Our insectoid ancestors: Quatermass and the alien behind the familiar

André Morell as the title character in Quatermass and the Pit (1958-59). He's an older gentleman in a suit with bow-tie, standing in front of a human-sized insectoid creature, which is slightly taller than Morell. The image is in black & white. Text in green, with red borders, says: "Our insectoid ancestors: Quatermass and the alien behind the familiar".
André Morell as the title character in BBC’s Quatermass and the Pit (1958-59)

We review the classic BBC sci-fi Quatermass serials written by Nigel Kneale, and their adaptations. Quatermass was immensely influential on Doctor Who, The X Files, and John Carpenter’s work among other sci-fi and horror. We discuss Quatermass’ themes including humanism, pacifism, paranoia, and the alien behind the familiar.

Hosted by Derek Johnson and Ani White. Edited by Lidia Grigorut and Ani White.


  • Intro/Recs: 0.55
  • Quatermass series overview: 9.15
  • The Quatermass Experiment (original and remakes): 16.41
  • Quatermass II (ditto): 30.28
  • Musical interlude – Science Fiction Double Feature, performed by Daniel Payne: 46.15
  • Quatermass and the Pit (ditto): 50.30
  • The Quatermass Conclusion: 59.55
  • The Quatermass Memoirs: 15.55

Links to Quatermass entries:


Media samples (aside from Quatermass):


  • Mars, Bringer of War (excerpt from The Planets by Gustav Holst), performed by US Air Force Band, via Free School
  • Where’s My Jetpack – Hotel Free Babylon
  • Science Fiction Double-Feature, song by Richard O’Brien performed by Daniel Payne
  • Theremin tracks: samples from It Came From Outer Space (1953) via jarichards99, Nightingale by Konstantin Kovalski via Theremin Today – Терменвокс, Leon Theremin playing his own instrument via slonikyouth, 18 – theremin by rap2h, Jovian synth 4 (synth imitating theremin) by thatjeffcarter
  • Darksynth tracks: Interdimensional Horror + Infection + Journey Into The Black + Identity* all by Karl Casey @ White Bat Audio

*closing track

Public domain sci-fi sound effects by Hanna Barbera.

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