1 9 5 7 – 1 9 6 2 (UK)
52 x 15 minute episodes
Twizzle, a toy boy with a Wee Willy Winkie hat and extendable legs and arms, meets a new toy golliwog in the toy shop. The golliwog is intrigued by Twizzle’s legs and arms.
The next day a bad-tempered girl enters the toy shop to buy Twizzle. He is very expensive at 2/-6d but the girl haggles the shopkeeper down to 2/-.
Frightened by the girl, Twizzle hides in the jack-in-the-box. That night, Teddy Bear advises Twizzle to run away or the girl will come back and buy him.
Twizzle escapes from the toy shop and after much walking takes shelter in a dog kennel. The kennel’s owner, a cat called Footso (after his enormous paws), enters the kennel and they introduce themselves.
They become friends and, once rested, decide to set off in search of adventure. The duo build a haven for stray toys, a sort of refuge from naughty children, which they call Stray Town.
Among the mistreated and neglected toys are Chawky (a white-faced golliwog), Jiffy the Broomstick Man, Polly Moppet, Candy Floss (a ‘Mamma doll’ which can’t say “Mamma”) and Bouncy (a ball which has lost its bounce).
The Adventures of Twizzle was made by the newly-formed AP Films, an independent production company formed by Gerry Anderson, Arthur Provis, Reg Hill and Sylvia Tamm.
The fledgling outfit had originally intended to make cinema films, but the expected offers of work failed to materialise and, with mounting debts, AP Films couldn’t afford to be choosy about its commissions.
The series was shot in the small ballroom of a large mansion house, Islet Park, on the banks of the River Thames at Maidenhead, and the string puppet characters inhabiting Twizzle’s world were brutally simple constructions.
Thick strings jerked crude papier maché heads to indicate which character was talking, and their “walk” looked amateurish even by the standards of The Flowerpot Men. The series was made on a tiny budget of £250 per fifteen-minute episode.
But Twizzle and his gang were a hit and within seven years AP Films would be thrilling children with Thunderbirds.
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 | Jack-In-The-Box | 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’s Birthday | Footso Has A Toothache