The 18th of July marks sixty years since the transmission of The Quatermass Experiment a classic British science-fiction series by the pioneering screenwriter Nigel Kneale (who technically invented Big Brother but that’s another story).
Doctor Who may be getting ready for its fiftieth anniversary but fans should spare a moment to thank Professor Quatermass who was a massive influence on the original style of the show. Kneale himself disliked Who as well as Blake’s 7 and was keen to separate out popularity from what he saw as quality.
Quatermass appeared originally in three TV shows: The Quatermass Experiment, Quatermass II and Quatermass and the Pit. The latter of these is a strong influence on the Doctor Who story The Daemons with its tale of a buried alien spaceship, psychic forces and Hobbs Lane / End (depending on if you're watching the TV or film version) tube (Daemons is set in Devil’s End).
A final fling for Quatermass was ITV’s 1979 Quatermass produced by Verity Lambert and made from script ideas Kneale had been working on in 1972. The 1950s may be a long time ago but the impact of both Kneale and his most famous creation live on.
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