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):
2. Title graphic featuring state of the art graphics:
3. Space suited figure, marooned in space. (Incidentally used in this episode “Saboteur”.):
4. Our heroes being apprehended by the villains, the Krokons seen here from behind. Pikkie is visible in the center of the shot:
5. Shot of another show, showing Impala 1 encountering a sentient macro atom in space:
6. Another title shot, with more state of the art graphics:
7. Shot of the asteroid base of Dr Gorman, used in season 1, blown up in the season 1 finale:
8. Blinking lights on an alien homeworld:
9. Series creator Lindsey du Plessis:
10. Final title graphic:
11. Episode 2: Saboteur:
12. Shot of Interster Freight Headoffice, in futuristic Cape Town. Note the longer landing strips from season 1 at the base of the building:
Cut to ending sequence
13. Season 1 ending sequence with static background:
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 …
… the hero of the show …
… and the intrepid receptionist/flight controller/love interest Lida …
… and finally the two alien helpers (incorrectly billed on Wikipedia as being 10cm tall in the story) …
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:
3. Vertical shot of the landing platform:
4. Space shot of Venus, the text lists the voice actors involved as well at the scriptwriter:
5. Another shot of the model of Cape Town, the Interstar building in the foreground:
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:
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:
8. Shot of the underwater landscape, used in season 2:
9. The money shot: Impala 1 on the landing pad of the allied alien’s home world:
10. The dumb henchmen, literally called “Manskap” which literally translates to English as “Henchman”:
11. General star background:
12. Shot to the friendly alien base, with the alien spacehip on the landing pad:
13. Moonscape with the name of the director:
14. Third shot of the Cape Town set:
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:
Mary Falconer from Terrahawks and Lida from Interster:
Eerie, isn’t it? That really tells me Interster is must-see!
At the old blog: