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Toonhound presents...






It's A Puppet!
"The Adventures of Twizzle" (Roberta Leigh / Banty Books / APF)

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The Adventures
 of Twizzle 
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  producers: Banty Books / AP Films
marionette puppets
    episodes: 52 x 13mins b/w

   "I'm Twizzle, and I do!"
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    Twizzle is a clever toy boy with extendable arms and legs. Originally he lived
    in a toyshop, where he was on sale for the princely sum of two-shillings-and-
    sixpence. But one day, a cruel little girl called Sally Cross paid a visit to the
    store and harangued the owner into selling Twizzle for just two-shillings. So
    Twizzle took flight, he hid inside his pal Jack-in-the-box until nightfall,
    whereupon he "twizzled" out of the window and walked for miles and miles,
    until he holed up in an old dog kennel. Here he met a fat-footed cat called
    Footso, and they went off to have all sorts of adventures together before
    eventually settling down with the toys from the toy shop they helped to
    rescue, in a special place they called Stray Town.

    How Twizzle got around to founding Stray Town is quite convoluted. You see,
    he "twizzled" himself to rescue a dolly from a fire, for which he was rewarded
    with a rather nifty new racing car. But then he crashed the car and the Garage
    Man let him exchange it for his very own breakdown truck. Are you still with us?
    Good. Now Twizzle uses the truck to help rescue other toys in distress, like
    Jiffy the Broomstick Man and Chawky the white faced golliwog, and eventually
    he decides they all need somewhere to live together. So they build themselves
    a collection of log cabins and named it Stray Town. Oh, and just to make sure
    everyone is happy there, they get regular visits from the Toy Inspector.

    "Have you heard of a Twizzle toy?"

    And so here it is, the very first TV puppet series from Gerry Anderson
    and company, bringing to life characters and stories from Roberta Leigh.
    Yes, there's a specific nursery tweeness about the show, indicative of the period.
    But if you look closer, you'll see Twizzle  is already pushing at the puppetry
    envelope. For one thing, the stories go out and about in the world, introducing
    new places and characters as the series progresses. Here's a racing car, and
    a tow truck, you don't see them in those "Watch With Mother" productions.
    And although there are clearly string attached throughout, some significant
    developments have taken place behind the scenes. The puppeteers on
    contemporary productions used to control the marionettes from behind a
    screen or curtain. But here the APF team gave them an overhead gantry,
    and thus far greater manoeuverability. They also gave them their very own
    monitor so they could see precisely what their actions looked like in camera.
    Video Assist soon became de rigueur around the world.

    "Twizzle" was a hit, and Roberta Leigh soon returned to APF with Torchy.
    And from there, well, TV puppet series reached for the stratosphere and


    Stray Vs Raggy

    As a sidenote, it's interesting to note how themes introduced here popped
    up again, years later, in Melvyn Jacobson's Raggy Dolls series. Once again
    we have a group of stray toys united in their apparent disabilities, rallying


    broadcast info

    "The Adventures of Twizzle" premiered on the ITV network
    on 13th November 1957...


   Stray Town Pals

   Twizzle (the toy boy with extending limbs)
   Footso (a cat with large feet)
   Jiffy (the flying broomstick man)
   Chawky (a white-faced Golliwog)
   Candy Floss (a talking doll)
   Bouncy (a rubber ball who's lost his bounce
   Thin Teddy Bear
   Polly Moppet

   Twizzle's adventures
  Twizzle and Footso
Twizzle and Footso get Caught
Twizzle Saves the Doll
The Breakdown Van
Footso is Stolen
Twizzle and the Golliwog
Jiffy and the Chawky Quarrel
Footso Disappears
Twizzle and the Broken-Down Toy
Twizzle Builds Stray Town
A Flag for Stray Town
Jiffy's New House
Twizzle and Footso go Fruit Picking
Twizzle has some Fun
.Twizzle and Candy Floss Open a Cake Shop
Twizzle Saves the Broken-Down Toys
Twizzle gets Lost
Jiffy opens a Barber Shop
Another Racing Car
Twizzle and his Friends go to the Circus
The Toys go to School
Bouncy the Ball
Twizzle Catches Cold
The Naughty Girl
Jiffy's New Twigs
Twizzle and the Snowman
Twizzle and the Thin Teddy Bear
The Lazy Broomstick Man
Twizzle and the Polly Moppet
Footso and the Magic Seeds
Jiffy and the Polly Moppet Quarrel
Footso gets a New Tail
Twizzle is Naughty
Twizzle is Stolen
Chawky gets a Present
Twizzle and the Toy Inspector
Twizzle and the Naughty Breakdown Van
Orange and the Banana Tree
Jiffy's Birthday
Polly Moppet Disappears
Naughty Polly Moppet
Footso and the Naughty Girl
Stray Town Thief
Twizzle Papers the Cabin
Twizzle and Footso Go Camping
Twizzle goes to the Seaside
Twizzle goes to the Fair
Twizzle goes Fishing
Twizzle goes to the Zoo
Candy Floss' Birthday
Footso has a Toothache


    Twizzle on DVD

    Sadly, only the first episode of "Twizzle" currently exists, with the the rest of
    the series seemingly lost to time. That pilot production was formerly available
    on this "Space Patrol" release, but the set is now very hard to come by.
    Here's the link, anyway...

     UK DVD Space Patrol : The Complete Series
               Region 2 / six discs / Network / 2008


    by Roberta Leigh

    a Banty Books production
    made by APF


music arranged
& conducted by:
director of

art director:


Gerry Anderson
Robeta Leigh
Robeta Leigh
Leslie Clair

Barry Gray

Arthur Provis
Reginald E Hill

David Elliott
The Laureys
Nancy Nevinson (Twizzle)
Denise Bryer


     On the web

     Roberta Leigh
     Roberta's official site...

     Your starting point for all-things Anderson...

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© Roberta Leigh / F2012