Interster: Rare Puppet Series Pics And Videos!

As promised last night, here’s the longer post about the very rare South African marionette series inspired by the works of Gerry Anderson: Interster.

This is what I was sent as text in email by a correspondent who wishes to remain anonymous:

Long and fond memories of my youth include the two seasons of Interster which aired on TV1 (the main English/Afrikaans) TV channel of the SABC (SAUK) in the early 80s.

The show is so old it was aired in SA when TV broadcasts only started at 18:00 in the evening! And ads were just about non-existent.

Back to the show: two seasons exist in the archives of the SABC in Johannesburg, While other shows (like Liewe Heksie) have been recently released on DVD in SA, the Sci-Fi curse haunts this show as well.

According the the clips below the Copyright for Season 1 is 1981 and the Season 2 is 1983.

The show has only been aired three times so far: the original run in the 80′s (the SABC of the 80′s had no concept of reruns, and the show was aired literally only once on TV1).

The show was repeated on the new SABC channel, SABC2 on Saturday mornings in the early 90′s, also only aired once.

The third airing was on the subscription Afrikaans channel Kyknet (www.kyknet.co.za) during the daily children’s programming slot of 17:00-18:00.

The bad news: I am still kicking myself for not making full recordings of the show during this Kyknet run in the early 2000s. Hard drive space was however at a premium at the time…..

This is a long post, with nearly sixty screensnaps! See them after the break.

And now the screensnaps, with text descriptions from the correspondent:

Video 1: interstar.avi

Opening and closing sequence of Season 1 Episode 2. The highlight of the show was the soundtrack, which still rocks more than 25 years later.

1. Over the shoulder shot of the Impala 1 cockpit, with out hero in their seats, with their robotic companion Pikkie (to the left of the shot):

Interster01

Interster02

2. Title graphic featuring state of the art graphics:

Interster03

3. Space suited figure, marooned in space. (Incidentally used in this episode “Saboteur”.):

Interster04

4. Our heroes being apprehended by the villains, the Krokons seen here from behind. Pikkie is visible in the center of the shot:

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5. Shot of another show, showing Impala 1 encountering a sentient macro atom in space:

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6. Another title shot, with more state of the art graphics:

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7. Shot of the asteroid base of Dr Gorman, used in season 1, blown up in the season 1 finale:

Interster13

8. Blinking lights on an alien homeworld:

Interster14

9. Series creator Lindsey du Plessis:

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10. Final title graphic:

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11. Episode 2: Saboteur:

Interster18

12. Shot of Interster Freight Headoffice, in futuristic Cape Town. Note the longer landing strips from season 1 at the base of the building:

Interster19

Interster20

Cut to ending sequence

13. Season 1 ending sequence with static background:

Interster21

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Interster25

Interster26

Interster27

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Interster30

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Some more screensnaps:

Video 2: Interfinal.avi

The last couple of seconds from the final episode of Season 2. The closing sequence of Season 2 featured shots from the show itself.

1. The pan sequence shows from (right to left), the professor …

IntersterB01

… the hero of the show …

IntersterB02

… and the intrepid receptionist/flight controller/love interest Lida …

IntersterB03

… and finally the two alien helpers (incorrectly billed on Wikipedia as being 10cm tall in the story) …

IntersterB04

IntersterB05

IntersterB06

2. The cityscape shot shows the hexagonal harbour front Interster Freight Headoffice in Cape Town. The two runways for the Impala spacecraft are visible at its base. The spacecraft with VTOL, landing on the landing platforms horizontally:

IntersterB07

3. Vertical shot of the landing platform:

IntersterB08

4. Space shot of Venus, the text lists the voice actors involved as well at the scriptwriter:

IntersterB09

5. Another shot of the model of Cape Town, the Interstar building in the foreground:

IntersterB10

6. Interior shot of the aquacraft of the “new aliens” introduced during season 2. The second season has a great focus on environmental issues, with the villains attempting one scheme after the other to create environmental catastrophe in the Earth from their secret base in the Namib desert. The new aliens are actually from an underwater race hereto undiscovered, forced to the fore when Dr Gorman built a machine to unsalt the oceans. One plot arc in season 2 is how these naive aliens are misused in the schemes of the Evil Dr Gorman and Prince Karnati:

IntersterB11

7. Interior shot of Interster flight control, with the hero and his lady. The reel to reel tapes in the background turned, a clear sign of technology of the future, circa 1981:

IntersterB12

8. Shot of the underwater landscape, used in season 2:

IntersterB13

9. The money shot: Impala 1 on the landing pad of the allied alien’s home world:

IntersterB14

10. The dumb henchmen, literally called “Manskap” which literally translates to English as “Henchman”:

IntersterB15

11. General star background:

IntersterB16

12. Shot to the friendly alien base, with the alien spacehip on the landing pad:

IntersterB17

13. Moonscape with the name of the director:

IntersterB18

14. Third shot of the Cape Town set:

IntersterB19

Video three is an MPEG version of video 1.

At the beginning of this post, my correspondent began with “bad news.” Now let me finish with:

The good news I have the following three clips: http://drop.io/j2jhyfy

Yep! You can see the three clips I’ve screensnapped above! Go listen to that great theme music! You’ll be humming it just like I’ve been!

Thanks very, very much for this material! I hope more Interster video comes out. I’d really like to see this series. It’s the first good contender to Supermarionation I’ve seen. (Sorry, Space Patrol fans. I’m not too keen on that series as competition to Supermarionation itself, although I admit the scripts are good.) What strikes me looking at the human puppets is the eerie resemblance to the facial styles used in Terrahawks!

A comparison of Doctor Ninestein from Terrahawks to Buks de la Rey, the hero of Interster:

NinesteinInterster

Mary Falconer from Terrahawks and Lida from Interster:

FalconerLida

Eerie, isn’t it? That really tells me Interster is must-see!

Previously here:

OMFG!!! INTERSTER!!!
Interster Still M.I.A.

At the old blog:

Calling Out To The World Wide Web: Send Me Interster!

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37 Comments on “Interster: Rare Puppet Series Pics And Videos!”

  1. ENRIQUE CAMACHO Says:

    Thanks a zillion!…you did a great job!!!

  2. mikecane Says:

    All I did was make the post. ALL thanks go to the person who provided the videos and information!

  3. ENRIQUE CAMACHO Says:

    Ok…Ok…but I don’t know his name (anonymous)…in any case, please give my thanks to him…and thank you to take some of your time to post it here…you know? I try to find some graphical information about Interster…pictures or videoclips (“proves of existence”) but I never found a single one…I even belived Interster was an hoax…but now, I hope one day I will find it on DVD (when rigths and all the legal process ends)…(my english is terrible sorry).

    Thanks for the post!

  4. mikecane Says:

    The most new information I was able to find about Interster since that post was something at the wikipedia discussion about the series:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Interster

  5. ENRIQUE CAMACHO Says:

    hahaha XD…Well…the wikipedia information is old for me because I read it months ago, in fact, thats why I start looking for some Interster pictures or videos, but I never found a single one until now…the comment in the wikipedia Interster discussion right before yours was written by me (January 2008)…

  6. Anonymous poster Says:

    A quick note, if the DVD release ever happens, the SABC is not known do spend any money on remastering or extras. Similar DVD releases literally were direct tape transfers with a rudementary menu.

    Since all the dialogue is Afrikaans, I’m not sure the show would travel that easily. That said, the plot lines of the first season were real “Star Trek” stuff: Time travel, black holes, antimatter warheads, secret asteroid bases and cloaking space ships…..

  7. mikecane Says:

    That’s why I called for it to at least be offered on iTunes, if they won’t do DVD. Fans won’t mind the language; we want to see the puppetry. Besides which, I’m certain sites will spring up with transcript translations once it’s been released. That happens all the time for Japanese TV shows, for instance. And in China, the underground has been doing transcripts of American pirate TV.

  8. ENRIQUE CAMACHO Says:

    I don’t care if dialogue is in old greek…I want INTERSTER!!!…XD

  9. Mike Coldwell Says:

    The Holy Grail! I’ve been looking high and low for somthing (anything!) on this series on the web after reading about it on some forums. Many thanks!

  10. mikecane Says:

    Ah, all thanks to the person who emailed me with this great stuff! I’m so glad to see some of it myself too!

  11. Lance Says:

    I hear from a reliable source that a full set of INTERSTER episodes on DVD was spotted in Musica DVD store in Hartebeestpoort, South Africa. HURRY!

  12. mikecane Says:

    That does me no good. I’m in the U.S.!

    If anyone else gets it, please send — or post on your own blog — pictures of the box and stuff. Also give the price of it (South African Rand will do, we can convert using Google).

  13. Jannie Says:

    This is brilliant! I hope you don’t mind – I posted your link to the Interster group on Facebook – be sure to expect a couple of hits. My favourite part was when the Impala would come out of the ground on the turning platform.

  14. mikecane Says:

    I hate Facebook, but don’t mind. Thanks. Glad to help people find out more about this seres.

  15. Troy Says:

    Any more news on Interster? I’ve seen two episodes and want to see more.

  16. mikecane Says:

    So do I. After an initial burst of enthusiasm, the Interster Blog has yet to put up new ones. I guess he’s busy. He does the English translations himself, so it must feel like work.

  17. Jason Says:

    Thanks so much for posting this.

    It brought back great memories of watching this show as a boy growing up in SA, and building Lego Interster space ships. And that theme track still rocks.

  18. Riaan Oosthuizen Says:

    Hi guys. I also loved this show. Interster was released on 10 March 2009 on dvd. Im not sure if its just the 1st season. Its available on take2.co.za.
    Hope this info helps.

  19. Werner van der Horst Says:

    I just ordered both DVD’s from take2.co.za.
    It’s Season 1 in 2 parts, as far as I can make out.
    Will keep you updated as soon as I receive the discs!

  20. Eric Says:

    You can buy it here and it can be shipped world wide!! enjoy it guys!!

    http://www.take2.co.za/dvd-interster-reeks-1-deel-1-4314742.html

  21. Koos Says:

    In S.A. Reeks1 Deel1 and Deel2 are available from Take2.co.za. I bought my DVDs for approximately R99 each.

  22. Koos Says:

    Now i would love to find Series 2 also…

  23. Waldo Says:

    Can anyone tell me how many episodes series 1 has? the second DVD’s last installment, Sterrereen (13) ended so bluntly

    • Shaqui Says:

      I know of 13 more episodes. Someone I am in touch with in South Africa has suggested this is the rest of Series 1, with Series 2 being (possibly) 13 more…

      Confirmation of this would be nice. As would when these episodes were broadcast?

  24. Shaqui Says:

    I’ve just got the two Series 1 DVDs and they do NOT appear to have the English subtitles that the Wikipedia entry suggests they have – unless I’m doing something wrong!

    Anyone else find them?


  25. Hi…. this is just a shot in the dark… I’m busy writing up the history of a military unit in South Africa… the Unit has been disbanded and information hard to find… at this base all our vehicles were named after the spacecraft in the Interster TV series… the were numerically numbered, eg. “Sputnik 1″ , “Sputnik 2″ … but I can’t recall what these spacecraft were called… can anybody please help… would be appreciated… Thank you very much … Danie

  26. Shaqui Says:

    They were called ‘Impalas’ (a type of African deer, I believe) but the inference on Wikipedia was the series named the craft after aircraft already in service in the South African air forces.

  27. Shaqui Says:

    My six page article on ‘Interster’ will appear in the next issue of ‘Andersonic’, which will be available in the new year. It features comments from several cast and crew I’ve been able to trace.

  28. Etienne Says:

    Where can you get a good copy the Interster Series 1, with Series 2 DvD as i have hurd that the copys you do get is very poor

    I’m a big van and i grew up with this

  29. Shaqui Says:

    I was fortunate to work with a South African, and his brother in law got them in South Africa itself prior to visiting England. I am not aware of any sales of the DVDs outside South Africa itself, unfortunately…

  30. Gerbrand Says:

    I am looking my whole life for interster episodes but i never found one i have got four episodes at home but it is on tape maybe if you have extra you could lent it to me i realy wants to watch all of them i love this series


  31. Hi. This link was sent to me by a friend who works at Black Ginger (a brilliant post production company). It’s really cool to read all the interest in Interster. I worked on the first series: my name is there on the credits, which I designed and Letraseted. In the early eighties I learned everything there was to know about puppetry, SFX and Science Fiction from the show. Many of the motley crew who worked on the series were bitten by the bug, and are still working in the film industry in Cape Town today. I own a film production company called Cab Films. Typically, most of the real innovations in the SA film industry back then were seeded by the Afrikaans TV and drama crowd. Sadly the force behind the show, Dirk de Villiers, passed away some years ago. Today it really does look charmingly dated; but back then, man we felt like we were right there at the cutting edge!


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