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Old 13-03-2009, 09:43 PM   #1
Kinggodzillak
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Default Thunderbirds episode order

Not production order or broadcast order, this. While rewatching the series on blu-ray I've picked up on little bits of continuity randomly splattered all over the place, and wondered if the episode could be arranged in an order that makes sense of them all.

So here goes;

1) Trapped in the Sky.
2) Pit of Peril - it takes so long for the army to even think of contacting International Rescue that maybe they hadn't been running for too long.
3) City of Fire - again it takes a while for anyone to think about calling IR.
4) Move - And You're Dead - brings Grandma to Tracy Island, so it would have to be before all the other episodes in which she's already there.
5) Desperate Intruder
6) 30 Minutes after Noon
7) Martian Invasion - the director's line "I've heard of them!" again suggests that calling International Rescue still isn't the first thing people think of in an emergency.
8 ) Operation Crash-Dive - Trapped in the Sky is mentioned as being 'earlier this year'.
9) Day of Disaster
10) The Mighty Atom - it's mentioned that International Rescue has only been operating a year or so, so this one has to be in the first half of the series at least.
11) Danger at Ocean Deep - Scott says he's been out on all the rescues...
12) Perils of Penelope - but since he doesn't go out on this one then PoP has to be after DaOD.
13) Sun Probe - picks up the story of the Sun Probe from PoP. Also this is Tin-Tin's first mission.
14) The Uninvited - small point, this, but Tin-Tin wears her uniform again so I think this technically counts as another mission for her.
15) End of the Road.
16) Edge of Impact - Jeff wonders if they're expecting 'more of Tin-Tin's admirers', which could be taken as a reference to End of the Road. Also Braman's still hanging around in Brains' lab after Sun Probe.
17) Vault of Death - Scott tells Lovegrove that International Rescue is 'not often beaten'. This implies that they have been beaten in the past, whereas in Danger at Ocean Deep and Edge of Impact there's dialogue to the effect that they haven't.
18 ) The Duchess Assignment - the Empire State building is still standing.
19) Terror in New York City - Empire State destroyed.
20) Brink of Disaster - Penny's had time to get some driving lessons in since Vault of Death.
21) The Imposters - the number of markers on the army map showing where IR have carried out rescues suggest they've been operating for a while now.
22) The Man from MI.5
23) Cry Wolf - again, if IR have fans then they've been operating for a while.
24) Attack of the Alligators
25) The Cham-Cham
26) Security Hazard

Series two is much easier; Atlantic Inferno, Path of Destruction, Alias Mr Hackenbacker, Lord Parker's 'Oliday, Ricochet and Give or Take a Million is as good an order as any. The continuity I notice there is Penny drives FAB 1 in 'Oliday which puts it after Vault of Death.

Any thoughts? Anything I've missed?
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Old 17-03-2009, 04:03 PM   #2
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That was a pretty good read actually. Nice work ! Cant think of anything to add right now.
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Old 17-03-2009, 04:30 PM   #3
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Lord Parker's 'Oliday would have to be after Vault of Death - the whole of Tracy Island has been redecorated!

Where does TBAG and TB6 go in your order?

And The Mighty Atom should technically come before Trapped in the Sky - as the first section is 6 months before IR...

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Old 19-01-2010, 03:35 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kinggodzillak View Post

1) Trapped in the Sky.
2) Pit of Peril - it takes so long for the army to even think of contacting International Rescue that maybe they hadn't been running for too long.
3) City of Fire - again it takes a while for anyone to think about calling IR.
4) Move - And You're Dead - brings Grandma to Tracy Island, so it would have to be before all the other episodes in which she's already there.
5) Desperate Intruder
6) 30 Minutes after Noon
7) Martian Invasion - the director's line "I've heard of them!" again suggests that calling International Rescue still isn't the first thing people think of in an emergency.
8 ) Operation Crash-Dive - Trapped in the Sky is mentioned as being 'earlier this year'.
9) Day of Disaster
10) The Mighty Atom - it's mentioned that International Rescue has only been operating a year or so, so this one has to be in the first half of the series at least.
11) Danger at Ocean Deep - Scott says he's been out on all the rescues...
12) Perils of Penelope - but since he doesn't go out on this one then PoP has to be after DaOD.
13) Sun Probe - picks up the story of the Sun Probe from PoP. Also this is Tin-Tin's first mission.
14) The Uninvited - small point, this, but Tin-Tin wears her uniform again so I think this technically counts as another mission for her.
15) End of the Road.
16) Edge of Impact - Jeff wonders if they're expecting 'more of Tin-Tin's admirers', which could be taken as a reference to End of the Road. Also Braman's still hanging around in Brains' lab after Sun Probe.
17) Vault of Death - Scott tells Lovegrove that International Rescue is 'not often beaten'. This implies that they have been beaten in the past, whereas in Danger at Ocean Deep and Edge of Impact there's dialogue to the effect that they haven't.
18 ) The Duchess Assignment - the Empire State building is still standing.
19) Terror in New York City - Empire State destroyed.
20) Brink of Disaster - Penny's had time to get some driving lessons in since Vault of Death.
21) The Imposters - the number of markers on the army map showing where IR have carried out rescues suggest they've been operating for a while now.
22) The Man from MI.5
23) Cry Wolf - again, if IR have fans then they've been operating for a while.
24) Attack of the Alligators
25) The Cham-Cham
26) Security Hazard
Great list

If I may add in my own entrie for Thunderbirds Are Go, Thunderbirds Six and the second series

1) Trapped in the Sky.
2) Pit of Peril - it takes so long for the army to even think of contacting International Rescue that maybe they hadn't been running for too long.
3) City of Fire - again it takes a while for anyone to think about calling IR.
4) Move - And You're Dead - brings Grandma to Tracy Island, so it would have to be before all the other episodes in which she's already there.
5)Thunderbirds 6 - Tin-Tin say she's never seen the pyramids, placing it before Desperate Intruder. The Empire State Building is also seen placing it before Terror Of New York City.
6) Desperate Intruder
7) 30 Minutes after Noon
8 ) Martian Invasion - the director's line "I've heard of them!" again suggests that calling International Rescue still isn't the first thing people think of in an emergency.
9 ) Operation Crash-Dive - Trapped in the Sky is mentioned as being 'earlier this year'.
10) Day of Disaster
11) The Mighty Atom - it's mentioned that International Rescue has only been operating a year or so, so this one has to be in the first half of the series at least.
12) Danger at Ocean Deep - Scott says he's been out on all the rescues...
13) Perils of Penelope - but since he doesn't go out on this one then PoP has to be after DaOD.
14) Sun Probe - picks up the story of the Sun Probe from PoP. Also this is Tin-Tin's first mission.
15) The Uninvited - small point, this, but Tin-Tin wears her uniform again so I think this technically counts as another mission for her.
16) End of the Road.
17) Edge of Impact - Jeff wonders if they're expecting 'more of Tin-Tin's admirers', which could be taken as a reference to End of the Road. Also Braman's still hanging around in Brains' lab after Sun Probe.
18 ) Vault of Death - Scott tells Lovegrove that International Rescue is 'not often beaten'. This implies that they have been beaten in the past, whereas in Danger at Ocean Deep and Edge of Impact there's dialogue to the effect that they haven't.
19) The Duchess Assignment - the Empire State building is still standing.
20) Terror in New York City - Empire State destroyed.
21) Brink of Disaster - Penny's had time to get some driving lessons in since Vault of Death.
22) The Imposters - the number of markers on the army map showing where IR have carried out rescues suggest they've been operating for a while now.
23) The Man from MI.5
24) Cry Wolf - again, if IR have fans then they've been operating for a while.
25) Attack of the Alligators
26) The Cham-Cham
27) Security Hazard
28 ) Thunderbirds Are Go - Redecoration of the Island
29) Atlantic Inferno
30) Path Of Descruction
31) Alias Mr Hackenbacker - This time, when building a craft which is not for International Rescue, Brains uses a pseudonym name unlike in Thunderbird 6
32) Lord Parker's 'Oliday - Penelope is drving better since The Vault Of Death
33) Ricochet
34) Give or Take a Million
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Old 19-01-2010, 04:03 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meritamis View Post
31) Alias Mr Hackenbacker - This time, when building a craft which is not for International Rescue, Brains uses a pseudonym name unlike in Thunderbird 6
I think it's a safe bet that 'Brains' is an affectionate nickname rather than his birthname so it wouldn't be giving anything away.
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Old 19-01-2010, 09:34 PM   #6
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Quote:
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31) Alias Mr Hackenbacker - This time, when building a craft which is not for International Rescue, Brains uses a pseudonym name unlike in Thunderbird 6
Wouldn't 'Mr X' count as a pseudonym?

I don't think Thunderbird 6 can come so early in the 'saga', thanks to the destruction of FAB1 and the fact that Jeff made so much fuss about them having a TB6 that he wouldn't just stick it in the back of the hangar and forget about it once he found one.

You'd also need to take into account the Hood's hair-restoral treatments and John's balls dropping.
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Old 19-01-2010, 09:52 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Kinggodzillak View Post
Wouldn't 'Mr X' count as a pseudonym?

I don't think Thunderbird 6 can come so early in the 'saga', thanks to the destruction of FAB1 and the fact that Jeff made so much fuss about them having a TB6 that he wouldn't just stick it in the back of the hangar and forget about it once he found one.

You'd also need to take into account the Hood's hair-restoral treatments and John's balls dropping.
I know what you mean, but how do you acount for the fact that Tin-Tin clams of never seeing the pyrimids?

Plus I'm in limbo about whether it's the Hood or not, becuase to me he certainly dies in Thunderbirds Are Go
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Old 19-01-2010, 10:27 PM   #8
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I always thought Tin-Tin meant that she had never been to the pyramids, obviously she had seen them. That might just me trying to make up for the obvious mis-continuity.
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Old 20-01-2010, 07:59 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Meritamis View Post
I know what you mean, but how do you acount for the fact that Tin-Tin clams of never seeing the pyrimids?

Plus I'm in limbo about whether it's the Hood or not, becuase to me he certainly dies in Thunderbirds Are Go
I can account for Tin-Tin saying she'd never seen the pyramids...

It's a script-writing cock-up. The script editor, Alan Pattillo had gone, and Thunderbird 6 was written about 2 and half years after Desperate Intruder. These things happen in television . And that one tiny script flaw does not override all the massive evidence (like there only being five TB craft in the series) that TB6 was last.

And the Hood doesn't certainly die in TBAG - because he's there in TB6!
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Old 20-01-2010, 02:47 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Masterspy View Post
I can account for Tin-Tin saying she'd never seen the pyramids...

It's a script-writing cock-up. The script editor, Alan Pattillo had gone, and Thunderbird 6 was written about 2 and half years after Desperate Intruder. These things happen in television . And that one tiny script flaw does not override all the massive evidence (like there only being five TB craft in the series) that TB6 was last.

And the Hood doesn't certainly die in TBAG - because he's there in TB6!
That's a good point Masterspy, but what do you say to the fact that the Empire State Building appears? Would you accept it being placed around there?

The puppet playing the Black Phantom looks nothing like the Hood, for starters he has hair! Second, he seems to be more in control, unlike in Edge Of Impact or Martian Invasion where he's working for people. If it was the Hood, the script would have focused on him and his plans to capture the International Rescue vehicles rather than having them focus on Brains coming up with Thunderbird 6
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Old 20-01-2010, 03:15 PM   #11
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The Black Phantom looks about as much like the Hood as the TB6 Tracy family look like their counterparts from the TV series. As for the hair - well, maybe he just felt that his gang would respect him more if he got a wig. The hair is easier to explain away than John's voice changing, which is equally noticeable.

Also by placing TB6 so early in the run you'd have the Tracy's redecorate the lounge, then put it back the way it was, and then redecorating it back again...

I always felt Thunderbird 6 had to come last because of their "Ah, f*** it" approach to protecting their secrecy, which had been so ruthlessly guarded during the series. Something obviously happened between Give or Take a Million and TB6 to change all that...
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Old 20-01-2010, 03:26 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kinggodzillak View Post
The Black Phantom looks about as much like the Hood as the TB6 Tracy family look like their counterparts from the TV series. As for the hair - well, maybe he just felt that his gang would respect him more if he got a wig. The hair is easier to explain away than John's voice changing, which is equally noticeable.

Also by placing TB6 so early in the run you'd have the Tracy's redecorate the lounge, then put it back the way it was, and then redecorating it back again...

I always felt Thunderbird 6 had to come last because of their "Ah, f*** it" approach to protecting their secrecy, which had been so ruthlessly guarded during the series. Something obviously happened between Give or Take a Million and TB6 to change all that...
I agree that they have a more laid attitude to protecting their identity, which would keep in continuity with some comics. But I just can't accept the fact that the Black Phantom is the Hood. Even Sylvia Anderson says he isn't.

But would you say it comes before Terror Of New York City?

What do you think about having Thunderbirds Are Go in between Security Hazard and Atlantic Inferno?
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Old 20-01-2010, 03:33 PM   #13
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It's clearly the Hood with a wig. It's even a passable impression of the voice given that Ray Barrett wasn't available to reprise the role.
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Old 20-01-2010, 04:11 PM   #14
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1) Trapped in the Sky.
2) Pit of Peril - it takes so long for the army to even think of contacting International Rescue that maybe they hadn't been running for too long.
3) City of Fire - again it takes a while for anyone to think about calling IR.
4) Move - And You're Dead - brings Grandma to Tracy Island, so it would have to be before all the other episodes in which she's already there.
5) Desperate Intruder
6) 30 Minutes after Noon
7 ) Martian Invasion - the director's line "I've heard of them!" again suggests that calling International Rescue still isn't the first thing people think of in an emergency.
8 ) Operation Crash-Dive - Trapped in the Sky is mentioned as being 'earlier this year'.
9) Day of Disaster
10) The Mighty Atom - it's mentioned that International Rescue has only been operating a year or so, so this one has to be in the first half of the series at least.
11) Danger at Ocean Deep - Scott says he's been out on all the rescues...
12) Perils of Penelope - but since he doesn't go out on this one then PoP has to be after DaOD.
13) Sun Probe - picks up the story of the Sun Probe from PoP. Also this is Tin-Tin's first mission.
14) The Uninvited - small point, this, but Tin-Tin wears her uniform again so I think this technically counts as another mission for her.
15) End of the Road.
16) Edge of Impact - Jeff wonders if they're expecting 'more of Tin-Tin's admirers', which could be taken as a reference to End of the Road. Also Braman's still hanging around in Brains' lab after Sun Probe.
17) Vault of Death - Scott tells Lovegrove that International Rescue is 'not often beaten'. This implies that they have been beaten in the past, whereas in Danger at Ocean Deep and Edge of Impact there's dialogue to the effect that they haven't.
18 ) The Duchess Assignment - the Empire State building is still standing.
19) Terror in New York City - Empire State destroyed.
20) Brink of Disaster - Penny's had time to get some driving lessons in since Vault of Death.
21) The Imposters - the number of markers on the army map showing where IR have carried out rescues suggest they've been operating for a while now.
22) The Man from MI.5
23) Cry Wolf - again, if IR have fans then they've been operating for a while.
24) Attack of the Alligators
25) The Cham-Cham
27) Security Hazard
29 ) Thunderbirds Are Go - Redecoration of the Island
30) Atlantic Inferno
31) Path Of Descruction
32) Alias Mr Hackenbacker - This time, when building a craft which is not for International Rescue, Brains uses a pseudonym name unlike in Thunderbird 6
33) Lord Parker's 'Oliday - Penelope is drving better since The Vault Of Death
34) Ricochet
35) Give or Take a Million
36)Thunderbirds 6

If using this list, does anyone think we would be able to chronilogically place every story made base on Thunderbirds E.G. Comics, Short Stories, audios?

Last edited by Meritamis; 20-01-2010 at 04:15 PM.
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Old 20-01-2010, 04:25 PM   #15
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That's a good point Masterspy, but what do you say to the fact that the Empire State Building appears? Would you accept it being placed around there?

The puppet playing the Black Phantom looks nothing like the Hood, for starters he has hair! Second, he seems to be more in control, unlike in Edge Of Impact or Martian Invasion where he's working for people. If it was the Hood, the script would have focused on him and his plans to capture the International Rescue vehicles rather than having them focus on Brains coming up with Thunderbird 6
What do I think of the appearance of the Empire State Building? I think it's a piece of stock footage. Perhaps it was difficult to get New York City to demolish the real thing for a ten second shot in a small film? There is a difference between trying to work out a suitable order based on internal chronology (i.e. script and plot developments) a la The Prisoner, and trying to work out an order based on things which were oversights in production. In fact, oversight is probably overplaying it - I doubt anyone on the team even cared.
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Old 20-01-2010, 04:27 PM   #16
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I agree that they have a more laid attitude to protecting their identity, which would keep in continuity with some comics. But I just can't accept the fact that the Black Phantom is the Hood. Even Sylvia Anderson says he isn't.

But would you say it comes before Terror Of New York City?

What do you think about having Thunderbirds Are Go in between Security Hazard and Atlantic Inferno?
Ah. Sylvia Anderson - never really been noted for her accurate commentary on the series, has she? There's no doubt she was a massively important cog in the A.P. Films story, but her recollections of that time are very sadly distorted

Strangely, I've always put Thunderbirds Are Go before Atlantic Inferno. Possibly because it entered production ahead of Atlantic Inferno, even though it was shown afterwards...
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Old 20-01-2010, 04:29 PM   #17
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And none of this answers the more interesting question oh what is the actual production order.

I hope to able to shed more light on this tomorrow strangely enough. Will report back if there's anything interesting...
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Old 20-01-2010, 05:25 PM   #18
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I've always thought of a finite production order as being dependent on the judging criteria. For example, is an episode ranked by the date it was started or the date it was finished? It makes a difference if some of the half hour episodes got expanded a few weeks down the line. There must have been some crossover. A production chronology is probably a better word than an episode production order since the latter suggests slotting them into boxes they may be too big to fit.
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Old 20-01-2010, 06:25 PM   #19
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I've always thought of a finite production order as being dependent on the judging criteria. For example, is an episode ranked by the date it was started or the date it was finished? It makes a difference if some of the half hour episodes got expanded a few weeks down the line. There must have been some crossover. A production chronology is probably a better word than an episode production order since the latter suggests slotting them into boxes they may be too big to fit.
That's true. For instance, we know that City of Fire was being finished towards the back of production of the first series and episodes were shot in pairs (which makes the production numbers assigned in a certain episode guide book nonsense). However, I think it's fair to say that after the half hour episodes, there was a definite production order for episodes (albeit in pairs).
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Old 21-01-2010, 06:36 PM   #20
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I'm sure there's another thread about this somewhere on the forum, but as I can't be bothered to find it, here goes.

Main sources of information -

1. Credits.

Apart from Trapped in the Sky, episodes are credited to either Christine's unit, or Mary's unit. These credits may not be entirely reliable (credits on other Anderson productions haven't always been !), but they should provide a basic guide. Each unit would have been filming seperate episodes on their own stages, so two episodes would have been in production concurrently. Some episodes also have dual director credits, so it is likely these were originally half hour episodes, although the dual credit on Terror in New York City is due to the fact that David Elliot was 'training up' David Lane.

2. Production Number

Each episode was given a production number. It does not follow that this would be followed chronologically, or indicate when a script was delivered. Diary sources indicate that The Cham-Cham (production number 25) was filmed early in 1966, while the publication of a still from Security Hazard (production number 26) in a December 1965 trade magazine shows that this episode was shot some time before the end of that year.

3. Surviving scripts.

Very few scripts from the first season of Thunderbirds are known to survive in their half hour format. At present I'm only aware of two almost complete half hour scripts (City of Fire and Vault of Death). Alan Pattillo confirms that he wrote both Perils of Penelope and Move and You're Dead early in 1964. And despite some suggestions that Trapped in the Sky may possibly have been a two parter, this probably always was a half hour script (which may have over run in the initial edit). A copy of Operation Crashdive that I've seen also shows that this was originally written as a half hour episode (the original half hour episode scene numbers are included with those for the hour long version). It is very likely that at least thirteen episodes would have been written before the series went into production, with possibly another half dozen written as half hours in the autumn of 1964.

4. Press Reports.

By September 1965 it was reported that 17 episodes of the series had been completed and were ready for transmission.

Apart from these sources, it is well known that the decision to expand the series was made at Christmas 1964, while Alan Pattillo was in the middle of shooting Move and You're Dead with Christine's unit, and Des Saunders was about to start shooting Operation Crash Dive with Mary's unit.

So...

From the information available it seems likely that following, or possibly initially in tandem with the pilot episode, Mary's unit would have shot half hour versions of Pit of Peril, City of Fire, the Uninvited and Vault of Death in the autumn of 1964, while Christine's unit were credited with Sun Probe, The Mighty Atom and Move and You're Dead (and possibly were also the main unit for Trapped in The Sky). One sticky point - although Alan Pattillo is credited with directing Sun Probe in early publicity material the epsiode's on screeen director is David Lane, which suggests Lane directed the later additional sequences for the episode and was given sole credit, but Lane is also credited for The Mighty Atom, which indicates that either it was not shot before Lane was 'trained up' on Terror in New York City, or - more likely - that another director (though none has admitted it !) directed the half hour version. The effects for the episode were certainly shot before those for Perils of Penelope though, as the Anderbad monorail station baseboard was clearly previously used as a Mighty Atom atomic plant.

After the decision was made to expand the episodes, the whole studio went into overdrive, spending at least the next six months initially shooting half hour episodes that were already scheduled, and then shooting additional material for existing episodes and newly expanded half hour episode scripts. In addition to additional material for existing episodes Christine's unit would probably have shot Perils of Penelope, Edge of Impact, End of the Road and Thirty Minutes After Noon during the first half of 1964. In my view, although Brink of Disaster is recorded as production number 11, the look of the puppets suggests to me that this may not have entered production until late 1965. Mary's unit meanwhile would probably have shot Operation Crash Dive, Terror in New York City, Day of Disaster and Desperate Intruder, with Martian Invasion looking as if it may have entered production later in 1965.

By the end of September 1965 both units would probably have more or less caught up with themselves, preparing to shoot episodes that would most likely have been written as full 50 minute scripts (apart possibly from The Duchess Assignment). So Christine's unit would have shot The Imposters, Cry Wolf, Attack of the Alligators and The Cham-Cham, while Mary's unit would have worked on The Man From MI5, Danger at Ocean Deep, The Duchess Assignment and Security Hazard.

There's possibly a bit of fine tuning that could be done within this basic outline - press reports from late 65 are useful (I have a copy of an article from a local Slough paper in my files somewhere that reports on a visit to the studio while The Duchess Assignment was in production), but until someone comes up with that complete set of call sheets that are undoubtedly out there somewhere, that's probably pretty much the best we can do at the moment.
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