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Toyah on TV: Quatermass – Chapter Four: An Endangered Species

June 6th, 2020

Quatermass: Talking Pictures TV: Tue 9th June: 9pm
Chapter Four: An Endangered Species. Quatermass showing signs of his recent narrow escape emerges from the car park to find the stadium empty. An estimated 70,000 people died there. So many have now been harvested that the particles of dust in the air have turned the sky green. Kapp attempts to repair his equipment in order to contact the alien presence, but the Planet People destroy his efforts. They try to persuade him to join them but he refuses, convinced now that his family are dead. Quatermass, aided by Gurov, who has travelled to London from Moscow, assembles a team of scientists to find a solution. He deliberately selects old people for the task as they are immune to the call of the alien force. Quatermass decides to set a trap. He plans to fake the presence of a gathering of a million young people at Kapp’s observatory and, when the force comes, to detonate a 35 kiloton nuclear weapon. It is a focused charge where most of the force will go upwards, causing little damage in the area. Quatermass does not believe this will be sufficient to destroy the alien machine but he hopes that it will shock it enough to make it go away. Kapp volunteers to stay behind with Quatermass to help detonate the bomb. The pair set up the trap and wait in darkness. Suddenly, Kickalong appears with a group of Planet People, including Quatermass’ granddaughter, Hettie. Kapp tries to warn them away but is shot and killed by Kickalong.

The light appears, indicating that the alien force beam has arrived, but the shock of seeing his granddaughter among the Planet People causes Quatermass to suffer a heart attack. She has recognised him too and struggling to reach the detonator button, Quatermass is aided by Hettie and together they detonate the bomb. Later in a world that is recovering from the recent fall of civilization, Gurov tells us: “The message was taken. It has not come again. We pray it will never come again”.

This episode originally aired on 14th November 1979 on the ITV network and was watched by 11.2m viewers in the UK. The 1979, four-part, mini series Quatermass (also known as The Quatermass Conclusion or Quatermass IV) is airing weekly from Tuesday 19th May. Stars John Mills, Simon McCorkindale, Barbara Kellerman, Ralph Arliss, Rebecca Saire, Toyah Willcox, David Yip, Alison Dowling.

• Talking Pictures TV is An Archive Film & TV Channel. Available on the following platforms/channels: Freeview 81, YouView 81, Freesat 306, Sky 328 and Virgin 445.

Toyah on TV: Quatermass – Chapter Three: What Lies Beneath

June 1st, 2020

Quatermass: Talking Pictures TV: Tue 2nd June: 9pm
Chapter Three: What Lies Beneath. Quatermass is rescued by a group of elderly people living in a scrap yard who doctor his injuries. At the hospital, the doctors are shocked when Isabel levitates off her bed and explodes in a cloud of dust. Elsewhere, the devastated Kapp is left alone in the ruins of his cottage and observatory. More and more young people are joining the Planet People, including the gangs that have been terrorising the cities and the soldiers assigned to keep them away from the Megalithic sites. Contact is restored with Chuck Marshall and with the Russians in the form of Gurov (Brewster Mason). Quatermass theorises that this is not the first time this has happened; megalithic sites such as prehistoric stone circles are in fact markers where beacons have been left by the people living then as a sign that something terrible happened there, and that there are some kind of alien markers buried underground at these sites. Quatermass believes there is a sphere of energy surrounding the Earth. The Russians and the Americans send a space shuttle, commanded by Marshall, to make contact with the force. Quatermass is sceptical; he believes they are dealing not with an intelligence but with a machine constructed to harvest human protein. The space shuttle reports a giant beam of light stretching from somewhere in deep space to the Earth, just missing them. A second beam just afterwards destroys them.

Meanwhile, the Planet People are gathering at Wembley Stadium in the tens of thousands. Annie and Quatermass travel to the stadium but are powerless to prevent the Planet People from gathering. When they are attacked, Annie drives their car into the underground car park beneath the stadium where she crashes the vehicle and is killed. The lightning strikes the stadium and Quatermass underground, huddles against the wall to try and survive.

This episode originally aired on 7th November 1979 on the ITV network and was watched by 10.5m viewers in the UK. The 1979, four-part, mini series Quatermass (also known as The Quatermass Conclusion or Quatermass IV) is airing weekly from Tuesday 19th May. Stars John Mills, Simon McCorkindale, Barbara Kellerman, Ralph Arliss, Rebecca Saire, Toyah Willcox, David Yip, Alison Dowling.

• Talking Pictures TV is An Archive Film & TV Channel. Available on the following platforms/channels: Freeview 81, YouView 81, Freesat 306, Sky 328 and Virgin 445.

Toyah on TV: Quatermass – Chapter Two: Lovely Lightning

May 20th, 2020

Quatermass: Talking Pictures TV: Tue 26th May: 9pm
Chapter Two: Lovely Lightning. The Planet People’s leader, Kickalong (Ralph Arliss), believes that the Planet People gathered at Ringstone Round have been transported—as promised—to “the planet”, but it is clear to Quatermass and Kapp that they have been reduced to ashes. One badly burnt survivor – a girl called Isabel (Annabelle Lanyon) who deliriously talks about “lovely lightning” – is found and is brought back to the Kapps’ cottage. Making contact with NASA scientist Chuck Marshall (Tony Sibbald), they learn that thousands of young people have disappeared in similar incidents at similar sites all around the world. Quatermass, aided by District Commissioner Annie Morgan (Margaret Tyzack), decides to bring Isabel to London for tests. As they make their journey, Quatermass speculates as to whether there is any connection between recent events and the decline in society.

Reaching London, they are attacked by a gang. Quatermass is yanked from the car but Annie and Isabel manage to escape. Meanwhile, a large number of Planet People arrive at the radio telescope, congregating at the stone circle on its grounds. Working some distance away, Kapp is horrified to see the light strike the area where his home is and rushing home, he finds his family gone as it was caught in the radius of the deadly light. His two friends and dog died too.

This episode originally aired on 31st October 1979 on the ITV network and was watched by 10.8m viewers in the UK. The 1979, four-part, mini series Quatermass (also known as The Quatermass Conclusion or Quatermass IV) is airing weekly from Tuesday 19th May. Stars John Mills, Simon McCorkindale, Barbara Kellerman, Ralph Arliss, Rebecca Saire, Toyah Willcox, David Yip, Alison Dowling.

• Talking Pictures TV is An Archive Film & TV Channel. Available on the following platforms/channels: Freeview 81, YouView 81, Freesat 306, Sky 328 and Virgin 445.

Toyah on TV: Quatermass – Chapter One: Ringstone Round

May 3rd, 2020

Quatermass: Talking Pictures TV: Tue 19th May: 9pm
Chapter One: Ringstone Round. Quatermass (John Mills), now living in retirement in Scotland, travels to London in search of his granddaughter, Hettie Carlson, who has gone missing. He is shocked by the scale of the urban collapse that has struck the city – law and order has broken down and marauding gangs terrorise the litter-strewn, decaying streets. The fall of civilization has been general across the world. Appearing as a guest on a television programme covering the “Hands in Space” project, a joint space mission between the United States and Russia, Quatermass is horrified when the two spacecraft are destroyed by some unknown force.

Astronomer Joe Kapp, another guest on the programme, invites Quatermass to join him at his home in the country where he and two friends have constructed two radio telescopes. At the radio telescope site, Kapp’s colleagues report that they detected a powerful signal at the exact time of the incident in space. Quatermass is intrigued by the behaviour of a group of hippie-like youngsters known as the Planet People, who are travelling to various neolithic sites (about 5,000 years old) from where they believe they will be transported to a better life on another planet.

Quatermass suspects Hettie has joined them. Along with Kapp’s wife, Claire, Quatermass and Kapp follow a group of Planet People to a stone circle of megaliths, Ringstone Round. As they watch, the Planet People assembled inside the circle are bathed in a bright light and disappear, leaving only a residue of white dust behind..

This episode originally aired on 24th October 1979 on the ITV network and was watched by 12.4m viewers in the UK.

The 1979, four-part, mini series Quatermass (also known as The Quatermass Conclusion or Quatermass IV) is airing weekly from Tuesday 19th May. Stars John Mills, Simon McCorkindale, Barbara Kellerman, Ralph Arliss, Rebecca Saire, Toyah Willcox, David Yip, Alison Dowling.

• Talking Pictures TV is An Archive Film & TV Channel. Available on the following platforms/channels: Freeview 81, YouView 81, Freesat 306, Sky 328 and Virgin 445.

Books: Quatermass by Toby Hadoke

October 26th, 2018

Toyah is contributing to a new book – Quatermass – by Toby Hadoke.

The Quatermass book grows by the day. It’s pretty much my sole focus between now and Christmas. These past few months have found my securing contributions form David Tennant, John Carpenter, Barbara Kellermann, Indira Varma and Toyah Willcox. So it’s going to be pretty detailed! More info soon…

• Info Source: Toby Hadoke – October Updates.

Categories: Books, Press Clips Tags: ,

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: Blu-ray Edition

July 9th, 2015

Following the recent news that the 1979 series of Quatermass is to be reissued on DVD… It will also be available, for the first time, on Blu-ray too – With a Limited Edition first run to be available in four different coloured sleeves, based on the title colour scheme of each episode.

• Visit the Blu-ray info/product page at the Network DVD website. The Blu-ray is also available to pre-order at Amazon. (Thanks to Stephen Bennett Troake for the update, and thanks again to Giddy Gavin for the original info)

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Categories: Blu-ray, Releases Tags:

Quatermass: Two-Disc Network DVD

July 6th, 2015

quatermass15aA new Region 2, two-disc, DVD of Quatermass has just been released by Network DVD. Retailing at approximately £12.

Toyah had a small role, in the production, as Sal. The series was made by Euston Films, filmed in 1978 and aired on ITV in October and November 1979

John Mills brings a stoic intensity to the role of Professor Bernard Quatermass in this key piece of British dystopian fiction from visionary writer Nigel Kneale. Unsettling in its vision of a crumbling society coming under alien attack, Quatermass is directed with characteristic style by BAFTA winner Piers Haggard and features the high production values associated with Euston Films. Shot on 35mm, the original negatives have been used for this stunning, brand-new restoration – a new 5.1 mix from original triple-track audio elements is also presented here alongside the original mono soundtrack.

Bernard Quatermass, former head of the British Rocket Group, lives in seclusion in western Scotland, watching in appalled silence as Britain slowly turns into a vision of violence, gang rule and governmental collapse. A desperate search for his missing granddaughter plunges him into a terrifying situation when he comes to realise that the mass disappearance of thousands of youths is nothing less than the culling of the human species by an unknown alien intelligence…

Special Features:
• Brand-new 5.1 mix for episodic version
• Brand-new HD restoration of The Quatermass Conclusion in its original theatrical aspect ratio
• Music-only tracks for all four episodes
• Episode recaps
• Textless titles
• Image Gallery
• Booklet by archive TV historian Andrew Pixley

Further Info: Catalogue Number: 7954328, Available Since: 22/06/2015, Classification: 15, Number of Discs: 2, Picture: 1.33:1 / Colour [Main Feature], Sound: Dolby 5.1 / Mono / English, Subtitles: English, Region 2 / PAL, Time: 200 mins approx [Main Feature]

• Visit the product page at the Network DVD website. (Thanks to Giddy Gavin)

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Categories: DVD, Releases Tags:

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.

The Guardian Archive: Toyah Willcox, The Thinking Man’s Punkette

July 3rd, 2020

An archive Toyah interview has been re-published today by The Guardian.

Toyah Willcox, the thinking man’s punkette – archive, 1980

3 July 1980: “No one can rip me off. I’m too much of a bitch,” the self-confessed megalomaniac tells Robin Denselow

Four years ago, Toyah Willcox left a “very boring all-girls public school” in Birmingham with only one O level, in music, and a whole heap of bad reports. At 14 she’d been banned from art, her favourite subject because her paintings were too erotic. She got into fights, confused the teachers by making her own clothes and “by wearing a Dr Spock haircut with the back of my head shaved. I was a very paranoid kid and I hated every minute of it.”

Today, at 22, Toyah is being hailed as a sort of Thinking Man’s Punk, and is certainly the most impressive female all-rounder to have emerged in the latter days of the new wave. Earlier this year she won considerable acclaim for her part as Miranda in Derek Jarman’s exquisite film version of The Tempest. Her acting career had already included everything from Jarman’s punk celebration Jubilee, to Quatermass, and Quadrophenia.

• Continue reading at The Guardian.

Derby QUAD: Paracinema Weekend Programme Announcement

March 25th, 2018

derbyquad18aOver the May Bank Holiday weekend, QUAD launches the first edition of Paracinema, a festival dedicated to films and genres outside of the mainstream. Expect a steady diet of horror, sci-fi and fantasy but in addition to this Paracinema will be exploring other genres outside the mainstream with special guests, previews and talks on a whole range of unusual genres and subgenres.

Toyah Willcox In Conversation
Saturday 5th May at 5:00pm

It is hard to imagine a more perfect guest for the eclectic nature of Paracinema than Toyah Willcox. After gaining positive notices for her debut in the television play Glitter in 1976, Toyah then played the anarchic role of Mad in Derek Jarman’s seminal punk film Jubilee . From there she went on to appear alongside Katherine Hepburn in the TV movie The Corn Is Green, in the mod classic Quadrophenia as Monkey and reteamed with Jarman in his Shakespeare adaptation The Tempest. Genre fans should note her role in the John Mills starring Quatermass series, BBC TV Movie Dr Jeykll and Mr Hyde and Tales Of The Unexpected. Since that early-mid 80s boom, Toyah has gone to appear as Miss Scarlett in the Cluedo TV Series, as Billie Piper’s mum in The Secret Diary Of A Call Girl, and in children’s TV series The Ink Thief. Recently she appeared in the genre defying Aaaaaaaah! by director Steve Oram and alongside Gabriel Byrne and Harvey Keitel in Lies We Tell.

We are excited to welcome Toyah to Paracinema for an on-stage discussion of her screen career.

• Continue reading at Derby QUAD. Visit Toyah’s 2018 Gig Diary at toyahwillcox.com for all confirmed dates and appearances.

MCM Comic Con: Quadrophenia Reunion

November 13th, 2013

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According to the official MCM Comic Con website Toyah will be a guest, as part of a Quadrophenia Reunion, at the Birmingham NEC memorabilia event on Sunday 24th November.

MCM Birmingham Comic Con and Memorabilia, Britain’s biggest collectors’ event, both come to the NEC on 23-24 November, and we’ve got a great line-up of film and TV guests waiting to meet fans, host panels and sign autographs. Special Guests attending the show this year include:

QUADROPHENIA REUNION: Stars Phil Daniels (Jimmy); Toyah Willcox (Monkey) and Daniel Peacock (Danny) celebrate the ultimate mod movie, based on The Who’s 1973 rock opera.

TOYAH WILLCOX: Singer, Quadrophenia, Secret Diary of a Call Girl, Teletubbies, Kavanagh QC, Brum, Maigret, Cluedo, Minder, Quatermass (Autograph; Photoshoot; *Appearing: Sunday only)

UPDATE: 18.11.2013: Toyah tweeted yesterday to confirm she will be appearing at this event on Sunday.

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Toyah’s ‘Silver Jubilee’ in 2003?

November 10th, 2002

Toyah's Silver JubileeNext year is, albeit completely unofficial, Toyah’s “Silver Jubilee”!

‘What are you talking about?’, I hear you holler!

Well, in 1978 things started “happening” for TW – big style. Her music, film, theatre and television careers all seemed to conspire to ensure she got very little sleep that year!

The Toyah band finally took shape – in the form of Joel Bogen on guitar, Steve Bray on drums, Pete Bush on keyboards and Mark Henry on bass (though very soon replaced by Charlie Francis), and, of course, Toyah on vocals/verbals/strange noises! They appeared on their first TV show too, Pebble Mill At One and soon-after signed to Safari Records.

Jubilee opened in UK and European cinemas in ’78, and Toyah spent a chunk of the year filming The Corn Is Green and Quadrophenia for the big screen and Quatermass for the small.

So 2003 really is, technically at least, the 25th anniversary of Toyahdom!

Thanks to Robbie and Deano over at Angels & Demons I’ve had an idea:) A one-day Toyah convention to celebrate this important landmark. I’m mentioning it now so that everyone has plenty of time to decide whether this is a good idea, where (Ruby’s – Stoke?) and when (Toyah’s 45th birthday or Summer 2003?) it could take place, and if they want to attend.

A rough guide to ‘Toyah’s Jubilee’ Convention:

• During the day – memoribila stalls, Toyah items – buy, sell, trade?
• Early evening – lookalike competition or Toyah impersonator?
• Night – Big party, 80s Popstar fancy-dress (Thanks Brian;), wall-to-wall Toyah sounds!

Other suggestions, so far, include a charity auction, competitions, Toyah footage video-wall, live performances by the lookalikes (soundalikes – ‘Stars In Their Ieya’s’).

Now at present this is all totally hypothetical but also completely possible. What does everyone else think? A good idea?, crap idea?, too tacky? Please contribute or make suggestions. If this is to become a reality then it would be fantastic to get as many Toyah fans (UK, Europe, US, everywhere) as possible to attend.