Top positive review
12 people found this helpful
on 4 July 2012
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,