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Filmed In Supermarionation: A History Of The Future [Illustrated] [Paperback]

Stephen La Riviere
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
RRP: £29.99
Price: £25.49 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

31 July 2009
For the first time, a complete history of the Gerry and Sylvia Anderson television productions which pioneered science-fiction special effects. Film historian Steven La Riviere, whose documentary about Supercar was the final word on the series, takes you behind-the-scenes and covers every aspect of the creation and production of such television shows as Supercar, Fireball XL5, Stingray, Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet, Secret Service, and Joe 90. The book also covers the Anderson's efforts from the beginning including Torchy and Four Feather Falls. This full-color art book is packed with hundreds of never-before-seen production photos, artwork, and illustrations making this the definitive book on the subject.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Hermes Press; illustrated edition edition (31 July 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1932563237
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932563238
  • Product Dimensions: 27.7 x 21.1 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 122,775 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FAB Story 26 Dec 2009
The book initially was supposed to be the definite guide, but as the
author realized in his preface, the best he could do is a near
definite guide. There are stories in the Anderson canon that everyone
believes because so many people have quoted them that for that reason
only it must be true. A number of them are - or at least could not be
proven wrong - but another number were false. For both Stephen did the
research by looking at newpaper articles from those times, publicity
brochures and internal memos to verify whether the story is true, half
true or a plainly untrue but everyone's memory has gone astray on the

So the book has many recounts of what dedicated fans might know
already, but in these cases they are embellished with annecdotes and
comments of staff interviewed by Stephen, some who meanwhile are no
longer with us. At times he also quotes from some other
Supermarionation related books and acknowledges where he does (not
that common in Anderson land!) On the new or revised stuff, Stephen
refers to and often shows his sources that lead to the revision as
well as provides reasoning why the story is different from what
everyone believes. These include diary notes of several people, radio
interviews or recording session lists as well as some trade papers.
Something no other author on the Anderson canon has done to my
knowledge. And where there is insufficient evidence to support one
storyline from another, both are presented in a way that prevents the
"did too, did not" arguments that lead nowhere.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Authoritative and a pleasure to read 27 Dec 2009
Stephen La Riviere's long awaited book has finally arrived, and it's a breath of fresh air.

I'm more a fan of archive tv in general than the supermarionation shows, but having read many books on and around the subject of archive tv over the last 25 years it is rare indeed to come across one as good. This is not surprising, however, given the author's track record in making high quality dvd documentaries and extras for many releases over the last five or so years.

What has impressed me perhaps most of all are the extensive footnotes - not something you typically see in books of this kind, which demonstrate both the level of research and the author's determination to document his sources and not rely on long repeated anecdotes.

The piece about front projection was also excellent - rather than slaughtering a sacred cow, the author uses research and professional deduction to make a reasoned case to the reader.

Whilst the book certainly comes across as authoritative, the author never patronises the reader, and doesn't come across as a slavish obsessive. Anyone with any experience of fan organisations for cult tv will know that as well as containing many lovely people, there are always those who are bizarrely propriatorial about the subject matter and regard themselves as akin to "high priests". Stephen's body of work would certainly entitle him to view himself in such a manner, but it is to his great credit that he never does. Nor does he appear "star struck" when interviewing or writing about people such as Gerry Anderson.

A fine book, and I'd recommend it both to ardent supermarionation fans but also to fans of archive/cult tv in general.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent 29 Sep 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
fantastic book, great service. Highly informative, thoughtful, clear and very carefully written.I cannot recommend this too highly. A real gem.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Childhood memories of summer holidays and Saturday morning TV came flooding back as I began to read this rather wonderful tribute to the works of the Andersons and the dedicated team that brought the world International Rescue and Stingray.

The book itself is lavishly illustrated with great behind the scenes images that make you realise the love, attention and sheer ingenuity of the team behind many of my favourite TV shows. The author uses a wealth of well sourced interviews and weaves them in beautifully with new accounts from the people who were actually there. Add to that painstakingly meticulous research and he has produced a definitive account of the perfect puppet producers. All this is done with a real narrative flair and great warmth and humour. I've found previous books on the subject to be far too dry and to have rather missed the point - The shows were great fun. This book is too.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Worth The Wait To Read 21 July 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Filmed In Supermarionation Is A Fantastic Read For Any Fans Of The Late Gerry Anderson.

I had been wanting to get this book for a while and it was well worth the wait. Some of the behind the scenes stories have been mentioned before but like the introduction states, some of them were not true resulting in a lot of misleading facts & this book helps to make light of these and provide a more accurate account of the history of these programs.

A must read for any Supermarionation fan!
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