London: British Film Institute, 2014; PB.
Part of the BFI Film Classics.
While digging an extension to the London Underground Railway, workmen discover an object which might be an ancient Martian spaceship – and Professor Quatermass of the British Rocket Group investigates a mystery which prompts frightening revelations about the origins of humanity itself.
Before 2001: A Space Odyssey and Doctor Who, Quatermass and the Pit was the paramount British science fiction saga in film and television. Kim Newman’s fascinating study focuses on Roy Ward Baker’s 1967 film, written by Quatermass creator Nigel Kneale for Hammer Films, but also looks at the origins of the Quatermass franchise in 1950s BBC serials and earlier films. Exploring the production and reception of the film and series, Newman assesses the lasting importance of this landmark franchise.
“It’s great to see a Quatermass film getting the BFI Film Classics treatment in this timely addition to the series.” – Sight & Sound
“Kim Newman is one of Britain’s finest genre commentators, and his writing here is illuminating …a shrewd and penetrating introduction to Quatermass for the uninitiated, and a must-have for those who think they already know everything there is to know about Quatermass and his infernal pit.” – Cinema Retro
“A must-have page-turner… A book you will want to pick up and read every time you watch the classic film it is named after.” – Fortean Times