TV Cream

Films: Q is for...

Quatermass and the Pit

It may be frowned upon by devotees of the original, brilliantly claustrophobic ten-bob BBC productions of Nigel Kneale’s phone book-monickered prof, but we rate this Hammerisation of arguably the strongest entry in the Quates canon. Let out of the murky black and white domain into pin-sharp Technicolour, the design department does (for the most part) sterling work in creating the tube station excavations and decaying Martian beetles, and if anything the story’s cracking pace is lifted by compressing it into ninety minutes. Maybe the ending overreaches itself, but in the many set pieces – the first “disturbances” on site, Quates’ battles with the dismissive army, the churchyard haunting – it’s textbook old school creepy sci-fi.

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