".... the late 1960's, he [Ian Scoones] got wind that Gerry Anderson's Century 21 Studios were selling off all their props and models and was invited to purchase some of the stuff. He jumped in a van and tootled over to the studios with his assistant Mat Irvine and loaded the van to capacity with loads of stuff - much of which would end up in Doctor Who in one shape or another."
So Mat's professional modelling went as far back as the late 1960's and the close of Century 21? Wow! I'd no idea he was part of that golden age. I can't imagine what fabulous Century 21 props Mat saw when Gerry's company shut up shop. A sad day but I would have loved to have been there with Ian and Mat!
Are you aware of this C21 props sell-off readers and are you aware of Mat Irvine's modeling work?
As we have been talking about props I thought I'd re-blog them together.
Thunderbirds Are Go, the Andersons' first of two Thunderbirds movies, is a real treat for any Project SWORD fan simply because the star of the film is Zero-X.
WOTAN recently gave me the DVD version, which I watched this week. With its brilliant effects, fantastic imagery and superb musical score, here are a few other things I noticed about the film.
The Zero-X appears in a Newspaper in the movie [top picture], which is an artist's impression.
Comparing it with Derek Medding's original concept painting [bottom; looked on by Sylvia Anderson] its clear that they are the same. It does feel only right that a film about Zero-X should include it's origin like this and it was a nice touch by the Director David Lane.
I wonder what happened to the painting?
When the MEV is trundling round Mars and fighting rock snakes it deploys a machine gun from it's roof [below, bottom pic].
As soon as I saw it I thought of the Action Man machine gun I had as a kid [below, top].
Comparing the two there are some similarities but they're not the same. Presumably the movie gun was made by the prop department.
Finally, we have the grey rocket rests of Thunderbird 3 [below, top] and the Zero-X escape pod [below, bottom].
I'm sure I've read somewhere that these are parts from an old vacuum cleaner like Hoover but I can't find any reference to it.
Does any one else know anything about this?
My last post on the movie Thunderbirds Are Go generated two great clues from Yorkie and Kevin about more stuff possibly used in the film: the Johnny Seven One Man Army and Dr. Who's Sonic Screwdriver.
Armed with a strong cup of coffee and the two clues I searched the movie on You Tube for evidence.
It turns out that Yorkie's Johnny Seven sighting was bang on as you'll hopefully see from the two screengrabs on the left below.
The Johnny Seven has indeed been modified into the cable-shooting gun Alan fires from Thunderbird 2 to attach a line to the stricken Zero-X.
Besides the overall shape of the toy, the main giveaways are the classic Topper riveting and the circular embossing on the 'rear' side of the toy, the side with the maker's mark and name.
The lower of the two comparisons of both guns from the front clearly shows the dark aperture on the Thunderbirds device, the which formed one end of the slot for the spring-loaded grenade launcher on the toy.
Although morphed and painted grey, there was definitely a Johnny Seven on board Thunderbird 2 in Thunderbirds Are Go! Result!
This leads onto Kevin's suggestion that Alan Tracy's tool used to repair the Zero-X was in fact the sonic screwdriver used by Jon Pertwee's Doctor Who.
Looking into this I was able to get a good screengrab of the Zero-X repair tool from Thunderbirds Are Go, which you can see above left.
The Pertwee screwdriver proved more elusive and the best shot I could grab was one from the Doctor Who story The Green Death, where the good Doctor is brandishing it in his hand in a landscape of mining of spoil.
Even though the sonic screwdriver is partly obscured you can still make out enough detail to see that Kevin is indeed right. They appear to be the same!
As you can imagine, anything to do with Doctor Who has been poured over by countless fans and the origin of the sonic screwdriver is no exception.