on 30 April 2005
Contains all 39 black-and-white episodes from both series of Gerry Anderson's early Supermarionation series. Also included is an extras disc with the nearly 2-hour long documentary "Full Boost Vertical - The Supercar Story" covering the beginning of AP Films and the making of the show. The extras disc also includes some special effects footage from the title sequences, French and Spanish versions of the main titles, and PDFs of three early 60's Supercar annuals. As Dr. Beaker would say: Satisfactory, most satisfactory!
on 14 February 2012
Well, full credit to Network for fianlly getting this hard-to-find, seemingly forgotten series out on DVD. Earlier video releases messed about with the chronology of the episodes, or joined them all together to make one long episode out of four similar stories, so for the first time, this release has restored them back to their orginal glory - with greatly enhanced picture and sound quality to boot.
I'm assuming that anyone considering buying "Supercar" will already be acquainted with some of the more accessible shows of Gerry Anderson? If so, then trust me, this is one of the best. The puppets may look a bit primitive (compared to, say, "The Secret Service"), and the stories are less plausible than in some of his later shows (assuming "Thunderbirds" is plausible..), but what this one has over all Anderson's subsequent shows is a great sense of humour. The characters, and the incidents they find themselves in, are funny, without falling into the realms of comedy; one has the impression they weren't taking themselves too seriously when they made this, they just set out to entertain, both themselves and the viewing public. And, as with other early Anderson shows, this one features the token animal assistant, in this case, Mitch the monkey!
Overall, a charming show, and, with 39 episodes of it on this collection, you definitely get your money's worth.
on 30 April 2005
I vividly recall the 1980's, when there was no multi-channel competion and the main broadcasters felt the need to actually show decent programmes - Often, during the school summer holidays, Gerry Anderson's FIREBALL XL5 was one of the delights screened for bored kids. Already a fan of THUNDERBIRDS and STINGRAY, I was hooked on the exploits of STEVE ZODIAC and tried to learn more: That's how SUPERCAR came to my attention but for years it remained a mystery to me beyond a few fuzzy photos in genre magazines.
Then in 1990 we got a few VHS tapes that hinted at the quality of the series, but now with this digital release we find something that is truly "The marvel of it's age". All 39 episodes and great extras make for a very attractive package, and is very good value at the price. The package splits up series 1 and 2 into two indivdual cases along with an extras disc, so will look good presented on a shelf - The artwork on these cases is simple yet effective, showing SUPERCAR "up into space", "under the sea" and "flying in the air" seperately on different covers.
The episodes themselves have been mastered to an excellent standard, and the detail seen as a result is a joy to behold. The stories remain as interesting and sophisticated as they have always been, and if people dismiss this series on the basis of the 'crude' puppets or black and white photography (two notions I don't actually share!) then they are missing out on some suprisingly smart and well written adventures. Some instalments even try to be educational, throwing many scientific & historical titbits that kids may find fascinating.
Extras are amazing too - I bought the recent "Full Boost Vertical" documentary seperately, but for those who haven't seen it you will find one of the most insightful and interesting stories of how a television series was made in the 1960's. It's great (and also rather sad) to see so many of the production team getting togther in what used to be the AP studios (the building is now a tyre centre!).
Thanks and congratulations to NETWORK for releasing this set and for doing such a good job on it. Like FIREBALL XL5, it's a show I can't possibly grow tired of and I look forward to their imminent release of FOUR FEATHER FALLS to complete my "Anderson" collection!
on 19 May 2005
I rented out this box set a few months ago with Amazon's new rental system and it is a piece of sheer Anderson cake. The stories are pretty advanced for the day it was made in, the Supercar its self is a machine that I wish was real and best of all the excellent stunts that the car is showed performing are breath taking. A must see for all GA fans!
on 7 March 2011
As a member of the baby boomer generation I remember watching Supercar on an old black and white TV. I remember when it ended and some "normal" programme took the slot while we waited for Stingray to appear. Oh wonderful days. The show will be a classic for some time. Even my granddaughter is now showing an interest despite the hi tech offerings available.
This box set is complete (every episode of this relatively short series in bite size chunks) and a must for anybody with nostalgic memories of the classic early Gerry Anderson.
But it doesn't stop there, the extra special features are worth the purchase on their own. You not only get pdfs of some classic annuals, a Supercar story book and some great galleries but you get the full length documentary "Full Boost Vertical - The Supercar Story". It is a fascinating behind the scenes look at the making of the shows with all the secrets that they had to improvise for the first time.
History in the making and a must for fans of the genre
on 19 March 2009
Great box set for a great price, and you get 2 series plus a surprisingly in-depth 2 hour documentary about the making of Supercar. There is a marked improvement in the model work and effects during the second series when Derek Meddings came on board and developed the kind of effects we all grew to love. For me the charm of the show was in the simple and innocent idea....it was a car, and it was super, hence Supercar.
This wouldn't impress the kids of today, but for men (and possibly a few women) of a certain age, it's a little bit of nostalgic magic. Super.
on 12 November 2012
As a die-hard Thunderbird/Stingray/Scarlet fan, I bought this boxset to expand my Anderson collection, and it entirely met expectations by being well-made, good fun and entertaining.
It sits in a sort of middle-ground between the whimsical world of childhood escapism and more exciting adventure of fancy uniforms and big machinery.
The characters are caricatures, but somehow don't quite have the charm of the old Wild West caricatures in Anderson's earlier puppet show, Four Feather Falls. But they are still strong and very likeable. With the exception of Mitch, the chimp. Even in the 1960s, when having a token 'cute-sy' character seemed to be fashionable, Mitch is rather unnecessary. The whole show has great kid-appeal, so Mitch can come across as rather like the extra layer of icing on a cake that doesn't need it. The rest of the characters are engaging and have some well-scripted tongue-in-cheek lines.
This is great, innocent entertainment, with a healthy dash of adventure and intrigue. Adults can enjoy as well, though not perhaps as easily as with Anderson's later supermarionnation shows. You get the feeling that Anderson and his team are really getting into the swing of making and handling puppets and their excellent sets and special effects. This means he can focus a bit more on character and plot.
I'd recommend this to anyone who wants to give their kids something good to watch. The only reason it doesn't get the full five stars is because, for me, Anderson's later shows scream out that Anderson, his entire team - and even the musicians - are having a WHALE of a time, and that good feeling is infectious. 'Supercar' doesn't quite have that big-grin feeling.
on 6 January 2007
Had this for Christmas - and I'm glad to say that it's turned out to be all I could have hoped for. The digitally restored pictures are so sharp and clean.
In the Extras, one thing really had my eyes wide open - there's a sequence from an episode (originally made in black and white) which has been computer colourised. It's gob-smackingly fantastic! Even though it's only 13 seconds long, it makes you realise just how much colourisation has improved in the last few years. I can remember the Laurel and Hardy colourised videos (released in the late 1980's?) and they were not much better than blocks of solid colour stamped onto the image - every person had exactly the same flesh colour and all the houseplants were the same shade of green - ugh! The Supercar colourisation section is far superior and of a standard to easily convince that it was originally made in colour - it really is that good.
Maybe, one day, we will get "Supercar - The Entire Series" released as a colourised DVD. Here's hoping!
Until then, I'd totally recommend this package.
If you love Gerry Anderson I think you will love this.
Mike Mercury and the gang get into and out of trouble using the amazingly powerful flying SuperCar.
This SuperMarionation film has the feel of Thunderbirds but is filmed in black and White, don't let that put you off, the shows are quality.
Again the series has the feel of Fireball-XL5.
Finally, all 39 episodes of this landmark Gerry Anderson sci-fi series from the early 1960s are available on six DVDs in their proper running order. A seventh disk contains many extras including the excellent documentary ‘Full Boost Vertical’ describing in detail how the series was made, with many of the original production team – most now in late middle-age - narrating the story.
The restoration of these old monochrome episodes is nothing short of fantastic, crisp and sharp and far better than they looked on the old 1961 425-line black & white TV sets. Sound quality is also excellent.
Gerry Anderson’s ‘Supercar’ storylines are full of great humour and the characters relate to each other with a warmth almost completely absent from most latter-day children’s TV. The distinctive cast of core characters includes two different eccentric scientists called Beaker & Popkiss, Supercar pilot Mike Mercury and Jimmy, the boy introduced in the first episode who becomes part of the ‘Supercar team’ and with whom one supposes the young target audience was intended to identify. There is also the usual animal pet (a mischievous monkey called Mitch) and classic comic villain ‘Masterspy’ modelled as a grotesque caricature with an Arabic (?) accent, inevitably bettered by the ‘Supercar’ team in every episode he appears.
‘Supercar’ was so successful that Anderson was contracted to make a series of subsequent puppet shows (marionettes were deployed originally because the production team couldn’t afford to pay real actors!): ‘Fireball XL5’, then ‘Stingray’ - the first produced in colour - and the larger and more spectacular 12-character ‘Thunderbirds’. This is classic British children’s TV from the 1960s, exported worldwide and a hugely successful business venture for Gerry and Sylvia Anderson. The depiction of non-European characters in the Supercar stories might often appear embarrassingly patronising to modern sensibilities, but despite such anachronisms which date the series to a bygone age of innocence prior to the hectoring voice of political correctness in the background, the storylines still stand up well in the 21st century.