[17][38], In 1966 Kneale worked again for Hammer Film Productions when he adapted Norah Lofts's 1960 novel The Devil's Own into the horror film The Witches. [14] Kneale's publisher was keen for him to write a novel,[3] but Kneale himself was more interested in writing for television. Kneale was invited to write for the successful American science-fiction series The X-Files (1993–2002), but declined the offer. Kneale wrote original scripts and successfully adapted works by writers such as George Orwell, John Osborne, H. G. Wells and Susan Hill. HEADPRESS: When did you first get the idea to write a book on Nigel Kneale and how did the opportunity to meet him come about? "[23], The science-fiction production to which Jacobs referred was The Quatermass Experiment, broadcast in six half-hour episodes in July and August 1953. "[84] Film screenwriter and director Dan O'Bannon was also an admirer of Kneale's writing,[83] and in 1993 wrote a potential remake of The Quatermass Experiment,[85] of which Kneale approved,[86] but the film was never made. Described by The Independent as "one of the few writers not to fall out with John Osborne,"[7] Kneale adapted Osborne's plays Look Back in Anger and The Entertainer in 1958 and 1960 respectively, both for director Tony Richardson. If you have never seen Nigel Kneale’s Beasts I urge you to rectify this as soon as you can. [6] Kneale's episode, "Ancient History", was about a Jewish woman who during the Second World War had been subjected to horrific experiments in a concentration camp. [54] Kneale had first worked on the screenplay for the adaptation in 1961,[54] the same year in which he had begun to adapt Quatermass and the Pit for Hammer. Thomas Nigel Kneale (18 April 1922 – 29 October 2006) was a Manx screenwriter who wrote professionally for more than 50 years, was a winner of the Somerset Maugham Award, and was twice nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best British Screenplay. [8] Kneale worked with Kerr on an adaptation of When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit in the 1970s, but the eventual makers of the film version disregarded their script. He was married to Judith Kerr. [61] Kneale's first television work to be made in colour—although only a black-and-white copy now survives—the story was based in a future where the majority of the population are kept in a docile state by constant broadcasts of pornography and other low-brow reality television programming. Sutton, p. 20 and p. 54. [56] Roy Ward Baker directed, with Andrew Keir starring as Quatermass. In 2000, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Horror Writers Association. 1922-2006. [38], In May 1957, Kneale was contracted by the BBC to write a third Quatermass serial,[39] and this was eventually transmitted as Quatermass and the Pit across six weeks in December 1958 and January 1959. He also criticised Blake's 7, which he described as the lowest point of British television science-fiction: "I think the low point for me would be the very few bits I've seen of a thing called Blake's 7 which I found paralytically awful. In 1968's The Year of the Sex Olympics, Kneale, a pioneering writer of TV drama who died this week, ingeniously predicted the future of lowest-common-denominator TV. [12], After graduating from RADA, Kneale worked for a short time as a professional actor performing in small rôles at the Stratford Memorial Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon. "If you like the idea of the Hitch-Hiker's Guide but found its realization tiresomely hysterical you may well prefer Kneale's relaxed wit. ANDY MURRAY: Long story! During this time the BBC produced Kneale's 'The Road' (First Night, BBC, tx. [72], Kneale's treatment for the film met with the approval of John Carpenter, the producer of the Halloween series, although Kneale was required to write the script in only six weeks. Nigel Kneale's bleak, underappreciated 1989 film has only been shown on TV twice. In 2000, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Horror Writers Association. Writing about The Year of the Sex Olympics in 2003, Nancy Banks-Smith felt that Kneale was one of the few television writers whose work was particularly memorable. Writing extensively for both film and TV, Nigel Kneale is one of the most important and radical British screenwriters of the last century.His work has haunted several generations of British viewers. When his novel English Passengers won the Whitbread Book of the Year award in 2001, his father commented that: "Matthew's much better than I am. Professor Bernard Quatermass is a fictional rocket scientist originally created by writer Nigel Kneale who, as a … [31] Film producer Harry Saltzman, who had produced the two Osborne adaptations, approached Kneale about scripting a project he was working on to adapt Ian Fleming's James Bond novels for the cinema; Kneale was not a fan of Fleming's work and turned the offer down. Manx-born author/screenwriter Nigel Kneale was one of the most compelling and influential film writers to come out of England in the '50s. [4] At the beginning of the Second World War Kneale attempted to enlist in the British Army, but was deemed medically unfit for service[7] owing to photophobia, from which he had suffered since childhood. In a January 2015, BBC Radio 2 gave an interview with Hammer Films CEO Simon Oaks with news of developing a new Quatermass series for television. 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