Network, the DVD and Blu-Ray label, has released a limited Blu-Ray edition of the wonderful Supermarionation documentary produced by Stephen La Riviere that includes TV21 243, an alternate edition of the top selling comic from the 1960s; one in which Joe 90 became part of the title’s line up, not a separate comic. It features strips from TV21 veterans such as Gerry Embleton and Martin Asbury, as well as modern artists and Gerry Anderson fans such as Mike Collins and Martin Baines.
A huge number of comic artists and writers worked on this project edited by Martin Cater and I’m very proud to have been given the opportunity to write three of the strips: “Agent 21”, one of my favourite non-TV strips from the original comic, drawn by Doctor Who and Torchwood artist Brian Williamson; “Joe 90”, drawn by Doctor Who artist Mike Collins, hopefully suggesting both a reason for the creation of the BIG RAT and Professor McClaine’s backing for Joe’s recruitment to WIN; and “Lady Penelope” drawn by John M. Burns, whose credits are far too numerous to mention here.
Called simply ‘Supermarionation’ and available now, this Blu-Ray release is rightfully, in my opinion, described as “the ultimate box set for aficionados of Gerry Anderson’s iconic Supermarionation series”. The documentary itself is a delight, focusing on the shows created under Gerry and Sylvia Anderson’s Supermarionation brand, from the early days of Torchy the Battery Boy and Four Feather Falls through to Thunderbirds and The Secret Service. Interviewees include the late Gerry Anderson himself; Sylvia Anderson; special effects artists and pupeteers; voice artists; and Anderson siblings Dee and Jamie Anderson.
Limited to just 2,500 copies, it marries the brand new film with a selection of key episodes from the Supermarionation spectrum, all painstakingly restored for the first time from the original film elements.
A newly expanded and redesigned edition of Stephen La Riviere’s book Filmed in Supermarionation has been included in the package as well the exclusive one-off TV21 comic.
I’m biased of course, but for me, this special comic an officially authorised continuation of one of the best selling comics of the 1960s, fondly remembered for its incredible strips, most based on Gerry Anderson’s iconic TV shows such as Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet and Joe 90, complements the visual material nicely. It’s perhaps the best-known example of Gerry Anderson-related merchandise apart from the Dinky Toys inspired by Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet and UFO.
Needless to say, having grown up reading this ground-breaking comic, which initially modelled itself on a futuristic tabloid, I was overjoyed to be part of this special project (I even had a latter published on Colonel White’s introduction page!) – and I wasn’t the only one.
“This is a very exciting one-off project,” says Lew Stringer, who contributed “Zoony the Lazoon” to the comic. “TV21 (or TV Century 21 as it was originally called) was my favourite adventure comic of the 1960s. For those of us who grew up in that era, TV21 was the pinnacle of British comics, not only because it featured fantastic artwork and a distinctive contemporary design, but also because it brought Gerry Anderson’s sixties shows into a connected Century 21 universe. TV21 was the coolest comic of the 1960s.”
Edited by Martin Cater, the full roster of artists and writers involved were Martin Asbury (“Captain Scarlet”); Martin Baines (“Thunderbirds”, one of my favourite spreads from the special); Graham Bleathman (Mars Space Probe Cutaway); Antonio Baretti (“The Secret Service”); Martin Cater (“Zero X”); Mike Collins (“Fireball XL5” and “Joe 90”); Gerry Embleton (“Stingray”); Jim Hansen and Bambos Georgiou (“Supercar”); Paul McCaffrey (“Project S.W.O.R.D.”) Lew Stringer (“Zoony the Lazoon”); Shaqui Le Vesconte (“Captain Scarlet”, “Project S.W.O.R.D.” and features); Mark Wheatley (“Front Page”); and Brian Williamson (“Agent 21”)
Here’s full details of the rest of the limited edition release from Network themselves… Stand By for Action!
FILMED IN SUPERMARIONATION – BLU-RAY
Stephen La Rivière brings his acclaimed history of Supermarionation to the big screen, with a mix of newly filmed interviews, rare and unseen archive footage, reconstructions of the Supermarionation techniques – all hosted by Lady Penelope, Parker and Brains. The Blu-ray edition features a wealth of special features including extended interviews and full-length archive material
THIS IS SUPERMARIONATION
Lady Penelope and Parker are our hosts for more than four hours of Supermarionation in action! Beautifully restored, complete episodes are presented in High Definition interspersed with new linking material, rare archive material, original commercial break bumpers (reinstated with actual commercials), trailers and more make for the ultimate celebration.
Episodes included in this set:
• Four Feather Falls: Gunfight on Main Street • Supercar: False Alarm • Fireball XL5: Space City Special • Stingray: Pilot • Thunderbirds: Terror in New York City • Captain Scarlet: The Mysterons • Joe 90: Hi-Jacked • The Secret Service: More Haste, Less Speed
HD21 – THE WORLDS OF GERRY ANDERSON IN HIGH DEFINITION
Two additional Blu-ray discs of restored key episodes spanning every Supermarionation series from Supercar to The Secret Service.
Episodes included in this set:
• Supercar: Crash Landing • Fireball XL5: Planet 46 • Stingray: Plant of Doom • Stingray: Titan Goes Pop • Thunderbirds: Trapped in the Sky • Captain Scarlet: Treble Cross • Joe 90: The Most Special Agent • Supercar: Talisman of Sargon • Fireball XL5: XL5 to H2O • Stingray: Count Down • Thunderbirds: Atlantic Inferno • Captain Scarlet: Winged Assassin • Captain Scarlet: Noose of Ice • The Secret Service: A Case for the BISHOP
FILMED IN SUPERMARIONATION – BOOK
Stephen La Rivère’s history of Supermarionation has been newly updated and is presented here in a redesigned, deluxe slipcased edition, featuring scores of rare photographs, many of them previously unpublished.
Two wallets of postcards featuring classic Supermarionation images given a new twist – available only as part of this box set.
• Shipping is in addition to the price. This is a heavy item (nearly 3kg) and courier shipping is priced accordingly – £3.60 UK, £40.00 Non-UK.
• This is a Blu-ray only set. Filmed in Supermarionation is region free but the other Blu-ray elements are Region B only so please ensure that your player is able to play region B discs before purchasing.