Friday 13 December 2019

Episode 9 – Quatermass and the Pit (1958) – Part One

Today, the BERGCAST team finally heads for the only place really left to go: the Pit, source of terror, hauntings and that awful social Darwinist impulse that drives the people to suicidal mass action, which isn't remotely topical. In our exploration of 1958's original version of Quatermass and the Pit, we're joined by our guest, horror and fantasy novelist, playwright and Squaxx dek Thargo, the brilliant Maura McHugh.

The sky. The sky is purple.

Friday 29 November 2019

Episode 8 – Quatermass 2 (1957) - Part Two

This episode sees the conclusion of Jon and guest James Goss's look at Hammer's Quatermass 2

In a wide-ranging discussion that encompasses everything from Alan Plater to Flesh Gordon, they witnesses the trauma of Sid James being shot in the face (apparently), admire the inventive use of filler text and investigate if this really is the first use of the suffix '2' in a film title. James also tells us about interviewing Nigel Kneale for his student magazine... 
But what we want to know is, is this really Nicholas Courtney? 
Listen to BERGCAST below, via all the usual podcast venues, or the BERGCAST site.

Friday 15 November 2019

Episode 7 – Quatermass 2 (1957) - Part One

Donlevy's back! This episode sees the first of a two-part chat between Jon and producer and writer James Goss as we look at how he first discovered Quatermass and a slightly wider discussion on Nigel Kneale's influence on Doctor Who (including an interesting conspiracy theory concerning The Invisible Enemy), before we make the two-hour trip from London to Carlisle, via
Hemel Hempstead, to begin our look at Hammer's Quatermass 2 and wonder what Donlevy's Quatermass must be like at the Rocket Group's Christmas Party.

On the way we'll look at how conspiracies must seem efficient, and the terror of charm and the fear of Communist colonisation. Oh, and what actually is Broadhead's first name anyway?

Jon also gives a shameless plug to the BFI's Projecting the Archive strand, and in case you were wondering, the name of the actor James was so impressed with is John Van Eyssen, probably best know for playing Jonathan Harker in Hammer's first Dracula film, in 1958.
Listen here, at the BERGCAST site, or on iTunes.

Friday 1 November 2019

Episode 6 – X the Unknown (1956)

In this episode, Jon and Howard are joined by writer and actor Gareth Preston, as they examine Hammer's attempt to do Quatermass without Nigel Kneale, in Jimmy Sangster's attempt at his very own Royston and the Pit...

On the way we look at how the portrayal of radiation in films might depend on which side of the atomic bomb you were at the end of World War II. We examine whether Royston just spends the entire film trying to kill his boss's son, and we witness what might be the birth of Fraser Hines's ego.

All that plus the horrific deaths of the writer of the theme song to Goldfinger and the producer of Month Python.

Well, quite.

As ever, listen here, at iTunes or at the BERGCAST Podbean site.

Friday 18 October 2019

Episode 5 - Quatermass II (1955) - Part Two

For the second part of our look at Quatermass II, we are once again with Andy Murray, writer of Into the Unknown: The Fantastic Life of Nigel Kneale, which you can purchase here

There's some dark stuff in the later episodes of Quatermass II, so we have to warn you that BERGCAST is not for children or persons of a nervous disposition.

Friday 27 September 2019

Episode 4 - Quatermass II (1955) - Part One

Distract yourself from the political crisis and sinister machinations of the U.K. Government by letting Bernard Quatermass deal with it instead.

This episode we're joined by writer Andy Murray, whose book Into the Unknown: The Fantastic Life of Nigel Kneale is an absolute must read. You can get it here.

In the first of a two part chat, we look at what Nigel Kneale's been up to since The Quatermass Experiment, the casting of John Robinson and how the BBC felt the need to combat the launch of commercial television and a quick side step to the proposed Quatermass prequel, set in 1930s Berlin.

Howard's short story, The Austringer, can be found here.

Friday 30 August 2019

Episode 3 - The Quatermass Xperiment (1955)

Quatermass gets Hammered, with Brian Donlevy.

This episode we're joined by BFI patron Dave Thomas, writer of Hammer: Back From The Dead, to look at Quatermass's first big screen adventure.

On the way we'll look at the origins of this film and what it meant for Hammer, why Brian Donlevy might actually be the villain of the piece and what connects The Quatermass Xperiment with the Marlboro Man.
We'll also deal with cathartic memories of Britain's scariest comic...

...and investigate just what the bloody hell is going on with that US poster.

Listen here, at the BERGCAST site, or on iTunes.

Friday 16 August 2019

Episode 2 - The Quatermass Experiment - Part Two

BERGCAST reaches the Hadoke conclusion as Toby and I finish our look at the original serial.

If you've ever wondered whether it was really true that Nigel Kneale didn’t know how he was going to finish The Quatermass Experiment when the first episode went out or if anything was recorded of episodes 3-6, I hope you'll find our conversation of interest.

As mentioned in the episode, here's the link to the common terms in fingerprint analysis. Fascinating stuff, even if I'm still not sure why Inspector Lomax needed Victor Caroon's so badly.

You can listen to BERGCAST here, at the BERGCAST site, and via iTunes

Friday 2 August 2019

Episode 1 - The Quatermass Experiment - Part One

BERGCAST finally crashlands somewhere near Croydon with its inaugural episode, first of a two-part exploration with performer, writer, broadcaster and author of an upcoming Quatermass book, Toby Hadoke.

For gallivanting reasons, I couldn't make the recording session, so Jon and Toby go ahead without me, and in this episode they explore what the deal is with Inspector Lomax and the Loch Ness Monster, whether a cast member's beef with a cat got the poor thing sacked from the production, and whether everyone really came out and took a bow at the end of “State of Emergency”.

I find The Quatermass Experiment pretty haunting. It's not the show that was broadcast – it's a fragmentary copy of it. To see the original drama, you would have had to have been there in 1953, watching the actors play live. This is only the result of a camera pointing at the TV. In a sense, it's not a recording of the programme, it's a recording of the experience of watching the programme. It's largely lost to memory. It'd take a miracle to be able to see the rest of it, and it's gradually on its way to leaving the preserve of living memory. More or less everyone significant involved in its making is gone. We're watching a blurry facsimile of the work of the dead. It's a ghost of television.

But it's also really great. I suppose an expectation that something from 1953 is going to be a bit rubbish by modern standards, but really, no. Kneale's writing is poetic. It is alive, it is alive.

You can listen to BERGCAST here, at the BERGCAST site, and, when all the pings happen and contact has been established, via iTunes.

Thursday 18 July 2019


From Reginald Tate to the Tate Modern. From an asteroid 400 000 miles over Southern England (?) to Ringstone Round. And of course, from Hobbs Lane to Hobbs End. Every Quatermass story from television, film and radio discussed, dissected and handed over to the military to secure its funding.

Join Howard David Ingham (We Don't Go Back,, Jon Dear ( and some very special guests as BERGCAST blasts off from Tarooma, Australia and attemps to bring something back...