Scientists search for the origin of a mysterious capsule found buried in a London building site.
This serial has been cited as having influenced Stephen King and the film director John Carpenter.
Following the drilling, a hole opens up in the object’s interior wall. Inside, Quatermass and the others find the remains of insect-like aliens resembling giant three-legged locusts, with stubby antennae on their heads giving the impression of horns. As Quatermass and Roney examine the remains, they theorise the aliens may have come from a planet habitable five million years ago — Mars.
While clearing his equipment from the craft, the drill operator triggers more poltergeist activity, and runs through the streets in a panic until he finds sanctuary in a church. Quatermass and Roney find him there, and he describes visions of the insect aliens killing each other. As Quatermass investigates the history of the area, he finds accounts dating back to medieval times about devils and ghosts, all centred on incidents where the ground was disturbed. He suspects a psychic projection of these beings has remained on the alien ship and is being seen by those who come into contact with it.