Although Doctor Who has sucked up most of the attention in this particular, slightly musty sphere over the last decade or so, British TV has a long tradition of groundbreaking science fiction shows that also, coincidentally, starred extremely crotchety old men, running in corridors and grumbling at youths. Among these, the first—and, for a particularly cranky species of nerd, most celebrated—were probably Nigel Kneale’s various Quatermass serials, a series of TV shows (and later movies) centered on all-purpose science whiz Professor Bernard Quatermass.
Now Nerdist is reporting that Quatermass—who was played by a whole host of aging British thespians over the years, including Reginald Tate, Brian Donlevy, and a relatively youthful Jason Flemyng in 2005—is getting the movie reboot treatment. Legendary is teaming up with Hammer (which produced all three Quatermass movies, including 1967's beloved Quatermass And The Pit) for a new film version of the good professor’s scientific antics, written by Hanna’s David Farr.
Like much of the famously cranky Kneale’s legendary TV output, the Quatermass scripts largely concerned themselves with smart people thinking their way through potentially apocalyptic problems, often while being bedeviled by obstructive bureaucrats and general, low-level idiocy. Although they’re relatively poorly known in the U.S., the various Quatermass projects are a fundamental part of the DNA of British genre TV, influencing any number of shows and films, and especially the early incarnations of Doctor Who.