Lavender Castle

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Lavender Castle
Lavender Castle.jpg
Genre Adventure
Children's
Fantasy
Science fiction
Created by Gerry Anderson
Rodney Matthews
Written by Gerry Anderson
Chris Bowden
Pauline Fisk
Craig Hemmings
Rodney Matthews
Chris Trengove
Directed by Chris Taylor
Voices of Kate Harbour
Jimmy Hibbert
David Holt
Rob Rackstraw
Composer(s) Crispin Merrell
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 1
No. of episodes 26 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Brian Cosgrove
Craig Hemmings
Producer(s) Gerry Anderson
Camera setup Single
Running time 10 minutes
Production company(s) Cosgrove Hall Films
HIT Entertainment
Gerry Anderson Productions
Carrington Productions International
Release
Original network ITV
Audio format Mono
Original release 7 January 1999 (1999-01-07) – 9 March 2000 (2000-03-09)

Lavender Castle (also known as Gerry Anderson's Lavender Castle) is a British stop motion/CGI television series created by Rodney Matthews and produced by Gerry Anderson. It was produced in 1997 through a collaboration between Carrington Productions International, Cosgrove Hall Films and The Current UNNUFO Cartoons Company and was first broadcast on CITV between 1999 and 2000.

The series follows the story of Captain Thrice and his crew, on a quest to find the peaceful city of Lavender Castle before the evil Dr. Agon.

Series overview[edit]

Lavender Castle is a place of mystery and legend, fabled throughout the universe, a floating city of light, a place of peace, harmony and all the things that have ever been dreamt of. It is the centre of the universe and the greatest source of power - should it be destroyed, the universe would be plunged into darkness forever. Evil scientist Dr Agon plans to do just that. A lonely megalomaniac with technology-assisted powers of transmutation, he yearns for darkness and has pledged to destroy Lavender Castle from his fortress spaceship, the Dark Station, the most destructive power in the universe, crewed by unseen slaves working deep in the bowels.

In order to prevent this, Captain Thrice has set out on a quest to find the elusive Lavender Castle before Dr Agon. A previous encounter with Lavender Castle gave life to Thrice's walking stick and left the Captain with a special knowledge of its power and abilities. Travelling in his cottage spaceship, the Paradox, Thrice assembles a crew of misfits to join him in his quest, combatting evil wherever they find it as they travel the universe searching for clues that will lead them to Lavender Castle. But Lavender Castle works in mysterious ways and lends its power to the Paradox crew to protect them when they most need help.

Characters[edit]

Captain Thrice: the wise, elderly three-eyed captain of the Paradox, always accompanied by his talking, sentient Walking Stick. Years before, he fortuitously came across Lavender Castle during his space travels, and is since that time bent on finding it anew to try to protect it from Dr. Agon's evil schemes.

Isambard: Captain Thrice's first mate and engineer, in charge of the Paradox 's engines. A brilliant mechanic, his methods are however rather unorthodox (for instance, whacking the central engine with his hammer to make it work is always a viable solution for him). He is very proud of his position and refers to the Paradox 's engine as his "baby". He also invented many gadgets in the past; "some of them even work", according to him. He is named after Isambard Kingdom Brunel, an important figure of the Industrial Revolution.

Roger : The Paradox 's pilot, anciently a pilot in the Space Force, then a freelance mercenary before being captured by Short Fred Ledd, along with his last passenger Lyca. Talented and heroic, but also reckless and gung-ho, Roger has a tendency to act before thinking, which sometimes leads the whole crew into troubles. He seems often bent on impressing the lovely Lyca, but fails most of the time.

Lyca: The Paradox 's doctor, a talented healer, and an adept of herbal medicine, who joined the crew after being freed from Short Fred Ledd along with Roger. The only female of the crew, Lyca is a very sweet and gentle soul, but she is also far removed from the classic Damsel in Distress stereotype, being on the contrary quite brave and adventurous. She is very protective of Sproggle and tends to see him as a little brother.

Sproggle: The Paradox 's lovable but extremely incompetent navigator, who would like to define himself as such, while he can hardly make apart his left from his right. Originally an orphaned child who served as Short Fred Ledd's slave before being rescued by Captain Thrice. Gentle, naïve and easily bewildered, Sproggle also has a somewhat simplistic syntax, usually speaking in third person and with very few words. "Oooooh... Sproggle scared!" seems to be one of his favourite expressions.

Sir Squeakalot: a robot designed to look like a knight's suit of armour, but who behaves more like a mild-mannered and nervous servant. He is the Paradox 's housekeeper, originally owned by Short Fred Ledd. Somewhat phlegmatic and refined, he is much of a gentleman and speaks in a distinguished English accent. He tends to be moderately nervous around Isambard, who seems often bent on having him test his new inventions.

Dr. Cedric Agon: the series' main antagonist, an evil, megalomaniac mad scientist who is bent on destroying Lavender Castle, and thus plunging the whole universe into darkness and despair forever. Self-proclaiming himself "Destroyer of Worlds", he constantly travels in pursuit of the Paradox and its crew, aboard the Dark Station, his own gigantic, heavily armed space fortress manned by an unseen crew of slaves imprisoned into the ship's bowels.

Trump: Dr. Agon's pet and sidekick, a flying critter resembling a cross between a bat and a trumped lizard. Capable of talking, Trump also enjoys emitting sarcastic raspberry sounds now and then.

Short Fred Ledd: a one-legged, dim-witted space pirate who roams galactic seastreams in his own galleon-shaped craft, the Cutting Snark. He often uses a pair of crutches to move around, though being perfectly able to stand on his unique leg all the same. Mean, greedy and rancorous, he is bent on hijacking the Paradox and selling its crew as slaves, which occasionally drives him to work for Dr. Agon.

Cast[edit]

Episodes[edit]

No. Title Directed by[1] Written by[1] Story[1] Original air date Production
code[1]
1 "In the Beginning" Chris Taylor Gerry Anderson & Pauline Fisk Pauline Fisk 7 January 1999 (1999-01-07) 1
Captain Thrice gathers together a crew.
2 "Flower Power" Chris Taylor Gerry Anderson & Pauline Fisk Pauline Fisk 14 January 1999 (1999-01-14) 2
A dying elderly lady asks for help.
3 "The Twilight Tower" Chris Taylor Gerry Anderson & Pauline Fisk Pauline Fisk 21 January 1999 (1999-01-21) 3
The Guardian traps the crew in his dark tower.
4 "High Moon" Chris Taylor Gerry Anderson & Pauline Fisk Gerry Anderson & Pauline Fisk 28 January 1999 (1999-01-28) 4
Captain Thrice recalls his first encounter with Lavender Castle.
5 "The Lost Starfighter" Chris Taylor Gerry Anderson & Chris Trengrove Chris Bowden 4 February 1999 (1999-02-04) 5
Sproggle tries out Roger's old space ship.
6 "The Black Swat" Chris Taylor Pauline Fisk Pauline Fisk 11 February 1999 (1999-02-11) 10
The pirate Short Fred Ledd destroys the Paradox and captures the crew.
7 "Double Cross" Chris Taylor Gerry Anderson & Pauline Fisk Gerry Anderson 18 February 1999 (1999-02-18) 7
Dr Agon gets a wheeling-dealing junkyard owner to steal the Paradox' engine.
8 "A Stitch in Time" Chris Taylor Gerry Anderson Chris Bowden 25 February 1999 (1999-02-25) 6
A time machine proves useful in escaping Dr Agon.
9 "Bird of Prey" Chris Taylor Chris Trengrove Chris Trengrove 4 March 1999 (1999-03-04) 8
A black hole turns Dr. Agon's falcon, Trump, into a gigantic version of itself.
10 "Collision Course" Chris Taylor Chris Trengrove & Gerry Anderson Chris Trengrove 11 March 1999 (1999-03-11) 9
A huge asteroid is on a collision course with Lyca's home planet.
11 "Swamp Fever" Chris Taylor Chris Trengrove Chris Trengrove 18 March 1999 (1999-03-18) 12
Captain Thrice requires medication from a marsh-like planet.
12 "Raiders of the Planet Zark" Chris Taylor Chris Trengrove Chris Bowden 25 March 1999 (1999-03-25) 11
The Guardian lures the crew into a booby-trapped maze.
13 "The Galacternet" Chris Taylor Gerry Anderson Gerry Anderson 1 April 1999 (1999-04-01) 13
A Galacternet website leads the Paradox into a web of deceit and a giant robot spider.
14 "Brightonia on Sea" Chris Taylor Gerry Anderson Gerry Anderson 8 April 1999 (1999-04-08) 14
Short Fred Ledd strands the crew on a tropical planet.
15 "Traitor" Chris Taylor Gerry Anderson Rodney Matthews 15 April 1999 (1999-04-15) 15
Short Fred Ledd takes control of Sir Squeakalot and captures the crew of the Paradox for Dr Agon: "Fred, call me Cedric."
16 "The Collector" Chris Taylor Chris Trengrove Chris Trengrove 22 April 1999 (1999-04-22) 16
A trip to Doodlebug's Supermarket leads to a confrontation with the android Colonel Clump.
17 "Lost in Space" Chris Taylor Gerry Anderson Gerry Anderson 29 April 1999 (1999-04-29) 17
Roger gets back his old starfighter, courtesy of (and sabotaged by) Dr Agon.
18 "Duelling Banjos" Chris Taylor Chris Trengrove Chris Trengrove 6 January 2000 (2000-01-06) 18
After crashing into a marsh, Captain Thrice must win a banjo contest in order to get out of it.
19 "The Legend" Chris Taylor Gerry Anderson Gerry Anderson 13 January 2000 (2000-01-13) 19
On a desert planet, Captain Thrice awaits a clue to lead him to Lavender Castle.
20 "Cloud of Chaos" Chris Taylor Chris Trengrove Chris Taylor 20 January 2000 (2000-01-20) 20
A gas cloud causes Sproggle and Dr Agon to switch bodies.
21 "Diamonds Aren't Forever" Chris Taylor Gerry Anderson Gerry Anderson 27 January 2000 (2000-01-27) 21
Short Fred Ledd goes to an ice planet in order to obtain a priceless, and dangerous, diamond.
22 "Galactic Park" Chris Taylor Gerry Anderson Craig Hemmings 3 February 2000 (2000-02-03) 22
A theme park is a good place to relax, if you do not know that it is run by Dr Agon.
23 "Wearizy" Chris Taylor Gerry Anderson Gerry Anderson 10 February 2000 (2000-02-10) 23
It's Sproggle's birthday, and even Dr Agon has a gift for him.
24 "Supernova" Chris Taylor Gerry Anderson Gerry Anderson 17 February 2000 (2000-02-17) 24
The crew finally finds Lavender Castle, but so does Dr Agon.
25 "Interface" Chris Taylor Gerry Anderson Craig Hemmings 2 March 2000 (2000-03-02) 25
Sir Squeakalot again faces Dr Agon's spider robot.
26 "Birds of a Feather…" Chris Taylor Gerry Anderson Rodney Matthews 9 March 2000 (2000-03-09) 26
Dr Agon gathers together the Paradox' enemies.

Credits[edit]

  • From an original concept by Rodney Matthews
  • Produced at Cosgrove Hall Films Limited
  • Producer: Gerry Anderson
  • Executive Producer: Craig Hemmings
  • For Cosgrove Hall: Brian Cosgrove
  • For HIT Entertainment: Kate Fawkes, Peter Orton
  • Director: Chris Taylor
  • Designer: Rodney Matthews
  • Line Producer: Chris Bowden
  • Script: Gerry Anderson, Chris Trengove, Pauline Fisk
  • Stories: Gerry Anderson, Rodney Matthews, Craig Hemmings, Chris Trengove, Pauline Fisk
  • Music: Crispin Merrell
  • Dialogue Recording: Angelsound
  • Puppets: Mackinnon & Saunders
  • Animators: Tim Collings, Matt Palmer, Lisa Goddard, Justin Exley
  • Sets: Jess Spain, Richard Sykes, Rick Kent, Paul Jones, Samantha Hanks, Nick Wilson
  • Props: Owen Ballhatchet, Alison Davies
  • Costumes: Clare Elliott, Geraldine Corrigan, Karen Betty, Barbara Biddulph
  • Visual fx: Stephen Weston
  • Assistant: Manfred-Dean Yurke
  • Art director: Peter Hillier
  • Lighting Camera: Tim Harper
  • Off-line Editing: Flix Facilities
  • Production Manager: Laura Duncalf
  • Co-ordination: Mary Anderson
  • Production Assistant: Debbie Peers
  • Audio Post: Hullabaloo studios
  • On-line Facility: 4:2:2 Manchester

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Bentley, Chris (2008) [2001]. The Complete Gerry Anderson: The Authorised Episode Guide (4 ed.). Richmond, London: Reynolds and Hearn. ISBN 978-1-905287-74-1. 

External links[edit]