The Adventures of Twizzle (partially found puppet TV series; 1957)

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Twizzle01.jpg

The Adventures of Twizzle title card.

Status: Partially Found

The Adventures of Twizzle is a television show produced by AP Films, a company formed by Arthur Provis, Reg Hill, Sylvia Tamm, and Supermarionation artist Gerry Anderson, who would go on to create popular British science fiction shows as ThunderbirdsCaptain Scarlet and Terrahawks. In total, 52 episodes were made and aired, with the first episode being broadcast on November 13, 1957 at 4:30pm.

Premise

The series follows Twizzle (Nancy Nevinson), a boy puppet who has the ability to extend, or "twizzle", his legs and arms, and his cat companion known as "Footso". One day, while Twizzle is meeting new toys in his toy shop, a bad-tempered girl comes into the shop and wants to buy Twizzle. Frightened by the girl, he escapes from the toy shop after Teddy Bear suggests he runs away before she can buy him. He eventually makes his way to a dog kennel as the owner of the kennel, Footso the cat (Denise Bryer), enters. The two become fast friends and decide to go off on adventures after sleeping for the night. While on their adventures, they also create a haven for toys running away from abusive children called Stray Town.[1]

Production

When AP Films initially formed, the company originally planned to make films but struggled to find commissions. In 1957, Roberta Leigh and Suzanne Warner approached the company with the idea to make The Adventures of Twizzle, to which the company reluctantly agreed to do. Episodes were shot in a small room and the overall budget for the show was under £500. Additionally, the schedule was very tight, with the puppets themselves having their finishing touches on an actual shooting of the episode occurring on the same day, leaving little time to perfect the puppets. To enhance the show's quality, however, the crew implemented techniques from films that were rarely seen in puppet shows, such as background props and close-ups of the puppet's faces.

Another technique that they applied was to have the puppeteers operate the puppets from an overhead bridge 12 feet above the set instead of them simply leaning over to see what they were doing, eliminating their shadows showing up in the shot. To help this, Anderson bought a lightweight camera that had just come on the market and rigged it onto the main camera to project what was happening anywhere on the set of the operators. This technique became known as "Video Assist" and was soon used in the entire film industry.[2]

The series, while using intricate puppetry, predates the first official Supermarionation series by Anderson, Four Feather Falls, by two years, though it's still classified as such by many.

Availability

Much like Roberta Leigh's other puppet show, Sara & Hoppity, only the first episode has survived.

A 16mm reel of the first episode was discovered with the entire 16mm reels of the complete series of Space Patrol in Roberta Leigh's possession. The pilot episode was included in the 2003 DVD release of Space Patrol.

Episode List

Episode Title Air Date Status
Twizzle And Footso November 13 1957 Found
Twizzle And Footso Get Caught Unknown Lost
Twizzle Saves The Doll Unknown Lost
The Breakdown Van Unknown Lost
Footso Is Stolen Unknown Lost
Twizzle And The Golliwog Unknown Lost
Jiffy And The Chawky Quarrel Unknown Lost
Footso Disappears Unknown Lost
Twizzle And The Broken-Down Toy Unknown Lost
Twizzle Builds Stray Town Unknown Lost
A Flag For Stray Town Unknown Lost
Jiffy's New House Unknown Lost
Twizzle And Footso Go Fruit Picking Unknown Lost
Twizzle Has Some Fun Unknown Lost
Twizzle And Candy Floss Open A Cake Shop Unknown Lost
Twizzle Saves The Broken-Down Toys Unknown Lost
Twizzle Gets Lost Unknown Lost
Jiffy Opens A Barber Shop Unknown Lost
Another Racing Car Unknown Lost
Twizzle And His Friends Go To The Circus Unknown Lost
The Toys Go To School Unknown Lost
Bouncy The Ball Unknown Lost
Jack-In-The-Box Unknown Lost
Twizzle Catches Cold Unknown Lost
The Naughty Girl Unknown Lost
Jiffy's New Twigs Unknown Lost
Twizzle And The Snowman Unknown Lost
Twizzle And The Thin Teddy Bear Unknown Lost
The Lazy Broomstick Man Unknown Lost
Twizzle And The Polly Moppet Unknown Lost
Footso And The Magic Seeds Unknown Lost
Jiffy And The Polly Moppet Quarrel Unknown Lost
Footso Gets A New Tail Unknown Lost
Twizzle Is Naughty Unknown Lost
Twizzle Is Stolen Unknown Lost
Chawky Gets A Present Unknown Lost
Twizzle And The Toy Inspector Unknown Lost
Twizzle And The Naughty Breakdown Van Unknown Lost
Orange And The Banana Tree Unknown Lost
Jiffy's Birthday Unknown Lost
Polly Moppet Disappears Unknown Lost
Naughty Polly Moppet Unknown Lost
Footso And The Naughty Girl Unknown Lost
Stray Town Thief Unknown Lost
Twizzle Papers The Cabin Unknown Lost
Twizzle And Footso Go Camping Unknown Lost
Twizzle Goes To The Seaside Unknown Lost
Twizzle Goes To The Fair Unknown Lost
Twizzle Goes Fishing Unknown Lost
Twizzle Goes To The Zoo Unknown Lost
Candy Floss's Birthday Unknown Lost
Footso and the Toothache Unknown Lost

References