Quatermass

Tagged: Film | TV

UK tv serial (1979; vt The Quatermass Conclusion). Euston Films/ITV. Produced by Ted Childs. Directed by Piers Haggard. Written Nigel Kneale. Cast includes Simon MacCorkindale, John Mills and Rebecca Saire. Four 60-minute episodes. Colour. Version for film release (but receiving general release only on videotape) titled The Quatermass Conclusion, 102 minutes.

This fourth and weakest of the Quatermass television serials (see below for details of the others) was written in the late 1960s for BBC TV, rejected as too expensive, and finally made for commercial television a decade later. The delay rendered out-of-date the sequences about hippie adolescents lured to neolithic sites to be harvested by Aliens. The other part of the plot, dealing with a Near-Future breakdown of law and order in a London that is becoming a wasteland, is stronger; but the two halves never properly meld, and Quatermass lacks the compelling narrative thrust of its predecessors. John Mills's Quatermass is rather old and sad, and, though there is much to enjoy, there is a faintly querulous, elderly air about the whole production. The cut version, though planned from the beginning, is semi-incoherent. Kneale's obsessive, 30-year repetition of the science-meets-superstition theme is altogether jollier in his screenplay for Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1983), also featuring a stone circle. [PN]

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