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Quatermass and the Pit 

A team of scientists search for the origin and purpose of a mysterious capsule found on a building site.




1959   1958  




Complete series cast summary:
André Morell ...  Professor Bernard Quatermass 6 episodes, 1958-1959
Cec Linder ...  Dr. Matthew Roney 6 episodes, 1958-1959
Anthony Bushell ...  Colonel James Breen 6 episodes, 1958-1959
John Stratton ...  Captain Potter 6 episodes, 1958-1959
Christine Finn ...  Barbara Judd 6 episodes, 1958-1959
Michael Ripper ...  Sergeant 5 episodes, 1958-1959
Harold Goodwin ...  Corporal Gibson 5 episodes, 1958-1959
Clifford Cox Clifford Cox ...  First Private / ... 5 episodes, 1958-1959
Brian Gilmar Brian Gilmar ...  Second Private / ... 5 episodes, 1958-1959
Alexander Moyes Alexander Moyes ...  Narrator 5 episodes, 1958-1959
Brian Worth Brian Worth ...  James Fullalove 4 episodes, 1959
Richard Shaw Richard Shaw ...  Sladden 4 episodes, 1959
Richard Dare Richard Dare ...  Harrison - Private Secretary / ... 4 episodes, 1958-1959
Kenneth Seeger Kenneth Seeger ...  Sightseer / ... 4 episodes, 1958-1959
Tony Quinn Tony Quinn ...  Jacko - News Editor 3 episodes, 1959
John Walker John Walker ...  Private West 3 episodes, 1958-1959
Robert Perceval Robert Perceval ...  Minister / ... 3 episodes, 1958-1959
Ian Ainsley Ian Ainsley ...  Police Inspector 3 episodes, 1958-1959
Noel Howlett ...  Vicar Gilpin 3 episodes, 1959
Edward Burnham ...  Official 2 episodes, 1959
Allan McClelland Allan McClelland ...  1st Journalist / ... 2 episodes, 1959
Bill Shine ...  2nd Journalist / ... 2 episodes, 1959
Harold Siddons Harold Siddons ...  Electrician 2 episodes, 1959
Bernard Spear Bernard Spear ...  Arthur - First Customer / ... 2 episodes, 1959
Patrick Connor Patrick Connor ...  Policeman 2 episodes, 1959
Hilda Barry Hilda Barry ...  Mrs. Anne Chilcot 2 episodes, 1958
Victor Platt Victor Platt ...  P.C. Ellis 2 episodes, 1958
Kenneth J. Warren Kenneth J. Warren ...  Young Constable 2 episodes, 1958
Howell Davies Howell Davies ...  Mr. Chilcot 2 episodes, 1958


When a skull is found during building works at Knightsbridge, London, the work is halted in order that a full archaeological dig can proceed. The diggers delve deeper, finding more skulls, but also finding some form of tube-like shell made of a ceramic like material. The Ministry of Defence believe it to be an un-exploded bomb, but when they manage to dig inside the shell, dead insect-like creatures are found. The MOD continue with their story, but Professor Quatermass's theory that the insects are Martians who visited Earth over five million years ago is proved to be correct with drastic consequences. Written by Rhino <rhino@blueyonder.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Did You Know?


Noel Howlett (Vicar Gilpin) reprises his role in the film adaptation Quatermass and the Pit (1967), the only actor to do so. See more »


During the cliffhanger of Episode Two ("The Ghosts") the interior of the capsule is still streaked with dirt and clay. When this scene is reprised at the start of Episode Three ("Imps and Demons") the capsule is completely clean, even though no time is supposed to have elapsed. See more »


Private West: It was... it was a kind of figure. ... It went through the wall!
See more »

Alternate Versions

All commercial releases prior to the 2004 DVD box set are an edited omnibus version. Several scenes written to allow actors to move between sets during the live broadcast were removed, along with the opening and closing titles. See more »


Follows Quatermass 2 (1957) See more »


The Killer
Written and Performed by Trevor Duncan
Courtesy of Conroy Music Library
See more »

User Reviews

QUATERMASS AND THE PIT {Episodes 1-6} (Rudolph Cartier, 1958-59; TV) ***1/2
10 November 2006 | by Bunuel1976See all my reviews

I had always considered the third - and most ambitious - Quatermass film (made in 1967) as a masterpiece; if anything, the original serial is even better as the accumulation of detail (Kneale's decidedly cerebral script taking in an archaeological expedition overrun by the military, paranormal manifestations going hand in hand with a secret alien invasion, a startling revelation concerning Homo Sapiens, riots provoked by the sudden appearance of an energy-consuming demon, and ending with a plea for tolerance!) is more smoothly distributed - and, consequently, better digested - over the period of 3½ hours rather than a film little more than 90 minutes in length!!

Casting is very strong and about the best of all three serials, with Andre' Morell (standing in for the recently deceased John Robinson) emerging as the finest Quatermass ever; Michael Ripper - the actor with more Hammer Films credits to his name (though not, curiously enough, their version of this serial!) - is featured in a supporting role. The film - among the top two or three ever turned out by Hammer - obviously substituted color for black-and-white (arriving 10 years after the last Quatermass picture with a new director and lead actor); an inspired touch, however, was its resetting the excavation site where the alien spacecraft is discovered to a branch of the London Underground and, besides, this time around they could afford to show the demon and its subsequent destruction!

Of course, having watched the Hammer films numerous times prior to going through the serials themselves, the narratives hold no real surprises - but, then, because Kneale's concepts are so fascinating and even persuasive, they keep one riveted (and, despite their considerable length, don't make one restless to get to the 'goodies', so to speak). Again, the opening credits and the score set the tone wonderfully for what's to come - and, contrary to the monster of "The Quatermass Experiment" (which the BBC hated so much that the final episode of that first serial was deleted immediately!), some care was evidently allowed here to the preparation of the Martian creatures so vital to the program!!

Unfortunately, I experienced freezing around the 147-minute mark during playback of this particular disc - but, by fast-forwarding and rewinding a bit, I managed to make it through the effected part regardless...

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Release Date:

22 December 1958 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Quatermass and the Pit See more »


Box Office


GBP17,578 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


(6 episodes)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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