A website about UK Science Fiction, digging through the past to uncover the future.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Buy content through ScooptWords A shaking hand wipes Dean Jagger's pate...

Watched X - The Unknown at the weekend, a phenomenal 1956 Hammer science fiction film.

Here are some preliminary notes for future exploration:

According to Jimmy Sangster, the screenwriter and production manager for the film, Dean Jagger the American actor who plays the Quatermass surrogate Dr Adam Royston, refused to work on the production because the director originally slated to produce had appeared before the House Un-American Activities committee.

There is a wonderful caption in the opening titles thanking the War Office for their kind help.

In the film, which features a hungry blob emerging from beneath the Earth's crust to feed on energy, nuclear research is carried out in what seems to be a garden shed.

Dr Royston is working on developing a way of neutralising radioactive material with a strange meccano contraption involving some panels spinning at the top of towers. He claims that he is trying to find a way of removing the energy without exploding it.

Nuclear research stations behind chainlink fences seem to be the norm in Scotland, where the film is set.

Leo McKern turns up as a kind of semi-governmental police officer who has the job of researching atomic events.

There are at least two pivotal scenes set in a church.

The military feature, with soldiers completing their national service involved in both the initial appearance of the unknown visitor and it's final destruction.

The establishment where the atomic material is seems to be a non-commercial venture, possibly government funded.

These thoughts to be expanded on later.



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