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The Arts Desk: DVD Review: Quatermass

July 31st, 2015

theartsdesk15aThe earnest 1979 TV series where Nigel Kneale’s Professor Bernard Quatermass bowed out

Urban streets are littered with bodies. Barricades constructed from cars are ablaze. The national broadcaster works behind security suitable for a prison camp, Fearful old people live communally in underground warrens. Gangs roam cities while in the countryside, the hippy like Planet People chant and wander, looking for sites from where they can ascend to salvation on another, mythical planet.

Professor Bernard Quatermass arrives in this chaos from his Scottish retirement retreat to take part in a TV show marking the moment when Russian and American space projects become one, linking with each other in quatermass15corbit above the Earth. He sees the programme as a platform to help in the quest for his missing granddaughter, who he thinks has had her head turned by the Planet People. Over its four episodes, the 1979 TV series Quatermass portrayed a world gone to pot.

This important release, a two-disc set out on Blu-ray and DVD, collects the 1979 TV series and its spin-off film. Quatermass is played by a magnificently sideburned, yet often wooden, John Mills. As Quatermass‘s foil Kapp, Simon MacCorkindale overeggs the theatricals but is nonetheless robust. Watch out for Toyah Willcox amongst the Planet People.

• Continue reading at The Arts Desk. View further info on the recent Quatermass DVD/Blu-ray Box Set here.

Quatermass (1979)

August 17th, 2012

The complete, four-part, late 70s version of Quatermass, starring John Mills and Simon MacCorkindale, in which Toyah also had a small role as Sal, is available to view in full at ‘You Tube’. This was made by Euston Films, filmed in 1978 and aired on ITV in October and November 1979: Chapter One: Ringstone Round; Chapter Two: Lovely Lightning; Chapter Three: What Lies Beneath; Chapter Four: An Endangered Species. View a photo of Toyah taken during the filming here. The series has previously been released on VHS and DVD but is currently unavailable. This was also released as a television film in 1979, The Quatermass Conclusion, an edited down version of these four episodes. View further info at Wikipedia.