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  • Quatermass : The Complete TV Series (3 Disc Box Set) [1979] [DVD]
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Quatermass : The Complete TV Series (3 Disc Box Set) [1979] [DVD]

24 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Barbara Kellerman, John Mills, Brewster Mason, Annabelle Lanyon, Bruce Purchase
  • Format: Box set, PAL, Colour
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Clear Vision
  • DVD Release Date: 7 April 2003
  • Run Time: 200 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00008OP7B
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 52,814 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Box set of the 1970s sci-fi television series starring John Mills as the eccentric Professor Quatermass - to celebrate 50 years since the first series was broadcast. In 'Huffity Puffity, Ringstone Round', Quatermass returns after retiring as a supernatural force comes to earth and is responsible for the disappearance of young people. In 'Lovely Lightning', Quatermass and Annie take the only survivor of the Ringstone Round incident, Isabel, to London. In 'What Lies Beneath', Quatermass meets another scientist, Chisolm, whilst hiding below London. He may hold the secret to the mystery. In 'An Endangered Species', Quatermass and team bait the alien force with a deadly poison. Finally, 'The Conclusion' is a film version made up of all four episodes of the series.


John Mills stars as the eponymous Professor in 1979's Quatermass, the fourth, final and best of the celebrated television science fiction serials. The Professor's early adventures were 1950's TV productions, all made into cult Hammer films, including the excellent Quatermass and the Pit (1967). Here Quatermass, now an elderly scientist searching for his missing grand-daughter, finds himself facing a new alien nightmare in a convincingly bleak near-future Britain of urban decay, social collapse and unchecked violence.

Written by Nigel Kneale, as were all the Quatermass stories, this was an intelligent extrapolation of 1970's industrial-strife-ridden Britain, a continuation of the apocalyptic British SF tradition of John Wyndham (The Day of the Triffids was serialised by the BBC two years later). Thanks to a generous budget sufficient to allow for an international theatrical version, the production values are impressively large-scale, and the naturalistic performances from a cast including Simon MacCorkindale, Barbara Kellerman and Brenda Fricker add greatly to the sense of reality. Best of all, John Mills brings tremendous class to an adventure which remains a rare example of serious, ideas-based adult TV SF. Director Piers Haggard (Pennies from Heaven) packs considerable tension and not a few scares into Kneale's epic canvas.

On the DVD: Quatermass is presented on three DVDs with two 50-minute episodes and perfunctory production notes on each of the first two discs. The 4:3 picture is good for a 1970's TV series, though there is some minor print damage. Sound is adequate two-channel mono. Disc 3 offers the 101-minute international theatrical version, called The Quatermass Conclusion. This version contains some slightly stronger, 15-rated material, and different credits. The disc also features an oddly presented but interesting 18-minute interview with Nigel Kneale which is centred on the original three Quatermass BBC serials. A 16-page booklet is informative and the packaging is among the most attractive to grace a DVD set thus far. --Gary S Dalkin

Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Stephen E. Andrews TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 26 April 2003
Format: DVD
Quatermass (aka the Quatermass Conclusion aka Quatermass 4) always seems to be described as the weakest of the four Quatermass TV series according to the reference books. However, for the originality of its ideas it is almost up there with 'Quatermass & The Pit'.

Originally written in the late sixties but rejected by the BBC, many felt that the series was behind-the-times when showed on TV in the late seventies; after all, it was full of hippies, 'Planet People', young wasters who dreamt of mystical escape while society crumbled around them was hardly Punk Rock. However, writer Nigel Kneale was of course ahead of the times (prediction is often part of Sf after all) and within a few years the hippie returned in the guise of the traveller/crusty, battling for access to stonehenge on the solstice...
The narrative sees Quatermass (played with gentle understatement by John Mills) struggling to understand what alien force is behind the blasts of white light that are eradicating the planet people as they converge on neolithic sites in their anti-intellectual escape from the increasingly dystopian cities of Britain...the answer is an astonishing one: but I'm not going to offer a spoiler here, you'll just have to watch the series.

The usual brilliant ideas Kneale offers are backed up by an excellent cast which includes an intense Simon McCorkindale (currently of Casualty fame)and (briefly and episodically) Toyah Wilcox.

One of the last great TV SF series of the 70s, 'Quatermass' was produced by ITV...if only the television bosses of today realised that intelligent, adult SF is waiting to return to our screens if only the producers would read some old books and remember that it's not all zap guns and spaceships, but ideas that count too...
If you love intelligent SF, you simply must see 'Quatermass'.
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49 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Neal Vincent VINE VOICE on 15 May 2003
Format: DVD
I was only a kid when I saw this mini-series, way back in 1979, but it was one of those programmes that stayed with you, its images etched into your brain... The dystopian near-future setting, the street gangs, the armoured taxi with "no cash carried" painted on the door, the mysterious beam of light from the sky striking the gathered crowds at the stone circle, the giant radio telescope dish... All etched indelibly - from one single viewing, 25 years previously. Unforgettable.
I'd been trying to track down a copy of this memorable series ever since, only having the paperback novel from the time as evidence it had ever existed ... so it was with great pleasure that I noted this long-overdue release.
So, how does it stand up today? Although unavoidably dated in places, it's still amazing - maybe even more so, as we're nearer to the future it predicted than we were back then... Nigel Kneale's interest in the links between folklore and sci-fi creates a unique atmosphere, as in all his filmed works, and veteran director Piers Haggard maintains a sure hold over the unusual material, the fey tone of the work almost echoing that other great British nightmare-fairytale "The Wicker Man" in places. Other aspects are quite visionary, something I could only appreciate watching it again as an adult - the "pay-cops" (metropolitan contract police), the social decay due to no more oil, Britain described as a "third world country", the almost medieval pre-industrial populace eking out an existence amongst the rubble of society... And the scenes of armed riot police attempting to prevent the crowds of New Age Traveller-like "Planet People" from gathering at the stone circle are even more resonant now after the Tory era, and make you wonder if Nigel Kneale had a crystal ball next to his typewriter? I loved it then, and I love it even more now - if you're a fan of imaginative, thought-provoking, visionary British sci-fi then this unique work definitely deserves a place on your DVD shelf.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Darkman2371 on 24 April 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Read the description carefully this item is in Italian language only.

Also the picture quality was awful. Although it was a DVD It looked like it had been copied from a VHS complete with scan lines.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Mr. F. Long on 29 Dec. 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Don't make the same mistake I did. I was looking forward to seeing this series again, but the disc language is Italian and the picture quality is so poor that it is not worth watching. A 5-star series given the 1-star treatment!
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Superior British sci-fi from a time when ITV was still able to purvey such fare, before the network descended into something not far removed from the "Tittupy-Bumpity" skit in this, Nigel Kneale's vision of a society that has lost the point. Towards the end of the (20th) century, the economy has collapsed, what passes for law and order is now in the hands of "pay-cop" contractors (G4S!!!), and the kids, if they're not killing one another in gang battles, are donning hippy face-paint and flocking around stone megaliths thumbing a lift to the fabled "Planet". It's all to do with malevolent alien forces, of course, and the unfortunate "planet people" are not to realise until it's too late that their ticket out of our crazy world isn't quite what they have in (rather addled) mind....
There was considerable ennui to Kneale's world-view at the time this conclusion to the Quatermass series was written, and so the political subtexts may not appeal to all, nor is there much in the way of joy or humour to be had, but this is well-thought-out, intelligently-paced and respectably-acted drama of the sort that should be cherished. Sir John Mills' rendition of Professor Bernard Quatermass has attracted some negative comment for its' perceived "lack of authority", certainly in comparison to his predecessors (the faintly bizarre Brian Donlevy stint excluded), but I would suggest that it is in fact well-judged as appropriate to an ageing, bewildered man surrounded by the chaos of a world he no longer recognises. Good support is provided by Simon MacCorkindale, Barbara Kellerman, Margaret Tyzack, and Ralph Arliss as the thuggish "Kickalong" (a true believer in "The Planet" or a opportunist looking for a group to lead?).
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