Quatermass (1979)

UK, 24 October 1979-14 November 1979
1 series, 4 episodes, 60m each; 1 x 90m version also available, colour, 4:3
mono, English

A British science fiction television series written by Nigel Kneale. It was the last of Kneale’s Quatermass television serials. A re-edited 90-minute version, The Quatermass Conclusion was prepared for theatrical release outside the UK.

Plot Summary

An ageing Professor Bernard Quatermass comes out of his self-imposed exile on a remote Scottish island to search for his missing granddaughter who has joined a strange hippie cult known as the Planet People. He finds that society has all but collapsed and chaos reigns. Making matters worse, something has targeted the Earth from space and is causing huge crowds of young people to gather together where they are ‘harvested’ by a powerful beam of energy. Quatermass struggles to find his granddaughter, make sense of the mayhem around him, and find a way to stop the alien cull.


Director: Piers Haggard
Euston Films
Executive Producer: Verity Lambert
Producer: Ted Childs
Associate Producer: Norton Knatchbull
Script: Nigel Kneale
Story Editor: Linda Agran
Photography: Ian Wilson
Editor: Keith Palmer
Music: Marc Wilkinson, Nic Rowley
Sound Recording: Dudley Plummer
Costume Designer: Michael Baldwin
Make-up: Eddie Knight
Special Effects: Effects Associates
Production Designer: Arnold Chapkis
Casting: Michael Barnes

John Mills (Professor Bernard Quatermass)
Simon MacCorkindale (Joe Kapp)
Barbara Kellermann (Clare Kapp)
Margaret Tyzack (Annie Morgan)
Brewster Mason (Gurov)
Ralph Arliss (Kickalong)
Paul Rosebury (Caraway)
Jane Bertish (Bee)
Toyah Willcox (Sal)
Rebecca Saire (Hettie)
Bruce Purchase (Roach)
David Yip (Chen)
Brenda Fricker (Alison)
Annabelle Lanyon (Isabel)
Tony Sibbald (Marshall)
Neil Stacy (Toby Gough)
Sophie Kind, Joanna Joseph (Kapp children)
Joy Harrington (TV producer)
Brian Croucher (pay police lieutenant)
Kevin Stoney (prime minister)


Chapter One: Ringstone Round (24 October 1979)
Chapter Two: Lovely Lightning (31 October 1979)
Chapter Three: What Lies Beneath (7 November 1979)
Chapter Four: An Endangered Species (14 November 1979)

Alternative version
The Quatermass Conclusion (1979)

Sequel to
The Quatermass Experiment (1953)
Quatermass II (1955)
Quatermass and the Pit (1958)

See also
The Quatermass Xperiment (1955)
Quatermass 2 (1957)
Quatermass and the Pit (1967)
The Quatermass Experiment (2005)



  • Empire no.167 (May 2003) p.152 – illustrated DVD review (Small screen: Quatermass by KN [Kim Newman])
  • Epi-Log no.16 pp.38-39 – episode guide, credits, synopsis
  • Journal of Popular Film and Television vol.30 no.3 (Autumn 2002) pp.158-165 – illustrated bibliography, article (“Bring something back” – The strange career of Professor Quatermass by Dave Robinson and Nick Cooper)
  • Monthly Film Bulletin vol.56 no.662 (March 1989) pp.94-95 – credits, synopsis, review
  • SFX no.292 (November 2017) pp.86-89 – illustrated article (Time machine: Quatermass by Robert Fairclough)
  • Screen International no.212 (20 October 1979) p.121 – advertisement
  • Starburst no.298 (May 2003) p.67 – illustrated DVD review (TV on DVD: Quatermass)
  • Starburst no.365 (October 2008) p.146 – note (In Numbers: Quatermass)
  • TV Times vol.97 no.44 (25 October) pp.4-5 – article
  • TV Zone no.161 (April 2003) pp.48-54 – illustrated credits, article (All the rage of the world by Andrew Pixley)
  • TV Zone Special no.no.25 p.10 – credits, illustrated article
  • Variety 13 February 1980 p.17 – credits, review


  • The Complete Directory to Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Television Series by Alan Morton p.635 – episode guide, credits
  • Elliot’s Guide to Films on Video p.632 – UK video data
  • English Gothic: Classic Horror Cinema 1897-2015 by Jonathan Rigby pp.264-265, 360
  • The Encyclopedia of TV Science Fiction (3rd edition) pp.352, 357-358 – episode guide, credits, synopsis, short article
  • The Films of the Eighties by Robert A. Nowlan and Gwendolyn Wright Nowlan p.458
  • Horror and Science Fiction Films II by Donald C. Willis p.318 – credits
  • Horror and Science Fiction Films IV by Donald C. Willis p.403
  • Serials on British Television 1950-1994 by Ellen Baskin pp.164-165 – credits, synopsis
  • The Vampire in Science Fiction Film and Literature by Paul Meehan p.104
  • We are the Martians: The Legacy of Nigel Kneale by Neil Snowdon (ed.)

Other Sources

  • British Board of Film Censors Monthly List November 1984 – note