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Last Updated: Thursday, 3 March, 2005, 14:04 GMT
Quatermass heads BBC Four line-up
The Quatermass Experiment
The Quatermass Experiment was first shown in 1953
BBC Four is to broadcast a new live production of sci-fi classic The Quatermass Experiment as part of its spring and summer line-up.

The original version, due to be shown in April, became a television phenomenon when it was shown in 1953.

BBC Four controller Janice Hadlow said she was "thrilled to be bringing Quatermass back to life".

"I hope fans of the original series, as well as a new generation, will be gripped," she said.

The programme will be shown as part of the channel's TV On Trial season, which sees BBC Four attempting to find the golden age of TV.

'Water cooler'

"It's wonderful to have one of the first 'must-watch' TV experiences that inspired the water cooler chat of its day," Hadlow said.

Other highlights of the schedule include several documentaries, among them Animation Nation, which takes a look at the history of animation in Britain.

Reporter Rageh Omar will present An Islamic History of Europe, in which he travels across the continent to trace the story of its Muslim past.

Rageh Omar
Rageh Omar will explore Europe's Islamic roots

And Rehab will follow the residents of the clinic Phoenix House as they undergo a six-month rehabilitation programme.

The season will also feature new dramas, most notably an adaptation of Twenty Thousand Streets Under The Sky based on the trilogy of novels by Patrick Hamilton. Actor Phil Davis, who recently appeared in Vera Drake, is among the stars.

Critical acclaim

A new comedy series, The Thick of It, set in the world of British politics, will also make its debut.

Summer highlights will include live coverage of this year's BBC Proms season, as well as a series of programmes devoted to Beethoven.

Among the films which will be screened are the acclaimed Turkish drama Uzak, and Osama, which follows life in Afghanistan under Taliban rule.

The new season of programmes and films coincides with the channel's third birthday.

"BBC Four has come a long way in three years," Hadlow said, "We've achieved critical acclaim, industry awards and a growing loyal audience."

"I hope in the coming season and beyond to build on these successes as we continue to bring ambitious, intelligent and engaging programmes across all genres to our viewers."

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