Contact Has Been Established

QuatermassThe first attempt to launch a manned rocket into space meets with serious problems; the three-man vehicle, rather than following a carefully-planned parabola to make a single orbit, veers hundreds of thousands of miles off course, losing all contact with Earth. As the rocket’s designer, Professor Bernard Quatermass of the British Experimental Rocket Group, tensely awaits word when the atomic-powered rocket finally approaches Earth again. With no contact from the astronauts themselves, the rocket returns to Earth under remote control from the ground, but the best that Quatermass and his team can manage is to bring it in for the least-damaging crash landing possible. Still intact, the rocket has slammed into a neighborhood near Wimbledon Commons, and astonishingly no one on the ground is hurt, though police evacuate residents from their homes. Quatermass and his team arrive to open the rocket, but inside they find only one astronaut remaining: engineer Victor Carroon, whose wife is a member of Quatermass’ ground control team. The other two men are missing without a trace, their spacesuits left empty in the rocket.

written by Nigel Kneale
directed by Rudolph Cartier
music not credited

Cast: Reginald Tate (Professor Bernard Quatermass), Isabel Dean (Judith Carroon), Duncan Lamont (Victor Carroon), Hugh Kelly (John Paterson), Moray Watson (Peter Marsh), W. Thorp Devereux (Blaker), Van Boolen (Len Matthews), Iris Ballard (Mr. Matthews), Eugene Leahy (Police Inspector), Neil Wilson (Policeman),Colyn Davies (Fireman), Katie Johnson (Miss Wilde), Oliver Johnston (News Editor), Paul Whitsun-Jones (James Fullalove), Patrick Westwood (First Reporter), Dominic LeFoe (Second Reporter), Nicholas Bruce (BBC Newsreader), Pat McGrath (BBC Interviewer), MacGregor Urquhart (Sandwichman), Denis Wyndham (Reveller)

The Quatermass ExperimentNotes: Broadcast in 1953 as a live play for television with one film insert (actual film from a camera mounted aboard a captured German V2 rocket launched from White Sands, New Mexico in 1946), The Quatermass Experiment was one of the earliest instances of the BBC making a “telerecording” (a film recording from a television screen showing the live broadcast) of a drama production rather than live coverage of a news event. This was also one of the final major productions staged at the BBC’s original television studios at Alexandra Palace, using some of the BBC’s original 1930s cameras, before the bulk of production was moved to the then-new Lime Grove studios (future home of the TARDIS).

Persons Reported Missing

QuatermassThe Metropolitan Police get involved in the investigation of what happened to Quatermass’ space rocket and its now-mostly-missing crew, and Quatermass is outraged when they begin to treat Victor Carroon as a murder suspect. Police and press alike swarm the crash site in Wimbledon before Quatermass has even had a chance to determine what happened aboard the vehicle. All that is known is that it an electrical component failed, sending the rocket further than the orbit the moon before the vehicle returned to Earth in a long, looping arc. And inexplicably, Carroon now understands and speaks perfect German – a language he never spoke prior to the mission – but he can offer no answers about the whereabouts of his missing crewmates, Charles Green and German rocket engineer Dr. Reichenheim.

written by Nigel Kneale
directed by Rudolph Cartier
music not credited

Cast: Reginald Tate (Professor Bernard Quatermass), Isabel Dean (Judith Carroon), Duncan Lamont (Victor Carroon), Hugh Kelly (John Paterson), Moray Watson (Peter Marsh), John Glen (Dr. Gordon Briscoe), Ian Colin (Detective Inspector Lomax), Frank Hawkins (Detective Sergeant Best), Christopher Rhodes (Dr. Ludwig Reichenheim), Peter Bathurst (Charles Greene), Enid Lindsey (Louisa Greene), Oliver Johnston (News Editor), Paul Whitsun-Jones (James Fullalove), Patrick Westwood (First Reporter), Dominic LeFoe (Second Reporter), Stella Richman (Hospital Sister), Eugene Leahy (Police Inspector), Neil Wilson (Policeman, Wimbledon), Maurice Durant (Policeman, Scotland Yard)

The Quatermass ExperimentNotes: This is the second and last episode of The Quatermass Experiment to be preserved via BBC telerecording, and the primitive nature of the technology involved shows: an insect lands on the television screen being filmed by the film camera and remains there for several minutes! Dissatisfied with the technical quality of the telerecordings of the first two episodes, the BBC opted to stop doing them, which also nixed a planned rebroadcast of The Quatermass Experiment on Canadian TV; episodes three through six are lost forever. Sadly, the remainder of this guide to The Quatermass Experiment, out of necessity, is based upon the original scripts and remaining production paperwork.

Very Special Knowledge

QuatermassThe questioning of surviving astronaut Victor Carroon continues, and he reveals not only a fluent grasp of German, but knowledge of fellow astronaut Green’s life as well. The cockpit voice recorder from the rocket is found and its tape played back, revealing an unearthly sound that accompanied the rocket going off course. Though Detective Inspector Lomax dismisses the sound as that of “the rocket motors”, Quatermass knows it’s not the sound of the engines. When the tape is played back with Carroon and Lomax present, its obvious that the astronaut is not a murder suspect…but the victim of whas Quatermass believes was “like a cosmic ray, but alive”…

written by Nigel Kneale
directed by Rudolph Cartier
music not credited

Cast: Reginald Tate (Professor Bernard Quatermass), Isabel Dean (Judith Carroon), Duncan Lamont (Victor Carroon), John Glen (Dr. Gordon Briscoe), Ian Colin (Detective Inspector Lomax), Frank Hawkins (Detective Sergeant Best), Hugh Kelly (John Paterson), Paul Whitsun-Jones (James Fullalove), Philip Vickers (American Reporter), Edward David (Indian Reporter), Katie Johnson (Miss Wilde), Lewis Wilson (Walters)

The Quatermass ExperimentNotes: The BBC, unsatisfied with its experimental telerecording technique, only recorded the first two episodes of The Quatermass Experiment. This synopsis and the remainder of this guide to The Quatermass Experiment, out of necessity, is based upon the original scripts and remaining production paperwork.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Believed To Be Suffering

QuatermassAs Victor Carroon, still delirious, shows an unusual amount of interest in a potted cactus, a photographer intrudes on the Carroons, trying to get a photo of the returned asteronaut for his newspaper. One touch from Victor Carroon’s hand leaves the man dead. Quatermass realizes that whatever extraterrestrial intelligence was encountered by the men aboard his rocket has come to Earth in Carroon’s body. Carroon goes missing, spirited away in a car and taken to an organized crime hideout that he is able to escape quickly with his deadly touch. All the while, he is mutating into a man with cactus-like skin…

written by Nigel Kneale
directed by Rudolph Cartier
music not credited

Cast: Reginald Tate (Professor Bernard Quatermass), Isabel Dean (Judith Carroon), Duncan Lamont (Victor Carroon), John Glen (Dr. Gordon Briscoe), Hugh Kelly (John Paterson), Ian Colin (Detective Inspector Lomax), Frank Hawkins (Detective Sergeant Best), Paul Whitsun-Jones (James Fullalove), Oliver Johnston (News Editor), Philip Vickers (American Reporter), Katie Johnson (Miss Wilde), Lewis Wilson (Walters), Darrell Runey (Photographer), Jack Rodney (Ramsay), Anthony Green (Boy), Richard Cuthbert (Chemist), Leo Fox (Cinema Manager), Janet Joye (Cinemagoer), Bernadette Milnes (Usherette), Keith Herrington (Space Lieutenant), Pauline Johnson (Space Girl)

The Quatermass ExperimentNotes: The BBC, unsatisfied with its experimental telerecording technique, only recorded the first two episodes of The Quatermass Experiment. This synopsis and the remainder of this guide to The Quatermass Experiment, out of necessity, is based upon the original scripts and remaining production paperwork.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

An Unidentified Species

QuatermassHaving plundered a drug store an ingested a mixture of chemicals that would normally be deadly to humans, astronaut Victor Carroon has gone missing. The Metropolitan Police, declaring the astronaut a national hero, call off the search for him. Carroon’s whereabouts are discovered soon enough: now a barely-humaniod mass of fungus, the being that was once Victor Carroon apparently took over a small island in a park. Quatermass now fears that the being may spread across Earth as an Earthly fungus would, by releasing spores. And in any case, the creature has now migrated…to the wall of Westminster Abbey.

written by Nigel Kneale
directed by Rudolph Cartier
music not credited

Cast: Reginald Tate (Professor Bernard Quatermass), Isabel Dean (Judith Carroon), Duncan Lamont (Victor Carroon), Hugh Kelly (John Paterson), John Glen (Dr. Gordon Briscoe), Ian Colin (Detective Inspector Lomax), Frank Hawkins (Detective Sergeant Best), Paul Whitsun-Jones (James Fullalove), Richard Cuthbert (Chemist), Bernadette Milnes (Usherette), Christie Humphrey (Janet), John Stone (Ted), Frank Atkinson (Park Keeper), Reginald Hearne (Police Inspector), Wilfred Brambell (Drunk), Tony Van Bridge (Producer), Neal Arden (Commentator), Josphine Crombie (Secretary), John Kidd (Sir Vernon Dodds)

The Quatermass ExperimentNotes: Beginning with this episode, the BBC began preceding episodes with content warnings advising that The Quatermass Experiment was not suitable for “children or people of a nervous disposition.” Unsatisfied with its experimental telerecording technique, the BBC only recorded the first two episodes of The Quatermass Experiment. This synopsis and the remainder of this guide to The Quatermass Experiment, out of necessity, is based upon the original scripts and remaining production paperwork.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

State Of Emergency

QuatermassWestminster Abbey and the area around it are evacuated as the creature progresses toward the stage at which it will release its spores. Quatermass’ lab experiments reveal that being touched by even a single spore would fully mutate any life form on Earth within minutes; if the being that was once Victor Carroon releases its spores, it is the end of all life on the planet. As preparations are made for military strikes and other frontal attacks on the creature, Quatermass gambles on appealing to the last remaining fragments of the consciousness of the three astronauts to resist the alien life form and tear it apart from the inside.

written by Nigel Kneale
directed by Rudolph Cartier
music not credited

Cast: Reginald Tate (Professor Bernard Quatermass), Isabel Dean (Judith Carroon), John Glen (Dr. Gordon Briscoe), Hugh Kelly (John Paterson), Ian Colin (Detective Inspector Lomax), Frank Hawkins (Detective Sergeant Best), Paul Whitsun-Jones (James Fullalove), Tony Van Bridge (Producer), Josphine Crombie (Secretary), Neal Arden (Commentator), John Kidd (Sir Vernon Dodds), Keith Pyott (Cabinet Minister), Andrew Laurence (Major O’Neill), Peter Franklin (Sergeant), Kenneth Midwood (Policeman), Arnold Diamond (Man in Crowd), Rex Graham (Crowd), Cyril Saxon (Crowd), Lloyd Shirley (Crowd), Kobie Westone (Crowd), Langton Jones (Crowd), Nickola Starne (Crowd), Grace Webb (Crowd), Michele Clement (Crowd), Violet Perry (Crowd), Raymond Rollet (Crowd), Sheldon Allen (Crowd), Richard Hugget (Crowd), Charles Horsee (Crowd), Allan Cosley (Crowd)

The Quatermass ExperimentNotes: Unsatisfied with its experimental telerecording technique, the BBC only recorded the first two episodes of The Quatermass Experiment. This synopsis and the remainder of this guide to The Quatermass Experiment, out of necessity, is based upon the original scripts and remaining production paperwork.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

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