BEFORE SUPERMARIONATION

Prior to the formalisation of the technology that would come to be known as Supermarionation, the AP Films team worked on two puppet series for television. Despite their relative primitiveness, both The Adventures of Twizzle and Torchy the Battery Boy demonstrate an early desire to move away from the standard, theatrically rooted puppet fayre as typified by the likes of Andy Pandy or Flower Pot Men. Twizzle and Torchy both feature complex set designs and dynamic camera movement more associated with live action film making of the time.

"Have you heard of a Twizzle toy? You haven't? Well that's because there's only one of them. But perhaps we had better begin at the best place for stories – at the beginning..."

 

The Adventures of Twizzle chronicled the exploits of a toy who was able to extend his arms and legs to great lengths. Encountering friends like Footso the Cat and Jiffy the Broomstick Man along the way, the simple storylines and songs of the series charmed audiences. Unfortunately, only one of fifty-two thirteen minute episodes originally produced for the series is now known to exist – the first.

"Torchy, Torchy the little battery boy. I'm a clever, walkie-talkie toy. With bright blue eyes and golden hair, I've a magic beam that can shine anywhere. Press my switch, see my bulb start to gleam. It’s the most magic light you have seen."

 

Beloved by those of a certain generation, Torchy the Battery Boy featured the adventures of a "toy boy" built by a lonely old man, Mr Bumbledrop. When illuminated, the magic lamp on Torchy's head reveals insights into this world and beyond – including Topsy Turvy Land.

At the end of series one of Torchy the Battery Boy, Gerry Anderson decided to part company with Roberta Leigh in order to pursue the first of his own co-creations, Four Feather Falls. AP Films co-founder Arthur Provis disagreed with this decision and eventually chose to rejoin with Leigh.

Four Feather Falls, Supercar, Fireball XL5, Stingray, Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet & the Mysterons, Joe 90 & The Secret Service are ™ and © ITC Entertainment Group Limited 1959, 1960, 1962, 1963, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1999 and 2020. All Rights Reserved.

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