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In the distant future, a now-elderly Bernard Quatermass investigates the disappearance of his granddaughter and a mysterious cult.
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Complete series cast summary:
John Mills ...  Prof. Bernard Quatermass 4 episodes, 1979
Simon MacCorkindale ...  Joe Kapp 4 episodes, 1979
Ralph Arliss ...  Kickalong 4 episodes, 1979
Paul Rosebury Paul Rosebury ...  Caraway 4 episodes, 1979
Jane Bertish Jane Bertish ...  Bee 4 episodes, 1979
Rebecca Saire ...  Hettie Carlson 3 episodes, 1979
Toyah Willcox ...  Sal 3 episodes, 1979
Tony Sibbald ...  Chuck Marshall 3 episodes, 1979
Barbara Kellerman ...  Clare Kapp 2 episodes, 1979
Brewster Mason ...  Gurov 2 episodes, 1979
Margaret Tyzack ...  Annie Morgan 2 episodes, 1979
Bruce Purchase ...  Tommy Roach 2 episodes, 1979
Annabelle Lanyon ...  Isabel 2 episodes, 1979
David Yip ...  Frank Chen 2 episodes, 1979
Neil Stacy Neil Stacy ...  Toby Gough 2 episodes, 1979
Brenda Fricker ...  Alison Thorpe 2 episodes, 1979
Elsie Randolph ...  Woman Minister 2 episodes, 1979
Larry Noble ...  Jack 2 episodes, 1979
Gretchen Franklin Gretchen Franklin ...  Edna 2 episodes, 1979
James Ottaway ...  Arthur 2 episodes, 1979
Clare Ruane Clare Ruane ...  Jane 2 episodes, 1979
Donald Eccles ...  Chisholm 2 episodes, 1979
Sophie Kind Sophie Kind ...  Kapp Child / ... 2 episodes, 1979
Joanna Joseph Joanna Joseph ...  Debbie, Kapp Child / ... 2 episodes, 1979
Declan Mulholland Declan Mulholland ...  Security Guard 2 episodes, 1979
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In the near future, civilization has broken down to the barest fragment of recognizable life. Young people are forming gangs and dominating the wrecks of cities like London. But the strangest Earth children are the "Planet People", following plumb-bobs to sacred sites, waiting to be "taken up". Professor Quatermass (Sir John Mills), seeking his granddaughter, teams up with Joe Kapp (Simon MacCorkindale), who is trying to analyze strange signals from space using the last working pieces of electronic equipment. They find the "Planet People" at a nearby stone circle, a light appears, the signal appears, and the hippy children are gone. Russian plot? Nirvana? Or something altogether more sinister? Written by Gillian <gillian.richards@tafensw.edu.au>

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Did You Know?


Started life in 1973 as a BBC series called "Quatermass IV". It had been commissioned by Ronnie Marsh, and according to Nigel Kneale, the intended producer was Joe Waters. Some model test sequences of the space station were shot, but eventually, the project was abandoned by the BBC. ITV then picked it up a few years later and produced it in association with Euston Films. See more »

Alternate Versions

This has been made available in the United States in two versions. It was first released edited down to a 105 minute feature film under the title _Quatermass Conclusion, The (1979)_. In 2003 the complete program was released on home video under the title "Quatermass" (1978) with a listed running time of 240 minutes. See more »


Followed by The Quatermass Conclusion (1979) See more »

User Reviews

The end of Quatermass, from the man who sets his scares on slow-burn
3 March 2005 | by darkdayforanimeSee all my reviews

You have to hand it to Nigel Kneale.... Even after all these years, his works still have the power to leave you feeling just a bit disturbed. Not in the out and out conventions of most horror/sci-fi titles, but with the underlying neuroses and paranoias that afflict all societies, regardless of culture.

All of the Quatermass serials contained these elements, so much so that they were practically strip-mined by The X Files. And so, regardless of the quaint anachronisms that they contain, they still, somehow, manage to retain something for the modern viewer.

The 1970's Quatermass series is the most anachronistic of all, because it is so unlike the earlier serials (produced in the 50's and 60's, as were the film versions of said series). This makes the aesthetic of the series so much more nihilistic. Made under the backdrop of the (then) rising punk scene, the random violence and criminal behaviour that is portrayed must have seemed entirely topical. Even the relative cheapness of the production adds to this aesthetic: so very 70's Brit sci-fi.

But the series was written back in the late 60's, originally intended to be the 4th film in the movie series (especially with the relative success of the "Quatermass and the Pit" film). This is why we have the strange interbreeding of hippy culture and guns....

As such, you have to say that Kneale was certainly visionary in that oh-so grim British way.... And the concept that human beings might be hardwired to seek out destructive (even genocidal) religious ideals (by unseen, advanced intelligences), capable of being intensified remotely for "harvesting" (for reasons unknown), certainly has a lot of resonance in today's world.

The acting in the series was variable (understandable for a TV series). John Mills is capable as the aging and (initially) confused Quatermass, desperately seeking his granddaughter in a world that seems to be falling apart. Once the threat is recognised, the scientist in him takes over, leading to a slow and tragic conclusion.

Simon McCorkindale, an actor who seemed to be on top of his game at this time, ably plays Quatermass's sidekick, Joe Kapp. Never the safest thing to be in any Quatermass serial, Kapp is taken through the emotional wringer in ways too horrible for a husband and father to bear, before facing the fate of sidekicks before him.

Bruce Purchase and David Yip provide temporary interest (never destined to be long-lived in a Quatermass serial).

On the flipside, Ralph Arliss is quite painful as the murderous (and annoying) Kickalong, whose fate is far too kind (and long in waiting). There is an earlier scene where a group of the planet people are massacred whilst walking between rival gangs having a shootout. Something like that would have been more appropriate for Kickalong, but it was, sadly, not to be....

The effects are of a pretty low standard, but given everything else, this doesn't really seem to matter. Given the cheap, 70's budget the producers had to work with (we certainly aren't looking at a Space: 1999 cashflow here), they managed to perform miracles.

I remember first watching this some time in the 80's (I'm not sure when precisely) on late-night TV. The darkly-nihilistic atmosphere of the series attracted me to it, then, because it was so different to other sci-fi shows going around. Years later I still find it strangely appealing, even with the faults of its age.

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Release Date:

24 October 1979 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

The Quatermass Conclusion See more »

Filming Locations:

England, UK

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


(4 episodes) | (4 episodes)

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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