Tonight the BBC are showing a remake of the original Quatermass tv series - which is being shown _live_.
As harried cameramen, technical staff and actors criss-crossed the vast set on a disused Ministry of Defence base in Chobham, Surrey, with just one day of rehearsals left, the executive producer, Richard Fell, defined the mood as one of nervous excitement. The last live drama on the BBC was an edition of the afternoon play from Pebble Mill in 1983, but it has been more than 30 years since it was common practice.
Visitors to the set are greeted by the sight of the rocket from which astronaut Victor Carroon will emerge having crash landed back on Earth. Around the back of the MoD hanger is an area which will double as the exterior of the Tate Modern for the climactic showdown.
Fell admits he has been obsessively checking the weather forecast. "But if it rains, we get wet," he shrugs.
There are 17 locations, with indoor sets including a laboratory, a newspaper editor's office and a ministerial den. Ten minutes of pre-recorded footage apart, much will depend on getting cameras, actors and sound people from one set to another on cue. Even the music will be played live by an onset composer. "It's bringing back that sense of event, of place and time," Fell said. "Once the story gets going, you're hoping that the live element will add to it rather than distract the viewer."