The Quatermass Experiment - Netflix

"The Quatermass Experiment" is a British science-fiction serial broadcast by BBC Television during the summer of 1953 and re-staged by BBC Four in 2005.

Set in the near future against the background of a British space programme, it tells the story of the first manned flight into space, supervised by Professor Bernard Quatermass of the British Experimental Rocket Group. When the spaceship that carried the first successful crew returns to Earth, two of the three astronauts are missing, and the third is behaving strangely. It becomes apparent that an alien presence entered the ship during its flight, and Quatermass and his associates must prevent the alien from destroying the world.

The Quatermass Experiment - Netflix

Type: Scripted

Languages: English

Status: Ended

Runtime: 30 minutes

Premier: 1953-07-18

The Quatermass Experiment - Quatermass and the Pit - Netflix

Quatermass and the Pit is a British television science-fiction serial transmitted live by BBC Television in December 1958 and January 1959. It was the third and last of the BBC's Quatermass serials, although the chief character, Professor Bernard Quatermass, reappeared in a 1979 ITV production called Quatermass. Like its predecessors, Quatermass and the Pit was written by Nigel Kneale. The serial continues the loose chronology of the Quatermass adventures. Workmen excavating a site in Knightsbridge, London, discover a strange skull and what at first appears to be an unexploded bomb. Quatermass and his newly appointed military superior at the British Experimental Rocket Group, Colonel Breen, become involved in the investigation when it becomes apparent that the object is an alien spacecraft. The ship and its contents have a powerful and malign influence over many of those who come in contact with it, including Quatermass. It becomes obvious to him that the aliens, probably from Mars, had been abducting pre-humans and modifying them to give them psychic abilities much like their own before returning them to Earth, a genetic legacy responsible for much of the war and strife in the world. The serial has been cited as having influenced Stephen King and the film director John Carpenter. It featured in the 100 Greatest British Television Programmes compiled by the British Film Institute in 2000, which described it as “completely gripping”.

The Quatermass Experiment - Influence - Netflix

In a 2006 Guardian article Mark Gatiss wrote “What sci-fi piece of the past 50 years doesn't owe Kneale a huge debt? ... The 'ancient invasion' of Quatermass and the Pit cast a huge shadow ... its brilliant blending of superstition, witchcraft and ghosts into the story of a five-million-year-old Martian invasion is copper-bottomed genius.” Gatiss was a scriptwriter for Doctor Who, a programme that had been particularly strongly influenced by the Quatermass serials throughout its history. Derrick Sherwin, the producer of Doctor Who in 1969, acknowledged Quatermass and the Pit's influence on the programme's move towards more realism and away from “wobbly jellies in outer space”. The 1971 and 1977 Doctor Who serials The Dæmons and Image of the Fendahl share many elements with Quatermass and the Pit: the unearthing of an extraterrestrial spaceship, an alien race that has interfered with human evolution and is the basis for legends of devils, demons and witchcraft, and an alien influence over human evolution. The writer and critic Kim Newman, speaking about Kneale's career in a 2003 television documentary, cited Quatermass and the Pit as perfecting “the notion of the science-fictional detective story”. Newman also discussed the programme as an influence on the horror fiction writer Stephen King, claiming that King had “more or less rewritten Quatermass and the Pit in The Tommyknockers”. After Quatermass and the Pit Kneale felt that it was time to rest the character. By the early 1970s he had decided there were new avenues to explore, and the BBC planned a fourth Quatermass serial in 1972. The BBC did not proceed with the project, and Kneale's scripts were produced in 1979 as a four-part serial for Thames Television titled Quatermass.

The Quatermass Experiment - References - Netflix