Gerry Anderson's third SF supermarionation saga told the adventures of the WASPs (the World Aquanaut Security Patrol) as they explored the oceans and kept the world safe from a variety of ... See full summary »
Fireball XL5 was part of the fleet of interplanetary rockets protecting Sector 25 of the Solar System from alien invasion under the supervision of the World Space Patrol. In command of XL5 ... See full summary »
Gerry Anderson's first science fiction Supermarionation series. Super Car was a prototype vehicle that could travel in the air, on land or beneath the sea. Its test pilot was Mike Mercury, ... See full summary »
The International Rescue team is faced with one of its toughest challenges yet, as the revolutionary lighter-than-air craft Skyship One is hijacked while on her maiden voyage around the ... See full summary »
Sheriff Tex Tucker makes sure all is well in Four Feather Falls with the help of his dog Dusty and Rocky the horse. Done with puppets, even the animals talk and sing along with the humans as problems are quickly wrapped up.
In the year 2020 Earth is under threat from Martian androids who want revenge on the human race. They consist of Zelda, her son Yung-star and her sister called Cy-star. An organisation is ... See full summary »
Lavender Castle is a place of mystery and legend, fabled throughout the universe, a floating city of light, a place of peace, harmony and all the things that have ever been dreamt of. It is... See full summary »
"Secret Service" blended live action and puppet footage extensively, with actor Stanley Unwin often doubling for his puppet counterpart in long shots. Stanley Unwin plays Stanley Unwin in this series - one of the only known occasions where an actor has portrayed a purely fictional character with the exact same name. See more »
It seems to me that some of us have forgotten that Gerry Anderson's productions were originally aimed at *children*. A generation of confirmed adolescents have laid claim to 'Thunderbirds', 'Captain Scarlet', etc., with their SF elements and spectacular model work. When Mr Anderson decided on a change of pace with a whimsical espionage story people were baffled: "A Gerry Anderson show - starring a Model T Ford? What's that about?"
Well, don't forget the 60's was also the era of 'The Avengers', when England's green and pleasant land was full of power-mad eccentrics. It seems to me that Anderson combined elements of 'The Avengers' (off-the-wall spy stories in an apparently innocent setting) with the Father Brown character of GK Chesterton (unobtrusive village priest as super-sleuth). Father Unwin lives in an England of parish churches, tea on the vicarage lawn, and tree-lined country lanes free of traffic. He thinks getting 42 m.p.h. out of his Model T is cutting a dash. If anything I would like to know more about how he came to be involved in B.I.S.H.O.P.
The result was not (and is not) to everyone's taste, but it should not be dismissed just because it's different. The stories are not repetitive, although they do repeat the same elements. 'Thunderbirds' is repetitive: a huge disaster requires the fantastic equipment of International Rescue to save the day. Only the circumstances change: skyscraper, monorail, airliner. We saw the launch sequence of Thunderbirds 1 & 2 in every episode.
And in my opinion Stanley Unwin was a genius whose wordplay lay as much in the subtle association of ideas (a typewriter becomes a 'tripewriter', a trombone is a 'slideyhuff') as the simple scrambling of the words themselves. Read Unwin's 'House and Garbidge' or 'The Miscillian Manuscript' then John Lennon's books 'In his own write' and 'A Spaniard in the works' to see how influential he was (even those titles are 'Unwinesque'). He could also be extremely quick-witted and funny without resorting to 'Unwinese'. When, as 'Professor Unwin', he was asked about the castrati (male singers who were castrated to preserve their boyish voices) his reply was simple: "I'm not cut out for that sort of thing." Deep joy!
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