Tuesday, August 13, 2019
Enemy From Space!
Enemy from Space is the second Quatermass yarn, properly dubbed in England Quatermass 2. In this case we have the serial from BBC TV to compare and it's an interesting comparison and teaches much about the distinctive needs of both mediums.
Quatermass 2 from TV has a leisurely pace as an invasion from a mysterious foe is slowly revealed and then ultimately stopped by the singular bravery of a few stalwart people who raised a hand when it was needed. Enemy from Space moves a rapid clip with lots and lots of running around a pretty futuristic looking outdoor complex. Sometimes these types of settings get boring, but Val Guest keeps the camera moving and keeps our attention.
The plot is pretty simple and falls into that broad category of stories which include Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Village of the Damned and others. Aliens come to Earth and infiltrate the human race itself to gain its eventual goal, which in this case is a planet swimming in toxic amonotic compounds. And like those other shows, this one too is about conformity in society and how that can lead to all sorts of problems.
Enemy from Space does not have the dramatic tension of its predecessor The Creeping Unknown, but the threat is an even greater one on an intellectual level. Also Enemy from Space can boast the most memorable scene from the whole of the series, that of a desperate man slathered in poison trying to clamber down steps and live long enough to tell others of the threat. There is another Quatermass yarn and it took a decade to adapt to the big screen, and it 's the best of all. More to tomorrow.