ScuzzBlog: Diaries October 2021

Entry 28th October 2021: Post 1: Countdown - Gerry Anderson's Supermarionation.

Countdown - Gerry Anderson's Supermarionation.

Growing up in the 1960s as a kid you couldn't avoid the work of
Gerry Anderson and his Supermarionation puppets. Beginning with
Space Patrol in 1962 and for me concluding I guess with UFO. In
the middle we had Supercar, Fireball XL5, Stingray, Thunderbirds,
Captain Scarlet, Joe 90 and the Secret Service. My all time
favourite being Thunderbirds.

Puppets and sci-fi an odd combination but what they achieved was
pure fantasy and each week brought true magic to the TV screens.
The programmes were unmissable as we sat glued to the TV sets.

With Thunderbirds the whole secrecy of the boys from International
Rescue added to the meticulous technological wizardry in rescuing
the most problematic of disasters. The story always started with
a terrible disaster and an impossible challenge, but when those
pod doors opened you always got the solution and it was quite
magical waiting to see how they would solve the problem. The boys
were specifically assigned different tasks from pay load specialist
to co-ordinator and space pilot and underwater aquanaut. Everything
was kept top secret and the way the island transformed to launch the
ships was breathtaking for a kid.

So when they released the comic series Countdown I rushed to the
newsagent to get my copy. Sadly I only have one left. No idea what
happened to the others.

The comic was numbered back to front with the last page number first
and so was on a countdown to the first page. Each copy had a special
offer and so hence the one missing page. Also they featured modern
scientific achievements and technology. Copy number 5 for March 20
of 1971 also carried a feature on the studios used for filming the
puppets. They went to extremes to make everything as realistic as
possible. And no CGI to be found anywhere.

The mix of science fiction with science fact was significant to Gerry
Anderson's work and had very similar ambition to that of Star Trek
with Gene Roddenberry. Technology was always a vehicle to stimulate
mystery and intrigue causing the viewer to question just what was
going on. Hover was very popular and computers were key to everything
as was communication which I believe was way ahead of its time.

I actually went to see the film Zero X on the cinema in 1966 I
guess. My dad had all the series on vinyl record. No video just
sound recording of the stories. He also had the 78 which I now own
of the original music theme which is called March of the Crabs.

One last point and I have to say we were spoilt in those days for
classic TV, being released for the very first time. Programmes like
Star Trek, Dr Who, Man from Uncle, Munsters, Bewitched, Batman and
Robin, Danger Man, Prisoner, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea and
all the Gerry Anderson stuff. Escapism was key and with only two
channels to choose from most TV slots were pencilled in way in
advance to stop mom from hogging the channel for Coronation Street.

Countdown - Gerry Anderson's Supermarionation.

Just a taste of the featured programmes.
I have cut the videos and added a few sound
spaces to avoid copyright problems. Sorry for that.

scuzz site

If you can only see this CONTENT window
then click the image above for the full site

Last updated 28th October 2021

Chandraise Kingdom

Keep the Faith
scuzzscink 2021