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4.6 out of 5 stars
32
4.6 out of 5 stars
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One of Gerry Anderson's earliest puppet shows, the black and white Four Feather Falls is surprisingly charming throwback to the more innocent singing cowboy oaters of the 30s and 40s that sees its hero gifted four feathers that allow his horse and dog to talk and his guns to fire by themselves. With a hero voiced by Nicholas Parsons, a horse voice by Kenneth Connor and villains who look like Jim Broadbent and Steve Buscemi, almost every episode has a Bing Crosby-style song, which is a bit of a problem since there are only five different ones to choose from and they're often thrown in with little relevance to the plot (one, where Tex Tucker - it's that kind of show - sings the end title song, is creepily surreally badly staged). It's certainly dated and unsurprisingly simple stuff, with good always triumphant and evildoers always punished, but the stories have a genuine naïve charm even if they lack the sophistication of Anderson's later Supermarionation epics.

Despite the brevity of the 15-minute episodes there's a surprisingly good extras package on Network's DVD set of the entire 39 episode run - a couple of audio commentaries by Gerry Anderson, a fascinating montage of behind the scenes stills set to the show's songs, composer and co-creator Barry Gray's colour home movie footage of Nicholas Parsons and Kenneth Connor at the press call for the show with the puppets and, best of all and looking brand new in remarkably clean and sharp prints, 5 specially shot original trailers for the show introduced by the characters. Just as impressive is the picture quality considering the show had been out of circulation for so long: one episode has a brief racking problem in one shot while another has a lot of dirt on the soundtrack, but considering the age and rarity of the material and the print quality of the remainder of the run is hard to complain,
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People of around 60 will remember when ITV was introduced and there was a choice of just two channels which did not start until 4.45pm and finished around midnight.
As children we would rush home and turn the Telly on and.... wait.

The things had to warm up and then there was the wait before childrens television started.
This was one of the best children's profgrammes of the day.

It was a Gerry Anderson production and followed early programmes such as Torchy the Battery Boy.

But this was different. At the time the UK was cowboy mad.
John Wayne ruled the roost in the cinemas and on TV there were dozens of American western imports such as Bonanza, Rawhide, Tenderfoot and Maverick were all the rage.

Every kid had a cowboy gun, a hat if lucky and when the fairs came around everyone had a bow and arrow which doubled for Robin Hood toys.

So Four Feather Falls was the ideal medium- action adventure and cowboys and Indians.

So I bought the series along with Torchy, Supercar and Fireball XL5 and watched it.

I also let my year 6 children watch a couple of episodes as part of a history of the 60s project.

Both they and I were captivated.

The story lines were that good and the memories came flooding back.
I'd forgotton that Tex' Horse spoke with an English Accent (ala Kenneth )

BUT the strange thing was even though it was and is in black and white not one of my 11 year olds commented on this.
Rather they were captivated by the brilliant story lines.

True it is of its time.

The boy runs to the store to buy tobacco for his grand Pa abd women are treated as something to be protected but the story lines reign supreme.

Wonderful.
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on 22 February 2014
I remembered these programs from way back, television has advanced a lot since then, as has political correctness. I don't think the Mexicans would be too taken with the characterisation, and the 'Indians' might be a bit upset too. Come to think of it the elderly and women, especially elderly women, might give "Tex" a hard time. However I think you could put it in front of kids (sorry, another stereotype) and they'd still watch it. Good is rewarded, bad is gently punished, Nobody gets killed and God, who does not make an overt appearance, is in his or her heaven. Well worth the price and quite a large body of work. Nicholas and Kenneth and the rest of the cast did well, and managed to avoid type-casting.
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on 21 February 2014
I saw this series on TV when I was but a lad!!!

After all these years, the characters come back as fresh as they were when first seen.

A must for all you grown up kids out there.
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on 2 February 2011
This show is so good. The characters are funny. I am surprised Network does not make more of the fact that the singer Michael Holliday sings all of Tex Tuckers songs. Had I known I would have bought it years ago.
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on 13 May 2014
I thought I remembered this so well but I don't remember the horse with an English accent. I bought it for partner's grandson but Granny thought it too scary for a four-year old. He didn't! The magic guns and talking sidekids did the business for him.
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on 23 January 2014
The service was quick and goods as advertised - excellent service. If like my other half you reemmber this series with affection, you'll love the DVDs, which I think are amazingly high quality considering the era. Bought it at the samer time as Fireball XL5.
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on 21 August 2013
You can't wrong when Gerry Anderson is at the helm! Wonderful monochrome series from a time when imagination was at it's wildest and stories that were not complicated. Buy it!
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on 30 May 2013
A nostalgic trip down memory lane! I still remember the songs! Excellent quality & value.
A must for those who don't want to grow up.
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on 9 July 2015
Big Gerry Anderson Fan, what better way to start a collection. And I just love the fact that it hasn't been colourized.
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