The British TV Missing Episodes Index

During the 1950’s Nigel Kneale wrote three highly successful science fiction serials for BBC TV featuring Professor Bernard Quatermass: The Quatermass Experiment (1953), Quatermass II (1955) and Quatermass and the Pit (1959). Hammer Films made all the serials into feature films in 1955, 1957 and 1967 respectively. The common theme of the series was encounters with alien beings threatening to destroy humanity.

Well remembered by many The Quatermass Experiment was remade by the BBC in 2005 and once again broadcast live.


Missing Episodes

01.08.53    Episode 3    Very Special Knowledge
08.08.53    Episode 4    Believed To Be Suffering
15.08.53    Episode 5    An Unidentified Species
22.08.53    Episode 6    State Of Emergency

Research indicates that the above episodes were not telerecorded due to disappointing results on the first two episodes.

So what does exist then?

The Quatermass Experiment - Eps 1 & 2, 35mm Mechau film recordings with variable density optical soundtracks.

Quatermass II - Eps 1 - 6, 35mm suppressed field FR's (except ep 3, 35mm Moye-Mechau FR) with variable area optical soundtracks. Models sequences for episode 6 on 35mm camera negative.

Quatermass and the Pit - Eps 1 - 6, 35mm stored field FR with variable area optical soundtracks. Also 35mm two-part compilation version, with many original 35mm film sequences cut back into the prints, and 16mm magnetic soundtracks (derived from original 35mm episode soundtracks which no longer exist).

Further musings:

From the Forum-Wed May 30 2001

"In the section about The Quatermass Experiment (1953), the observation is correct. If my memory serves me right, I happened to be standing next to Dicky Meakin, the S.Tel.E of Telecine at the time, (this was in Telecine at Lime Grove) when we were previewing the telefilm of either the first or second episode, and he rejected it as being of too poor quality. "I've got standards" he said at the time. "

-Arthur Dungate

From a Personal e.mail from Arthur 28/04/2003

"Recently I had a rethink. Dicky Meakin was previewing one of the episodes on the EMI flying spot telecine scanner at Lime Grove, and it was a 16mm reduction print. Now we didn't move from AP to Lime Grove until sometime in 1954 - and so, as Quatermass was a 1953 prog, the dates don't match. Thus what I said a few years ago can not be accurate. This means the reason Eps 3-6 were not telefilmed (that's the term we used at the time) is still a mystery.

I apologise for the misleading information, but it *is* 50 years ago!

Copyright © 2005,