Joost: Stand By For Action!


Joost is one of those Internet video-on-demand services that’s popped up recently. It had a high profile because it was from the guys who founded KaZaa and Skype.

Despite all the press coverage it got pre- and post-launch, there are two posts on the net that seriously discuss its death and dissolution: Is Joost headed for the deadpool? and Buzz Doesn’t Pay. Is Joost Dying?

So, if you’re a fan of Gerry Anderson and Supermarionation, my advice is to get to Joost now!

It’s your only chance of seeing a documentary that recently aired in the UK about Gerry Anderson, called Stand By For Action.


To use Joost, you must download the client software (Windows and Mac), have the latest version of Flash installed, and have a fast connection. With my cable TV broadband connection, the streaming video was just about TV-quality. I had to watch it again for this post. Both times I was impressed by the smoothness of the video.

Two points:

1) It will be interrupted by ads; not many, but an in-corner popup they’ve recently added is very annoying.

2) The video can’t be downloaded to keep. Although Joost actually does download the video in the background while it plays, I’ve found it impossible to access that file with other desktop video players even after changing the file extensions. I suspect the file is encrypted. (Of course there are ways to get around this, but I don’t have a DVD-burner, OK?)

Here are the direct links:

Stand By For Action Part One

Stand By For Action Part Two

Update: As of October 12, when I checked, the program was no longer available on Joost. That’s why I do posts with lots of screensnaps!

It’s a damned good documentary filled with behind-the-scenes material, interviews with several classic Anderson production members, and very rare footage.

Of course, I’ve taken a ton of screensnaps to preserve it against the time it disappears from the net.

Stand by for over eighty snaps after the click!

A note about ordering. I like to go in the order in which things appeared. So if you wonder why related photos are not grouped together, that’s why.

Rare behind-the-scenes footage of Supercar set up to fly.

Rare color promotion footage from the set of Four Feather Falls!

The man himself. Notice the Stingray typeface used!

The “P” of the original A.P. Films. He later did Space Patrol.

The first series: The Adventures of Twizzle.

Rare photograph of Twizzle and Torchy creator Roberta Leigh.

The mansion that Anderson turned into a TV studio!

Another view of the grounds; it was prone to flooding!


The puppeteers worked overhead …

… on custom-built gantries …

… here they are over the Four Feather Falls set!

From Torchy the Battery Boy.

Tex Tucker, star of Four Feather Falls, a series created by Barry Gray.

Yes: a marionette horse!!

And yes: Tucker rode it!!

And he could hear it talk!



The famous Slough Trading Estate where Anderson reigned for years.

Singer Michael Holliday, who did the series songs.

Nicholas Parsons, speaking voice of Tex Tucker.

Kenneth Connor, voice of villain Pedro and others.

Denise Bryer who also did Zelda in Terrahawks decades later!

Nicholas Parsons.

Denise Bryer.


Two photos of David Graham (he was Big Brother in the Apple 1984 ad too!). More from him later.


Lew Grade, wizard of British television.

Alan Pattillo — in my opinion the greatest director Anderson ever employed. His episodes — which spanned several series! — all seem like feature films. He wasn’t afraid to use wide-angle lenses and unconventional angles. Watching his work is an education in dramatic filmmaking. Some of my favorite Supermarionation episodes are what I call “Double Alans” — directing by Alan Pattillo and writing by Alan Fennell!

Supercar was filmed in black and white but the puppets and sets were full-color!

Learn more about Desmond Saunders.

Behind-the-scenes footage of Supercar being pulled from underwater!



Rare behind-the-scenes view of the Fireball XL5 cockpit!

According to Blundall himself in the biography of Gerry Anderson, Blundall disagreed with the more realistic direction the marionettes were taking. His disagreement manifested itself in Thunderbirds with his creation of the only stylized puppet-like puppet: Parker!


Explaining how the puppet heads were made.

This was a shock to me: the Masterspy puppet was based on Lew Grade!


CGI rendition of Mike Mercury’s puppet head to show its inner workings.


CGI diagram of how underwater shots were filmed using an aquarium front.

Yes, Agent X20 from Stingray is Peter Lorre mimicry.

Phones from Stingray.

The best robot ever! Robert the Robot from Fireball XL5!

Veteran Anderson voice artist David Graham talks about the many voices he’s done …

… such as this guy (I love the early marionette faces! So surreal!) …

… and him (look at that face! Blundall had a point!) …

… and then does Mitch the monkey from Supercar!!


One of those great Derek Meddings explosions!


This is going to cause me grief, yet it is true. I think Gerry Anderson showed the first suicide bomber: the Mysteronized Captain Brown sent to assassinate the World President in the first episode of Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons

… there he goes …

… the explosion is so powerful it levels the United Nations safehouse!

That logo was probably drawn by hand. No Adobe Illustrator in those days, kids!

Another rare behind-the-scenes view of the Fireball XL5 cockpit!

Note the use of the Terrahawks typeface in Part Two!

Behind the scenes of Moonbase from UFO.

Catherine Schell talks about ridiculous contract stipulations Barbara Bain had for Space:1999.

Early Terrahawks logo.

Terrahawks used hand puppets.


Versions of Terrahawks puppets for those rare full-body shots.

Denise Bryer, decades later, with Jeremy Hitchen.



Sergeant Major Zero, a Zeroid, from Terrahawks. The Zeroids had more personality than the humans in the series! And Zero was the best.

Possibly the worst hero Anderson ever created: Doctor “Tiger” Ninestein, the leader of the Terrahawks. An ugly puppet, his voice was just as ugly and plodding. Jeremy Hitchen revealed the voice is based on Jack Nicholson!

Gerry as a puppet, Terrahawks-style!

From the spoof reel.

Dick Spanner, P.I.

This logo was done via computer — as was all of Gerry Anderson’s New Captain Scarlet.

Gerry incensed over how ITV vandalized New Scarlet and just about wrecked his future career possibilities. Someone at ITV needs a thorough punishment!

Possibly no other producer in the history of television has had one memorable series after another:






And yet he remains idle!

Gerry hoping Michael Grade, who now heads ITV, will give him a call to discuss revising Thunderbirds or another series. Gerry: “I’ll be back.”

The company that did this documentary. Well done!

See the post about the BBC Four All About Thunderbirds documentary.

In my old blog is other Gerry Anderson and Supermarionation coverage.

Explore posts in the same categories: TV, Video - Online

24 Comments on “Joost: Stand By For Action!”

  1. SLR Says:

    I made this!

  2. mikecane Says:

    You’ll have to do better that that. This is the Internet. Everyone can claim anything.

  3. M.Hathaway Says:

    May I ask, where and if this video is available? I’d love to get a copy!

  4. SLR Says:

    I can’t believe there are too many people trying to impersonate being me. My e-mail address is even included. I’m the same person that made Full Boost Vertical – The Supercar Story and has just written Filmed in Supermarionation. If that doesn’t convince you, go to the Filmed in Supermarionation group on Facebook and contact me direct. Then you’ll have your proof :)

  5. mikecane Says:

    @SLR: I don’t email people who leave Comments.

  6. mikecane Says:

    @M. Hathaway: It used to be on Joost. Looks like no more. Just slogged through about 150 listings to find the new URLs. There are none.

  7. SLR Says:

    Then don’t deny it’s me :)

    Anyway, delighted you enjoyed the programme. The programme is currently available with Entertain magazine in the UK for the next month.

  8. mikecane Says:

    Anyone can claim to be anyone on the Internet.

  9. SLR Says:

    Except I’m easily verifiable. You just can’t be bothered.

    I have to say I’m most disappointed at your attitude. Still, glad you enjoyed the programme. I hope very much that you’ll enjoy the accompanying book, soon to be released.

  10. mikecane Says:

    I’m also easily email-able, but you choose to use Comments, where anyone can claim anything. And usually do.

  11. SLR Says:

    I can’t find your e-mail address.

    I’m also the only person that can provide copies of the programme :)

    I’m rather flattered though that someone would want to impersonate me.

  12. mikecane Says:

    >>>I can’t find your e-mail address.

    >>>I’m also the only person that can provide copies of the programme

    Um, no.

  13. SLR Says:

    Um, legally, yes.

    The last person that was found to be distributing copies got into very hot water.

  14. mikecane Says:

    Legally, perhaps.

    But there is legal as in, “Instead of paying for this, I will steal it.”

    And then there is justifiable, as in, “These fuckers aren’t selling this here, they won’t take my money because of stupid jurisdictional rights, so why can’t I have this shitty copy now as a stand-in?”

    Welcome to the Internet. Please try to enjoy your visit.

  15. SLR Says:

    I don’t know why you’re being so hostile. I’m only trying to be friendly and am glad that something I did has found an appreciative audience. I thought you might have been interested in bits that didn’t make it to the final edit.

  16. mikecane Says:

    You came here claiming to be someone. Anyone can do that at any time.

    I revealed my skepticism.

    You persisted.

    My email address is hardly hidden here.

    Look, you did a fine TV program. All Anderson fans appreciate it. If it ever comes out for sale on DVD, I’ll probably appreciate the extras then too.

  17. Dan Demianiw Says:

    I just love thunderbirds and space;1999 with catherine schell. She is so,so, great
    actress.What happen to the puppet of Lady Penelope ? I would to know.As kid I grow
    up with Thunderbirds and Space1999. I do have some DvD of both tvshows. Hope
    to hear from you. Thanks, Dan.

  18. mikecane Says:

    @Dan: See what happened to Lady Penelope here, last paragraph:

  19. John Wilhelm Says:

    I’m researching Catherine Schell and I noticed the still on
    this page with the caption:
    “Catherine Schell talks about ridiculous contract stipulations
    Barbara Bain had for Space 1999”

    Is there any chance for acquiring this?
    I can figure out where to look.

  20. mikecane Says:

    There is no LEGAL way of acquiring the video.

    But I recall what Catherine Schell said.

    Bain’s contract stipulated:

    1) She have as many lines and scenes as Martin Landau
    2) She resented Catherine Schell’s presence
    3) Schell was to NEVER have the last word in an episode

    Knowing all that now, I can see why the scripts for Space:1999 were just about destined for FAIL.

    • Tere Says:

      no entiendo por

      No entiendo porque Shell tiene que hablar del contrato de barbara bain, que era lo mejor de la serie. por lo menos siempre fue fiel a su papel de medico.
      Como conoce el contrato de BArbara. sera que se acostaria con algún productor, decian que era muy rapida para esas cosas.
      La verdad la segunda temporada de space 1999 no funciona justamente porque en vez de reforzar la primera que fue excelente solo tenian que reforzar las relaciones entre la gente , metieron una metamorfosica vieja , arrugada y con voz de hombre como ella. Sin contar que no aguanto el maquillaje y era una en el primer capitulo y otra el el ulrimo

  21. John Wilhelm Says:

    Sort of like like William Shatner on Star Trek.
    Maybe Barbara’s candle burned out after
    Mission Impossible. Landau seemed good
    as a “commander” character, but to take
    along the wife?? Something was’nt right there.

    THANK YOU for that speedy response Mike.

  22. Actually, suicide bombers date to at least the 1920s in what was then the Aden Protectorate and the TransJordan. Suicide attackers from the Middle East date back to the Hashishim (Root of the word “assassin,” and yes, related to “Hashish) at least. Other cultures have used suicide attackers and bombers, including the Japanese Kamikazes (“Divine wind”).

    I just logged in because I’m a huge Catherine Schell fan. I love the old Supermarionation, too.

  23. Paul Amato Says:

    What No pics of THE SUPERCAR that appeared in The Wizard of OZ Ice Skating Show????? Anyoe got ny photos to share????? Anyone up to a Trade Deal???? I have a few MINT 1964 Supercar Cut-out Cooring Books by Western Publishing(Golden Press) Also Fireball XL5 Cut-out Coloring Books 1964 By Golden Press,A Few Suercar,Fireball XL5,& Singray Annuals Collin Press(UK),Thundercop 2 (Thunderbird 2) Plastic/Battery Powered)Toy Mint In Box ( 1980s). Plus A few other Items as well. Let me Know??? My e-mail Thank You & Take Care Paul-SUPERCAR-Amato

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