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)
5
71%
The Quatermass Conclusion (1979)
2
29%
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: 7
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Cygnus Prime
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Just watched the first two episodes of QUATERMASS II.


https://archive.org/details/Quatermass_ ... _1of6_1955

https://archive.org/details/Quatermass_ ... _2of6_1955


The film had a couple of very disturbing moments that I remember distinctly, so it will be interesting to see if the original tv version is equally effective.

John Robinson seems fine as Quatermass. He has a very plummy voice and doesn't seem to have a particularly wide range of acting emotions, but he's solid enough as a presence. And it must have been daunting to have been thrown into this leading role, filling a dead man's shoes at such short notice.


Image


I notice that the recap voiceover at the beginning of Episode two - and presumably the rest of the episodes is that of Nigel Kneale himself.

Nice to see Wilfred Bramble in a different role - and playing it well I thought.

So alien egg like things are hatching open and attaching themselves to people's faces. Seems somehow familiar. :shock:

I gather the same production plant was used as a location in both the tv and movie versions.


Found the clipping below in a folder about 1955:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/bradford_ ... 6316943565



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The Charlie Chester show - also on that night - ran from 1949-1960, notching up 47 episodes, but according to IMDB...
Only a single episode is known to survive of this series.

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1824800/?ref_=tttr_tr_tt



______________________________________________________________________________________________


Astonishingly I went on Youtube to see if there was any surviving footage of IN TOWN TONIGHT (1954-1956), the programme that was shown just before QUATERMASS....

https://televisionheaven.co.uk/reviews/in-town-tonight

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5346864/?ref_=fn_tt_tt_1


.... only to find that, out of the 174 episodes made (and largely lost presumably) the single episode uploaded there was the exact episode listed above, shown that very night: October 22nd, 1955.

What are the odds of that?

Anyway, here is what people had to sit through that night, before Episode 1 of QUATERMASS II ("The Bolts") started.....


John Ellison interviews interesting people who are In Town Tonight.
First transmitted in 1955, this edition of In Town Tonight includes a performance by Italian opera star Tito Gobbi and a new feature 'A Woman Wonders Why' where the interviewer 'seeks the feminine point of view' - this week's subject is women and driving.

First shown: 22 Oct 1955





..... and it turns out that the final show that night survives also, in two parts, a documentary called "Guilty Chimneys" about...

Excellent documentary showing the environmental effects of air pollution.






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Same location for both serial and film. And very similar tracking shots of Quatemass' car in the TV series and the limos in the film.

The film has several characters excised for time reasons and to cut the dialogue, but others fill the roles and all the plot beats are the same.

Anyhoo, just finished The Pit. Episode 6 ios a tour de force of emotion but hampered by budget. We get the crowd scenes on film as they leave the pit affected by the capsule, a bit of a fight in a pub and then everything else is done as sound effects and the reactions of the regular cast to it. Cheap but certainly convincing. Morell's performance in particular is outstanding and I can easily see why this serial is a firm fan favourite. It's certainly gone up in my estimation, because the restoration has made it easier to watch - the BBC video was quite murky at times and it seemed slow. The DVD is exactly the same material but given a spruce up and the difference is marked.

So, that's that done and I'll be starting the cousins tomorrow. 1984 first and then X the Unknown.
"It's basically a cure... for not being an axe-wielding homicidal maniac... the potential market's enormous!"

"Please dial *617 at this time"

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From 2018:

An article on THE PIT at 60.....


http://wearecult.rocks/quatermass-and-the-pit-at-60


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Mark Kermode on Hammer's PIT....


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HANCOCK'S HALF HOUR: The Horror Serial (1959)

Episode aired 30 January 1959

(The final episode of QUATERMASS AND THE PIT had aired 26 January 1959)


I know he never officially joined Mondas, but Tony Hancock has just finished watching part 6 of QUATERMASS AND THE PIT:

(The surviving audio of a lost HANCOCK tv episode)


PLOT:

Tony, terrified after watching the last episode of "Quatermass and the Pit", discovers a mysterious object whilst digging in his garden and fears it is a Martian capsule.







There is currently no known copy of this edition in existence, although an off-air soundtrack recording was returned to the BBC by a private collector in 2008.



Image


Photo 1:

https://scontent.fgba1-1.fna.fbcdn.net/ ... e=5EED57F1


Photo 2:

https://artsdocbox.com/docs-images/82/8 ... es/7-0.jpg

Photo 3:

https://artsdocbox.com/docs-images/82/8 ... es/5-0.jpg


Further detailed background on this episode can be found here.....

http://www.tonyhancock.org.uk/uploads/d ... elease.pdf


See also.....

Tony Hancock Thead:

viewtopic.php?f=63&t=6642

.
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THE GOON SHOW: The Scarlet Capsule (1959)


Then, only a few days after the Hancock episode, the Goon Show broadcast it's own reaction to the conclusion of THE PIT......


Image


Series 9, episode 14

Recorded: ; First broadcast: 2 Feb 1959



Professor Ned Quatermass unravels a mystery around some enigmatic blue serge suits. Stars Spike Milligan. From February 1959.






Image


Two separate transcripts of the episode......


http://www.dabdig.co.uk/goons/scripts/T ... apsule.htm

http://www.thegoonshow.net/scripts_show ... ermass_obe

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Just finished watching Episodes 3-6 of QUATERMASS II.

https://archive.org/details/Quatermass_ ... _3of6_1955

https://archive.org/details/Quatermass_ ... _4of6_1955

https://archive.org/details/Quatermass_ ... _5of6_1955

https://archive.org/details/Quatermass_ ... _6of6_1955

I agree with everyone else that the final episode is the weakest of the lot.

The rocket going into space bits are clunky and felt like the Bruce Willis film ARMAGEDDON done with only two actors and a five shilling note. Also felt reminded of later WHO's like WHEEL, TENTH PLANET, SEEDS OF DEATH, SPACE PIRATES and so forth.

As for the preceding serial, all the bits that stood out in the Donlevy movie were there, but done far less effectively.

I don't remember a family getting shot in the movie, but thought that worked well in the tv version.

However, the bits that stood out in the Hammer one for me were Donlevy looking into that window and seeing the creature with James Bernard's music and the eerie lighting on Donlevy's gas mask doing the rest. And then that horrifying shriek of the guy who has fallen into the slime and his tortuous journey down the stairway. Also the way the "human pulp" in the pipes was put over in the Hammer version just worked far better and more disturbingly than the tv moments imo.

And I loved the creatures breaking out and stomping around at the end of the movie, which was entirely absent here. I thought that those towering creatures in the night sky were the stuff of nightmares. And I couldn't believe that the domes strand of the story was done and dusted by the end of episode 5, with all this rocket malarkey that Hammer wisely excised when they came to do their version.

So, for me, this is the weakest serial and - after the damp squib of episode 6 - am almost surprised that the BBC commissioned a third serial. :? But the five episodes before it were good enough - although I do think the Hammer film topped them.

Am trying to work my way chronologically, so for me up next is "X THE UNKNOWN". Then QUATERMASS II film version.
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Finished off Quatermass and the Pit. No let up or dip in quality with this one. A real tour de force from André Morell and Cec Linder. Hard to find fault with any of it.
The Wooksta! wrote:Watch out for a young Professor Kettlewell in episode 5.
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I’ve finished Quatermass and the Pit too.

Excellent from start to finish.

I watched the film version too. Not bad and you’d be satisfied if you hadn’t seen the original.
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The film version of The Pit was my first exposure to Quatermass. As good as it i, it's not a patch on the BBC one.

The film of Quatermass II was written by Nigel Kneale and Anthony Hinds. No, the family doesn't get shot in the film but the recovery truck that pulls their car in (containing their bodies) when Quatermass and Fowler escape the plant in the TV version does exactly the same thing in the film version when Quatermass escapes in the Rolls.
"It's basically a cure... for not being an axe-wielding homicidal maniac... the potential market's enormous!"

"Please dial *617 at this time"

"We're the Sweeney, son, and we haven't had any dinner!"

"Don't be told what you want. Don't be told what you need." - John Lydon
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Watched the first film this morning and it's better than I remembered it. It's a lot slicker than the BBC version, but that's to be expected. Donlevy, however, is still terrible, growling and shouting his way through the film with all the subtlety of a skipload of bricks hurtling through a window. Top marks to Thora Hird as a dunken bag lady. And we get Dixon of Dock Green too. Pity he didn't come back for the second one, but the guy who replaced him there is near pitch perfect anyway. The guy who was playing Briscoe here is pretty good too, although I quite liked the same character in the BBC version. Thankfully, the tedious love triangle nonsense is stripped out here. And Lionel Jeffries as a man from the Ministry?

As Cygnus said earlier, Wordsworth is superb as the tortured and doomed Victor Caroon. Clearly his humanity hadn't left him as he was about to strike his wife but instead ran and then the child an her doll get in the way, but he only struck the doll before running.

Yes, the final monster was sh*t-looking, not a patch on the monster in the photos of the BBC version, but we get Gordon Jackson being scared of it.

Having watched both films, there are bits which I remembered but for some reason attributed to the TV serials - the film of the mission inside the rocket in Xperiment and the Announcer over the tannoy collapsing into burblespeak as the oxygen takes effect on the aliens in QII. The film inside the rocket is very effective and the suits are a far cry from those of the BBC serial.

For some reason I can't locate my doovde of X the Unknown. So I'll be off to the Ministry of Love tomorrow instead.

Highly entertaining in it's own right and it's a decent enough film if you're unaware of the BBC serials.

Still prefer the second one though.
"It's basically a cure... for not being an axe-wielding homicidal maniac... the potential market's enormous!"

"Please dial *617 at this time"

"We're the Sweeney, son, and we haven't had any dinner!"

"Don't be told what you want. Don't be told what you need." - John Lydon
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Just watched X: THE UNKNOWN.

I guess - with some tweaking - the script could have made a standard Pertwee/UNIT story. ("The one with the mud.")

I did take a copy of the novelisation out of the library a couple of times, with the intention of reading it, but could never make any headway with it either time. The story had been updated into modern day, which seemed to me a bit pointless. Mind you, they (Hammer) had done other modern day updates of other films (Vampire Circus and Countess Dracula for a start, the latter now being set in Hollywood of the 1930's) in this series of books which seem to have fizzled out now.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/131 ... he-unknown

Image


As to the film, it was an enjoyable enough romp.

Nice WHO crossover too - and further proof both that Jamie McCrimmon survived his return to the Highlands and that's it's all set in the same universe - when one of Jamie's descendants pops up at one point, again played by Fraser Hines. :)

Doctor Royston doesn't really make much of an impact imo and is just sorta.... there. There was a moment where he gets a lecture from someone about "I recognise your name. You're a scientist!" and I imagined Donlevy being on the receiving end of the rant.

I think the problem with the film is the title monster. At the end of the day it's just... mud. I don't think it's easy to make mud all that scary.

On the one hand I could see why Kneale declined to allow this to be a QUATERMASS adventure. But on the other maybe he should have just thought "What the Hell!", let them use the name - and took the paycheck?

It's okay.
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It would fit into Who quite easily, possibly Season 7. It's a pity Victor Pemberton didn't resubmit The Slide as a Pertwee as it would have fitted right in.

After I've watched '1984' - my doovde of "X the Unknown" having vanished - I'll dust off "The Slide" cd and give it another listen, if only for Roger Delgado.
"It's basically a cure... for not being an axe-wielding homicidal maniac... the potential market's enormous!"

"Please dial *617 at this time"

"We're the Sweeney, son, and we haven't had any dinner!"

"Don't be told what you want. Don't be told what you need." - John Lydon
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Just finished QUATERMASS 2 (film version).

I much preferred it to the tv version in pretty much every area - and would even suggest that someone had improved Kneale's writing with a bit of harsh editing. That awful final episode with the trip into space is lopped off and William Franklin gets a final scene that he plays for all it's worth.

Donlevy still a solid presence. It seems that nobody ever listens to his warnings and advice until it's too late, but I still like his determination as the character as he ploughs on in the face of setbacks and adversity.

It occurred to me watching that there simply has to be an alternative universe somewhere where Roger Delgado was a saucy mainstay of the Carry On films, while Sid James became the definitive Master. :?

The moments that have always stayed with me were still there on rewatching - and imo done so much better in this movie than the tv originals: Quatermass looking through the window at the thing in the tank, the "pulp" in the pipe - along with those screams - and the final coral-Krynoid things stomping about.

I did read that Donlevy had the embarrassment of his toupee blowing off when the wind machines were blowing at the end of the film.

Next up, the tv version of THE PIT.
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Cygnus Prime wrote:Just finished QUATERMASS 2 (film version).
It occurred to me watching that there simply has to be an alternative universe somewhere where Roger Delgado was a saucy mainstay of the Carry On films, while Sid James became the definitive Master. :?
There is an alternate universe where Delgado becomes the third Doctor...
https://www.alternatehistory.com/forum/ ... ry.484784/
"It's basically a cure... for not being an axe-wielding homicidal maniac... the potential market's enormous!"

"Please dial *617 at this time"

"We're the Sweeney, son, and we haven't had any dinner!"

"Don't be told what you want. Don't be told what you need." - John Lydon
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shuzbot wrote:I have been watching the first Hammer Horror film. Don Levy is dressed and acts more like a police man or detective, and he says so.ething quite unQuatermass-like at one point, though I forget what it was.

One of the main differences between this and the BBC one was the Kneale original had the monster commit suicide. That's more pogniant and I keeping with the tone of Quatermass, to me.

Q2 next up. The series then the film.

Never seen X the creeping Unknown, will try and do that too
X the Unknown's a belter. Watch out for a very small Frazer Hines! :)
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