Century 21 Television Productions

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Century 21 TV produced children's programmes which for the most part were puppet shows. In order to make this sound more interesting and dynamic, viewers were told that the series were "Filmed in Supermarionation". The company's leading lights were Gerry and Sylvia Anderson.

Gerry and Sylvia's output started in the fifties and goes up to the present day. The programs are as follows:

  • Twizzle (scared the whotsits out of me, this one)
  • Torchy the battery boy
  • Four Feather Falls (don't remember this one at all)
  • Supercar
  • Fireball XL5
  • (moving into what many consider to be the golden years now)


    What it's about

    Troy Tempest (fabulous name) and his crew go underwater in their super-duper submarine - Stingray - to stop the dastardly Aquaphibians (a race of intellingent humanoid amphibians) in their quest for world conquest.

    Reasons to watch Stingray

  • The theme music (Mariiiiinaaaaa, Aqua Mariiinaa...).
  • The Aquaphibians.
  • Thunderbirds

    What it's about

    A family consisting of Dad and his 5 sons (misogynistic overtones here) live on an island in a secret location in the Pacific. They constantly monitor communications throughout the world and fly in to help when someone gets into big-time trouble. Usually, these people make it to a radio when they are at the point of death, and, after coughing and hacking for a bit, transmit the message: "Calling (gasp) International Rescue, calling (cough, cough) International Rescue...".

    The lads then bravely fly out and use some gadget which they happened to have in the shed out the back and which is EXACTLY right for the problem at hand and rescue the moribund message sender. This involves lots of 'tense' music and shots of people sweating while waiting for something to happen.

    Reasons to watch Thunderbirds

  • The tremendous theme music (Da da-da-daaah, da-da-da-da, da di-da-da da daaaaaah).
  • The use of real hands in close-up when a character has to do something like open a letter.
  • The obvious strings stretching up from the Tracy boys.
  • The chance to see an early appearance by Elvis Costello in the role of Brains.
  • Trying to work out what Scott Tracy actually contributes to the operation.
  • Hearing Parker say "Yes, M'lady."
  • Captain Scarlet

    What it's about

    Captain Black of the crack Spectrum organisation goes to Mars to investigate strange goings on. Upon seeing a radar dish turning round to face him, he loses it completely and assumes he is about to be attacked. He then blows up the Mysterons (for it is they), who not unnaturally take offence and swear revenge. The Mysterons then kill Captains Scarlet, Black and Brown and create indistinguishable, indestructable replicas of them, which they then send back to Earth to destroy us. During his attempt to kill the World President, Captain Scarlet falls 800 ft but recovers, and regains his memory. The Mysterons no longer have any hold over him and he can rejoin the fight against them.

    Reasons to watch Captain Scarlet

  • Trying to work out why their car seats face backwards and they have to look where they're going through a telly.
  • The twin circles of light accompanied by "THIS IS THE VOICE OF THE MYSTERONS..." in a hollow, echo-ey voice.
  • Joe 90

    What it's about

    Joe 90 is a ten year old boy who's got some sort of cage thing that he can sit in and, as a result, become **insert incredibly complex and/or dangerous job here**. That's about it, really.

    Reasons to watch Joe 90

  • Seeing how they can tailor the plot so that the world can only be saved by, for example, a four foot tall, ten year old particle physicist.
  • After Joe 90, they went on to make the following:

  • The Secret Service (another one I don't remember)
  • UFO
  • The Protectors
  • Space 1999 (live action, but you wouldn't know it from the acting)
  • Terrahawks
  • Space Precinct
  • Lavender Castle
  • This, as far as I'm aware is a comprehensive list of Gerry and Sylvia's output.

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