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|Four Feather Falls||
Gerry Anderson Productions
The Early Days
Gerry Anderson with his partner Arthur Provis originally owned a company called Pelican Films which made commercials. This company was on hard times when they were approached by writer Roberta Leigh who had written a children's story called Twizzle.
Leigh wrote women's novels and a column in a national paper. She met Gerry and Arthur and they formed a new company called AP Films along with John Read and Reg Hill who was the art director. Arthur was the senior partner and hence AP Films was named after him.
They made "The Adventures of Twizzle," and "Torchy the Battery Boy", written by Leigh. Whilst Torchy was being made a split occurred between Arthur Provis and Gerry Anderson and Arthur went off to film another 26 episodes (using original puppets) whilst Gerry, John and Reg started their own series of "Four Feather Falls". These three series were filmed in rented accommodation at Islet House in Maidenhead.
It was Roberta Leigh who introduced Barry Gray, the composer of most of the music for his later series, to Gerry Anderson.
The Twizzle puppets were made by Joy Laurey except for Footso which was made by Christine Glanville. Joy and Christine along with Murray Clark were the puppet operators. Joy left after the Twizzle series and Christine continued making the puppets for Anderson's films for many years.
Joy had previously made Mr. Turnip and his friends who appeared on BBC TV in Whirligig for many years.
Gerry Anderson turned this underappreciated art into a new special effects medium that is still being used today. These early classic programs are being rediscovered today as vital links in the evolution of 'Supermarionation'.
(The above information is courtesy of Murray Clark, one of the puppet operators for AP Films)
The Adventures of Twizzle (1956)
Twizzle was a boy doll who ran away from a toy shop. He soon joined Footso, a little black cat with big paws. Together they built Stray Town, where all the stray toys in the world could go and live in peace, safe from a world where their young owners pulled them about and treated them badly.
In his many adventures, Twizzle met and made many friends.
Among them were Jiffy the Broomstick Man, and Chawky the white-faced Golliwog. With them were Polly Moppet, Candy Floss the momma doll, who couldn't say "momma", and Bouncy the ball who'd lost his bounce.
Twizzle was so called as he could extend, or rather 'cri.. crick" his arms and legs, and be tall as a lamp post, or even taller! Twizzle's pride and joy was his brick-red Breakdown Van, which he got off his garage mechanic friend in exchange for a sprite sportscar, given to him by a doll he had saved from a burning house. Footso liked the van better, too, as at least he had legroom!
Watch Twizzle on YouTube
I'm Footso, the silliest cat,
Meow, meow, prrr prrr
Meow meow, that's my
(Footso's Song courtesy of Linda Fox)
Torchy, The Battery Boy (1957)
Torchy, a battery toy, with the help of Mr. Bumble-Drop, a kind old Earthman, was rocketed to Topsy-Turvy Land - "a wonderful twinkling star where toys could walk and animals could talk; where the fields were full of lollipops, and cream buns grew on trees."
There, Torchy lived in Frutown with friends, Pom Pom a toy poodle, who was Torchy's closest friend, Flopsy the rag doll, Ena the kindly old hyena, Pilliwig the toy clown, Sparky the baby dragon, Squish the space boy and Pongo the rag pirate.
King Dithers ruled this land, with a little help from Torchy, and he lived in the Orange Peel Palace with his animal aides. All the toys in Topsy-Turvy land were those who had been mistreated or neglected down on Earth. But once they were just as alive as human beings on Earth, and walked and talked and ate and lived as we do.
Should a toy return to Earth, he or she would just become an ordinary un-moving toy again. However, Torchy and Pom Pom, being clockwork, were not-affected, and came to Earth regularly in the Rocket, usually to teach Bossy Boots, a particularly nasty spoilt Earthgirl, a lesson.
Watch Torchy on YouTube
The adventures of Mike Mercury, test pilot for Supercar a space-age vehicle designed and built by Professor Popkiss and Doctor Beaker. This fabulous craft is automobile, aircraft, spaceship and submarine in one. Operating from their laboratory in Black Rock Nevada, Mercury and his young friend, Jimmy Gibson, and his pet monkey Mitch get up to various escapades often foiling the schemes of the villainous Masterspy and his companion Zarin.
Hugh and Martin Woodhouse wrote the scripts.
Models from the USA available here
Another Supercar website
Four Feather Falls page
|Several Pelham Puppets were
in the 1950's of the above characters
Link to Gerry Anderson Music page
Link to Supermarionation is GO! website
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