The Quatermass Experiment (partially found BBC sci-fi serials; 1953)

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Title card.

Status: Partially Found

The Quatermass Experiment was a series of 6 science fiction serials aired on the BBC in 1953. It was created by Nigel Kneale and was enormously influential on British sci-fi, most notably Doctor Who.


The Quatermass Experiment's plot concerned the adventures of Professor Bernard Quatermass. It starts with him awaiting the return of the first humans to go into space. When the rocket crash lands, they find that two of the rocket crewmembers have gone missing despite sensors indicating the door was not opened. Carroon, the surviving crew-member is gravely ill, and is kidnapped by foreign agents who want information about traveling in space. It turns out that he has absorbed the consciousness of the remaining crew-members and is slowly mutating into a plant like an alien organism. After analyzing samples of the creature, Quatermass realizes that it has to prevented from sporing or else all life on earth will be destroyed. Quatermass then convinces the three human consciousnesses to destroy the creature from the inside.


The BBC wanted all 6 episodes to be telerecorded onto 35mm film. However, the recordings were poor quality (notably with episode 2 having an insect on screen in the recording), and so the idea was scrapped. This makes it unlikely that episodes 3-6 will ever be recovered.[1]

The first two episodes are freely available online and on DVD. In addition, there are copies of the scripts of the missing episodes available on a DVD boxset.[2]

There are also two film adaptations, the first from 1955, the second from 2005.[3][4]

External Links