The Quatermass Conclusion

Year: 1980

Production: Euston Films / ITV

Director: Piers Haggard

Starring: John Mills, Simon MacCorkindale, Rebecca Saire

Screenwriter: Nigel Kneale

UK tv serial, 4 60min episodes. Version for film release is 102 minutes; Color


This 4th and weakest of the Quatermass tv serials was written in the late 1960s for BBC TV, rejected as too expensive, and finally made for commercial tv a decade later. The delayed rendered out-of-date the sequences about hippie adolescents lured to neolithic sites to be harvested by aliens. The other part of the plot, dealing with near future breakdown of law and order in a London becoming a wasteland, is stronger; but the two halves never properly meld, and The Quatermass Conclusion lacks the narrative thrust of its predecessors. John Mill's Quatermass is rather old and sad, and, though there is much to enjoy, there is a faintly querulous, elderly air about the whole production. The cut version, though planned from the beginning, is semi-incoherent. Kneale's obsessive, 30-year repetition of the science-meets-superstition theme is altogether jollier in his screenplay for Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1983), also featuring a stone circle.

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