First broadcast in 1996 this 2 disc release sees creator Nigel Kneale narrate a fascinating look back at the story of the 1950s Quatermass serials, The Quatermass Experiment (1953), Quatermass II (1955) and Quatermass and the Pit (1959) and the inspiration for the character and his adventures.
This includes a look at events in the postwar world and Kneale’s narration is mixed with archive news reports, extracts from the three serials and specially recorded material starring Andrew Keir as Professor Quatermass.
As Quatermass fans will know, Keir didn’t appear in any of the 1950’s serials although he did play the role in the Hammer film version of Quatermass and the Pit. The original actors were Reginald Tate, John Robinson and Andre Morell however Keir is used throughout to give the character a single voice which helps the listener follow the programme.
Essentially the listener is presented with two inter-running narratives. The first, as stated above, has Kneale explaining the real world background to the stories. The other has the now retired Professor visited by a young journalist who convinces him to talk about his exploits.
In addition to the entertainment factor the programme serves as a fascinating peek into the past touching upon issues such as the atom bomb, the “grotesque” Senator Joe McCarthy and his reds under the bed “nonsense” and the defections of British spies Burgess and Maclean.
This is an excellent insight into the birth of Britain’s first television Sci-Fi legend which assumes no prior knowledge of the serials and is therefore instantly accessible to all comers. In addition to the beautifully packaged CD (see below) the title is also available for download meaning everyone can enjoy this fascinating release on their daily journey.
Within the CD booklet Doctor Who and archive TV expert Andrew Pixley provides a two-page look at the various TV and film Quatermass outings and provides a background for The Quatermass Memoirs and another Doctor Who stalwart, Chris Achilleos, provides a stunning piece of cover art.
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Due for release on July 3rd The Quatermass Memoirs is available priced