TV Cream

TV: Q is for...


The scariest bit of cardboard on television "Shut up, Andre!"

THE ESCAPDES of NIGEL “KINVIG” KNEALE’S phone-book-named uber-scientist. First series, THE QUATERMASS EXPERIMENT, found REGINALD TATE prodding and pacing about a Government Laboratory predicting the worst before having to clean up after a mutant space-plant ravaged the greater part of Westminster. Next came the boringly-named QUATERMASS II, with the lowsy JOHN ROBINSON reading his lines off cue cards inbetween fighting a deadly mind-monster infecting the brains of yokels near a power plant in Surrey. Then came the best ever effort: QUATERMASS AND THE PIT, with the superb ANDRE MORELL facing an invasion of the world that had taken root in people’s minds millions of years earlier and was triggered by the excavation of a ship full of giant crickets. Finally, Thames coaxed Kneale to pen one final fling for JOHN MILLS, only to come up with a dreadful pseudo-hippy yarn involving flower children, white chalk clouds invading Wembley stadium, talking stones, old biddies living in cars, SIMON MACCORKINDALE and an atomic bomb. The latter of which blew everyone, including the Prof, to bits.

John does his best Shaw Taylor Look out - chalk dust! And hippies!


  1. harry fielder

    July 15, 2009 at 8:37 pm

    I spent most of my life in films and tv as an extra….I now tell my story on my web..

    QUATERMASS AND THE PIT…Director…Roy Ward Baker…MGM Studios
    My first horror film.. I was to work with this director many more times.
    Cast Inc…James Donald…Barbara Shelley… .

    Leah has just sent me this picture from the film.1967.

    All we had to do was walk around the tube station as if we were Zombies..

    My wife said ”No change there then”


  2. paulus - Bangkok

    July 16, 2009 at 3:57 pm

    QUATERMASS AND THE PIT – It was one of those rare priveledges to be allowed to stay up late and watch this on the beeb (many moons ago). A mistake to my under 10 year old psyche. I nearly sh*t myself and have not been able to think of grass-hoppers in the same way ever since.
    It’s still cricket-tastic though.

  3. THX 1139

    November 8, 2019 at 11:57 am

    As Mark Gatiss pointed out in a recent Radio 3 discussion, Kneale was criticised for the ’79 Quatermass being ten years out of date (it had been written ten years before), but now looks worryingly prescient with Extinction Rebellion, failing public services, apocalypse in the air and Titupy Bumpity on TV. Well, maybe not that last one yet.

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