The Adventures of Twizzle

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The Adventures of Twizzle
Twizzletitle.jpg
The Adventures of Twizzle title screenshot
Also known as Twizzle
Genre Adventure
Children's
Fantasy
Format Marionette puppetry
Created by Roberta Leigh
Written by Roberta Leigh
Directed by Gerry Anderson
Voices of Denise Bryer
Nancy Nevinson
Narrated by Nancy Nevinson
Composer(s) Leslie Clair) Arranged by :Barry Gray
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 1
No. of episodes 52
Production
Producer(s) Gerry Anderson
Roberta Leigh
Editor(s) David Elliott
Cinematography Arthur Provis
Camera setup Single
Running time 13 mins approx. per episode
Production company(s) AP Films
Banty Books
Distributor Associated-Rediffusion
Broadcast
Original channel ITV Network
Picture format Black and white
Audio format Mono
Original run 13 November 1957 (1957-11-13)[1] – 10 June 1959 (1959-06-10)

The Adventures of Twizzle (or simply Twizzle as it was known in some territories) is the very first television show produced by AP Films and specifically Gerry Anderson, after being approached by author Roberta Leigh (who also co-produced with Anderson) and her colleague Suzanne Warner. Sources vary as to who directed the series. In addition to his production duties, Anderson also directed the action[1] whilst photography was directed by Arthur Provis, Anderson's founding partner at AP Films. The music for the songs were written by Leslie Clair, (pseudonym for Leslie Solley who can be seen on his own Wikipedia page as a Member of Parliament), the music was scored by Barry Gray, art direction came from Reg Hill and special effects (which at the outset amounted largely to scenery painting[1]) were by Derek Meddings, all of whom would become long-time collaborators with Anderson. Twizzle and all the puppets for the 52 films were made by Joy Laurey, and there were two Twizzle puppets made for filming, one Twizzle puppet for conventional shots and another Twizzle puppet for the stunt shots when Twizzle's arms and legs became longer. The trick of extending Twizzle's arms and legs were based on a system of curtain rings and puppet strings pulled internally inside the puppets arms and legs.

Twizzle - from whom the series gets its name - is a boy doll with the ability to extend (or "twizzle") his legs and arms and wears a pixie like hat and has a cat companion known as "Footso". Although a boy, he was voiced by a woman, Nancy Nevinson who also narrated the series. Denise Bryer did Footso and the other voices.

The series follows his adventures as he uses his abilities to get out of trouble. In all, 52 episodes were made in black and white, although only the first, Twizzle and Footso, is believed to survive and was included as an additional feature on the boxed set of the entire series of Space Patrol released in 2003.

Overview[edit]

Twizzle's legs looked suspiciously like drinking straws with lines around them in a swirling pattern and undoubtedly the figure was pushed up from below while the straw-like legs were twisted around to give the "Twizzle" effect. Twizzle originally lived in a toy shop and was nearly sold to a naughty girl named Sally Cross but he hides and escapes in the night before the child returns the following day to buy him. He hides in a dog kennel where he finds Footso who has run away from home.

Twizzle proved useful in a fire by saving a child on a high window when no ladder was available for which he was given a racing car as a reward but after crashing it he swapped it for a breakdown truck which he uses for rescuing toys. Footso had large feet which sometimes trip him up, hence his name. Later came Jiffy the Broomstick Man (a cross between a broom made of twigs and a man who could sweep the floor on his own) who Twizzle and Footso rescued from the clutches of a stereotypical evil witch (who had threatened to burn him) when he flew up the chimney to escape her. The witch returned in a later episode and there was another narrow escape by all. Jiffy could fly by lying horizontal and would fly other people out of trouble. Twizzle and Footso built Straytown where stray toys (misfits) could live and lived in a cabin there. This theme was later carried over to Torchy the Battery Boy. Both ideas bear a resemblance to Peter Pan and Neverneverland.

All had their songs which were entertaining time-wasters, with Footso "dreaming of herrings and kippers and creamy cream" after which he'd say "Purr! Purr! Purr! Meowwll!", the latter loudly and then the show would continue (a theme Anderson later carried into Four Feather Falls). The songs were written by Roberta Leigh. There was also Chawky the white faced Golliwog who would complain: "Who wants a white faced golliwog" and Candy Floss, a "Mamma Doll" who could not say "mamma" as well as Bouncy, a ball who had lost his bounce. There was also a thin Teddy Bear as well as a China Doll and a Jack in the Box. An occasional visitor to Straytown was The Toy Inspector who would check on the toys living there.

Episode guide[edit]

  1. Twizzle And Footso
  2. Twizzle And Footso Get Caught
  3. Twizzle Saves The Doll
  4. The Breakdown Van
  5. Footso Is Stolen
  6. Twizzle And The Golliwog
  7. Jiffy And The Chawky Quarrel
  8. Footso Disappears
  9. Twizzle And The Broken-Down Toy
  10. Twizzle Builds Stray Town
  11. A Flag For Stray Town
  12. Jiffy's New House
  13. Twizzle And Footso Go Fruit Picking
  14. Twizzle Has Some Fun
  15. Twizzle And Candy Floss Open A Cake Shop
  16. Twizzle Saves The Broken-Down Toys
  17. Twizzle Gets Lost
  18. Jiffy Opens A Barber Shop
  19. Another Racing Car
  20. Twizzle And His Friends Go To The Circus
  21. The Toys Go To School
  22. Bouncy The Ball
  23. Jack-In-The-Box
  24. Twizzle Catches Cold
  25. The Naughty Girl
  26. Jiffy's New Twigs
  27. Twizzle And The Snowman
  28. Twizzle And The Thin Teddy Bear
  29. The Lazy Broomstick Man
  30. Twizzle And The Polly Moppet
  31. Footso And The Magic Seeds
  32. Jiffy And The Polly Moppet Quarrel
  33. Footso Gets A New Tail
  34. Twizzle Is Naughty
  35. Twizzle Is Stolen
  36. Chawky Gets A Present
  37. Twizzle And The Toy Inspector
  38. Twizzle And The Naughty Breakdown Van
  39. Orange And The Banana Tree
  40. Jiffy's Birthday
  41. Polly Moppet Disappears
  42. Naughty Polly Moppet
  43. Footso And The Naughty Girl
  44. Stray Town Thief
  45. Twizzle Papers The Cabin
  46. Twizzle And Footso Go Camping
  47. Twizzle Goes To The Seaside
  48. Twizzle Goes To The Fair
  49. Twizzle Goes Fishing
  50. Twizzle Goes To The Zoo
  51. Candy Floss's Birthday
  52. Footso Has A Toothache

Annual[edit]

There was a British annual brought out in 1960 by Brin Brothers Ltd, called More Twizzle Adventure Stories, "The lovable T.V. character by Roberta Leigh". It had 91 pages of text stories and comic style stories (18 of them with the one page introduction). Illustrations were by F. Woof. Apart from the covers and frontispiece which are in full colour, the rest of the illustrations are black and white with one other colour (red, orange, blue or green). The annual is printed on cheap cardboard-like paper and is now very rare though not sought after.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Gerry Anderson: The Authorised Biography by Simon Archer and Stan Nicholls; ISBN 0-09-978141-7

External links[edit]