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This review is from: The Secret Service - The Complete Series [DVD] (DVD)
I tried really hard to like this series. As a fan of both Gerry Anderson shows and of Stanley Unwin, I'd been intrigued by this series for years having read sketchy descriptions of it in articles about Gerry Anderson. Unfortunately I had to give up on it after the first disc of the two disc set.
Rather than getting used to the switch between live action shots of vehicles, long shots of the real Stanley Unwin walking into buildings and the puppet "action", this device becomes ever more distracting. This is worsened in the episode featuring a studio landscape of a railway station.
The wonderful Mr Unwin is very underused and the series really needed an element of surrealism to give more scope to his talents. A more fitting memorial is his narration on "Ogden's Nut Gone Flake" by the Small Faces.
Although the models and puppetry are easilly up to the standard of previous TV21 series, the plots here seem rushed, not thoroughly thought through and the tone is quite arch and self conscious. Although in a couple of episodes the puppets were so similar in appearance it was difficult to keep track of who was who. Sylvia Anderson's very distinctive vocal tone means all female characters clearly sound like one person doing different accents. Watching the series became more of a chore the further I got into it. Even leaving a few weeks between episodes didn't help.
It is well known that by this point Gerry Anderson was desperate to escape from doing puppet based shows. With this in mind it seems that this series was some sort of deliberate attempt to self destruct the franchise.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 4 Jan 2014 11:37:54 GMT
A. Holliday says:
Parkie, if you're still there try the last episode on disc 2. It's the only one that's any good. This - apparently - was Gerry Anderson's personal favourite of his series, which explains a lot about his subsequent output. A relentlessly tedious and dull show and clearly a very cheap one (comparatively) - mostly reused puppets from earlier shows (Joe 90 did much the same) and hardly any need for scaled sets. Very little of the hardware the duller Anderson shows depended on (early examples of shows to hang merchandise on), lousy plodding scripts, with all hopes pinned on Unwin's ability to entertain. He wasn't up to it.
In reply to an earlier post on 31 Jan 2014 13:51:41 GMT
Well that serves me right for giving up, doesn't it? Even the fact they'd used an identical carpert to our old stair carpet in one episode didn't save it from going off to Oxfam before Christmas.
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