BBC FOUR's spring and summer gets underway with a true televisual
treat - a live production of the sci-fi classic, The
The Quatermass Experiment was a television phenomenon, attracting huge
audiences when it burst into British homes in 1953.
It brought science fiction to the small screen for the first time and
its eponymous lead character became the UK's first TV hero.
Introducing the new season Janice Hadlow, Controller of BBC FOUR, said:
"I am thrilled that we're bringing Quatermass back to life. Playing
as part of the finale to TV on Trial - BBC FOUR's quest to find the
golden age of TV - it's wonderful to have one of the first 'must-watch'
TV experiences that inspired the water cooler chat of its day.
"I hope fans of the original series, as well as a new generation,
will be gripped as Professor Bernard Quatermass races to save the world.
"And for the channel to broadcast the first live BBC television
drama for over 20 years is an added treat."
Announcing details of the new season on the channel's third birthday,
Janice Hadlow said: "BBC FOUR has come a long way in three years; we've
achieved critical acclaim, industry awards and a growing loyal audience.
I hope in the coming season - and beyond - to build on these successes
as we continue to bring ambitious, intelligent and engaging programmes
- across all genres - to our viewers."
She added: "Absorbing and thought-provoking documentaries have always
been key to the BBC FOUR schedule and this season features a mix of
pieces which I'm sure will prove as popular as some of those which have
already played in the first two months of 2005.
"This season also sees the channel build on recent successes in
drama and comedy."
In An Islamic History Of Europe
Rageh Omaar travels across Europe to trace the hidden
story of the continent's Islamic past revealing the vibrant civilisation
that Muslims brought to the West.
Animation Nation explores a century
of British animation, from its origins as a Victorian theatrical diversion
to the multimillion-dollar Hollywood financed feature films of today
and reveals how the genre has continued to be a vital tool in both consumer
advertising and government propaganda.
The Indian railway network is the largest in the world. In a beautifully
filmed, panoramic sweep, Indian Rail
explores the stories of some of the 13 million people whose lives depend
on the Indian Railway - from government ministers to street boys.
April 2005 marks the 60th anniversary of Hitler's death. In a short
season, BBC FOUR examines Hitler's Helpers with revealing films on Joseph
Goebbels and Albert Speer.
In drama, a treat for the coming season is a new adaptation of Patrick
Hamilton's acclaimed trilogy, Twenty Thousand
Streets Under The Sky.
Adapted by Kevin Elyot, the tale of unrequited love set against the
backdrop of Thirties London stars Bryan Dick, Zoë
Tapper, Sally Hawkins and Phil Davis.
In new British comedy on BBC FOUR this season comes The
Thick Of It directed and devised by Armando Iannucci.
Chris Langham, Peter Capaldi and
Chris Addison star in this satirical series set in
the world of British politics.
Other highlights this season include:
Dickens in America: Miriam Margolyes, actress and passionate
Dickens fan, traces the footsteps of the author's journeys across the
Poulson: John Poulson was a man once revered for his revolutionary architectural
vision, instrumental in re-building post-war Britain.
Now his name is synonymous with the worst excess of Sixties architecture
and he is remembered as the central figure in a huge corruption scandal
that rocked Britain.
Rehab: from the team who brought Care House to BBC FOUR comes this moving
and intimate film that follows residents of rehab clinic Phoenix House,
through their life-changing six-month rehabilitation programme.
Music: This summer BBC FOUR will be at the BBC
Proms bringing live coverage throughout the season; the channel continues
documentary profiles of an eclectic mix of music legends including Ivor
Cutler, Georgie Fame and Dick Gaughan;
and, as part of a Beethoven season,
world renowned conductor Daniel Barenboim gives a masterclass.
World Cinema: highlights this season include Uzak,
the tale of an Istanbul photographer who, while suffering a mid-life
crisis, has to put up his country cousin who's searching for work; Osama
is the story of life under Taleban rule in Afghanistan, in which a mother
is driven to disguise her daughter as a boy so that they can find a
way to survive; and Memories Of Murder is set against
the backdrop of South Korea in 1986, under the military dictatorship,
where two rural policeman and a detective from the capital are sent
to investigate a series of brutal rapes and murders.
Notes to Editors
BBC FOUR viewing figures:
In 2005 so far, BBC FOUR has been reaching an average of 8.8 per cent
of all digital viewers each week (three-minute threshold)
This equates to 3.1 million viewers every week, up +19 per cent on the
same weeks in 2004
Since the last quarter of 2004, BBC FOUR has been watched by at least
8 million people each month (three-minute reach)
The Quatermass Experiment - transmitted in 1953, Professor Quatermass
was played by Reginald Tate. Of the original, only episodes one and
two (out of six) were recorded.
Quatermass II - transmitted in 1955, Professor Quatermass was played
by John Robinson. The full series was recorded.
Quatermass & The Pit - transmitted in 1957, Professor Quatermass was
played by André Morell. The full series was recorded.
The Quatermass Experiment was remade by Hammer Studios in 1955 for