Wednesday, August 08, 2012

kneale before zod

Just a quick addition to the last post: my teasing reference and subliminal link to Nigel Kneale's 1968 drama The Year Of The Sex Olympics set me off on a bit of a YouTube odyssey through some old salvaged 1960s sci-fi drama clips. TYOTSO itself is a satire of an imagined dystopian future where the public are kept docile by being fed a televisual diet of increasingly explicit "reality" programmes, all of which seems strangely prescient now, and stars Leonard Rossiter (pictured) and Brian Cox among others. Nigel Kneale was most famously the creator of the Quatermass series, and by an odd coincidence the man whose given name he borrowed for his central character, Sir Bernard Lovell, died only a couple of days ago. As well as TYOTSO, much of the Quatermass stuff is available in full on YouTube, as well as the haunted house drama The Stone Tape from 1972. Here's a BBC Four documentary about Kneale, with some interesting interviews, from 2003.

Other things that may be of interest include a couple of episodes of the series Out Of The Unknown, in particular Thirteen To Centaurus and The Dead Past, adapted from short stories of the same name by JG Ballard and Isaac Asimov respectively. Both men are pretty heavily anthologised, so these stories probably appear in several places, but I have these two in the collections The Voices Of Time and Earth Is Room Enough respectively.

Nigel Kneale was also the husband of Judith Kerr, who wrote the Mog series of children's books, and father of Matthew Kneale, who wrote the excellent English Passengers, which I recommend thoroughly to you.

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