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The Solarnauts, Space Patrol and Roberta Leigh March 20, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Derek Fowlds is probably best know for his roles in Yes Minister and Heartbeat. And I saw next to nothing of the latter but always enjoyed the first. But here is an early sighting of him, from a pilot for an SF show from the 1960s.

This was produced by author and and producer Roberta Leigh who in some ways seems to have had a parallel career to Gerry Anderson producing a range of puppet based shows. Her most successful production was ‘Space Patrol’ (check out the booming title score at the end).

What strikes me is how 1950s in style these all are. The model work isn’t up to Anderson’s standard and there’s a determinedly juvenile thrust to the whole thing but the scale of the ambition is obvious I’ve no memory of this whatsoever – and as a kid who would sit in and watch the talkiest 1950s SF films when shown on TV, and then Space 1999 or The Six Million Dollar Man or whatever I’m surprised at that. But I guess as a failed pilot it never was shown again and just faded into obscurity.

But the fact both are now viewable on YouTube is fascinating. It is genuinely possible now to catch up on tranches of material that never made it big, or was only shown in other parts of Europe or the US. And there have to be a few gems in there – no?

Comments»

1. roddy - March 20, 2016

Heartbeat was a good show- plenty of 60’s music and classic cars.

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2. gendjinn - March 21, 2016

There was a kids SF show on TV (at least in Dublin) on Saturday mornings in the late 70s. It was some kind of marionation reminiscent of Terrahawks. It involved some child being hunted by large group of pursuers. Ultimately concluded with conjunction of planets/stars and the child ascending to some powerful entity that defeats the baddies.

I’ve never been able to find what it was. There’s a vague memory of a segmented craft that could decompose into independent space craft, but I could be wrong about that.

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WorldbyStorm - March 21, 2016

That rings a bell was it possibly European and dubbed

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gendjinn - March 21, 2016

I don’t recall enough to give a definitive answer. Though having trawled many 60s/70s tv lists in US/UK/AUS a Euro dubbed import is certainly a possibility.

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