1 9 5 9 – 1 9 6 0 (UK)
39 x 15 minute episodes
Sheriff Tex Tucker maintained the peace in Four Feather Falls, Kansas, with the aid of four magic feathers which he wore in his Stetson.
The feathers enabled his dog, Dusty, and horse, Rocky, to talk – both voiced by future Carry On stalwart Kenneth Connor – and his guns to swivel and fire automatically when he was in danger.
Tex was given the magic feathers as a reward when he saved the life of Makooya, the son of Indian Chief Kalamakooya.
Tex Tucker himself had two voice artists – veteran comic Nicholas Parsons for his dialogue and singer Michael Holliday for the weekly musical number.
The villains in this early Gerry Anderson series were Mexican bandits Pedro and Fernando, Red Scalp the renegade Indian Chief, and Big Ben the bandit.
Other characters included Ma Jones who ran the general store; Marvin Jackson the town bank manager; Dan Morse, who – as his name suggested – was the telegraph operator; Doc Haggerty; Slim Jim (owner and bartender of Denison Saloon); Grandpa Twink and Little Jake.
This was the first of Anderson’s “Supermarionation” productions – where electronic devices were used to synchronise the lips of the puppets with the voices of their human counterparts – which would eventually yield Thunderbirds, Stingray, Supercar, Joe 90 and Captain Scarlet & The Mysterons.
The sets for the series – built at the studios of AP Films in Slough – were the largest ever made for a puppet programme at the time, with a ‘prairie’ stretching 30ft by 15ft and the full main street of a Wild West town – including a sheriff’s office, a saloon, a livery stable, stores and sidewalks – where the 20″ high characters could act out their dramas.
The production team included Reg Hill (who did the model work and produced the special effects), Jim Marsh, John Read, Sylvia Thamm (who worked the switch panel – and the “four-channel natterer” – that synchronised the dialogue and later married the boss to become Sylvia Anderson) and puppeteers Christine Glanville, Mary Turner and Roger Woodburn.
Tex Tucker (Speaking Voice)
Tex Tucker (Singing Voice)
How It Began | Kidnapped | Pedro Has A Plan | Pedro’s Pardon | A Close Shave | Indian Attack | Sheriff For A Day | Dusty Becomes Deputy | Gunrunners | Trouble At Yellow Gulch | Frame Up | Gold Diggers | Gold Is Where You Find It | Trapped | Best Laid Schemes . . . | Escort | Toughest Guy In The West | Ghost Of A Chance | Gunplay | A Lawman Rides Alone | Jailbreak | A Little Bit Of Luck | Land Grabbers | 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’ | Ambush | Ride ‘Em Cowboy