Monday, 16 January 2012

Review: Space Precinct

In the 60s everything Gerry Anderson touched was gold. Stingray, Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet - all time classic television. Afterwards, however, things went downhill a little. Space 1999 was...well, there are people who love it, but generally it's held in no where near as high a regard as the puppet series were. Terrahawks passed most people by unnoticed.

Then in the mid-90s, Anderson had another go at a live-action sci-fi series. Space Precinct confused a lot of people as to whom, exactly, it was supposed to be aimed at. Most of the episodes ranged from 'okay' to 'a bit crappy', although the two-part series finale was excellent. But of course by then it was too late.

Do you remember How Do They Do That? A show on the BBC broadcast around the same time as Space Precinct which featured...well, it's kind of obvious really. It answered lots of viewers questions about how certain things were done. There were quite a lot of explanations for the effects done in adverts, from what I recall. At the time the answers tended to feature a lot of camera trickery and clever set-building. These days I suppose it could all be summed up as 'CGI'.

Anyway, one week they featured an item on how a small British company had managed to get hold of an international toy licence for a top science fiction show. It was a very good question, I mean just look at the figures they made...

I think I'm right in thinking the company responsible for these travesties to toy kind was Vivid, and more than once I've lain awake at night wondering how the hell they managed to create such terrible, terrible toys.

They look hideous, none more so than Officer Castle -  


I can't remember what the official answer was on How Do They Do That? but I assume it was because no one else wanted to make them.

I kind of wish no one had.

Okay, so maybe I'm being a bit mean. It was the 90s and toys were all that great back then but... No, I thought they were pretty darn awful back then too. I suppose the aliens aren't too bad, at least they vaguely look like the large masks the actors wore. The humans, however, stink.

What surprises me is that there are a bunch of people on ebay trying to flog these things for large sums of money. Unsurprisingly, they don't tend to sell. Who'd want them? Other than the most devoted of Anderson fans. The show was passable, at best, and the merchandise was just plain nasty.

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