Thomas Nigel Kneale was a 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.

Predominantly a writer of thrillers that used science-fiction and horror elements, he was best known for the creation of the character Professor Bernard Quatermass.Quatermass was a heroic scientist who appeared in various television, film and radio productions written by Kneale for the BBC, Hammer Film Productions and Thames Television between 1953 and 1996.

Kneale was most active in television starting in 1951; his final script was transmitted in 1997.In addition to the Quatermass serials, he wrote well-received television dramas such as The Year of the Sex Olympics (1968) and The Stone Tape (1972).He has been described as “one of the most influential writers of the 20th century”, and as “having invented popular TV”.

Collected here are BBC Radio productions of some of Kneale’s work:

You Must Listen – A solicitor’s office has a new phone line connected, but the staff keep hearing a woman’s voice on the phone.Engineer Frank Wilson is called to fix the problem, and gradually the disturbing story of the woman starts to emerge. Originally broadcast in September 1952, no recording of the original version of You Must Listen is known to exist, but fortunately Kneale kept a copy of the script in his archives, and this version was recorded to mark the centenary of BBC Radio Drama.

The Stone Tape – In 1979, a team of scientists moves into a new laboratory in a Victorian mansion.When Jill Greely hears a strange disembodied scream, the team decides to analyse the phenomenon, which appears to be a psychic impression trapped in the wall.The scientists begin to realise that their work has disturbed something hidden beneath the stone, something ancient and malevolent.

The Road – A philosopher and scientist investigate ghostly outbreaks in a country wood in 1768. Neither is quite prepared for the shocking truth that they uncover.

The Quatermass Memoirs – A mix of original TV soundtrack and drama-documentary, in which Nigel Kneale reflects on the 1950s fearful atmosphere in which he wrote the classic Quatermass TV serials.The program mixes the factual story with a dramatic narrative, in which the now-retired Professor Quatermass (played by Nigel Kneale) reluctantly recounts his past exploits to a female journalist.This in turn is interweaved with soundtrack footage from the Quatermass TV dramas.The final touch is a stirring music soundtrack.
First broadcast on BBC Radio 3 in March 1996

The Pond – An old man calls to a frog and then catches it for a sinister purpose, but will he pay for his crime …… ?

The Photograph – A dying boy is forced by his mother to have one last photograph taken.