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One of British television’s earliest science-fiction heroes, Professor Bernard Quatermass was a pioneering scientist working for the British Rocket Group, designing rocket ships and moon-bases and investigating strange encounters with alien invaders. Stories were both dramatic and terrifying, and events usually escalated to apocalyptic, humanity-threatening proportions, guaranteeing that the viewing public of the time were glued to their murky television screens during each episode, gasping at the horrors on show…

Quatermass’ adventures were all written by Nigel Kneale, one of the most compelling and influential film writers to come out of England in the 1950s, and who would later write many highly-praised plays including ‘The Year of the Sex Olympics’, ‘The Road’ and ‘The Stone Tape’. Curiously, a different actor played Quatermass each time; originally the character was portrayed by Reginald Tate in ‘Quatermass Experiment’; however, Tate died shortly before the transmission of ‘Quatermass II’, and was replaced by John Robinson, who had to make do with cue cards for his lines in the early episodes. The third series, ‘Quatermass and the Pit’, starred André Morell, and is certainly the best and most well-known, managing to deliver some quite chilling moments.

These three serials were made during the pioneering days of the BBC, and despite being transmitted live, conveyed a genuine atmosphere of tension and terror; of particular note are the special effects created by Jack Kline and Bernard Wilkie, who could conjure up a hideous monster by using a rubber glove covered in foliage, and explode a huge refinery by blowing up a model full of milk in a fish-tank.

Plans for a fourth story called ‘Quatermass 4’ never got further than some model shots. But the three existing television stories were subsequently adapted into movies by Hammer Films; this time Brian Donlevy played the title role in both ‘The Quatermass Experiment’ and ‘Quatermass 2’ in the 50s, while Andrew Keir later took over the part for ‘Quatermass and the Pit’ in 1967.

Then, twelve years later, Quatermass reappeared on ITV, starring John Mills in a very bleak storyline that dealt once more with an alien threat to mankind. Despite the fatal ending for our hero, Quatermass was then resurrected in 1996 for BBC Radio Three, once more in the guise of Andrew Keir.

In April 2005, BBC Four broadcasted a new, live, production of 'The Quatermass Experiment' as part of its 'TV On Trial' season.

Professor Quatermass holds an important place in science fiction history - it's good to know that we haven’t heard the last of him after all…

Quatermass - Television
Quatermass - Movies
Quatermass - Radio

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Legal Bit: The first three 'Quatermass' stories and the radio series are registered trademarks of BBC Worldwide, and the 'Quatermass' logos and all images from these television and radio series are copyright the BBC; the fourth television 'Quatermass' story is a registered trademark of Euston Films, and logos and images are copyright Euston Films; the 'Quatermass' movies are registered trademarks of Hammer Films, and logos and images are copyright Hammer Films; ; music is copyright the original composers and producers; no copyright infringement is intended. All specially created images and text are copyright © Clive Banks; please do not use these without my permission. All rights reserved. No profit is made from this website, and any revenue made from using the banner-links featured goes straight back into the costs of maintaining it, which comes out of my own pocket in the first place. No profit advertising is accepted. This website was created purely to entertain and amuse, and any references to persons living, dead, comatose, in suspended animation, not born yet, or a figment of someone's imagination is purely coincidental. All opinions expressed are my own, so there...

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