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Encyclopedia > Quatermass II
The opening title sequence of Quatermass II.
The opening title sequence of Quatermass II.

Quatermass II is a British television science-fiction serial, the second in the popular and influential Quatermass series written by Nigel Kneale. It was first transmitted on BBC Television in the autumn of 1955, and is the first of the Quatermass serials to survive in its entirety in the BBC archives. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1024x768, 39 KB)Screen grab from Quatermass II, uploaded to illustrate that article. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1024x768, 39 KB)Screen grab from Quatermass II, uploaded to illustrate that article. ... A broadcast of the long-running and popular British science-fiction series Doctor Who. ... Serial is a term, originating in literature, for a format by which a story is told in contiguous installments in sequential issues of a single periodical publication. ... Professor Bernard Quatermass is a fictional character, created by the writer Nigel Kneale originally for BBC Television, who appeared in three influential BBC science fiction serials of the 1950s, and made his swansong in a final serial for Thames Television in 1979. ... Nigel Kneale (born Thomas Nigel Kneale on April 18, 1922 in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, England, UK) is a Manx television and film scriptwriter, who has worked mostly in the UK. He is best known for his creation of the character of Professor Bernard Quatermass, who has appeared in three... BBC One (or BBC1 as it was formerly styled) is the oldest television station in the world. ... 1955 (MCMLV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ...

Contents


Background

The first serial in the series, The Quatermass Experiment, had been an extremely popular and critically well-received hit for the BBC in the summer of 1953, and the Corporation were very keen for a sequel. 1955 was an important year for them as it saw the breaking of their broadcasting monopoly in the UK with the launch of the rival ITV television network, so they were determined to counter the new channel's arrival with as many popular shows as possible. The Quatermass Experiment is a British television science-fiction serial, transmitted by BBC Television in the summer of 1953. ... 1953 (MCMLIII) is a common year starting on Thursday. ... 1955 (MCMLV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Independent Television (ITV) is the name given to the original network of British commercial television broadcasters, set up to provide competition to the BBC. In England and Wales the channel was recently rebranded ITV1 by ITV plc who own the regional broadcasting licences for the regions. ...


Thus Quatermass II was commissioned from writer Nigel Kneale, who since the previous serial had seen huge success with productions such as Nineteen Eighty-Four and The Creature for the BBC. Both of these were directed by Rudolph Cartier, who had directed The Quatermass Experiment and teamed up once again with Kneale to direct this serial. Peter Cushing played Winston Smith while Donald Pleasence played Syme. ... Rudolph Cartier (born Rudolph Katscher on April 17, 1904 in Vienna, Austria-Hungary; died June 8, 1994 in London, England, UK) was an Austrian television director, who worked almost exclusively in British television for the BBC. Cartier initially trained as an architect, but an enthusiasm for drama and the theatre...

As was usual at the time, Quatermass II was transmitted live from the BBC's Lime Grove Studios, with a certain amount of material pre-filmed on location and played into the live broadcasts as and when required. The serial was broadcast in six half-hour episodes on Saturday evenings from October 22 to November 26, 1955. Episodes one, two, four, five and six (The Bolts, The Mark, The Coming, The Frenzy and The Destroyers) were all scheduled from 8.00-8.30pm, with episode three (The Food) scheduled from 9.15-9.45pm. As with the previous serial, the live nature of the production meant that most of the episodes overran slightly, although none by more than two minutes. In a new development, each of the episodes was successfully telerecorded onto 35mm film as they were broadcast in order for them to be repeated the Monday following transmission, with all of the repeats scheduled in a 10.15-10.45pm slot that night. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1024x768, 49 KB)Screen grab from Quatermass II, uploaded to illustrate that article. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1024x768, 49 KB)Screen grab from Quatermass II, uploaded to illustrate that article. ... John Robinson (born November 11, 1908 in Liverpool, England, UK; died March 6, 1979 in London, England, UK) was a British actor. ... Professor Bernard Quatermass is a fictional character, created by the writer Nigel Kneale originally for BBC Television, who appeared in three influential BBC science fiction serials of the 1950s, and made his swansong in a final serial for Thames Television in 1979. ... Lime Grove Studios was a film studio complex built by the Gaumont Film Company in 1915 situated in a street named Lime Grove, near Hammersmith, west London and described by Gaumont as the finest studio in Great Britain and the first building ever put up in this country solely for... October 22 is the 295th day of the year (296th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 70 days remaining. ... November 26 is the 330th day (331st on leap years) of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1955 (MCMLV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Telerecording (known as kinescoping in the USA) is the British name for a process pioneered during the 1940s for the storing of electronically-shot television programmes on film, which was used for the preservation, re-broadcasting and sale of television programmes before the use of commercial broadcast-quality videotape became... Simulated 35 mm film with soundtracks _ The outermost strips (on either side) contain the SDDS soundtrack as an image of a digital signal. ...


It should be noted that although the telerecordings mostly represent the programmes as originally broadcast, a handful of scenes were in fact re-shot and edited into the films for repeat broadcasts, possibly because the technical or acting quality of the original scenes was considered inferior. This explains how the actors sometimes appear to change studios more quickly than would be possible in a live broadcast.


These telerecordings survive complete in the BBC archives, and episode three was repeated on Bank Holiday Monday, August 26, 1991, as part of The Lime Grove Story on BBC 2. This was a full day of programming celebrating the history of the Lime Grove Studios, which had closed a month before and would be demolished two years later. For many years the full serial, was not repeated or commercially released on VHS or DVD: it was believed that this is because Nigel Kneale did not wish it to be released. But in April 2005 the serial was released for the first time as part of a DVD compilation; see Film, sequels and DVD below. A Bank Holiday is a public holiday in the United Kingdom and also in the Republic of Ireland. ... August 26 is the 238th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (239th in leap years). ... 1991 (MCMXCI) is a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... BBC Two (or BBC2 as it was formerly styled) was the second UK television station to be aired by the BBC. // History The channel was scheduled to begin at 7:20 pm on April 20, 1964 and show an evening of light entertainment, starting with the comedy show The Alberts... Lime Grove Studios was a film studio complex built by the Gaumont Film Company in 1915 situated in a street named Lime Grove, near Hammersmith, west London and described by Gaumont as the finest studio in Great Britain and the first building ever put up in this country solely for... Top view VHS cassette with U.S. Quarter for scale Bottom view of VHS cassette with magnetic tape exposed The Video Home System, first released in 1976, better known by its acronym VHS, is a recording and playing standard for video cassette recorders (VCRs), developed by JVC (with some of... DVD-R writing/reading side, based on Photo DVD.jpg. ... Nigel Kneale (born Thomas Nigel Kneale on April 18, 1922 in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, England, UK) is a Manx television and film scriptwriter, who has worked mostly in the UK. He is best known for his creation of the character of Professor Bernard Quatermass, who has appeared in three... April is the fourth month of the year in the Gregorian Calendar and one of four with the length of 30 days. ... 2005 (MMV) is a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Plot

Derek Aylward as the unfortunate Ward, killed by the alien menace at Winnerden Flats.
Derek Aylward as the unfortunate Ward, killed by the alien menace at Winnerden Flats.

Following the events of The Quatermass Experiment, Professor Bernard Quatermass is now working on a powerful new rocket, as well as a project to establish permanent bases on the moon. However, all is not well on Earth: strange objects are falling from the sky and many senior governmental figures are behaving oddly. One of these strange objects is brought to Quatermass at his lab by Captain John Dillon, the fiancé of Quatermass's niece Paula. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1024x768, 46 KB)Screen grab from Quatermass II, uploaded to illustrate that article. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1024x768, 46 KB)Screen grab from Quatermass II, uploaded to illustrate that article. ...


The Professor's suspicions are aroused and he travels to Winnerden Flats, which seems to be the centre of the occurrences. There he finds a huge synthetic food plant which he is shocked to realise is an exact replica of one of his proposed moon bases. When Dillon also becomes infected by 'the mark' and begins opposing Quatermass, he faces a race against time to discover the cause of the alien infection and a way to combat it.


He finds that figures to the highest levels of power in Britain have been marked, and with little time left to prevent a catastrophe, he and his assistant Dr Leo Pugh are forced to use Quatermass's experimental rocket and attempt to fight the alien menace in space.


Cast & Crew

The role of Quatermass was originally to have been played by its originator, actor Reginald Tate, but sadly Tate died only shortly before production was due to begin. He was replaced at short notice by John Robinson, who was an experienced actor and veteran of many small and character parts in a variety of films and television programmes. His performance is somewhat more detached and officious than Tate's, and he is often regarded as the weakest of the five actors to have played the part on television. Reginald Tate (December 13, 1896 – August 23, 1955) was a British actor, veteran of many roles in film and on television. ... John Robinson (born November 11, 1908 in Liverpool, England, UK; died March 6, 1979 in London, England, UK) was a British actor. ...

Quatermass discovers the alien creature.
Quatermass discovers the alien creature.

There were no other characters re-appearing from the first serial aside from Quatermass himself, although the character of Lomax may have been intended to feature, as Quatermass attempts to seek the policeman's help during the serial and is told he no longer works at Scotland Yard. Thus another similar character is used instead, probably as the original actor who played Lomax, Ian Colin, was unavailable. This is supported by the fact that the character does re-appear in the feature film version, which was scripted by Kneale. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1024x768, 40 KB)Screen grab from Quatermass II, uploaded to illustrate that article. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1024x768, 40 KB)Screen grab from Quatermass II, uploaded to illustrate that article. ... New Scotland Yard, London New Scotland Yard, often referred to simply as Scotland Yard or The Yard, is the headquarters of the Metropolitan Police Service, responsible for policing Greater London (although not the City of London itself). ... Categories: 1957 films | Films based on television series | Movie stubs | Science fiction films ...


Three actors who would later go on to become extremely familiar faces on British television feature in small roles in the serial: Roger Delgado, who found fame in the 1970s as the Master in Doctor Who, played a journalist who helps Quatermass before falling victim to 'the mark' (in episode 4); Wilfrid Brambell, later star of Steptoe and Son and The Beatles' movie A Hard Day's Night appeared as a tramp, and Melvyn Hayes, who here plays the small part of Frankie, became one of the stars of the hugely popular 1970s sitcom It Ain't Half Hot Mum. Roger Delgado as the Master in Doctor Who. ... The 1970s in its most obvious sense refers to the decade between 1970 and 1979. ... The Master is a supporting fictional character in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. ... Main article: History of Doctor Who Doctor Who first appeared on BBC television at 5:15 p. ... Wilfrid Brambell (March 22, 1912 - January 18, 1985) was an Irish film and television actor, born in Dublin, best known for his roles in the British television series Steptoe and Son and The Beatles film A Hard Days Night. ... Steptoe and Son was a British sitcom written by Ray Galton and Alan Simpson about two rag and bone men living in Oil Drum Lane, a fictional street in Shepherds Bush, London. ... The Beatles were a British rock/pop group from Liverpool, England. ... The film A Hard Days Night (1964) is a mockumentary written by Alun Owen and starring The Beatles during the height of Beatlemania. ... Melvyn Hayes is an English actor, born 11 January 1935. ... The 1970s in its most obvious sense refers to the decade between 1970 and 1979. ... A sitcom or situation comedy is a genre of comedy performance originally devised for radio but today typically found on television. ... It Aint Half Hot Mum was a 1970s British sitcom, set in India during the Second World War. ...


As with all of the three 1950s Quatermass serials, Quatermass II was directed by Rudolph Cartier, the BBC's most esteemed director of the day, who worked with the writer Nigel Kneale on a variety of successful programmes during the decade. These included literary adaptations such as Wuthering Heights and Nineteen Eighty-Four and other original written for television pieces such as The Creature. // Events and trends This map shows two essential global spheres during the Cold War in 1959. ... Rudolph Cartier (born Rudolph Katscher on April 17, 1904 in Vienna, Austria-Hungary; died June 8, 1994 in London, England, UK) was an Austrian television director, who worked almost exclusively in British television for the BBC. Cartier initially trained as an architect, but an enthusiasm for drama and the theatre... Nigel Kneale (born Thomas Nigel Kneale on April 18, 1922 in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, England, UK) is a Manx television and film scriptwriter, who has worked mostly in the UK. He is best known for his creation of the character of Professor Bernard Quatermass, who has appeared in three... Wuthering Heights is Emily Brontës only novel. ... Peter Cushing played Winston Smith while Donald Pleasence played Syme. ...


Film, sequels and DVD

As before, the film rights to Quatermass II were bought by Hammer Films, who released the feature film version Quatermass 2 in 1957. The film again starred Brian Donlevy and was directed by Val Guest. In America, it went under the title Enemy From Space. Hammer horror refers to horror films produced in the late 1950s through the 1970s by the British film studio Hammer Films. ... Categories: 1957 films | Films based on television series | Movie stubs | Science fiction films ... 1957 (MCMLVII) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Donlevy (right) with costar Ella Raines in Impact (1950) Brian Donlevy (born Waldo Bruce Donlevy on February 9, 1901 in Cleveland, Ohio, USA; died April 6, 1972 in Woodland Hills, California, USA) was an American actor, known for many film roles from the 1930s through to the 1960s. ... Val Guest (born December 11, 1911) is a British film director, best known for his science-fiction films for the Hammer company in the 1950s, but who also enjoyed a long, varied and active career in the film industry from the early 1930s up until the early 1980s. ... ...


It was to be three years before the Professor returned to action again, when the third serial Quatermass and the Pit began showing on the BBC. After that there would be a twenty-year break on television before he returned in a final serial, this time for Thames Television and transmitted on ITV, in 1979. Simply titled Quatermass, the character was played then by John Mills. The opening titles of Quatermass and the Pit. ... The classic Thames Television logo (1969 - 1989), featuring a geographically incorrect montage of London landmarks. ... Independent Television (ITV) is the name given to the original network of British commercial television broadcasters, set up to provide competition to the BBC. In England and Wales the channel was recently rebranded ITV1 by ITV plc who own the regional broadcasting licences for the regions. ... This page refers to the year 1979. ... The cover of the 2002 UK DVD release of the serial. ... John Mills as Professor Bernard Quatermass in the Thames Television science-fiction serial Quatermass (1979). ...


The television scripts for Quatermass II were released as a book by Penguin Books in 1959, with a selection of stills from the production also included. The book was re-released in 1979 to tie-in with the transmission of the final Quatermass serial on ITV. Penguin Books is a British publisher founded in 1935 by Allen Lane. ... 1959 (MCMLIX) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... This page refers to the year 1979. ... Independent Television (ITV) is the name given to the original network of British commercial television broadcasters, set up to provide competition to the BBC. In England and Wales the channel was recently rebranded ITV1 by ITV plc who own the regional broadcasting licences for the regions. ...


In April 2005, BBC Worldwide released a boxed set of all their existing Quatermass material on DVD, containing digitally restored versions of all six episodes of Quatermass II, as well as the two existing episodes of The Quatermass Experiment and all of Quatermass and the Pit, along with various extra material. 2005 (MMV) is a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... BBC Worldwide Limited is the wholly-owned commercial subsidiary of the British Broadcasting Corporation, formed out of a restructuring of its predecessor BBC Enterprises in 1995. ... DVD-R writing/reading side, based on Photo DVD.jpg. ... The Quatermass Experiment is a British television science-fiction serial, transmitted by BBC Television in the summer of 1953. ... The opening titles of Quatermass and the Pit. ...


The 1970 Doctor Who serial Spearhead from Space by Robert Holmes contains elements inspired by the plot of Quatermass II, including meteorites bringing aliens to Earth, invasion by imitation and stealth, and a creature growing in a tank. Supporting evidence comes from the programme's script-editor, Terrance Dicks, who has often quoted Doctor Who writer Malcolm Hulke as having said, "A good television script requires just one good idea. It doesn't necessarily have to be your idea." Nigel Kneale has often had scathing words about Doctor Who, and has been known in interviews been known to accuse of having copied storylines from his Quatermass serials. 1970 (MCMLXX) was a common year starting on Thursday. ... Main article: History of Doctor Who Doctor Who first appeared on BBC television at 5:15 p. ... Spearhead from Space is a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast in four weekly parts from January 3 to January 24, 1970. ... This entry is about the television scriptwriter. ... Terrance Dicks Terrance Dicks (born 1935 in East Ham, London, England, UK) is a British writer, best known for his work in television and for writing a large number of popular childrens books during the 1970s and 80s. ... Malcolm Hulke (died July 6, 1979) was a British television writer, notable for his work on the science fiction series Doctor Who. ...


External links

  • The Quatermass Home Page - Fan Site
  • IMDb entry
  • BBC site - I Love Quatermass

  Results from FactBites:
 
Quatermass II - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1448 words)
Quatermass II is a British television science-fiction serial, the second in the popular and influential Quatermass series written by Nigel Kneale.
As was usual at the time, Quatermass II was transmitted live from the BBC's Lime Grove Studios, with a certain amount of material pre-filmed on location and played into the live broadcasts as and when required.
As with all of the three 1950s Quatermass serials, Quatermass II was directed by Rudolph Cartier, the BBC's most esteemed director of the day, who worked with the writer Nigel Kneale on a variety of successful programmes during the decade.
Quatermass and the Pit: Information from Answers.com (3508 words)
Quatermass and the Pit is a British television science-fiction serial, the third of four in the famous Quatermass series by writer Nigel Kneale.
Quatermass and the Pit built on the already popular status of the Quatermass character and created a story that enthralled much of the television-watching public: for many years it was stated that the final episode famously "emptied the pubs" as enthusiastic viewers rushed home to watch.
Quatermass himself almost succumbs to the mass psychosis, attempting to kill Roney, who does not have the alien gene and is immune to the alien influence.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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