Sad news today that the Nigel Kneale has died.
An unacknowledged national treasure, Kneale shaped the nightmares of television viewers during the 1950's and 60's with The Quatermass Experiment, Quatermass 2, and Quatermass And The Pit. The series charted the adventures of Professor Bernard Quatermass, head of the imaginary British Rocket Group, as he battled against a variety of outlandish alien threats. The power of the stories lay in the way they played on deep-seated human anxieties (fear of infection, fear of loss of identity, fear of something evil within oneself). All of the series were later adapted for the cinema by Hammer films.
In 1984, a final series, called simply Quatermass, starring Sir John Mills, featured the ageing professor attempting to find his niece in a collapsing near-future society, while a disembodied alien force harvested the human race for its life essence via stone circles.
Other notable work includes the ghost story The Stone Tapes and the television series Beasts. He will be sadly missed.
Scarlet Traces: The Great Game. The double-page spread of the crashed ship from issue one was inspired by an image from The Quatermass Experiment, and I incorporated the lunar base from Quatermass 2 into the design for Copernicus Sound in issues 2 and 4.
All the TV series and films mentioned above are available on DVD: for those who don't know Kneale's work, the Hammer film of Quatermass and the Pit, starring Andrew Keir, is recommended as a good starting point. For aficionados, The Quatermass Memoirs, a radio production in which fictional interviews with Professor Quatermass are intercut with Nigel Kneale talking about the inspirations for his stories, is available on CD, and is often repeated on BBC7 digital radio.