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Toyah on TV: Quatermass – Chapter Three: What Lies Beneath

June 1st, 2020

Quatermass: Talking Pictures TV: Tue 2nd June: 9pm
Chapter Three: What Lies Beneath. Quatermass is rescued by a group of elderly people living in a scrap yard who doctor his injuries. At the hospital, the doctors are shocked when Isabel levitates off her bed and explodes in a cloud of dust. Elsewhere, the devastated Kapp is left alone in the ruins of his cottage and observatory. More and more young people are joining the Planet People, including the gangs that have been terrorising the cities and the soldiers assigned to keep them away from the Megalithic sites. Contact is restored with Chuck Marshall and with the Russians in the form of Gurov (Brewster Mason). Quatermass theorises that this is not the first time this has happened; megalithic sites such as prehistoric stone circles are in fact markers where beacons have been left by the people living then as a sign that something terrible happened there, and that there are some kind of alien markers buried underground at these sites. Quatermass believes there is a sphere of energy surrounding the Earth. The Russians and the Americans send a space shuttle, commanded by Marshall, to make contact with the force. Quatermass is sceptical; he believes they are dealing not with an intelligence but with a machine constructed to harvest human protein. The space shuttle reports a giant beam of light stretching from somewhere in deep space to the Earth, just missing them. A second beam just afterwards destroys them.

Meanwhile, the Planet People are gathering at Wembley Stadium in the tens of thousands. Annie and Quatermass travel to the stadium but are powerless to prevent the Planet People from gathering. When they are attacked, Annie drives their car into the underground car park beneath the stadium where she crashes the vehicle and is killed. The lightning strikes the stadium and Quatermass underground, huddles against the wall to try and survive.

This episode originally aired on 7th November 1979 on the ITV network and was watched by 10.5m viewers in the UK. The 1979, four-part, mini series Quatermass (also known as The Quatermass Conclusion or Quatermass IV) is airing weekly from Tuesday 19th May. Stars John Mills, Simon McCorkindale, Barbara Kellerman, Ralph Arliss, Rebecca Saire, Toyah Willcox, David Yip, Alison Dowling.

• Talking Pictures TV is An Archive Film & TV Channel. Available on the following platforms/channels: Freeview 81, YouView 81, Freesat 306, Sky 328 and Virgin 445.

Toyah on TV: Quatermass – Chapter Two: Lovely Lightning

May 20th, 2020

Quatermass: Talking Pictures TV: Tue 26th May: 9pm
Chapter Two: Lovely Lightning. The Planet People’s leader, Kickalong (Ralph Arliss), believes that the Planet People gathered at Ringstone Round have been transported—as promised—to “the planet”, but it is clear to Quatermass and Kapp that they have been reduced to ashes. One badly burnt survivor – a girl called Isabel (Annabelle Lanyon) who deliriously talks about “lovely lightning” – is found and is brought back to the Kapps’ cottage. Making contact with NASA scientist Chuck Marshall (Tony Sibbald), they learn that thousands of young people have disappeared in similar incidents at similar sites all around the world. Quatermass, aided by District Commissioner Annie Morgan (Margaret Tyzack), decides to bring Isabel to London for tests. As they make their journey, Quatermass speculates as to whether there is any connection between recent events and the decline in society.

Reaching London, they are attacked by a gang. Quatermass is yanked from the car but Annie and Isabel manage to escape. Meanwhile, a large number of Planet People arrive at the radio telescope, congregating at the stone circle on its grounds. Working some distance away, Kapp is horrified to see the light strike the area where his home is and rushing home, he finds his family gone as it was caught in the radius of the deadly light. His two friends and dog died too.

This episode originally aired on 31st October 1979 on the ITV network and was watched by 10.8m viewers in the UK. The 1979, four-part, mini series Quatermass (also known as The Quatermass Conclusion or Quatermass IV) is airing weekly from Tuesday 19th May. Stars John Mills, Simon McCorkindale, Barbara Kellerman, Ralph Arliss, Rebecca Saire, Toyah Willcox, David Yip, Alison Dowling.

• Talking Pictures TV is An Archive Film & TV Channel. Available on the following platforms/channels: Freeview 81, YouView 81, Freesat 306, Sky 328 and Virgin 445.

Toyah on TV: Quatermass – Chapter One: Ringstone Round

May 3rd, 2020

Quatermass: Talking Pictures TV: Tue 19th May: 9pm
Chapter One: Ringstone Round. Quatermass (John Mills), now living in retirement in Scotland, travels to London in search of his granddaughter, Hettie Carlson, who has gone missing. He is shocked by the scale of the urban collapse that has struck the city – law and order has broken down and marauding gangs terrorise the litter-strewn, decaying streets. The fall of civilization has been general across the world. Appearing as a guest on a television programme covering the “Hands in Space” project, a joint space mission between the United States and Russia, Quatermass is horrified when the two spacecraft are destroyed by some unknown force.

Astronomer Joe Kapp, another guest on the programme, invites Quatermass to join him at his home in the country where he and two friends have constructed two radio telescopes. At the radio telescope site, Kapp’s colleagues report that they detected a powerful signal at the exact time of the incident in space. Quatermass is intrigued by the behaviour of a group of hippie-like youngsters known as the Planet People, who are travelling to various neolithic sites (about 5,000 years old) from where they believe they will be transported to a better life on another planet.

Quatermass suspects Hettie has joined them. Along with Kapp’s wife, Claire, Quatermass and Kapp follow a group of Planet People to a stone circle of megaliths, Ringstone Round. As they watch, the Planet People assembled inside the circle are bathed in a bright light and disappear, leaving only a residue of white dust behind..

This episode originally aired on 24th October 1979 on the ITV network and was watched by 12.4m viewers in the UK.

The 1979, four-part, mini series Quatermass (also known as The Quatermass Conclusion or Quatermass IV) is airing weekly from Tuesday 19th May. Stars John Mills, Simon McCorkindale, Barbara Kellerman, Ralph Arliss, Rebecca Saire, Toyah Willcox, David Yip, Alison Dowling.

• Talking Pictures TV is An Archive Film & TV Channel. Available on the following platforms/channels: Freeview 81, YouView 81, Freesat 306, Sky 328 and Virgin 445.

The Arts Desk: DVD Review: Quatermass

July 31st, 2015

theartsdesk15aThe earnest 1979 TV series where Nigel Kneale’s Professor Bernard Quatermass bowed out

Urban streets are littered with bodies. Barricades constructed from cars are ablaze. The national broadcaster works behind security suitable for a prison camp, Fearful old people live communally in underground warrens. Gangs roam cities while in the countryside, the hippy like Planet People chant and wander, looking for sites from where they can ascend to salvation on another, mythical planet.

Professor Bernard Quatermass arrives in this chaos from his Scottish retirement retreat to take part in a TV show marking the moment when Russian and American space projects become one, linking with each other in quatermass15corbit above the Earth. He sees the programme as a platform to help in the quest for his missing granddaughter, who he thinks has had her head turned by the Planet People. Over its four episodes, the 1979 TV series Quatermass portrayed a world gone to pot.

This important release, a two-disc set out on Blu-ray and DVD, collects the 1979 TV series and its spin-off film. Quatermass is played by a magnificently sideburned, yet often wooden, John Mills. As Quatermass‘s foil Kapp, Simon MacCorkindale overeggs the theatricals but is nonetheless robust. Watch out for Toyah Willcox amongst the Planet People.

• Continue reading at The Arts Desk. View further info on the recent Quatermass DVD/Blu-ray Box Set here.

Quatermass (1979)

August 17th, 2012

The complete, four-part, late 70s version of Quatermass, starring John Mills and Simon MacCorkindale, in which Toyah also had a small role as Sal, is available to view in full at ‘You Tube’. This was made by Euston Films, filmed in 1978 and aired on ITV in October and November 1979: Chapter One: Ringstone Round; Chapter Two: Lovely Lightning; Chapter Three: What Lies Beneath; Chapter Four: An Endangered Species. View a photo of Toyah taken during the filming here. The series has previously been released on VHS and DVD but is currently unavailable. This was also released as a television film in 1979, The Quatermass Conclusion, an edited down version of these four episodes. View further info at Wikipedia.