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Directed by Piers Haggard
UK 1
979

 

John Mills brings a stoic intensity to the role of Professor Bernard Quatermass in this key piece of British dystopian fiction from visionary writer Nigel Kneale. Unsettling in its vision of a crumbling society coming under alien attack, Quatermass is directed with characteristic style by BAFTA winner Piers Haggard and features the high production values associated with Euston Films. Shot on 35mm, the original negatives have been used for this stunning, brand-new High Definition restoration – a new 5.1 mix from original triple-track audio elements is also presented here alongside the original mono soundtrack.

Bernard Quatermass, former head of the British Rocket Group, lives in seclusion in western Scotland, watching in appalled silence as Britain slowly turns into a vision of violence, gang rule and governmental collapse. A desperate search for his missing granddaughter plunges him into a terrifying situation when he comes to realise that the mass disappearance of thousands of youths is nothing less than the culling of the human species by an unknown alien intelligence...

 

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Television Release: October 24th, 1979

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Review: Network - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

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CLICK to order from:

Distribution Network - Region 'B' - Blu-ray
Runtime 4 X 0:54:27.083 = 3:35:10.208
Video

1.33:1 1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 48,565,741,875 bytes

Feature: 47,008,008,192 bytes

Video Bitrate: 20.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate Disc 1

 

Bitrate Disc 2

 

Audio

DTS-HD Master Audio English 3045 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3045 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
Music Score track:

LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit

Subtitles English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Network

 

1.33:1 1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 48,565,741,875 bytes

Feature: 47,008,008,192 bytes

Video Bitrate: 20.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

Brand-new HD restoration of The Quatermass Conclusion in its original theatrical aspect ratio
Music-only tracks for all four episodes
Episode recaps
Textless titles
Image Gallery
Booklet by archive TV historian Andrew Pixley


Blu-ray Release Date: July 27th, 2015
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters 12 X 4

 

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: (November 2018) Network - Region  'B' - Blu-ray: Network presents the 1979 mini-series iteration of "Quatermass" and its condensed version "The Quatermass Conclusion" on a dual-layered and separate single-layered Blu-rays. They utilized the the original 35mm negatives. The 1.33:1 image to 1080P (although wouldn't it have been in the PAL standard as a UK Television broadcast?) is rendered with a modest bitrate. It can look a bit waxy at times but also decent and pleasing in-motion. These are the four episodes of about 55-minutes each on the first disc (described on IMDb:)

Ringstone Round S1, Episode 1
24 Oct. 1979 Ringstone Round
Professor Quatermass comes out of retirement to search for his missing granddaughter and finds a world on the verge of anarchy, and an American-Russian space station destroyed by unknown forces. He is befriended by astronomer Joe Kapp and they witness the obliteration of thousands of Planet People by a beam of light at the stone circle, Ringstone Round.

Lovely Lightning S1, Episode 2
31 Oct. 1979 Lovely Lightning
Following the devastation at Ringstone Round, Quatermass hears of similar incidents worldwide and returns to London with district commissioner Annie Morgan and a Ringstone 'survivor' Isabel. En route they become separated in a shootout between rival gangs. Meanwhile, the beam of light descends again - near Joe Kapp's home.

What Lies Beneath S1, Episode 3
7 Nov. 1979 What Lies Beneath
Quatermass is rescued by a group of elderly people living in a scrap yard. At the hospital, the doctors are shocked when Isabel levitates off her bed and explodes in a cloud of dust. Elsewhere, the devastated Kapp is left alone in the ruins of his cottage and observatory. More and more young people are joining the Planet People, including the gangs that have been terrorising the cities and the soldiers assigned to keep them away from the Megalithic sites. Contact is restored with Chuck Marshall and with the Russians in the form of Gurov. Quatermass theorises that this...

An Endangered Species S1, Episode 4
14 Nov. 1979 An Endangered Species
Quatermass emerges from the car park to find the stadium empty. So many have now been harvested that the particles of dust in the air have turned the sky green. Kapp attempts to repair his equipment in order to contact the alien presence, but the Planet People destroy his efforts. They try to persuade him to join them but he refuses, convinced now that his family are dead. Quatermass, aided by Gurov, who has travelled to London from Moscow, assembles a team of scientists to find a solution. He deliberately selects old people for the task as they are immune to the...

The second Blu-ray with "The Quatermass Conclusion" (a condensed 1 3/4 hour) version is transferred at 1.78:1 (cited as the 'original theatrical aspect ratio'.)

Network have included a bumped 5.1 surround audio option in robust DTS-HD Master (24-bit) transfer as well as a 2.0 linear PCM mono soundtrack. Effects do get a boost from the surround with modest separations but purists may opt for the mono - nice to have the option. The music is composed by Nic Rowley and Marc Wilkinson (who composed for The Blood on Satan's Claw also directed by Piers Haggard, who did Venom with Klaus Kinski, Oliver Reed, Nicol Williamson, Sarah Miles, Sterling Hayden, and Susan George... and Haggard is also
credited as a dialogue assistant on Antonioni's Blow-Up) and it is included as an isolated score option for all four episodes. There are optional English subtitles (see sample below) on this Region-B-locked Blu-ray.

Network has padded this
Blu-ray package with Episode recaps, superfluous Textless titles (some without audio), an image gallery, and the package has a liner notes booklet by archive TV historian Andrew Pixley.

There is definitely some of the Quatermass charisma here - and Mills was a comfortable option. I was reminded somewhat of the mid 60's films Daleks' Invasion Earth 2150 A.D., Dr. Who and the Daleks with Peter Cushing as the title character.  For those keen on this era of Brit sci-fi, Network's Region-B
Blu-ray package has a ton of value at the current price of less than 9 - more than 1/2 that of its initial offering.
   

Gary Tooze


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CLICK to order from:

Distribution Network - Region 'B' - Blu-ray




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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