Nigel Kneale: Beasts and Kinvig

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#1
There is a load of stuff on him released (in addition to the existing Quatermass stuff):

www.forteantimes.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=21400

Details:

www.imdb.com/name/nm0460600/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nigel_Kneale

Into the Unknown: The Fantastic Life of Nigel Kneale (pb)
by Andy Murray
www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1900486504/

Beasts (1976)
www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B000FAOAZG/
www.imdb.com/title/tt0169416/

Kinvig (1981)
www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B000FAOB14/
www.imdb.com/title/tt0081888/
 
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#3
Timble2 said:
Beasts was an excellent series, especially the episode about a 'haunting' by a dolphin....
I missed that series. I must have just started work. I was probably working shifts. Pity.
 

OneWingedBird

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#4
I seem to remember enjoying Kinvig at the time, but IIRC, didn't they stop showing it after the first 2 maybe 3 episodes 'cos it was so unpopular?
 

GNC

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#5
BlackRiverFalls said:
I seem to remember enjoying Kinvig at the time, but IIRC, didn't they stop showing it after the first 2 maybe 3 episodes 'cos it was so unpopular?
I remember watching the whole series and being slightly obsessed with it as a kid. I watched the final episode in Yorkshire, so I don't think it was cancelled in either the STV or YTV regions. Used to be on on Fridays, didn't it?

I have ordered both Kinvig and Beasts (which I've never seen) on DVD, so I'm looking forward to them arriving.
 

stu neville

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#6
Yeah, HTV showed the whole series too. I really liked it as well :).
 

Hogarth999

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#7
I loved 'Beasts' when it was first shown (especially the episode 'Baby' - the one where a mummified animal is found bricked up in a wall). However, on recently re-watching the series, I thought is was pretty poor. Not at all frightening or disturbing plus accompanied by some poor acting.

A shame really as this proves that I'm getting old and weary. :)
 

stu neville

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#8
Please don't spoil it for the rest of us :(.

I want to buy the DVD and get somewhat disappointed for myself, thank you very much...
 

gordonrutter

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#9
I saw Beasts agian relatively recenlty, first time I'd reseen it after broadcast and I thought it was still great.

Gordon
 

stu neville

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#10
Cheers Gordon :yeay:

If I'm disappointed by the DVD I'll blame you for getting my hopes up, you know that don't you?
 

barfing_pumpkin

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#11
I remember rather liking Kinvig - a genuinely original sitcom, with no camp vicars, harassed middle-aged fathers or fat-arsed mothers-in-law (that I can recall, that is). Being a kid who well into UFOs as well, I thought it was great. Dare not watch it now, in case it turns out to be significantly less impressive than I remember.

Never knew it was written by Nigel Kneale, though. How about that!
 

GNC

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#12
The funny thing is that Kneale wrote Kinvig as an attack on those who took UFOs and science fiction too seriously. I wonder if this will be more apparent to me watching it now?
 

GNC

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#13
Well, I've watched the first episode of Kinvig and one thing I didn't recall was the studio audience laughing all the way through it. I guess in my non-ironic way I was taking it seriously and I can see why it appealed to me at the time. Nice performances so far, but I wonder how it stretched to seven episodes...
 

GNC

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#15
Well, I've just finished Kinvig and it was nicely nostalgic to see it again, even if both my most vivid memories of it came from the same episode and for a comedy it was low on laughs. Presumably LWT thought they were getting a new Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, but the muted ending simply shows Kinvig to be a hopeless dreamer. Oh well.
 

Mob1138

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#16
Just finished watching the first few episodes of Beasts. Considering i have very, very, very vague memories (at best) of the series, i was amazed by how much did come flooding back. It was especially nice to see the old ATV graphics as well.

Anyhow, the series (so far) has been excellent. Ok, some of the acting hasn't held up well but that doesn't spoil the splendid scripts and the downright creepiness of the stories. This is a series worth picking up.
 

MrRING

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#17
Just got through reading in the "Into the Unknown" book that Kneale went to a single sci-fi convention, which he described as just a bunch of people wearing funny costumes getting drunk, and he found it so awful that he felt the need to make fun of the entirety of sci-fi fans with the show (though somehow UFO believers and conspiracy folk were also included).

Which makes me wonder - was it the unConvention that caused him to mix in sci-fi fandom with the UFO movement? Or was the two commonly mingling at Brit sci-fi conventions at the time?
 

gordonrutter

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#18
MrRING said:
Just got through reading in the "Into the Unknown" book that Kneale went to a single sci-fi convention, which he described as just a bunch of people wearing funny costumes getting drunk, and he found it so awful that he felt the need to make fun of the entirety of sci-fi fans with the show (though somehow UFO believers and conspiracy folk were also included).

Which makes me wonder - was it the unConvention that caused him to mix in sci-fi fandom with the UFO movement? Or was the two commonly mingling at Brit sci-fi conventions at the time?
When did he go to this convention as there have only been 10 UnCons it should be easy to look at dates

Gordon
 

GNC

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#19
It must have been about 1980 so it was probably a common or garden sci-fi convention. Doesn't mean there wasn't a crossover there, of course.
 

MrRING

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#20
There is no date given, other than it wasn't too long before he made the show.

Seems like somebody in the fan community would be able to accertain which convention it was that he showed up at, though...
 

gordonrutter

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#21
Well if it was around the time of Kinvig then it predates UnCon and a lot (but not all) of organsied fandom - possibly a WorldCon - Brighton would have been a possible one - not too far away and relatively in the correct time frame.

Gordon
 
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#22
Nigel Kneale - RIP

Can't find any references on any of the news sites, or if it's been posted before, but...

Tom Kneale (better known as Nigel Kneale) died on Sunday 29 October 2006 aged 84.
Source

Oh dear. :cry:



EDIT - Clean up and quote - thx for the post move. I knew there was a thread somewhere
 

Timble2

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#24
The Beebs Nigel Kneale obit.


Quatermass creator dies, aged 84
Pioneering screenwriter Nigel Kneale, best known for the Quatermass TV serials and films that began in the 1950s, has died at the age of 84. He died in a London hospital after a period of ill health, his agent said.

Kneale's The Quatermass Experiment in 1953 was the UK's first sci-fi serial and created its first TV hero, the alien-battling Bernard Quatermass.

The writer, from the Isle of Man, has been cited as an influence by Stephen King and film-maker John Carpenter.

The Quatermass Experiment told the story of an alien monster brought back to Earth by a British space rocket.

Robert Simpson, on Hammer Films' official website, said it was "event television, emptying the streets and pubs for the six weeks of its duration".

Last year BBC Four broadcast a live remake starring David Tennant and Jason Flemyng.

Channel controller Janice Hadlow described the original as "one of the first 'must watch' TV experiences that inspired the water cooler chat of its day".

It was followed by two further serials in the 1950s, Quatermass II and Quatermass and the Pit, with all three dramas later turned into films. A fourth serial, Quatermass, was made in 1979.

Shocking

Kneale also scripted TV dramas including 1984, The Year of the Sex Olympics and The Stone Tape, which are regarded as modern classics.

His 1954 adaptation of George Orwell's 1984 was so shocking that questions were asked in the House of Commons about the suitability of such material for television.


The Year of the Sex Olympics, made in 1968, imagined a future in which the public are subjugated by reality TV which places volunteers in a remote house and monitors their every move.
Kneale earned two Bafta best screenplay nominations for his film adaptations of John Osborne's plays Look Back in Anger and The Entertainer.

He continued working until the late 1990s, writing Sharpe's Gold and episodes of Kavanagh QC.

His wife Judith Kerr is the creator of the Mog children's books.

The couple had two children: Matthew Kneale, who won the Whitbread Book of the Year award for his novel English Passengers, and Tacy Kneale, a special effects designer who has worked on the Harry Potter films.


Share your memories of the work of Nigel Kneale and your reaction to his death using the post form below.

Nigel Kneale was the founding father of quality sci-fi TV. The fact that 50 years on Quatermass is still reverently spoken of says it all. He will be sorely missed, yet leaves behind a wonderful legacy. My thoughts are with his family and friends.
Mark Jobson, Edinburgh, Scotland

The Quatermass films terrified me as a child and entertained me as an adult. Superb imagination and way ahead of his time.
Dave, Kidderminster, England


Kneale was a true pioneer and visionary. His body of work was staggering, with Quatermass, The Stone Tape, The Year of the Sex Olympics still holding up today as prime examples of great television. He had a unique understanding of the human character and exploited it to shocking effect in his work.

British television owes Kneale a tremendous debt.
Andy, London, UK


One of my earliest memories as a child was my dad telling me about Quatermass, and how the whole country seemed to stop for it...

Only last week me and some friends held a Quatermass night; the plots, if not the special effects, still hold up remarkably. Even though he hated science fiction per se, I'll never forget how he summed up the first three serials...

1. We go to them... 2. They come to us... 3. They have always been here...!
Martin Winchester, Liverpool

Another one of my personal heroes gone. I don't think that his influence on TV drama in the UK has yet been fully realised, but I don't think it's overstating the case to say that Nigel Kneale pretty much invented popular drama on British television.

These pioneering television writers truly are a dying breed and, maybe we don't all realise it yet, but we will miss them. Good on you, and thanks for the memories.
Martin, High Peak, UK

The world is poorer for the passing of Nigel Kneale. He was a pioneer, a modern day prophet and hugely influential. The Year of the Sex Olympics was originally a prediction of what might happen in the future. Today it is a chilling parody of reality television. The collapse of society so clearly detailed in the final Quatermass story is a warning to us all.
Jamie Dowling, Birmingham, England

I remember watching the film versions of the Quatermass stories as a teenager, after the 1979 story was aired, and being mortally terrified by Quatermass and the Pit. Since then I've been enthralled repeatedly by these classics. They don't date.

Nigel was a genius in every sense of the word and I for one am sorry he has gone. I'll watch my DVD of the original series again tonight as a memorial. Thanks Nigel.
Paul Jones, Grays, UK


Landmark TV - never to be forgotten series.
John Rowney, Chesterfield

This is extremely sad news. His seminal Quatermass science fiction serials, particular the BBC trilogy, are still unsurpassed in the history of British broadcasting. Seeing them again on the recently issued DVD set is a reminder of a remarkable creative talent.

Other works such as his adaptation of 1984, The Year of the Sex Olympics and the remarkable The Stone Tape are enduring testaments to a pioneer of television drama. His admirers will cherish his memory and watch again the works he wrote at the height of his imaginative powers.
James Conway, London, UK

I remember my Dad telling me how he went to the doctor suffering from palpitations and lack of sleep during the Quatermass series. Turned out he was suffering from stress due to the scary nature of the programme! Now that's quality writing.
Essex Havard, Cardiff, Wales

A true genius of TV, I only met him once at a screening of Quatermass and the Pit and he seemed a humble man that was just doing a job, but I believe TV as we know it would not be the same without him.
DOMINIC FARNWORTH, UNITED KINGDOM

Directly responsible for some of the greatest television ever, indirectly responsible for most of the rest... he will be missed but never forgotten.
James Hadwen, Nr Norwich

Always highly attuned to the anxieties of the nuclear age, he produced outstandingly original science fiction drama. In an era of primitive special effects, his ability to compel lay in his focus on the human reaction to whatever plot was unfolding, which is why his classic works are still so worth watching today.
Mike Webb, San Diego, United States


Anyone who believes this man was just a writer of great television should unearth his novelization of the 1979 version of Quatermass - Kneale had an incredible command of language, wrapped around an insightful understanding of dynamics and reactions of society, even in a sci-fi setting.

Simply put, Kneale shaped and influenced the tone and intelligence of science fiction in this country, from the 70s' Doctor Who through 80s' The Day of the Triffids to 90s' Ultraviolet. RIP Nigel, you'll be missed.
Leonard Sultana, Cleckheaton, West Yorkshire

I remember seeing The Stone Tape at the National Film Theatre, introduced by the author. Magic! I don't think he'll be fully appreciated until now - the mark of most geniuses. Perhaps a tribute season will be arranged, showing just how many 'firsts' he was actually responsible for.
John Wall, Hampshire, UK


The Year of the Sex Olympics is scarily accurate about the whole reality TV craze - predicting where Big Brother and the like will eventually end up. At the time (1970?) it must have seemed totally outlandish - now it looks prescient.


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Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/e ... 105578.stm

Published: 2006/11/01 12:42:19 GMT

© BBC MMVI
 
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#26
Mob1138 said:
I'm a bit disapointed his death wasn't more widely reported.
Strangely enough, I was just about to post on the Quatermass Experiment Thread, as I'm in the process of trying to transfer my 20+ year old, Dutch subtitled, VHS copy of the film version of Quatermass 4 (The Quatermass Conclusion), to digital on the PC.

Perhaps, Kneale simply got to close to the truth for our alien, shape changing, masters?

:eek!!!!:
 

GNC

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#27
Pietro_Mercurios said:
Strangely enough, I was just about to post on the Quatermass Experiment Thread, as I'm in the process of trying to transfer my 20+ year old, Dutch subtitled, VHS copy of the film version of Quatermass 4 (The Quatermass Conclusion), to digital on the PC.
You should get the (far too expensive) DVD set, which has all four episodes and the film version as a bonus.
 

Mob1138

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#28
gncxx said:
Pietro_Mercurios said:
Strangely enough, I was just about to post on the Quatermass Experiment Thread, as I'm in the process of trying to transfer my 20+ year old, Dutch subtitled, VHS copy of the film version of Quatermass 4 (The Quatermass Conclusion), to digital on the PC.
You should get the (far too expensive) DVD set, which has all four episodes and the film version as a bonus.
I was lucky and picked mine up from Ebay for just under 20 quid.
 

Mob1138

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#30
It was on Friday nights if i remember right, never a good slot if you spend Fridays in the pub.
 
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