Miscalibrated Internet Receptor Stalks

Quatermass Experiment on Hulu

Quick heads-up: Hulu is streaming BBC Four's remake of The Quatermass Experiment, Nigel Kneale's seminal British SF miniseries from the '50s, here condensed into a 96-minute telemovie that was aired live in 2005. Fans of Doctor Who and Sherlock will notice a number of familiar faces, including David Tennant (who learned he'd won the role the day the show was broadcast), Mark Gatiss, and Andrew "Moriarty" Scott. Genre film regular Jason Flemyng plays the titular protagonist.

It's a bit stiff and old-fashioned; Kneale's script was updated to reflect modern mores and technology, but much of the dialogue remains unchanged. The live format often creates a stagey feel, and the plot will seem overly familiar to fans of Doctor Who, as Kneale's material was borrowed heavily by the show's writers during the UNIT era, in addition to later SF/horror shows like The X-Files. But the acting is really solid, the transitions between scenes are fluid, and the sequences involving the monster are surprisingly well-done, relying on suggestion rather than effects. It makes me wonder what George Clooney's proposed live TV version of John W. Campbell's "Who Goes There" (aka The Thing) would have been like.


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