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Quatermass II

1955

TV: Quatermass II

Creator: Nigel Kneale

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In Depth

Quatermass II

Highly influential science fiction sequel.

Quatermass II was the long awaited follow-up to 1953's The Quatermass Experiment. Reuniting the writer-director team of Nigel Kneale and Rudolph Cartier, the serial pitted Professor Quatermass against alien spores. Falling to Earth, these emitted a stream of vapour enslaving the will of whoever disturbed them.

By this method, an alien intelligence amassed a secret army centred at a government installation. Ostensibly been set up to make synthetic food, it was in reality was a cover for something far more sinister...

Like its predecessor, the six-part drama was broadcast live, with all the limitations that suggests. Playing Quatermass, John Robinson had been a late replacement when original lead Reginald Tate died shortly before production, and was noticeably shaky on some of his lines.

Nevertheless, produced during the age of the prefab town, and set against increasing interest in nuclear power, Quatermass II proved another piece of socially relevant fiction from Kneale. In 1957, it was adapted into the second part of a trilogy of Quatermass features by Hammer Films.

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