Monday, 14 September 2015

The Quatermass Experiment: Part 2 ("Persons Reported Missing")

"Don't. Don't comfort me."

OK, confession time. When I blogged Part 1, last year, I was somehow under the impression that only the first episode existed. Oops. I now realise, having seen it, that the second episode exists too, and is awesome. And I have to admit that  it's even worse than that; I watched all of the original three Quatermass series years ago, except this episode. Oops.

Moving swiftly on, this is a fascinatingly dark episode, as you'd expect from Nigel Kneale. The main plot chugs along as we slowly discover that the surviving astronaut nay (mostly) have the body of Victor Carroon, but he also seems to contain the minds of all three.

All this is grounded in the mystery of whatever horrific thoughts Quatermass is so obviously suppressing, the conflict generated by Paul Whitaun-Jobes' tenacious journalist, Jimmy Fullalove, and most of all by the big reveal that Jusith Carroon had been having an affair and was about to leave her husband. Now she faced a future as a guilt-ridden carer to a man she doesn't love.

This is superb drama, made four years before Sputnik but giving us a believable depiction of space travel even if, being pre-Suez, it shows a superpower Britain as the pioneer. Extraordinary.

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