bit of a chat
to TV page
on 'The Secret Service' (click
on pix for bigger versions)
and Gabriel - puppet free zone
puppetry included model cars and to back this up, Gerry hired a
genuine Model T Ford, vintage 1917, aptly named Gabriel.
The only modifications were that a self-starter had been fitted
and electricity had replaced the original oil lighting. I
was frequently required to drive Gabriel into London
Airport. This worried me at first because the car had brakes
only on the rear wheels...but I need not have worried at all. Gabriel
became the object of attention of most drivers [who would] look
up with dignified amusement."
the many explosions required a special department. To watch a
small aeroplane being drawn by a very fine wire across Gerry
Anderson's garden suddenly blown to bits, and then later to see
the end product in the film, brought home to me the thought and
careful work involved. There
was only one thing the film could not show and that was the
powerful, acrid smell of the explosion which pervaded Gerry's
orchard. Harry chokers!"
shooting an episode at Burnham Beeches I was in a hurry to
return home and hadn't bothered to change from my parson's
clothes. Arriving at a set of traffic lights in Aylesbury, I was
held up because the driver in front had stalled his caravan.
Seeing my clerical garb he said: 'So sorry, Father. I'm in
trouble'. I felt compelled to put him at his ease, so I said: 'Feel no sensy
guiltit my soul. The transgressy is not yours entire. You
possessy a car forrel. I suggest your future boil must be a
British buy, not so?' With an air of relief he nodded approval
of my suggestion and returned to his vehicle. I hope he did buy
a British car next time."
was an attempt to add a new dimension to the puppet field, and
the all consuming medium of films and TV surely needs
encouragement in new ideas. It was a bit bizarre, but then
aren't many new ideas a little odd at first?"
Secret Service never succeeded commercially, But there
are some minority aspects of humour which are so strong that, in
spite of their non-commerciality, they can be worthwhile."
was a disappointment that it wasn't shown all over the country,
but then maybe it was a little bit before its time."