TELEVISION AT THE MOVIES
with so many things in British Telefantasy, it all started with Quatermass- "The
Granddaddy of them all".
Nigel Kneale's The Quatermass Experiment had broken through fresh televisual
turf, when it broadcast live over the six weeks of high summer 1953, that followed
the Queen's coronation. A runaway success story for the BBC, it had the distinction
of being one of the first mass-appeal dramas on television, and quickly promoted
its author from BBC Script Unit fresher to television's most in-demand dramatist.
However, ultimately no matter how hard people like Kneale and later Galton
and Simpson pushed against the boundaries of peoples' expectations of television
drama in the fifties, television remained a transitory, almost ephemeral art-from.
Television wasn't just of the same family as the theatre, it was the poor relation.
History has, of course, been far kinder to The Quatermass Experiment,
but in 1953 that was immaterial, and so too was the television series. For television
to be considered meaningful it went to the cinema.
The movie rights to
adapt The Quatermass Experiment into a film were bought up quickly and easily
by producer Anthony Hinds, from the BBC for Hammer Films in late 1953, much in
the same way as would the rights to a West-End show, and with a similar mentality
Val Guest, later to be forever tainted by being one of
the six directors to helm the infamous Casino Royale debacle in 1967, was appointed
as director. Guest, an experienced writer of movie screenplays like that of Oh!
Mr Porter (1937), would ultimately end up co-writing the script to the slightly
re-titled The Quatermass Xperiment (The Creeping Unknown) alongside Richard Landau.
Landau's initial treatment and early drafts for the film's screenplay, written
solely by Landau, before Guest's intervention told a far simpler story than the
Beeb's television version and effectively the same kind of story as the finished
film, but when brusque American character actor, Brian Donlevy became available
for the project in 1954, Guest decided to re-draft the film, to allow an American
to play the rôle of Kneale's titular hero.
actor who played the original Professor Quatermass on television, Reginald Tate
was never considered for the part. Neither would he play the part again, dying
a few weeks before the broadcast of the second television serial in 1955, and
only shortly after the release of Hammer's film.
Originally, to accommodate
the American market, Landau's first screenplay had recast the television production's
Gordon Briscoe as an American, leaving Quatermass as a British character, only
changing his name to Doctor rather than Professor Quatermass. It was also talked
about making him a significantly younger man, although this was dismissed early
Donlevy would later be joined by a host of British character actors
including Jack Warner, Gordon Jackson, Lionel Jeffries and Thora Hird (playing
a part originally occupied by a pre Steptoe and Son Wilfrid Brambell, in an obviously
modified form). The part of Victor Caroon, the man turned giant plant was taken
by Richard Wordsworth.
The film went into production at Bray Studios in
Maidenhead in late 1954, with later acclaimed cinematography by Walter Harvey,
superior special effects by Les Bowie and music by James Bernard. Location work
was done in and around South London and Windsor, as well as along Bray High Street
a little away from the studios. It finally wrapped in the first few months of
the following year.
'The Creeping Unknown' for the Americans, the end product was released in mid
1955, a few months prior to the transmission of the BBC's own sequel to The Quatermass
Experiment, the imaginatively entitled Quatermass II, again by Nigel Kneale. It
is no secret that, Nigel Kneale was considerably unhappy with Hammer's re-working
of his television original and still continues to distance himself from a work
which he considers to represent exactly the kind of B-Movie Horror hokum he had
been trying to avoid when creating Quatermass, and in which he played no part
in the production of.
With Hammer's new title - The Quatermass Xperiment,
revelling in its X-rated certificate, it was precisely the kind of Horror by spectacle,
rather than suggestion that the BBC production wasn't.
While The Quatermass
Experiment had been the first 'experiment' in Sci-fi for the BBC, things like
Captain Video, Tom Corbett - Space Cadet and The Adventures of Superman had been
dabbling in the art on American television since 1949; it had also been America
alone which had really popularised the genre at the cinema throughout the thirties
It was American companies who picked up the tabs for these
films, even though the British made them. In the early fifties, movie making in
Britain was just as much forced to ape the Hollywood model as today. The attitude
that didn't see Science fiction motion pictures as serious fare would be a concept
that echoed through the fifties and sixties.
Quatermass' adult telefantasy,
full of all the subtleties and nuances of characterisation were ultimately blunted
by an inevitable over-simplification of Kneale's complex psychologies. This inevitability
was made only the more real by the absence of any distinction Hammer Films saw
between the genres of Horror and Science Fiction- a mental block inherited from
Universal Studios' churned out horror pulp of the forties.
Xperiment (Movie Version) wasn't the same as The Quatermass Experiment. Things
from the one world of T.V. simply couldn't exist in the kind of B-Movie Hammer
made, and vice versa. Journalist Gareth Preston has since pointed out that "how
damaging this is depends on what you want... An authentic record of the TV series
they are not, but on their own terms they are superior examples of fifties SF
In spite of Nigel Kneale's many reservations over The Quatermass
Xperiment, and indeed largely irrespective of them, the film was a considerable
success by B-Movie standards, launching a Horror movie boom in Britain. Since
another serial was already in production by the BBC by the time of the film's
release (Quatermass II), as with the Dick Barton and Paul Temple film series before
it, a sequel was quickly conceived of, based upon the scripts for the BBC's current
Quatermass 2 went into production in the following year (1956).
Again directed by Val Guest, Guest repeated his contribution to the movie's script.
However, this time Nigel Kneale himself was brought aboard as co-writer. Far closer
to the original television story of October and November 1955, Quatermass 2 as
with its television precursor is largely regarded as superior to the original.
Kneale's script is sharper and Guest's direction more suited to the story. In
fact, whereas in the case of the television Quatermass II 's arguably greater
reputation to that of The Quatermass Experiment being put down to the absence
of a complete recording of The Quatermass Experiment in the archive reducing its
legacy, the movie's greater success, supports the idea that it is probably a better
The film's story was a virtual retread of the original
television programme, with only minor pruning of some of the serial's necessary
padding for live T.V. and final climax. The film also followed closely the television
serial in its location work, filming at the same Shell Haven Oil Refinery as the
BBC had a year before. Music for the production was again by James Bernard and
Anthony Hinds produced alongside Executive, Michael Carreras. Still working with
Tony Hancock in Hancock's Half-Hour on Television and Radio, Sid James joined
Brian Donlevy's Professor in the movie's cast-list, alongside Bryan Forbes, William
Franklyn and John Longden. The movie was released in 1957 to another reasonable
box office; both in Britain and America, where the picture was re-titled Enemy
Eager to repeat their past success with Kneale, Hammer immediately
approached the writer to adapt more of his work for the silver screen. With no
third Quatermass script having yet been written (Quatermass and the Pit would
not reach the television tubes until December of 1958), Hammer sought permission
to film a version of Kneale's live 1955 BBC television play, The Creature.
collaboration between Nigel Kneale and Producer Rudolph Cartier, following their
work together on the first Quatermass serial and Orwell's Nineteen eighty-four,
The Creature had had two ninety minute stagings on the BBC in January and February
1955, a few months ahead of the broadcast of the second Quatermass story in October.
The Creature's original television cast, featured, Stanley Baker (by special
arrangement with the British Lion Film Corporation), Simon Lack and a Peter Cushing
fresh from playing Winston Smith in Kneale's and Cartier's controversial 1954
production of Nineteen eighty-four. The story's cinematic release, had Forrest
Tucker taking Baker's part as the exploitative Tom Friend, and only Cushing remaining
to reprise his rôle of the Quatermass-esque Doctor Rollason.
screenplay, re-titled The Abominable Snowman was this time entirely Kneale's own
work, with few deviations from the original product; while Val Guest returned
from the Quatermass films as director only. The movie was filmed at Hammer's Bray
Studios, with minimal location inserts from a brief shoot in Greenland. It was
released toward the end of 1957.
Dumbing down on the more serious overtones
of the script's conservationist message, Hammer advertised The Abominable Snowman
with the tag line, "Demon-prowler of mountain shadows. Dreaded man-beast
of Tibet. The terror of all that is human!!" Despite such seeming sensationalism,
it can now be regarded as one of the most serious of Hammer's efforts in the fifties.
Kneale was far more pleased with the work than the previous two Quatermass
features, the latter of which he once considered using his joint-rights in, to
pull the film out of circulation. However, in spite of Kneale's liking of Hammer's
treatment of his latest project, it would be ten years before he would work with
the studio again. With no other television projects under his belt deemed suitable
of adaption, and no immediately further Quatermass serials in the pipeline for
the BBC, Kneale had no more television work left to offer the cinema. This would
only change with perhaps Quatermass' most famous outing on both television and
celluloid in Quatermass and the Pit.
The sixties brought with it a whole
new wave of television transfers to the cinema, and with the increased availability
of colour film stocks, it also brought the added incentive of seeing the monochrome
of television in full colour for the first time. No better example of this exists,
of course, than Doctor Who.
It had been Walt Disney films, who in July 1964 had first gone to the BBC to negotiate
the rights to take Marco Polo, writer John Lucarotti's series one, seven episode
historical epic, to the cinema. However the prospects for this picture soon fell
through, when executive producer for Regal Films, Joe Vegoda approached Doctor
Who's first television producer, Verity Lambert and Dalek writer, Terry Nation
for an agreement to adapt the first Dalek serial for the cinema instead. Vegoda's
Writer/Producer partner Milton Subotsky paid £500 for the project, and an
agreement was reached between the two men's production companies Amicus and Aaru
respectively to produce the film, which would be distributed through British Lion.
The proposed production was then billed by Subotsky as a "science
fiction comedy" in the 12th November issue of Kinematograph Weekly, with
Peter Cushing and Roy Castle billed as starring, and whose contracts were finally
signed the following month. With an unusually high budget of £180,000, filming
was pencilled in to start at the beginning of March 1965, for a later established
Terry Nation's television serial of seven twenty five minute
episodes would be reworked for the film by Subotsky, with some additional input
from the television show's former script editor, David Whitaker, who had already
adapted the same script into a novel the year before. Terry Nation was contacted
to contribute, but was busy writing for both The Saint as well as working on another
Doctor Who script for Lambert at BBC television. Subotsky's vision of Doctor Who
was radically different from the television show. In effect eliminating the character
of The Doctor, as the ancient time travelling exile from an alien world, Subotsky
replaced him with an eccentric inventor from Earth, called Dr. Who, living with
his two granddaughters, Barbara and little Susan in a London semi. Dr. Who had
invented TARDIS, a giant timeship cum laboratory filled with test-tubes and reams
of wires, all conveniently packed away into the dimensions of a Police Public
Although the characters of Ian Chesterton and Barbara were retained
from the first two series of the television programme, they were no longer schoolteachers
at the school of the Doctor's granddaughter. Now, Barbara herself was another
granddaughter, with Ian Chesterton as the clumsy boyfriend who accidentally launches
TARDIS off to the planet Skaro. With the script completed by February, the movie
was finally given the title Dr. Who and the Daleks.
that "I find it impossible to do a script about mean people," as well
as the comparison he drew between the film and Swiss Family Robinson tallies well
with the final overall look of the product.
On television, Doctor Who
had (and has) always had to battle between being a show for children and a show
for adults, often seeking refuge in a middle-ground of 'family' drama that it
has made its own. Subotsky, neither sought nor found any such genre-conflict,
simplifying Doctor Who's television persona in taking it to picture-goers. A similar
thing had been true of Hammer with its re-invention of Quatermass of course. However,
whereas Hammer had tinted the shades of grey with the moody blackness of an all
out horror, Subotsky and Aaru films did quite the opposite, swapping monochrome
for colour, and grit for forth - something far more juvenile - to delight rather
than frighten - Dr Who, very much for the kids.
was reflected in the choice of actress to play the Dr's youngest granddaughter,
with eleven year old Roberta Tovey successfully auditioning for the rôle
of Susan in early 1965, giving the film a performance, a million saccharine miles
away from the angst-ridden moody sixteen year old Susan of the television series'
Carole Ann Ford. Ann Bell was originally cast in the part of Barbara, but was
subsequently replaced by Emergency Ward 10 actress, Jennie Linden, whose photograph's
were quickly circulated as the new 'Doctor Who -girl'.
By this stage original
director, Freddie Francis (poached from Hammer) who had worked with Subotsky on
1965's The Skull, had also been replaced by another old Subotsky colleague, Gordon
Flemyng. Subotsky didn't hold the director as being all that important to the
film, leaving the decision to select the final man, to the eleventh hour. He later
explained in the mid-eighties when trying to launch a new Who project in America:
"The script is the most important thing... The cult of the director came
into being because the critics
think the director is the man who makes
the film, but he's not. I don't really think that it's all that important who
directs the picture."
Aaru loaned out, for the film, the original
plans for the Daleks by Raymond P. Cusick, from the BBC, constructing from these
eight new Dalek casings, in a blend of new liveries, to be manned by a mixture
of original BBC operators (Robert Jewell, Kevin Manser and Gerald Taylor) and
new additions to be trained by the old hands, including Len Saunders who had already
done extras work on the television series. Two of these new Dalek props would
be used on 14th and 28th May in the third and fifth episodes of The Chase for
the television series.
commenced on one of the vast sound stages at Shepperton Studios on 12th March
1965, finally wrapping a week late on Friday 23rd April. Post-production work
began immediately, and a new theme-tune was composed by Barry Gray to replace
that of the famous Ron Grainer and Delia Derbyshire version. Problems however
were encountered when it was realised at the last minute that Flemyng hadn't synchronised
the Dalek's lines with the flashing of the dome-lights. This in-turn brought about
hasty and often complicated rewrites of the over-dubbed dialogue.
Weekly, the first publication to break news of the production, reported upon its
premiere at the Studio One cinema on Oxford Street on 24th June 1965 that the
picture would be a "sure-fire popular money-maker; with Barry Norman concluding
in the newspapers that it possessed "all the preposterous ingredients of
box-office success." Dr. Who and the Daleks went onto national release on
22nd August 1965.
True to Norman's prediction, blanket advertising resulted
in massive queues outside the cinemas, with British Lion reporting takings of
£2000 by the close of the first week. Tying in, and in part launching the
Dalekmania craze of the mid-sixties, the movie's run coincided with the height
of the Daleks' use on the television with a further twelve Dalek episodes being
screened in the months of 1965 that followed the film's release. A comic strip
adaptation of the film was produced by Dell; a LP by Century 21 culled from the
television series came the following year, and Dalek slippers, Dalek jigsaws,
model Daleks and Dalek slideshows filled the toyshops over the Christmas of 1965,
over which period a hundred copies of the film were ordered up for distribution.
business thriving, and Vegoda (now at British Lion) keen for a sequel, Subotsky
and his associate Max J. Rosenberg, had already begun to plan a second Dalek motion
picture, by the time of the Christmas rush. Early ideas had included an adaption
of Terry Nation's second serial for the BBC, season one non-Dalek tale The Keys
of Marinus, but it was clear that the Daleks were the first film's real draw,
and so the idea was shifted to another Dalek movie.
Back at Hammer Films,
partly in response to the tremendous success of the Dalek movie, Nigel Kneale
had been contacted again in connection with the possibility of a film of the now
nine-year old Quatermass and the Pit serial of 1958. Shooting on this third Quatermass
film would only finally begin in the November of 1966.
The Daleks Invade Earth, and a little later Daleks Invade Earth 2150 AD, Subotsky
began filming his second Dr Who picture at Shepperton on 31st January 1966. Again,
Subotsky had written the screenplay himself, with help from David Whitaker, adapted
from the second of Terry Nation's television Dalek stories, The Dalek's Invasion
of Earth (1964), and Gordon Flemyng had been rehired to be the movie's director.
to reassemble the main cast of the first movie met with early failure, when Roy
Castle was unavailable to reprise the part of Ian Chesterton, and with Castle
now gone, Barbara's character was dropped too. Ian was eventually replaced by
Special Constable Tom Campbell, cast as Bernard Cribbins and a new character joined
TARDIS' crew in Dr Who's niece Louise, played by international clay-pigeon shooter,
Jill Curzon. Peter Cushing, however had been provisionally approached late during
the filming of the first film, along with Roberta Tovey, both of whom returned
for a second outing.
The picture was more expensive than the first, drawing
on additional funds from Sugar Puffs, with product placement in the film itself
as well as promotional material in conjunction with the manufacturer after the
movie's release. It was also consequently more impressive than the first, with
huge hyper-realistic sets and a full size space ship built to represent the Dalek's
means of transport. The Daleks themselves were also redesigned more in line with
those last seen on the television in The Dalek's Masterplan earlier in 1966.
the movie shooting on the adjacent set to Aaru at Shepperton, Casino Royale, the
second movie's production was a troubled one. Actor and stunt arranger Eddie Powell
had to be taken to hospital when he damaged his leg falling off a roof, and continued
supervising the stunt work on crutches. A Dalek operator was also nearly incinerated
when he became trapped in a Dalek casing which fell over and caught light, and
Peter Cushing fell too ill to work, causing shooting to be closed down for two
days, and forcing Subotsky to claim £30,000 money from the movie's insurance
Hopes that work on the film would have been over by 11th March,
failed to prove possible, and on Tuesday 8th March Subotsky made plans for the
film to at least be available by the end of June. Live action work with the cast
and crew was finally wrapped Tuesday 22nd March, with model effects work continuing
into the start of April. A new score was composed by acclaimed jazz musician Bill
McGuffie and the movie went on general release as double bill with western, Indian
Paint on Friday 22nd July 1966.
By the time of the film's premiere however,
the studio had already missed the boat. The 'Dalekmania' craze had died down.
Like the 'Summer of Love' one year later, it hadn't even lasted the summer. Despite
another strong P.R. campaign, box office takings were down, and although being
probably about as successful as it could have been, the audiences weren't really
there to be had. It was replaced at its first cinema by another run of My Fair
Lady after just under a month. David Robinson, for the Financial Times wrote "I
find the Daleks - cross little dustbins that they are - quite the most unattractive
figures in science fiction." The Yorkshire Evening Post dubbed it "the
hit of the hols", but despite this, the film could not compete with the success
of its predecessor.
A third Dalek movie, again with Cushing and Flemyng,
was quickly proposed by Subotsky based on Terry Nation's third Dalek script for
The Chase, but Amicus Studios were not eager to pursue it and so the concept was
The desire to make another Doctor Who related picture
would next emerge from Patrick Troughton's time on the show. Following the comparative
success of their six part 1967 story, The Abominable Snowmen, during Patrick Troughton's
second season (series five), writers Mervyn Haisman and Henry Lincoln, had received
an almost instant commission for a sequel, as well as a further script a year
later. Pleased with their tale of the Doctor and companions Victoria and Jamie
coming across eccentric explorer, Professor Travers hunting for Yeti in Tibet,
it was Mervyn Haisman who first broached the idea of adapting the serial into
a novel, avoiding BBC copyright, by altering the story not to include the Doctor
or the TARDIS, instead focussing on the newly created character of Professor Travers.
Travers had, by then, already made a second appearance in the television series
in the acclaimed The Web of Fear (1968). Vena Haisman, Mervyn's wife, eventually
wrote the novel, from the original scripts.
manuscript gathered dust until 1973, when Haisman offered the work to Target Books
for their Doctor Who range. It was rejected. Haisman recalled in 1998, "Vena's
version sat there a long time, until I heard through a director friend of mine
that Disney was on the look-out. So I dug it out and renamed the story The Intelligence,
and did this film version which went to Disney."
The film would have
been of a standard eighty to ninety minute length, and been billed as a separate
entity from the T.V. show. It is likely that actor Jack Watling would have been
rehired to play Professor Travers as he had in the two BBC serials, being an actor
with whom Disney had worked before. However, as Haisman explained, "unfortunately
it was a time when Disney was going through one of their lowest financial ebbs.
They just couldn't afford it." Haisman even suggested North Wales stand in
for the Tibetan locations as it had done in The Abominable Snowmen, but continued
Haisman, "it came to no avail. The story's sat there ever since."
more successful a project, from the same year as The Abominable Snowmen's broadcast
on BBC1, was the third Quatermass movie from Hammer, Quatermass and the Pit -
without a doubt the best known of both the television and filmed stories, and
a highly popular release from the Hammer studio. Following on from what Nigel
Kneale had seen as the butchering of his stories for the first two Quatermass
films, he had been reluctant to return to Hammer to adapt his third and final
Quatermass story of the fifties, Quatermass and the Pit. However, as time healed
old wounds, and with Hammer under new management, by 1967 such a production finally
been got off the ground.
A gothic tale of spooks and alien hauntings around
a strange unidentified capsule on a London building site, Quatermass and the Pit
had been a phenomenal and much deserved critical and popular success for the BBC
in 1958, and with such a weight of recent television history weighing upon its
shoulders it was always going to be both the biggest gamble and the one with the
greatest success likely to garnered. Upon his insistence, it would Nigel Kneale
alone who would adapt his six thirty-five minute television episodes for Hammer,
and it would be a new director, Roy Ward Baker who would film Quatermass' first
sojourn into the world of colour. Previous director Val Guest was tied up on filming
Kneale altered the setting of the story quite drastically
for the film, turning his story of haunted spectres at Hob's Lane into one at
Hobb's End Tube Station, the plot however, remained roughly the same in layout,
with all the major characters returning for the project. New director, Roy Ward
Baker's first choice to play the professor had been Kenneth More, then only fairly
recently having completed The Forsyte Saga for the BBC. However negotiations fell
through early on, and Andrew Keir, who also appeared in Daleks' Invasion Earth
2150 AD for the Doctor Who franchise, took his place. As Keir later recalled however,
Baker was never happy with his second choice, considering him just that - second
choice. Keir comments that Baker made life difficult for him on set, saying that:
"Normally I enjoy going to work every day. But for seven and a half weeks,
it was hell."
Donald joined Keir in the production as the Canadian archaeologist, Doctor Roney
(a part played by Cec Linder in the original television version) and with Barbara
Shelley playing the Doctor's assistant. The cast were also joined by Doctor Who
stalwart, Julian Glover, who recollected how Hammer's refusal to pay for stunt
doubles unless 100% necessary led to him having to be covered in uncomfortable
blistered skin-make up and dry-ice before throwing himself into the titular pit,
some several feet below. He optimistically said: "Not exactly nice, but there
was something to fall onto."
Thanks in no small part to the startling
special effects work of Les Bowie (the only member of the production team apart
from Kneale to return from the previous two films), and the good fortune of Hammer
that saw MGM's Borehamwood soundstages being made available throughout the movie's
shoot, the finished 97 minute product dazzled audiences when it was first screened
in 1967, being now regarded as by far the most visually spectacular of any of
the Quatermass outings in television, radio or cinema. It was advertised with
the usual Hammer subtlety with the tag line: "Before man walked the earth.
It slept for centuries. It is evil. It is real. It is awakening."
would, in 1979 be one more Quatermass story on television from Kneale, the enigmatically
entitled - Quatermass for ITV starring John Mills. It too would reach the cinema,
but only as a re-edited version of the actual television serial for small-scale
theatrical release under the title, The Quatermass Conclusion. Quatermass and
the Pit, would remain the last true adaptation of a Quatermass story for the cinema,
completing a trilogy of films of serials from the fifties, but going no further,
which was probably, with hindsight, a good thing after all.
was not the best of decades for cult British television shows making it to the
cinema; with a project masterminded by Tom Baker to film Doctor Who and Scratchman,
at the peak of Doctor Who's popularity, falling by the wayside along with many
others, including Quatermass 4, which would eventually materialise on television
as the four part Mills' Quatermass series. The eighties proved significantly worse,
with the shows dying out on television as well as on film. Doctor Who left our
TV tubes as a regular series in December 1989.
the end of the century rumours did start to appear that suggested that The Quatermass
Experiment and Quatermass and the Pit might be remade again. A version of The
Quatermass Xperiment had been drafted by Star Trek writer Dan O'Brannon, which
was to follow on as a kind of sequel to the original franchise, with the professor's
grandson taking centre stage, in a picture for the newly re-launched Hammer Studios
under new head, Roy Skeggs. Kneale lent the film his blessing, but ultimately
the picture remains unmade; as too does Legacy, which would have been another
remake of Quatermass and the Pit. Legacy, again under the Hammer imprint would
have moved events to Washington D.C. and oddly, have disposed with the Quatermass
character altogether. That film too, remains unmade.
The Doctor Who franchise
would remain within the hands of Milton Subotsky until the mid-nineties with,
at one stage, the late Michael Sheard being connected with a third new project,
which ultimately remained unrealised. Subotsky had also attempted to make Doctor
Who's Greatest Adventure in the 1980s with one of the television Doctors, possibly
Jon Pertwee, but backing was not forthcoming. Milton Subotsky died in 1991, with
no third Dalek or Doctor Who movie ever making it to the silver screen.
a lot of the television shows that inspired these cinema releases now gone, the
kind of movies that make the transfer today, are far more homages or revivals
to a past gone by, rather than continuations of a canon. In 1998 The Avengers
movie with Ralph Fiennes became the ultimate personification of this phenomenon.
The cinema has arguably become a conduit through which these otherwise
dead series can live on. They are rarely faithful however, with Charlie's Angels,
Lost In Space, Mission Impossible and The Saint standing as examples of the logical
extreme of such reinvention.
is not to say that things can't change or won't however.
In 2005 Doctor
Who was brought back as a television series, and talks still continue over the
seemingly ever-present proposed Blake's Seven - The Movie project. And finally
there might be something new as well, with the success of this year's Life On
Mars series for BBC One bringing the possibility of something which hasn't been
seen in British Television since the 1970s - another straight transfer. Life On
Mars the movie is currently in negotiations.