Joost: Stand By For Action!
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?
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.
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:
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!
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.
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.
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!
The company that did this documentary. Well done!
See the post about the BBC Four All About Thunderbirds documentary.