version, which had the 1954 BBC one on it as an extra. Picture quality isn't the best, probably because it's likely a VHS rip from the 1994 screening.
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Re: Quatermass Rewatch (starting 11/05/20)

Postby The Wooksta! » Wed May 20, 2020 10:32 am

The Ginger Cat wrote:
The Wooksta! wrote:I know at least one episode was repeated during BBC50 in 1986, as I remember watching it. Apparently the rest was screened too.


Yes I remember that. It was the first time I'd seen any of the TV version. My cousin, not normally a fan of Sci-Fi, wanted to watch it. Imps and Demons I think it was, one Friday evening late Autumn on BBC 2. Can't recall them repeating the rest. They did repeat an episode of Quatermass II on a bank holiday in 1991. Can't remember which episode now though.



August Bank Holiday '91 and it was a tribute to Lime Grove studios as they were about to close and be flattened. The Quatermass II episode was Episode 3: The Food and they trimmed it for time reasons. We got the version of the Who pilot that wasn't on The Hartnell Years.

The Cartier tribute when he died in 1994 was a 40 minute documentary followed by the 1954 version of 1984. For my money it's the best visual adaptation of the book.
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Re: Quatermass Rewatch (starting 11/05/20)

Postby Cygnus Prime » Wed May 20, 2020 2:28 pm

For anyone who doesn't currently have access to the first Hammer adaption.....


Quatermass Xperiment (1955)

In four parts......

https://www.dailymotion.com/video/xennqs

https://www.dailymotion.com/video/xenohs

https://www.dailymotion.com/video/xenp1p

https://www.dailymotion.com/video/xenpjj


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Re: Quatermass Rewatch (starting 11/05/20)

Postby Cygnus Prime » Wed May 20, 2020 2:39 pm

X: The Unknown (1957)

Full movie......


Sober science fiction in the best British tradition finds a primaeval monstrosity, formed when Earth's crust was still cooling, now breaking forth from below, seeking radiation on which to feed. Scientist Dean Jagger, in a Quatermass-like role, and the military clash over how best to deal with the danger posed by this strange sentient sludge.






Image



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X_the_Unknown


Production

The film was originally intended by Hammer to be a sequel to the previous year's successful The Quatermass Xperiment, but writer Nigel Kneale refused permission for the character of Bernard Quatermass to be used.

The original director of the film was Joseph Losey, working under the name Joseph Walton – Losey was an American director who had moved to the UK after being placed on the Hollywood blacklist. Although Losey did begin shooting the film and some of his footage is included in the final cut, he was replaced by Leslie Norman due to illness. An alternative version is that Jagger refused to work with him because of his blacklisting.

Norman was borrowed from Ealing. He had just made his directorial debut with The Night My Number Came Up. He later said "I hated working at Hammer... because I never got on with Anthony Hinds."

Half the film's budget was provided by Sol Lesser, a producer for RKO Pictures. This amount, $30,000, went towards the salary for Dean Jagger. Nonetheless, the American distribution deal between Hammer and RKO fell through due to the latter company's pending demise, and the film was distributed in the U.S. by Warner Bros.

Critical reception:

Variety wrote that the film was "a highly imaginative and fanciful [melodrama]....There's little letup in the action, and suspense angles are kept constantly to the forefront". In the UK the Daily Telegraph said it was "good, grisly fun" and "a welcomed change from interplanetary yarns" was the verdict of Films and Filming.
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Re: Quatermass Rewatch (starting 11/05/20)

Postby Cygnus Prime » Wed May 20, 2020 3:06 pm

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Re: Quatermass Rewatch (starting 11/05/20)

Postby Cygnus Prime » Wed May 20, 2020 3:38 pm

.... and, finally, someone has gone and done neat little reconny recap things for the absent episodes 3 to 6 of the original QUATERMASS EXPERIMENT.....


The legendary UK sci-fi series THE QUATERMASS EXPERIMENT was broadcast live across six half-hour episodes in 1953. Only the first two were successfully recorded for posterity. Anyone who's seen them on DVD and wished for a dramatic summary of the four lost episodes can find it here ...

These short videos (three to five minutes each) provide a concise plot synopsis, illustrated with radiophonic sound and occasional imagery ...















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Re: Quatermass Rewatch (starting 11/05/20)

Postby The Ginger Cat » Thu May 21, 2020 12:06 am

That's episode 3 (Imps and Demons) of Quatermass and the Pit done. I must say the sound effects in this are really good and eerie. And I really like the look of the Martians. Great design and much better than the ones used in the film version.

Quatermass and The Pit (1958) Sound Effects

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Re: Quatermass Rewatch (starting 11/05/20)

Postby The Wooksta! » Thu May 21, 2020 12:12 am

Just done eps 4 and 5. Really building to a decent climax. Breen is clutching at straws, and quite clearly both out of his depth and overwrought. Some might say "I think he's insane." The Minister is clearly channelling a future PM. And Quatermass, as the voice of reason, is clearly getting nowhere with the idiots.

The effects are quite superb, especially for the time and the sounds really complement the design. The moving gravel under Governor Sladden at the end of episode 4 is really spooky.

Watch out for a young Professor Kettlewell in episode 5.
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Re: Quatermass Rewatch (starting 11/05/20)

Postby Servorobot » Thu May 21, 2020 1:35 am

The Ginger Cat wrote:That's episode 3 (Imps and Demons) of Quatermass and the Pit done. I must say the sound effects in this are really good and eerie. And I really like the look of the Martians. Great design and much better than the ones used in the film version.

Quatermass and The Pit (1958) Sound Effects



I’ve finished this episode as well.

I have to agree about the sound effects, they really are excellent.

When the acoustic noise is heard I love the way some people react to it. Their movements are almost ballet like. This of course become significant later on.
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Re: Quatermass Rewatch (starting 11/05/20)

Postby Servorobot » Thu May 21, 2020 10:55 am

Well I’ve watched episode 4 The Enchanted.

The ending of this episode is my clearest memory of the whole story.

Again the movement of the character involved is eerie and significant.

Breen proves once and for all he’s a plonker, but he doesn’t half look rattled.

It’s easy to write off the Minister as another portrayal of politicians as idiots who believe anything they want to hear, but recent events have proved this to be very true (at least of some of them).
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Re: Quatermass Rewatch (starting 11/05/20)

Postby Cygnus Prime » Thu May 21, 2020 1:18 pm

Racing, but determined to catch up here.

So far have seen the surviving two episodes of the tv EXPERIMENT; just watched the above recons to fill in eps 3 to 6.


But mainly just a quick review of Hammer's THE QUATERMASS XPERIMENT (1955), which I've just finished rewatching.


Image


Kneale hated Donlevy in the role of course, but I think that's really unfair.

Yes, Donlevy was clearly an ageing star of yesteryear, who probably didn't give too much thought to the character he was playingand who, by all accounts was fond of the booze, but he actually, imo, makes for a very scary Bernard Quatermass. A bloody minded man who sees human lives as a mathematical equation worth sacrificing in his vision of achieving an end result. His speech to Judith Caroon about how, yes, the astronauts had died but had become heroes, as if that was any comfort, shows how out of touch he is with other people.

He was also the first ever QUATERMASS I saw as they seemed to show this and QUATERMASS II a lot. I actually felt something was lost when they showed a much more thoughtful professor in Hammer's PIT.

Donlevy strides through both movies as a one note character; but what a great note. I was watching the first movie and listening to Quatermass' dialogue, wondering if they were Reginald Tate type lines that Donlevy was reading his own way - or if Quatermass really was written as a hard edged lunatic. I'm still not sure, but Donlevy is absolutely uncompromising in how he plays it - and I don't think he gets enough credit.

If you're not going to use the fantastic actor, Duncan Lamont as Caroon, then you can't get much better than Richard Wordsworth as a replacement. Just fantastic - and the pain in those haunted eyes!


Image

Comparing the above short recons that someone has thrown together of the lost episodes with the movie and I think some things are worse in the movie - and some things are better.

I think the fact that - in the tv show - Quatermass talks to the thing hanging in the Abbey and appeals to the absorbed astronauts to reject and "leave" the creature results in the thing just sorta dying/freezing to death and falling to bits like dead autumn leaves is a bit lame. In the words of Monty Python, if you're gonna have an ex-monster, shove four million volts through it.

Negatives in the movie ending; there is one shot where it's face looks just like a giant squid - and the actual electrocution was a bit too short after the long, intense build up. I wanted to see that sucker dance!

Going back in the narrative slightly, I did like the slime trails that the monster was leaving, up high vertical walls - and the fact they left a lot to your imagination in the shadowy... thing that was approaching the zoo.

And Hammer (and Donlevy) gave us that terrific ending scene that the tv version did not: With a dead monster hanging from the Abbey, Quatermass has nothing to say to the characters he has been interacting with throughout this story - as if being part of this narrative has got in the way of better things he needs to be doing. All he can think of doing is starting again. With no thought of humility in the face of the horror he scooped from space and that almost destroyed the Earth. With no thought that something similar could happen again. He simply strolls up the road into darkness and we see a second rocket lifting off. This Bernard Quatermass is a menace and needs to be taken down. :lol:

The influence of this first story on Who is clear of course. From the about to germinate Krynoid to the Doctor appealing to whatever was left of Noah inside the Wirrn.

But I will continue to defend Donlevy. I thought he was a terrific Quatermass and more scary than the monsters he was up against. Even if Kneale didn't rate him or the fact that he "shouted his way through the first two films".


And just found out that Donlevy had his own tv series called DANGEROUS ASSIGNMENT in 1952, just a few years before his Hammer gigs.....

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0044257/?ref_=ttep_ep_tt


This thrilling TV series stars BRIAN DONLEVY as a US Government Agent who travels the globe investigating cases of threats to National Security!



Dangerous Assignment: Episode One....




Playlist of episodes.....

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=P ... Ez-ftSyOjQ


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Re: Quatermass Rewatch (starting 11/05/20)

Postby shuzbot » Thu May 21, 2020 5:13 pm

I got around to X the Unknown and I like it, but it's not Quatermass. It lacks Kneale's subtlety. The melting face, for example, I have no problem with it but Kneale wouldn't have that.

I read an interview with him somewhere where he said that the producers wanted to make the main character a relative of Quatermass but Kneale said no. It fits in with the Hammer horror Quatermass films well. I think Kneale could be a bit of a perfectionist/egotist, as he often picked apart his own work. I am kind of wondering whether to watch the stone tapes again.
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Re: Quatermass Rewatch (starting 11/05/20)

Postby Cygnus Prime » Thu May 21, 2020 9:10 pm

Amazingly restored clip of THE PIT from the blu-ray...

I've only ever seen it on murky old vhs up to now.....


2018: A scene from the new HD remaster of 'Quatermass and the Pit' - the classic BBC television chiller from writer Nigel Kneale and director Rudolph Cartier. Celebrating its 60th anniversary this year,






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Re: Quatermass Rewatch (starting 11/05/20)

Postby Servorobot » Thu May 21, 2020 10:59 pm

Cygnus Prime wrote:Amazingly restored clip of THE PIT from the blu-ray...

I've only ever seen it on murky old vhs up to now.....


2018: A scene from the new HD remaster of 'Quatermass and the Pit' - the classic BBC television chiller from writer Nigel Kneale and director Rudolph Cartier. Celebrating its 60th anniversary this year,






Image


This is of course the scene I was referring to. Somehow that old murky version really made an impression on me.
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Re: Quatermass Rewatch (starting 11/05/20)

Postby shuzbot » Thu May 21, 2020 11:15 pm

I am watching the fourth one, it's not as bad as I remembered. The music kind of reminds me of Kinda, but I just can't get my head round this being the same character.
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