Back in August 2017, the team at Supermarionation Recreations learned that nothing significant was being done to mark the 50th anniversary of the original Captain Scarlet TV series. Agreeing this was a missed opportunity, as fans of the show they felt compelled to do something about it – and created “Return to Cloudbase” a short celebratory film inspired by the work of the team led by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson back in the 1960s.
“We had sets, puppets, and models from previous productions we had undertaken, and so without any Kickstarter funding or studio backing, we decided to embark on something fun to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Captain Scarlet,” the team explain in a Facebook post featuring the film.
“Little did we know or realise quite how long it would take to finish!” they note. “We are all professional people and getting everyone in the same place at the same time proved very difficult, and this was a key factor in the time that it took to produce.”
It’s a fun tribute to the show which has since been shown at numerous events, as Captains Blue and Scarlet, recalled to Cloudbase, encounter Captain Black on the way, in the creepy graveyard seen in the original show’s opening titles.
The film was not made for profit, but for the love of the show and the work of Gerry and Sylvia Anderson and the talented team at Century 21.
While it’s unlikely that Supermarionation Recreations will take on any more Anderson projects unless they’re commissioned to do so. But if you enjoyed their film tribute that celebrates 50 years of Captain Scarlet, you might want to consider backing them in their guise as Camerapeople.Tv, a production company creating original content for films TV and the internet, now working on an new exciting project, Mob Street.
Described as a “gangster puppet series”, with a pilot episode already shot, the show is based on classic comedy from the 1930/40 classic comedy shows such as Laurel and Hardy slap stick humour from Keystone cops.
The team comprises David Graham Hicks, a Director of Photography/Lighting Cameraman best known for his work recreating three new episodes of Thunderbirds and the award-winning documentary Filmed in Supermarionation (2014); model maker and set builder Andy Rolfe; professional photographer David Finchett, who has a longstanding interest in puppetry and the work of Gerry and Sylvia Anderson; model maker Mamas Pitsillis, who has worked on Star Wars and Blade Runner; puppet maker Vaughn Herriott; accomplished pyrotechnic David Mason, who worked on Thunderbirds 1965 and Filmed in Supermarionation alongside Malcolm Smith; and puppeteer and puppet maker Ian Stewart.
“We are taking marionette puppetry forward in order to bring new stories to the screen, and our proposal involves a new series concept, Mob Street and ultimately creating our own TV Channel.”
You can find a teaser trailer for Mob Street at the end of the Captain Scarlet film tribute – or simply head over to Patreon now to back them.
• If you’re a Supermarionation fan who would like to own your very own, officially licensed replica puppet based on a character from the Gerry Anderson shows, you may also want to check out Superpropreplication – models offered by Duncan Willis – which I also came across by chance
The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War” and “Dan Dare”.
He’s the writer of “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.