The film was originally intended to have been a sequel to another Hammer success, The Quatermass Xperiment (1955), but creator Nigel Kneale vetoed the use of his character(s) by another writer - hence Prof. Bernard Quatermass swiftly became Dr. Adam Royston.
The movie began under the direction of Joseph Losey (working as Joseph Walton), exiled to England because of the Hollywood blacklist. However, when Dean Jagger arrived, he refused to work with a director he thought of as a Communist sympathizer, and Losey was replaced by Leslie Norman before shooting began. Losey's departure was publicly attributed to "illness". It has also been reported that Losey simply didn't want to make the film and left the project, to be replaced by Norman, who also didn't want to make the movie, but did anyway for the sake of work.
According to Jimmy Sangster, director Leslie Norman was not overly interested in making this film, but did anyway for the sake of work. Dean Jagger and other crew members, not to mention Hammer brass, all found Norman very difficult to work with, so much so that despite the film receiving some good notices, Hammer never worked with Norman again.
The film's release was delayed by eight months because of a dispute between RKO and Warner Brothers over distribution rights.
The U.S. version shown on TV for many years contained only introductory music under the Warners Brothers title, with no opening title music. The British version, featured on later DVD versions, contained James Bernard's opening title music.
Governmental group the Atomic Energy Establishment is based at Lochmouth, Scotland.
It has to be considered that Steven Spielberg knew of this movie while undertaking Raiders Of The Lost Ark. The climactic scene in that movie where the Nazi has his face melted off is a virtual duplicate of a similar scene in this movie.