Monday, 22 August 2016

The Quatermass Experiment (1953)

Broadcast live, four years before the launch of Sputnik 1, eight years before Gagarin orbited the earth and fifteen years before Armstrong and company landed on the moon, The Quatermass Experiment was the television serial which kindled our fascination with the extraterrestrial.

Nigel Kneale's script really captures post-war pioneering science, cold war fear and cosmic horror but grounds it all with large doses of humanity. Reginald Tate is perfect as the scientific evangelist, Professor Bernard Quatermass and there's some great studio-based set design. The programme is pretty tense in a knob-twiddling, oscilloscope-wobbling kind of way and contains an almost Lovecraftian fear of the unknown.

Unfortunately, only the first two episodes survive and it's extremely unlikely that any recordings will ever be found of the missing four episodes.

Jolly good fun, chaps!

Letterboxd Review

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