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Quatermass II

1 9 5 5 (UK)
6 x 30 minute episodes

Following the success of The Quatermass Experiment in 1953, writer Nigel Kneale and producer/director Rudolph Cartier collaborated again on a story in which Bernard Quatermass (now played by John Robinson) accidentally discovered a Martian plan to take over the world by infiltrating human minds.

Eventually, Quatermass was able to prevent the invasion, although the upper classes proved particularly susceptible to the Martians’ manoeuvres (a veiled criticism by Kneale of the British Establishment’s past flirtations with fascism).

Reginald Tate, who played the Professor in the first series, fell ill during rehearsals and was replaced by Robinson. He was the second of six different actors to take the role in television and film versions.

Roger Delgado, who would become familiar to audiences of Doctor Who as the Doctor’s arch-enemy, the Master, makes a brief appearance as an investigative journalist.

The special effects were markedly superior this time around, thanks to the recent creation of a BBC Visual Effects Department, headed by Bernard Wilkie and John Kine.

Like most television drama of the period, Quatermass II was performed live in the studio, with the few exterior shots filmed in advance and inserted at transmission. The series survives (in its entirety) only because it was filmed from a television monitor.

A cinema version, Quatermass 2, directed by Val Guest, was released by Hammer in 1957.

Professor Bernard Quatermass
John Robinson
Monica Grey
Dr Leo Pugh
Hugh Griffith
Captain John Dillon
John Stone
Roger Delgado
Vincent Broadhead
Rupert Davies
Austin Trevor