Neither Kneale nor Cartier were impressed with the state in which they found BBC television drama. Bisette, Stephen R. “The Quatermass Conception.” Video Watchdog, no. Thomas Nigel Kneale was born in Barrow-in-Furness on 28 April 1922. He has been described as "one of the most influential writers of the 20th century", and as "having invented popular TV". , In 1966 Kneale worked again for Hammer Film Productions when he adapted Norah Lofts's 1960 novel The Devil's Own into the horror film The Witches. , Susan Hill herself did not like some of the changes that Kneale had made to The Woman in Black. , The Creature—an original script by Kneale concerning the legend of the abominable snowman—was his next collaboration with Cartier, broadcast on 30 January 1955, followed by an adaptation of Peter Ustinov's play The Moment of Truth (10 March 1955), before Kneale was commissioned to write Quatermass II. A Weekend with Nigel Kneale is at Chapter Cinema, Market Road, Canton, Cardiff (01222 311050), from Thursday to Monday. The first Quatermass film had been a major success for Hammer and, eager for a sequel, they purchased the rights to Nigel Kneale's follow-up before the BBC had even begun transmission of the new serial. "Thematically no less awesome than Mr Kneale's earlier science-fiction essays for BBC Television, his ITV debut has proved only a so-so affair", was the verdict of The Times when previewing the final episode. , After graduating from RADA, Kneale worked for a short time as a professional actor performing in small rôles at the Stratford Memorial Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon. It was a case of take the money and run. Quite. So has Crossroads and that's a stinker". , In 1958, Kneale's play Mrs Wickens in the Fall, transmitted by the BBC the previous year, was remade by the CBS network in the United States, retitled The Littlest Enemy. The film has an air of respect for the issues touched on, and this impression is confirmed by the acting generally.  The Professor's first name was chosen in honour of the astronomer Bernard Lovell. Nigel Kneale quoted in “The Quatermass Addendum Part 3” by Bill Warren, Starlog 141, April 1989, page 51 The Year of the Sex Olympics was the brainchild of writer Nigel Kneale.  Lynne Truss, reviewing a repeat broadcast of the production on Channel 4 for The Times in 1994, wrote that: "Clip-clop is not usually a noise to get upset about. He was married to Judith Kerr.  Hinds and Guest had overseen the first Quatermass film, upon which Kneale had been unable to work due to his BBC staff contract.  The production was nearly made as a film by 20th Century Fox, but John Trevelyan, Chief Executive of the British Board of Film Censors, forbade the script's production. Kneale didn’t like these either, especially the altered ending. He particularly disliked the BBC series Doctor Who (1963–89; 1996; 2005–present), for which he had once turned down an offer to write. How much TV do you remember from last night ... last year ... last century? The series is a touchstone of folk horror and hauntology and has provided inspiration to many modern creators of horror entertainment. Thomas Nigel Kneale (18 April 1922 – 29 October 2006) was a Manx screenwriter who wrote professionally for more than 50 years, was a winner of the Somerset Maugham Award, and was twice nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best British Screenplay. " Doctor Who was heavily influenced by Kneale's Quatermass serials, in some cases even using specific storylines that were very similar to those from Quatermass..  He did take small voice-over roles in some of his 1950s television productions, such as the voice heard on the factory loudspeaker system in Quatermass II (1955), for which he also narrated most of the recaps shown at the beginning of each episode. Miller, David.  Neither of these scripts ever saw production, as the companies making them went out of business—Kneale commented in a 2003 interview that "I reckon I closed down at least two film companies.  Transmitted on 17 January 1997 and cited as one of the programme's finest episodes, it brought Kneale's writing career to a close after more than fifty years. Writing extensively for both film and TV, Nigel Kneale is one of the most important and radical British screenwriters of the last century.His work has haunted several generations of British viewers. Manx-born author/screenwriter Nigel Kneale was one of the most compelling and influential film writers to come out of England in the '50s. The following year, Michael Barry became the Head of Drama at BBC Television, and spent his entire first year's script budget of £250 to hire Kneale as a full-time writer for the drama department. His first professional script writing credit came when he wrote the radio drama The Long Stairs, broadcast by the BBC on 1 March 1950 and based on an historical mining disaster on the Isle of Man. Predominantly a writer of thrillers that used science-fiction and horror elements, he was best known for the creation of the character Professor Bernard Quatermass. “Christmas Eve with my mum and dad. Nigel Kneale was right!" Tags: BOO!, Film podcast, Ghostwatch, Haunted Houses, His House, James Brolin, Margot Kidder, Mat Colegate (aka Lord Nuneaton Savage) & Dan White (aka The Beast Must Die., Michael Parkinson, Nigel Kneale, Sarah Greene, Sinister, Stephen Volk, The Amityville Horror, The Savage Beast, The Stone Tape, There's A Ghost In My House, Trauma. 100 Greatest British Television Programmes, "Nigel Kneale, creator of cult TV figure Quatermass, dies aged 84", "Kneale, Nigel (1922–2006)—Film & TV credits", "BBC FOUR to produce a live broadcast of the sci-fi classic, The Quatermass Experiment", "Doctor Who Classic Episode Guide – The Daemons", Article by Mark Holcomb from The Believer, March/April 2010, The Quatermass Trilogy – A Controlled Paranoia, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Nigel_Kneale&oldid=988171449, Alumni of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, People educated at St Ninian's High School, Douglas, Wikipedia articles with BIBSYS identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SNAC-ID identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SUDOC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 11 November 2020, at 15:15. , In 1982, Kneale made another one-off diversion from his usual work when he wrote his only produced Hollywood movie script, Halloween III: Season of the Witch.  The play concerned the population of an 18th-century village who become haunted by visions of a future nuclear war, and was followed by several further one-off dramas for the BBC over the following decade, including two entries into BBC1's The Wednesday Play anthology strand. Nigel Kneale was born in Barrow-in-Furness, then in Lancashire, but grew up on the Isle of Man. But his place is secure, alongside Wells, Arthur C. Clarke, John Wyndham and Brian Aldiss, as one of the best, most exciting and most compassionate English science fiction writers of his century.. Moved Permanently. Referring to The Woman in Black adaptation, the writer and critic Kim Newman noted that: "He was very offended at the notion of Susan Hill using the name of Kipps from HG Wells as the hero of The Woman in Black, and so he decided not to use it and to change the hero's name to Kidd. The film premiered at the end of May 1957, and was reviewed positively in The Times: "The writer of the original story, Mr Nigel Kneale, and the director, Mr Val Guest, between them keep things moving at the right speed, without digressions. In 2005, he acted as a consultant when the digital television channel BBC Four produced a live remake of The Quatermass Experiment. This is satire from a TV insider, but it mutates into something far more desolate and disorientating. , Kneale never saw himself as a science-fiction writer, and was often critical of the genre. Quatermass II was Kneale's final original script for the BBC as a staff writer.  Kneale's episode, "Ancient History", was about a Jewish woman who during the Second World War had been subjected to horrific experiments in a concentration camp. Defiant (1962, from the novel Mutiny by Frank Tilsley) and First Men in the Moon (1964, from the novel by H. G.  Kneale got on well with the director assigned to the film, Tommy Lee Wallace, but when one of the film's backers, Dino De Laurentiis, insisted upon the inclusion of more graphic violence and a rewrite of the script from Wallace, Kneale became displeased with the results and had his name removed from the film.  According to The Independent, Kneale conceived a storyline involving the young Quatermass becoming involved in German rocketry experiments in the 1930s, and helping a young Jewish woman to escape from the country during the 1936 Berlin Olympics.. First Men in the Moon is a 1964 British science fiction film, produced by Charles H. Schneer, directed by Nathan Juran, and starring Edward Judd, Martha Hyer and Lionel Jeffries.The film, distributed by Columbia Pictures, is an adaptation by screenwriter Nigel Kneale of H. G. Wells' 1901 novel The First Men in the Moon.. Ray Harryhausen provided the stop-motion animation effects, which include the …  He made further radio broadcasts in the 1940s, including a reading of his story Zachary Crebbin's Angel on the BBC Light Programme, broadcast nationally on 19 May 1948. The plot is a condensed but largely …  Broadcast on 18 June as part of The United States Steel Hour anthology series, the script was severely cut back in length. The Year of the Sex Olympics has been praised for its foreshadowing of the rise of reality television programmes such as Big Brother (1999–present) and Celebrity Love Island (2005–2006). 1 month ago. Disney dropped new trailers for "The Falcon and the Winter Soldier," "Loki," and a first look at the new Star Wars series, "Andor.".  His first script for ITV in this period was the one-off play Murrain, made by the network's Midlands franchise holders Associated TeleVision (ATV) in 1975. Described by The Independent as "one of the few writers not to fall out with John Osborne," Kneale adapted Osborne's plays Look Back in Anger and The Entertainer in 1958 and 1960 respectively, both for director Tony Richardson.  This play was adapted and directed by the Austrian television director Rudolph Cartier, who had also joined the staff of the BBC drama department in 1952. , Kerr became a successful children's writer, with the Mog series of books and When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit, which was based on her own experiences of fleeing Nazi Germany in her youth. It was 35 years ago.  Only the first two episodes were telerecorded and survive in the BBC's archives.  When he did submit the script three weeks later, he discovered that Central had been about to cancel the production as they had assumed that Kneale, then 67, had not been able to complete the work due to his age.  Kneale was initially a general-purpose writer, working on adaptations of books and stage plays and even writing material for light entertainment and children's programmes. The Stone Tape was written by Nigel Kneale, best known as the writer of Quatermass. But we’ll get to that part when we …  However, shortly before filming it was cancelled by order of ATV's managing director, Lew Grade—Kneale was never told why. Or in the case of Mr Donlevy, waddle.". " Kneale was inspired in choosing the character's unusual surname by the fact that many Manx surnames began with "Qu"; the actual name itself was picked from a London telephone directory. " Film screenwriter and director Dan O'Bannon was also an admirer of Kneale's writing, and in 1993 wrote a potential remake of The Quatermass Experiment, of which Kneale approved, but the film was never made. , Kneale's next script for the BBC was The Stone Tape, a scientific ghost story broadcast on Christmas Day 1972. Carpenter wrote the screenplay for his 1987 film Prince of Darkness under the pseudonym "Martin Quatermass", a reference to Kneale's work. ", Jason Jacobs, a lecturer in film and television studies at the University of Warwick, wrote in his 2000 history of early British television drama that "It was the arrival of Nigel Kneale ... and Rudolph Cartier ... that challenged the intimate drama directly ... Kneale and Cartier shared a common desire to invigorate television with a faster tempo and a broader thematic and spatial canvas, and it was no coincidence that they turned to science-fiction in order to get out of the dominant stylistic trend of television intimacy. Quatermass and the Pit is on Warner Horror Classics, price £5.99. The Quatermass Experiment was the first adult television science-fiction production, held a large television audience gripped across its six weeks, and has been described by the Museum of Broadcast Communications as dramatising "a new range of gendered fears about Britain's postwar and post-colonial security.  Kneale's publisher was keen for him to write a novel, but Kneale himself was more interested in writing for television. ", The science-fiction production to which Jacobs referred was The Quatermass Experiment, broadcast in six half-hour episodes in July and August 1953. , Kneale's remaining television work was written for ITV. He died on October 29, 2006 in London, England.  Kneale was much happier with this version than the previous Hammer Quatermass adaptations, and the film was described by The Independent in 2006 as "one of the best ever Hammer productions. He was a writer and actor, known for The Entertainer (1960), Look Back in Anger (1959) and Quatermass and the Pit (1967).  Kneale's first television work to be made in colour—although only a black-and-white copy now survives—the story was based in a future where the majority of the population are kept in a docile state by constant broadcasts of pornography and other low-brow reality television programming. , Kneale was born Thomas Nigel Kneale in Barrow-in-Furness, England. , Kneale and Cartier next collaborated on an adaptation of Wuthering Heights (broadcast 6 December 1953) and then on a version of George Orwell's novel Nineteen Eighty-Four (12 December 1954). , Less successfully during this period, Kneale completed screenplays for adaptations of the novels Lord of the Flies by William Golding and Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. Wells).  Film producer Harry Saltzman, who had produced the two Osborne adaptations, approached Kneale about scripting a project he was working on to adapt Ian Fleming's James Bond novels for the cinema; Kneale was not a fan of Fleming's work and turned the offer down. Redirecting to /nigelkneale/filmography/p97672  Similarly, in 1995 Kneale scripted a four-part adaptation of one of Kerr's sequels to the book, A Small Person Far Away, but this also went unproduced. , In May 1957, Kneale was contracted by the BBC to write a third Quatermass serial, and this was eventually transmitted as Quatermass and the Pit across six weeks in December 1958 and January 1959.  Kneale was not pleased with the film, and particularly disliked the casting of Brian Donlevy as Quatermass, as he explained in a 1986 interview. " The adaptation nearly went unmade; Kneale had written the script in ten days but been advised by his agent to wait before submitting it to the producers Central Independent Television so that they would not think he had rushed it. Powerful stuff.  (His son, Matthew Kneale, would later win the same award in 1988 for his novel Whore Banquets.  It was the beginning of a successful working relationship between the pair, that would lead to some of Kneale's best known work.  Later that year he left the Isle of Man and moved to London, where he began studying acting at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA). , While recording an audio commentary for that film in 1997, Kneale speculated about a possible Quatermass prequel set in 1930s Germany.  The production, Quatermass, was structured to work both as a four-episode serial for transmission in the UK, and a 100-minute film version for cinema release overseas—something Kneale later regretted agreeing to. Here he talks about working with the man who invented modern television. Quatermass was a heroic scientist who appeared in various television, film and radio productions written by Kneale for the BBC, Hammer Film Productions and Thames Television between 1953 and 1996.  The horror fiction writer Stephen King has cited Kneale as an influence, and Kim Newman suggested in 2003 that King had "more or less rewritten Quatermass and the Pit in The Tommyknockers. Sutton was the Head of Drama at the BBC during this period, and twice lists Kneale while citing examples of the finest single plays made during his tenure. A particular critical success was The Year of the Sex Olympics, broadcast as part of BBC2's Theatre 625 series in July 1968.  In 1951 he was recruited as one of the first staff writers to be employed by BBC Television; before he started working for the BBC, Kneale had never seen any television. Curiously, I can remember clearly the first time I saw The Year of the Sex Olympics by Nigel Kneale. Called Crow, it was based upon the memoirs of real-life Manx slaver Captain Hugh Crow. Titled The Stone Tapes, it was a ghost story of a very different order as Kneale himself explained: “The Head of BBC Drama asked me if I could write him a ghost story for Christmas . Kneale wrote original scripts and successfully adapted works by writers such as George Orwell, John Osborne, H. G. Wells and Susan Hill. Professor Bernard Quatermass is a fictional scientist, originally created by the writer Nigel Kneale for BBC Television.  Although his first out-and-out comedy, Kneale was keen to stress that there had always been elements of humour present throughout his scripts, and some of the press reaction to Kinvig was positive.  Lez Cooke praised the production, when writing in 2003, describing it as "one of the most imaginative and intelligent examples of the horror genre to appear on British television, a single play to rank alongside the best of Play for Today.  Kneale knew Richardson through having previously adapted a Chekhov short story for the BBC, which Richardson had directed. Not only did it have three of the... Years and Years: Russell T Davies drama gazes into near future with unmissable dread The …  The serial was announced as a forthcoming production by the BBC in November 1972, and some model filming was even begun in June 1973, but eventually budgetary problems and the unavailability of Stonehenge—a central location in the scripts—led to the project's cancellation.  The film premiered at the end of May 1957, and was reviewed positively in The Times: "The writer of the original story, Mr Nigel Kneale, and the director, Mr Val Guest, between them keep things moving at the right speed, without digressions.  He was raised in the island's capital, Douglas, where his father was the owner and editor of the local newspaper, The Herald.  It has been observed that Kneale on some occasions operated a double standard with adaptations; being unhappy when others made changes to his stories, but willing to make changes to stories he was adapting into script form. 662 (March 1989): 90–96.  On this occasion Kneale was inspired by the racial tensions that had recently been seen in the United Kingdom, and which came to a head while the serial was in pre-production when the Notting Hill race riots occurred in August and September 1958. , Kneale also adapted Sharpe's Gold for ITV in 1995, as part of their series of adaptations of Bernard Cornwell's Sharpe novels. Cast splendid, direction deft," was The Times's preview of the first episode.  Kneale's first credited role in adult television drama was providing "additional dialogue" for the play Arrow to the Heart, broadcast on 20 July 1952. Nigel Kneale was born on April 18, 1922 in Barrow-in-Furness, Lancashire, England as Thomas Nigel Kneale. If you have never seen Nigel Kneale’s Beasts I urge you to rectify this as soon as you can. Manx-born author/screenwriter Nigel Kneale was one of the most compelling and influential film writers to come out of England in the '50s. For this adaptation, Nigel Kneale himself was allowed to write the first draft of the screenplay, although subsequent drafts were worked on by director Val Guest. “I saw it when it was first shown,” says the film critic Kim Newman.  The Black Lagoon script never went into production, but while in America Kneale met the director Joe Dante, who invited him to script the third film in the Halloween series, on which Dante was working.  Kneale agreed, on the proviso that it would be a totally new concept unrelated to the first two films, which he had not seen and he did not like what he had heard about them. During this time the BBC produced Kneale's 'The Road' (First Night, BBC, tx. " It was also included in the British Film Institute's "TV 100" list in 2000, where it was praised for the themes and subtexts it explored.  Nothing came of this, but seven years later he was commissioned by the BBC to write a new four-part Quatermass serial, based in a dystopian near future world overrun with crime, apathy, martial law and youth cults. He took very little interest in the making of the films or in playing the part. At the name of Kneale, I feel, every knee should bow.  Specifically designed by the BBC to combat the threat of the new ITV network, which launched just a month before Quatermass II was shown, the serial was even more successful than the first, drawing audiences of up to nine million viewers.  Kneale did his first work for the ITV network during this time, writing one-off play The Crunch for the ATV company in 1964.. … Nigel Kneale was born on April 18, 1922 in Barrow-in-Furness, Lancashire, England as Thomas Nigel Kneale. , Nigel Kneale in 1990, discussing his career on.  Tying in with the series, Kneale returned to prose fiction when he wrote his only full-length novel, Quatermass, a novelisation of the serial. The series … No need to waste time endlessly browsing—here's the entire lineup of new movies and TV shows streaming on Netflix this month. He was most active in television, joining BBC Television in 1951; his final script was transmitted on ITV in 1997. Writing about The Year of the Sex Olympics in 2003, Nancy Banks-Smith felt that Kneale was one of the few television writers whose work was particularly memorable. HEADPRESS: When did you first get the idea to write a book on Nigel Kneale and how did the opportunity to meet him come about? ), Following this success, Kneale gave up acting to write full-time. Ghostwatch was a big deal for the BBC on Hallowe’en 1992. The great horror sci/fi writer Nigel Kneale, usually renowned for his Quatermass writings and technology and science based themes, again comes up trumps with a finely acted drama that asks all the right questions and never resorts to silly clichés usually equated to the subject matter. , Kneale's treatment for the film met with the approval of John Carpenter, the producer of the Halloween series, although Kneale was required to write the script in only six weeks. He started on television, where his five-part series The Quatermass Experiment in 1953 took the fledgling British television industry by storm, racking up huge audiences despite the relative rarity of TV sets at that time.  He was also responsible for a painting of a lobster from which special effects designers Bernard Wilkie and Jack Kine drew their inspiration for the Martian creatures they constructed for the original television version of Quatermass and the Pit. , For the next few years, Kneale concentrated mostly on film screenplays, adapting plays and novels for the cinema. Thomas Nigel Kneale (18 April 1922 – 29 October 2006) was a Manx screenwriter who wrote professionally for more than 50 years, was a winner of the Somerset Maugham Award, and was twice nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best British Screenplay. Kneale was invited to write for the successful American science-fiction series The X-Files (1993–2002), but declined the offer. "The fact that it's lasted a long time and has a steady audience doesn't mean much. Controller of Programmes Cecil McGivern wrote in a memo that: "Had competitive television been in existence then, we would have killed it every Saturday night while [The Quatermass Experiment] lasted. " His final BBC work was an entry into a series called Bedtime Stories, adapting traditional fairy tales into adult dramas. Live on the Night: The Story of Live TV Drama. Nigel Kneale: Directed by: Patrick Barton(Australia) Country of origin: Australia: Original language(s) English: Production; Running time: 75 mins: Production company(s) ABC: Release; Original release: 17 June 1964 (Melbourne) (Australian) 26 August 1964 (Sydney) (Australian) 14 October 1964 (Brisbane) (Australian) The play was filmed the following year for Australian TV. July 1968 adapting plays and novels for the successful American science-fiction series the X-Files ( 1993–2002 ) Following! 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