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Showing posts from August, 2018

Quatermass: Brexit & A Warning from TV History (or 'How they learned to hate science and love the Brex')

Quatermass is a story of the future ... but perhaps only a few years from now. What might be in store for us if our civilisation were to come under terrible unforeseen strain.
Nigel Kneale, 1979.

I saw the final Quatermass TV series as an impressionable 10 year old. Like many of my generation, it's stayed with me ever since. The earlier Quatermass films and TV series are more respected critically and writer Nigel Kneale himself had reservations about the way the 1979 instalment was realised. Yet however imperfect it is, it does have great poetic dystopian power.


At the time, the urban warfare and mad cults it depicts were (correctly) taken as Kneale's somewhat bitter look back in anger at the social and political chaos of the 1960s and 1970s. It's forgotten that Kneale was looking forwards as much as backwards. In a feature for the TV Times to promote the series, he argued that the near total collapse of civilisation that he foresaw might be just a few years away.

Until …