Wednesday, March 18, 2015

recent viewing; Quatermass and the Pit (original t.v. serial)

Caught up on my Quatermass television history and finally watched Quatermass and the Pit.

It is a thrilling scifi tale with solid horror edge. At an archaeological dig, human "missing link" skulls are found, soon after the remains of a spaceship are found, and it is five million years old. The ship itself begins to exert an influence on people, and Quatermass soon learns that Hob's Lane has long been the center of "hauntings" anytime there has been a disturbance in the area. Quatermass butts heads with the military colonel on site, who insists the spaceship must be a German bomb from WWII, and refuses to change his view. Eventually the ship hull is breached, and the alien pilots are revealed. Quatermass soon believes the aliens are ancient Martians, who came to collect early man, experiment on them, and release them back on Earth. And their malevolent influence is still tangible.

As far as the actors who played Quatermass on television, I have to go with Andre Morell. He infused the presence and the humanity needed.

If you've seen the Hammer movie adaptation with Andrew Keir, they are very similar. Mostly, a newsreporter subplot from the television serial was dropped to tighten up the length. Everything else is in there.

This was definitely my favorite of the first three original television serials. It is worth watching, especially for its history if you enjoyed the Hammer adaptation.

(p.s. - the writer/creator of Quatermass, Nigel Keane, is the subject of a book coming later this year, We Are The Martians.)


  1. I wonder if this was an influence on Stephen King's The Tommyknockers. Sounds similar.

    1. I don't know if King ever officially stated that but I've seen that opinion elsewhere. He wouldn't have seen the t.v. serial but he probably saw the Hammer movie at some point.