Archive Television Musings YouTube channel – Derek Meddings talks about Thunderbirds and Captain Scarlet

I’ve just created a YouTube channel, where I’ll post, from time to time, some interesting clips and programmes from my archive of VHS recordings from the 1980’s and 1990’s.

First up is a nice little piece on Derek Meddings from 1995, where he discusses his work on Thunderbirds and Captain Scarlet.

Thunderbirds titles in HD

Network continue to count down to Filmed in Supermarionation, due later this month, by releasing HD versions of the titles of various Anderson shows on their YouTube page.  More details can be found here. Below are HD titles for Thunderbirds.

Below are some previews of Filmed in Supermarionation.

In other Thunderbirds news, the Guardian has a very positive review of the new ITV remake. It’s due for broadcast in 2015 and features, amongst others, David Graham reprising his role as Parker and Rosamund Pike as the voice of Lady Penelope. It can be read here.

Captain Scarlet, Stingray and Joe 90 titles in HD


As a teaser for the forthcoming Filmed in Supermarionation releases, Network have released HD versions of the titles of various Gerry Anderson series on their YouTube account.

Filmed in Supermarionation is a new two hour documentary from Stephen La Riviere and looks to be a must watch for all Anderson fans. There are various different purchasing options, more details can be found here.

The YouTube compression means that obviously some quality is lost, so we won’t be able to see the full HD quality of the selected episodes until later this month. Time will tell whether complete HD series releases will follow in the future.

Roberta Leigh’s The Solarnauts (1967 pilot)

Trawling YouTube in search of interesting material on UFO, I came across this intriguing pilot from 1967.  Leigh had, of course, worked with Gerry Anderson previously, so it’s possibly no surprise that The Solarnauts bears some similarities to Anderson’s shows (although it becomes obvious very quickly that nobody working on the pilot had anything like the skill of Derek Meddings).

Still, it did predate UFO by several years, so it’s interesting to wonder if Anderson picked up any ideas from this.  No surprise that it didn’t make it to a series, but it’s good cheesy fun and it’s a chance to see some good actors (Derek Fowlds, John Ringham) adrift in space.  Plus Martine Beswick looks very nice.

Morrisey and Kim Wilde on Pop Quiz (1984)

We have to be thankful for the devotion of the fans of various artists who have preserved their Pop Quiz appearances and then shared them on YouTube for the enjoyment of all.

There are various episodes floating around, some with partnerships I’d never thought I’d see (Phil Collins and Elvis Costello, together at last!), but this is one of the best.

Alvin Stardust leads an all-star team with Morrisey and Kim Wilde whilst Phil Lynott’s teammates are of a slightly lower calibre – Nick Beggs of Kajagoogoo and Derek Forbes from Simple Minds.

Playing Shakespeare – Donald Sinden

Donald Sinden’s recent death, at the age of 90, has encouraged me to dig out some of his many performances from film and television.

Whilst well known as a comic actor, he was no stranger to the classics, as seen (with other greats of the British stage) in this edition of Playing Shakespeare.

From amongst the numerous tributes paid to Sinden over the last week, there’s a lovely one from Michael Billngton here.

Apollo 13 – BBC Coverage (April 1970)

Fascinating BBC coverage of the Apollo 13 splashdown from April 1970, hosted by James Burke, Cliff Michelmore and Patrick Moore.

A fair amount of the BBC’s footage of the Apollo missions fell foul of the archive purges of the 1970’s (the Apollo 11 broadcasts, for example, were particlarly hard hit by wipings) so it’s fortunate that this survives and also has escaped to the wider world via YouTube.

Enroute to the moon, the number 2 oxygen tank in the module exploded. The damage meant that a lunar landing was impossible, so the decision was made to abort the mission. But returning to earth safely was far from straightforward, as the footage below indicates.