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Toonhound presents...






It's A Puppet!
"Four Feather Falls" (AP Films / Granada)

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 Feather Falls
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producers: AP Films in association with
                   Granada TV Network

super marionette puppets

    episodes: 39 x 15mins b/w

   "Hi-Yi Kalamakooya kama-kiya!"

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    Four Feather Falls is a fictional Western town, and it's the home of Sheriff Tex
    Tucker. He's an All-American cowboy with magical gun skills, and the ability
    to talk to his animal pals Rocky the horse, and Dusty the dog. He acquired
    these mighty useful abilities from four magical feathers, given to him by Chief
    Kalamakooya, and thanks to him and them Tex has become a legend in his
    own lifetime, he keeps the streets clean of trouble, and the townsfolk darn-near
    idolise him, especially Little Jake who yearns for the day he too can take on
    grizzled villains like Pedro, Fernando and Big Ben in a sharp-shootin'

    This rootin'-tootin' puppet series shot from the minds of Barry Gray
    and Gerry Anderson, and it was the first Anderson series to have been
    produced directly by him. Predecessors "Twizzle" and "Torchy the Battery
    Boy" had both been produced by Roberta Leigh. It's a super production,
    and the first to utilise that special string-and-radio-controlled puppet
    combination that went on to be known as "Supermarionation", although
    that famous billing didn't premiere until the arrival of the next Anderson
    series, Supercar. There's real confidence driving the show, as if
    the team have finally been able to step out in to the limelight and
    cut loose with their first all-action project.
   "My horse! - You've made him talk!
    But he's got the darnedest English accent!"

   We learn how Tex acquired his magic feathers in the very first episode,
   "How it all Began". You see, Tex took care of little Makooya, who was lost
   in the desert. And Makooya just happened to be the young son of Chief
   Kalamakooya. As a thank you, the chief conjured forth water and food,
   in the form of a great waterfall and an orchard that sprung up in its wake.
   And he gave Tex four magic feathers from his headdress. The first enabled Tex
   to speak with Rocky and the second allowed him to talk with Dusty. But only
   Tex could converse with them, you understand, the animals couldn't be
   heard by regular folks. As for the third and fourth feathers, well, they put
   some magic in his guns, allowing them to fire without Tex even touching
   them. And the town of Four Feather Falls takes its name from this
   founding encounter
. So we don't forget, we're reminded of the feathers
   and their magical properties in an introductory voice-over at the start
   of each episode.

     Tex Tucker & Makooya in "Four Feather Falls" (AP Films / Granada)   Little Jake in "Four Feather Falls" (AP Films / Granada)

   Back in the day, Western adventures were all the rage, with the likes of
   "Wagon Train", "Gunsmoke" and "Bonanza" wiping the floor with the
   schedules each week, and the cowboy was a staple role-play figure for
   kids here in blighty. So after two science-fiction adventure series (Twizzle
   and Torchy) it made sense for Gerry Anderson and his team to turn
   West for their next adventure series.

   Tex isn't as famous today as the supermarionated sci-fi stars of
   "Thunderbirds" et al, but he's still a star Sheriff, and "Four Feather Falls".
   is a magical series that's defies its age. Perhaps its the sharpness of
   the stories, they play upon all the cowboy tropes that you'd expect with
   their grizzled bad guys, quick draws, shoot-outs, clinking spurs and
   clopalong horses. They're not shy, either, and there's plenty of talk about
   killin' and gunnin' folks down cold. It's the kind of talk that's almost been
   erased from our kids TV schedules. And what a contrast to the slight
   and - if we're honest - slightly twee tales of Torchy and Twizzle that
   preceded it...

   Of course, there are also all those fabulous marionette puppets, with their
   beautiful blinking heads, and there are some equally-splendid sets on
   show. But what really brings it all together is the music, because - darn it -
   "Four Feather Falls" also celebrates the campfire cowboy in all his singsong
   glory. There's the thundercracking opening drums, and the loping harmonica
   twang of "Two Gun Tex" which ends each tale. And in between there's
   mellow ol' Tex himself, moseying around town with tunes in his
   heartstrings aplenty.

   "Two Gun Tex from Texas,
    will never let you down..."

   Tex's singing voice was provided by Michael Holliday. He could croon with
   the best of them, and had a voice as smooth and as mellow as Bing Crosby.
Holliday was a Big Deal at the time, having recently had a number one hit
   with "Starry Eyed" and AP Films paid a handsome £2000 for his talents.
   He provided five songs that circulated through the series. Alas, Holliday
   died of an overdose in 1963. He was only 38 years old. He's still fondly 
   recalled by fans of a certain age, but he could have been truly legendary, 
   like ol' Tex Tucker.

   And whilst we're voicing opinion, you might like to note that Nicholas
   Parsons gave Tex his speaking voice. He got the job via a recommendation
   from his wife, Denise Bryer. If you grew up in the seventies you'll know that
   his name is synonymous with the TV gameshow "Sale of the Century".
   He wasn't the only star voice, though, because "Carry On" regular
   Kenneth Connor was on the bill too. He'd previously provided lots of
   voices for "Torchy", and here he took on Rocky and Dusty and more!


    Tex Tucker's hat and guns from "Four Feather Falls" (AP Films / Granada)

    broadcast info

    The series premiered on ITV on Thursday 25th February 1960 at 5.00pm
    and featured on the cover of that week’s "TV Times" magazine..


   Tex Tucker (Sheriff)
   Rocky (his horse)
   Dusty (his dog)
   Grandpa Twink
   Little Jake (Grandson)
   Ma Jones (storekeeper)
   Doc Haggerty
   Slim Jim (bartender)
   Marvin Jackson (bank manager)
   Dan Morse (telegraphist)
   Native Americans
   Chief Kalamakooya
   Makooya (his son)
   Red Scalp (warrior)

   Big Ben 


    Four Feather Falls songs

   Four Feather Falls
   Happy Hearts and Friendly Faces
   The Rick-Rick-A-Rackety-Train
   The Phantom Rider
   Two Gun Tex


   Four Feather Falls episodes

How it all Began
Pedro Has a Plan
Pedro's Pardon
A Close Shave
Indian Attack
Sheriff for a Day
Dusty Becomes Deputy
Trouble at Yellow Gulch
Frame Up
Gold Diggers
Gold is Where You Find it

The Best Laid Plans
The Toughest Guy in the West
Ghost of a Chance
A Lawman Rides Alone
A Little Bit of Luck
Once a Lawman
Election Day
Gunfight on Main Street
A Bad Name
Horse Thieves
The Ma Jones Story
Bandits Abroad
A Cure for Everything
Teething Troubles
Buffalo Rocky
Safe as Houses
First Train Through
Happy Birthday
Fancy Shootin'
Ride 'Em Cowboy


     Four Feather Falls on DVD

     UK DVD

     If you've made the switch to blu-ray, you really should track down this
     amazing release, because it includes the Four Feather Falls episode
     "Gun Fight on Main Street" in stunning HD...

     Fireball XL5 - A Day In The Life Of A Space General
     Region 2 blu-ray / Network / October 2009

     And whilst we wait with baited breath for the rest of the series to be
     transferred, you can track down this earlier three-disc release...

     Four Feather Falls - The Complete Series
     Region 2 box-set / three discs / Network / December 2008


    produced by AP Films



music & lyrics:

tex tucker's
singing voice:
film editor:
dubbing editor:
technical adviser:


director of

art director:

special effects:

Gerry Anderson, David Elliott,
Alan Pattillo

Gerry Anderson
, Barry Gray,
Arthur Provis, Philip Wrestler

Four Feather Falls is based on
an original idea by
Gerry Anderson & Barry Gray

composed, arranged and
conducted by Barry Gray

Michael Holliday
Tommy Reilly

David Elliott

Jim Marsh
Bert Rule
John Kelly
Sylvia Thamm
Bob Ledbetter
Christine Glanville, Mary Turner,
Roger Woodburn

Arthur Provis

Reg Hill
John Read


   Nicholas Parsons (Tex)
   Kenneth Connor (Rocky / Dusty / Pedro / Kalamakooya / Marvin)
   Denise Bryer (Ma Jones / Little Jake)
   David Graham (Grandpa Twink / Fernando)


      On the web

      Your starting point for all-things Anderson...

      The Gerry Anderson Complete Comic History
      FFF was the first Anderson series to feature as a regular weekly
      comic strip...

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© Granada / Gerry Anderson / F2012