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.