Season 4 Episode 1

Ringstone Round

Aired Saturday 8:15 PM Oct 24, 1979 on BBC
out of 10
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Episode Summary

Ringstone Round
In a bleak near-future of gangs ruling the streets, Professor Quatermass is accosted by thugs while on the way to a television studio to offer commentary and analysis for Britain's part in an international satellite broadcast covering a US-Soviet space link-up. He is rescued by Joe Kapp, a young radio-astronomer who is on his way to appear in the same programme. During the transmission, Quatermass is harshly critical of the space mission, and predicts that missions like it are wasteful and probably doomed in some way because they don't produce anything useful. Not long afterwards, malfunctions begin to show up, and the mission fails, with all lives lost, due to unknown causes. Quatermass and Kapp are forced to flee to the latter's remote lab, which is near a stone circle called the Ringstone. A group of young religious zealots marches to the circle, apparently to take it over for some reason of their own...moreless

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  • A vision of Britain in the near future as it moves inexorably towards, not just utter corruption, but destruction.

    More than twenty years after "Quatermass And The Pit" was screened, Nigel Kneale finally returned to the Professor for a last adventure. The title was a worrying hint that this might not be as imaginative as its predecessors, and the fact that it was now being produced by ITV and not the BBC was not wholly reassuring, either. At the time, it was held to be a disappointment. But, ah, but... From a viewpoint of thirty years later, "Quatermass", like its BBC predecessors, seems worryingly prescient. Certainly the Britain it depicts, full of marauding gangs and appalling poverty, with a television service devoted chiefly to manufacturing brain-dead semi-pornography for the despised masses, is very much like the place it would become in the 1980s and thereafter. As before, the mingling of science and mythology is eerily convincing.moreless

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