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Quatermass revisited

11/03/2005. Contributed by Jessica Martin

Buy Quatermass in the USA - or Buy Quatermass in the UK

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BBC Four is to produce a live broadcast of the science fiction classic, The Quatermass Experiment.

As part of BBC FOUR's TV On Trial season in March, Janice Hadlow, Controller of the channel, has commissioned a live adaptation of The Quatermass Experiment, the iconic fifties SF classic production.

This is the first live television drama to be shown on the BBC for over 20 years. The Quatermass Experiment was a television phenomenon, attracting massive audiences when it burst into British homes in 1953.

It brought science fiction to the small screen for the very first time and its eponymous lead character, rocket scientist Professor Quatermass, became the UK's first TV hero.

Janice Hadlow, Controller of BBC Four told "I am thrilled that we're bringing Quatermass back to life. Playing as part of the finale to TV on Trial - BBC FOUR's quest to find the golden age of TV - it's wonderful to have one the first 'must-watch' TV experiences that inspired the water cooler chat of its day.

"I hope fans of the original series, as well as a new generation, will be gripped as Professor Bernard Quatermass races to save the world. And for the channel to broadcast the first live BBC television drama for over 20 years is an added treat."

For aficionados of sci-fi and the paranormal, writer and creator Nigel Kneale is a hero and the Quatermass series is a landmark for British television, which led the way for future cult series such as Doctor Who. Now fans of the original series as well as a new generation will be gripped by the heroics of Professor Quatermass when a rocket crashes to earth, unleashing a terrifying chain of events...

For BBC Four, it has been adapted and brought up-to-date by Richard Fell (executive producer and head of BBC Fictionlab, whose credits include the acclaimed Kenneth Tynan: In Praise of Hardcore and The Alan Clark Diaries), with Kneale - now in his eighties - as consultant.

The director is Sam Miller (This Life, Quite Ugly One Morning, Elephant Juice and Among Giants).

Nigel Kneale said: "I am absolutely thrilled that 50 years after I created Professor Quatermass, BBC Four is remaking my programme."

Some Quatermass trivia for all you 'Nestizens ...

The Quatermass Experiment - transmitted in 1953; Professor Quatermass was played by Reginald Tate. Of the original, only episodes one and two (out of six) were recorded.

Quatermass II - transmitted 1955; Professor Quatermass was played by John Robinson. The full series was recorded.

Quatermass & The Pit - transmitted 1957; Professor Quatermass was played by André Morell. The full series was recorded.

The Quatermass Experiment was remade by Hammer Studios in 1955 for cinema release.

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