This popped up on BBC iPlayer (and presumably on real live BBC television too, but it's some while since I last watched anything as it was broadcast, for this is the 21st Century), and since I always check out their monochrome films (it being a cheap way to fill Penciltonian gaps), naturally I investigated this one's year, and was glad that it fit. I've a natural interest in Quatermass, it being classic British sci-fi, a rather different proposition to classic American sci-fi. The three Quatermass serials were so heavily plagiarised by early 'Doctor Who' that it's nice to finally see where all those story ideas originally came from. Ideally I'd be watching the TV original from 1953, but it's largely lost from the archive, and besides would not fit with my own Penciltonian Xperiment.
|Of course, back in those days we all wore our coats all the time,|
to show how serious we were.
Victor Carroon is played by the scary-faced Richard Wordsworth. While all around him jabber in the polite accents we might see in 50s pastiches, Carroon is sweatily silent. While talk of rocket-ships and paperwork makes this sound a sci-fi procedural, the film is a horror at heart - the first Hammer horror, indeed - with Victor Carroon is its monster. It's a horrible performance, murderous and implacable, with the astronaut infected by something he cannot resist, compelled to smash and to drain life, leaving behind wizened husks which are still unpleasant to look upon today.
|The infected Carroon approaches a cactus.|