|The Adventures of Twizzle|
|Released by||AP Films|
|Director of Photography||Arthur Provis|
|Art Director||Reginald E.Hill|
|Special Effects||Derick Meddings|
|Medium||Black and White|
|Original Air Date||13th November 1957|
|-||Torchy The Battery Boy|
The Adventures of Twizzle was the starting point for AP Films, set up by Gerry Anderson and Arthur Provis. Though not particlarly keen to enter the uninteresting genre of puppet series due to a lack of work and 'needs must'; an offer was made and accepted and the team set to work with Anderson raising the bar fom the very start. The Adventures of Twizzle was a hit and Anderson led Provis, the crew and voice actors onwards and upwards through a genre that was perceived to be a bread and butter career at best. Fifty years later after that first episode aired, the puppets of Gerry Anderson are still watched around the world and probably will be watched for many years to come.
Gerry Anderson's new company at Maidenhead, Buckinghamshire, was failing before it had a chance to begin. With no work from day one, the company's staff were working individually to make ends meet until the phone rang. Six months later, just as money was running out, it finally did when Roberta Leigh and her colleague Suzanne Warner were shopping for a company on behalf of Associated Rediffusion, to work for low budget. A chance to finally start working as a company, as a team, and more importantly a cash injection of £450 per episode meant that beggars can't be choosers. The offer was accepted and the team set to work. Due to Anderson's desire to improve standards the deadlines would be tight to actually prove profitable; models had their finishing touches applied in the morning and were in front of the camera by the same afternoon making last minute improvements close to impossible.
Anderson was aware that puppets up till then were quite grotesque looking, and without personality as well as static in as far as eye movements and facial expressions were concerned. Despite the lack of appeal to be associated with such a project, Anderson decided to raise the standard even though the budget and schedule depicted otherwise. Together with Art Director Reg Hill, Anderson decided to add more details to the sets, cuts and close ups would be introduced; all techniques used on films and as yet unheard of in a puppet series. Other improvements were the shift away from traditional manipulation and instead of the puppet operators working the strings from behind a backdrop, where they had to lean forward to see the puppets faces, they were now located on an overhead bridge 12 feet off the studio floor. This eliminated the need for one-dimensional sets and did away with shadows that were reflected onto the background of other puppet series. In order for the puppeteers to see what they were doing from so high above, Anderson bought a new lightweight camera that had just come onto the market. He rigged it up to form a device that became known as 'Video Assist,' a brilliantly innovative technique that involved attaching the new camera to the movie camera in such a way that whatever the movie camera saw was relayed to monitors anywhere on the set. The method was soon adopted by the film industry worldwide.
By now the team working on Twizzle were a compliment of twelve, and more were needed. Derick Meddings was approached by Reg Hill who took the job only to earn some extra money. Meddings considered working on a puppet series to be of no real value at first. The skills that Meddings honed over the years working on Anderson produced series made him one of the most sought after SFX men.
The Adventures of Twizzle was so well received that A-R wanted another series from Roberta Leigh and Gerry Anderson. Another puppet series. Gerry Anderson's career was beginning to take shape.
Twizzle is a living toy that had the unique ability to 'twizzle', which meant that he could stretch his arms and legs and lived in a toy shop with his other toy friends. Concerned over his future Twizzle escapes and wins over many friends during his daily adventures of helping and rescuing other toys. He becomes friends with them and they all end up living in in log cabins in Stray Town which the toys create from scratch and where all the stray toys in the world are welcome. From time-to-time they are visited by the Toy Inspector, who ensures that the toys are in good condition
Characters (Happy Families and Snap Cards)Edit
Characters from the series were portrayed in a card game by Ariel Productions Ltd.
- Nancy Nevinson
- Denise Bryer
- Twizzle And Footso
- Twizzle And Footso Get Caught
- Twizzle Saves The Doll
- The Breakdown Van
- Footso Is Stolen
- Twizzle And The Golliwog
- Jiffy And The Chawky Quarrel
- Footso Disappears
- Twizzle And The Broken-Down Toy
- Twizzle Builds Stray Town
- A Flag For Stray Town
- Jiffy's New House
- Twizzle And Footso Go Fruit Picking
- Twizzle Has Some Fun
- Twizzle And Candy Floss Open A Cake Shop
- Twizzle Saves The Broken-Down Toys
- Twizzle Gets Lost
- Jiffy Opens A Barber Shop
- Another Racing Car
- Twizzle And His Friends Go To The Circus
- The Toys Go To School
- Bouncy The Ball
- Twizzle Catches Cold
- The Naughty Girl
- Jiffy's New Twigs
- Twizzle And The Snowman
- Twizzle And The Thin Teddy Bear
- The Lazy Broomstick Man
- Twizzle And The Polly Moppet
- Footso And The Magic Seeds
- Jiffy And The Polly Moppet Quarrel
- Footso Gets A New Tail
- Twizzle Is Naughty
- Twizzle Is Stolen
- Chawky Gets A Present
- Twizzle And The Toy Inspector
- Twizzle And The Naughty Breakdown Van
- Orange And The Banana Tree
- Jiffy's Birthday
- Polly Moppet Disappears
- Naughty Polly Moppet
- Footso And The Naughty Girl
- Stray Town Thief
- Twizzle Papers The Cabin
- Twizzle And Footso Go Camping
- Twizzle Goes To The Seaside
- Twizzle Goes To The Fair
- Twizzle Goes To The Army
- Twizzle Goes Fishing
- Twizzle Goes To The Zoo
- Candy Floss's Birthday
- Footso Has A Toothache
- Lyrics: Roberta Leigh
- Music: Leslie Clair
- Arrangement: Barry Gray
- Conductor: Barry Gray
- Most of the character voices on Twizzle were performed by actress Denise Bryer, former wife of TV personality Nicholas Parsons, who also voiced future Anderson produced projects. Parsons also offered Anderson work once his own career had taken off.
- Roberta Leigh wrote songs for the show but with no musical background she employed a composer to whom she would hum the tunes to. He would then score these songs. Barry Gray went on to become one of the most prolific TV and film composers in the industry.
- The first episode of The Adventures of Twizzle was broadcast on November 13th 1957 at 4.30pm. The AP Films crew were still hard at work filming the series' later episodes but they afforded themselves the luxury of a launch party. The party marked the beginning of the relationship between Gerry Anderson and Sylvia Thamm
- 'Candy Floss Has A Birthday' was transmitted 7 months after the original series ended its run. It is not known why this episode was held back or temporarily overlooked.
- Only one episode of the series is known to survive, that being the first episode which was discovered in a 16mm print along with the complete series of Roberta Leigh's puppet series Space Patrol and is included as an extra on the DVD set.