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Quatermass II 

Professor Quatermass is trying to perfect a dangerously unstable nuclear-powered rocket engine. After a disastrous test firing in Australia, his soon-to-be son-in-law, Captain John Dillon, ... See full summary »






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Complete series cast summary:
John Robinson John Robinson ...  Professor Bernard Quatermass 6 episodes, 1955
Monica Grey Monica Grey ...  Paula Quatermass 6 episodes, 1955
Hugh Griffith ...  Dr. Leo Pugh 6 episodes, 1955
John Stone John Stone ...  Captain John Dillon 4 episodes, 1955
Charles Price Charles Price ...  2nd Guard / ... 4 episodes, 1955
Dermot MacMahon Dermot MacMahon ...  3rd Guard / ... 4 episodes, 1955
Stephen Scott Stephen Scott ...  Guard / ... 4 episodes, 1955
Manny Michael Manny Michael ...  Guard / ... 4 episodes, 1955
Austin Trevor ...  Fowler 3 episodes, 1955
Edwin Brown ...  Paratrooper / ... 3 episodes, 1955
Peter Roy Taylor Peter Roy Taylor ...  Paratrooper / ... 3 episodes, 1955
Rupert Davies ...  Vincent Broadhead 2 episodes, 1955
Michael Golden Michael Golden ...  Paddy 2 episodes, 1955
John Miller John Miller ...  Stenning 2 episodes, 1955
John Rae John Rae ...  E.G. McLeod 2 episodes, 1955
Denton De Gray Denton De Gray ...  Technician 2 episodes, 1955
Ian Wilson ...  Ernie 2 episodes, 1955
Desmond Jordan Desmond Jordan ...  Young Workman 2 episodes, 1955
Peter Carver Peter Carver ...  Australian Commentator / ... 2 episodes, 1955
Martin Lane Martin Lane ...  Technician 2 episodes, 1955
Laurence Shiel Laurence Shiel ...  Head of Commission 2 episodes, 1955
Scott Harrold Scott Harrold ...  Man in Pub / ... 2 episodes, 1955
Bryan Kendrick Bryan Kendrick ...  2nd Technician 2 episodes, 1955
Malcolm Watson Malcolm Watson ...  Member of Commission 2 episodes, 1955
Carl Lacey Carl Lacey ...  Member of Commission 2 episodes, 1955
Robert S. Young Robert S. Young ...  Member of Commission 2 episodes, 1955
Bernard Dudley Bernard Dudley ...  Member of Commission 2 episodes, 1955
Stephen Dunne ...  Member of Commission 2 episodes, 1955
Reginald Jessup ...  Extra in Riot Sequence / ... 2 episodes, 1955
Brian Moorehead Brian Moorehead ...  1st Guard / ... 2 episodes, 1955
Roger Delgado ...  Hugh Conrad 2 episodes, 1955


Professor Quatermass is trying to perfect a dangerously unstable nuclear-powered rocket engine. After a disastrous test firing in Australia, his soon-to-be son-in-law, Captain John Dillon, draws the Professor's attention to a strange hollow meteorite which interrupted an Army Training exercise. Quatermass and Dillon investigate, and discover a vast government production plant which has some connection with the meteorites. After coming in contact with the noxious gas contained inside the meteorites, Dillon is taken away by the plant's security guards. When Quatermass presses this issue with an old civil service acquaintance, he learns that the plant is supposedly making synthetic food. Both men learn that this is untrue, and that the true products of the plant will threaten the world itself. Written by Christopher M. Buckey <ChrisBuckey@nospam.msn.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

22 October 1955 (UK) See more »


Box Office


GBP7,552 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


(6 episodes)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Several episodes were preceded by a warning that the BBC considered it "unsuitable for children, or people with a nervous disposition." See more »


During the rocket launch in Episode 6, the rod supporting the model rocket can be seen. See more »


Dr. Leo Pugh: I joined your father as a mathematical genius. That's not boasting. I was, once. A calculating boy. But these machines, they beat me. I press buttons.
Paula Quatermass: Why did you join him?
Dr. Leo Pugh: Looking for some kind of beauty, I suppose. The mathematical kind. The idea of making roads in space for rockets to travel. Four-dimensional roads curved with relativity, metalled with best quality continuum. Hmm.
[he realizes something]
Dr. Leo Pugh: These roads are two-way...
[Pugh tries to go back to work. Paula stops him]
Paula Quatermass: The break's ...
See more »

Alternate Versions

Episode Three ("The Food") was broadcast in 1991 as part of the programming celebrating the history of the BBC's Lime Grove facility. In order to fit into the half-hour timeslot, several minutes of footage were cut from the episode. See more »


Follows The Quatermass Xperiment (1955) See more »


Zero Minus Sixty
Composed by Robert Farnon
Performed by the Melodi Light Orchestra
Conducted by Ole Jensen
Courtesy of Chappell Recorded Music Production Library
See more »

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User Reviews

QUATERMASS II {Episodes 1-6} (Rudolph Cartier, 1955; TV) ***
10 November 2006 | by Bunuel1976See all my reviews

The 1957 film version of "Quatertmass II" was superior to its predecessor, and one can only assume that the serial was too; again, it obviously goes deeper into the various themes than the film does, but it's interesting to see how Kneale was able to compress his own work without losing the essential quality and potency of his concept (we've seen several films which have had large chunks removed from them with the result that one would hardly recognize the original - but it's certainly not the case with the Quatermass series!).

All things considered, I guess I prefer the films to the serials for two reasons: one, the fact that the former - even if still done on a low budget - were invariably more polished (given their crisp photography as opposed to the fuzziness of a TV program); the other reason is the essential tautness of the films - the serials don't necessarily feel draggy and are certainly never boring but, watched in one sitting (which, I guess, was never the intention to begin with!), Kneale's gripping and thought-provoking plots could make for a tiresome overall experience!!

John Robinson replaced Reginald Tate (who had died in the meantime) as Professor Quatermass; he does a good job at it but, from the three actors who performed the character on TV (I haven't watched John Mills in the final serial, named simply QUATERMASS, from 1979), he's the one who comes closest to Brian Donlevy's interpretation in the first two films and which so dissatisfied Kneale! The cast also features Hugh Griffith as Quatermass' assistant and future stalwart of British horror cinema Rupert Davies as a government official.

The fact of these being live broadcasts was betrayed more than anything else during this particular serial by the surprising number of lines flubbed by the actors throughout - chief among them Robinson himself! Besides, even if scenes that were made memorable by the films (which I obviously watched prior to the serials) generate their own tension and excitement on the small screen, the film's ending is preferable to the one presented here - in which Robinson and Griffith are flown into outer space in order to destroy the planet which was attempting to colonize Earth.

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