Torchy the Battery Boy

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Torchy the Battery Boy
Torchy the Battery Boy titlescreen.jpg
Genre Adventure
Children's
Fantasy
Created by Roberta Leigh
Written byRoberta Leigh
Directed by Gerry Anderson (s. 1)
Vivian Milroy (s. 2)
Voices of Kenneth Connor
Jill Freud
Olwyn Griffiths
Patricia Somerset
Composer Barry Gray
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
No. of series2
No. of episodes52
Production
ProducersRoberta Leigh
Gerry Anderson (s. 1)
Cinematography Arthur Provis
Camera setup Single
Running time13 mins approx. per episode
Production companiesPelham Films
AP Films (s. 1)
ABC Weekend Television (s. 1)
Associated British-Pathé (s. 2)
Distributor Associated-Rediffusion
Release
Original network ITV
Picture format Black and white
Audio format Mono
Original release1959 (1959) 
1961 (1961)
Chronology
Preceded by The Adventures of Twizzle

Torchy the Battery Boy was the British second television series produced by AP Films and Gerry Anderson, running from 1959 to 1961. Directed by Anderson, it was a collaboration with author Roberta Leigh, with music scored by Barry Gray, art direction from Reg Hill and special effects by Derek Meddings.

Contents

Based on string puppets, the series depicted adventures of the eponymous boy doll, who had a battery inside him and a lamp in his head, and his master Mr Bumbledrop, voiced by Kenneth Connor (known for his appearances in the Carry On films), who also voiced a number of other characters.

The second series of 26 episodes was produced by Associated British-Pathé without the involvement of Anderson and AP Films. The show is one of several children's television programmes from the mid-twentieth century to exist in its entirety, without loss or damage. Both series have been digitally remastered and released on DVD.

Plot

Torchy, the Battery Boy, was created by Mr. Bumbledrop, a lonely old toymaker who spends the majority of his days tending to his garden, where the neighborhood children play. Torchy has a lamp on his head, and when he pushes a button on his jacket and utters a mysterious phrase, the light illuminates and gives Torchy magical insights. Mr. Bumbledrop also builds a cardboard rocket ship, which allows the boy to soar through the heavens.

The brightest star in the night sky is Topsy Turvy Land, home of all of the abused and neglected toys that once belonged to naughty children. There, the toys spring to life and animals have the ability to speak. Everyone is at home in this mysterious world, with its lollipop fields, cream bun trees, and chocolate puddles. However, Torchy frequently goes to earth to visit Mr. Bumbledrop, get replacement batteries, and return with naughty children who need to learn a lesson. In Topsy Turvy Land, humans shrink to the size of toys, and various children are subjected to the same horrors that they unleashed upon their playthings.

Production

Creator Roberta Leigh and producer Gerry Anderson had previously collaborated on the puppet show The Adventures of Twizzle , which was so successful that they were asked to do another show. [1] The pair were able to negotiate more money [2] [3] nearly double what was spent on Twizzle, [4] which afforded them the luxury of bringing more elaborate visuals to the screen.

Leigh churned out her scripts quickly, reportedly writing all 52 episodes over a total of 26 days. [5] With her eight-year-old son in mind as the show's target demographic, [6] Leigh set out to write an adventurous show, claiming that she was not pushing to include morality tales, but morals naturally came through her stories. [7] As with Twizzle, Leigh devised recurring songs for many of the characters [8] and would hum her tunes to composer Barry Gray, who was tasked with translating them into musical chords. [9] [10]

Puppet maker Christine Glanville began developing the look of Anderson's later " Supermarionation " shows, crafting the puppet bodies from wood, and sculpting heads with movable eyes and mouths, [11] [12] as well as adding thinner strings to make them less visible on film. [13] Made in her garage, crafting the toys was a family affair, with Glanville's father creating the bodies, her mother sewing the clothes, and Christine sculpting the heads and putting finishing touches on the dolls. [14] [15]

The crew began tinkering with automatic lip-sync on two minor characters, [16] and Glanville thought thin rubber might be the way to create the mouths, so she sent her father on a quest to buy condoms from various local vendors. [17] [18] This idea wound up being infeasible because the thin rubber was prone to breakage [19] and paint would not stick to it, [20] so they later switched to chamois leather. [21]

Reg Hill and Derek Meddings created three-dimensional sets [22] using cardboard cut-outs [23] and wood, with a higher degree of detail than they could muster in Twizzle. Their Torchy sets included an elaborate miniature town shaped like fruit, with trees, shrubs, and rocks made of coal, [24] as well as fully furnished miniature interior sets. [25]

They could not afford a studio, so the production was set up in the ballroom of the Islet Park House, [26] a mansion in Maidenhead on the banks of the River Thames. [27] Unfortunately, a lack of space caused problems. The stage area was only about 20 square feet, with a cramped bridge that spanned the length of it for the puppeteers to perform on [28] When the carpenters turned on their saws to create sets for the next day's shooting, the puppeteers were unable to sync to the audio playback. [29]

Complicating matters, the river flooded that winter. Although the mansion's interior remained dry, the only way to get in and out of the location was by rowboat. [30] "When the river overflowed, we would stand on the ballroom's impressive veranda and watch the water rush past us below," recalled set dresser Bob Bell. "It was really quite frightening!" [31]

The show was popular, garnering the attention of an up-and-coming band named The Beatles, who performed the title theme song live at The Cavern Club. [32] [33] At the start of 1969, Paul McCartney even riffed a portion of song during the recording sessions for the band's final album, Let It Be . [34] [35]

Characters

Numerous discrepancies in the spelling of names exist throughout the various Torchy materials.

Earthlings

Topsy Turvians

Episodes

The show premiered in the Midlands in 1959, [36] but it didn't premiere in London until 1960, where it aired consecutively for 52 weeks as one series. [37] Writer Roberta Leigh obviously wrote several shows for the second series to bridge gaps in the first season's stories (denoted below). Presumably, these were aired on London television in the proper chronological story sequence,[ citation needed ] but on DVD, the shows were presented in production order as two separate series. [38] TV listings of the era were primitive and online listings feature conflicting airdates, so the tables below list the two series without airdates, just as they appeared on DVD, in an effort to avoid inaccuracies.

Series One

No.TitleDirected byWritten by
1"Pom-Pom and the Toys" Gerry Anderson Roberta Leigh

The naughty children playing in Mr. Bumble-Drop's garden tie their toys to the kite strings. Suddenly, a strong wind comes along and blows all of the toys away, as well as Mr. Bumble-Drop's poodle, Pom-Pom, who tries to save them. The children blame Bumbledrop and vow never to return, so the lonely old man decides to make a mechanical boy to keep himself company. Four hours later, Torchy springs to life and uses the magic beam on his hat to locate the lost toys on a twinkling star. The next morning, Mr. Bumble-Drop builds a rocket of cardboard, and Torchy flies off to retrieve the lost puppy and toys.

  • Song: "Torchy, the Battery Boy"
2"Topsy Turvy Land" Gerry Anderson Roberta Leigh

Torchy's rocket arrives in Topsy Turvey Land, and he tries to convince Pom-Pom and the toys to return to earth, but they decline. Flopsy, the ragdoll, complains about her lack of stuffing, so Torchy convinces Pom-Pom to donate some of her fur.

  • Song: "In Topsy Turvy Land" (Flopsy)
3"Torchy and Squish" Gerry Anderson Roberta Leigh

Torchy meets Squish, an American boy with a water-pistol raygun, who crashed his ship and became stranded in Topsy Turvy Land. Torchy agrees to return the boy to earth, instructing him to wait by the rocket while he consults with his friends. Unfortunately, Squish cannot resist going for a joyride, and he breaks the spacecraft. Torchy uses his magic beam to converse with Mr. Bumbledrop, who instructs him to find cardboard to repair the ship. Meanwhile, Pom-Pom resents Flopsy for taking her fur, and she insists that the doll returns it.

  • Song: "I'm Pom-Pom the Poodle"
4"The Building of Frutown" Gerry Anderson Roberta Leigh

Stranded in Topsy Turvy Land, Torchy realizes that everyone needs a place to sleep. There are no bricks to be found, but he discovers an orchard filled with oversized fruit, so the toys hollow out pieces to construct homes for themselves.

  • Song: "Frutown" (Flopsy)
5"Torchy and the Broken Rocket" Gerry Anderson Roberta Leigh

Torchy and Squish go in search of cardboard to repair the rocket, and they discover the Ting-a-Ling bird, who suggests that they dig at the base of a pepper tree. Although the bird's hunch was wrong, Pom-Pom is overjoyed to find a puddle of chocolate.

  • Song: "In My Little Rocket" (Torchy)
6"King Dithers" Gerry Anderson Roberta Leigh

Torchy stumbles upon the King of Topsy Turvy Land, who offers the lad a tube of cardboard to repair his rocket. Unfortunately, King Dithers gets rolled up in the tube, and Torchy has to figure out a way to get him out.

  • Song: "King Dithers, the Dithery King"
7"Torchy Returns to Earth" Gerry Anderson Roberta Leigh

Torchy repairs the rocket and plans a return to earth, but no one wants to go with him. However, when his battery dies, Pom-Pom steps up and flies him home to Mr. Bumbledrop.

  • Song: "I'm Pom-Pom the Poodle"
8"Bossy Boots Goes to Topsy Turvy Land" Gerry Anderson Roberta Leigh

When Bossy Boots discovers Pom-Pom has returned home to Mr. Bumbledrop, she insists that he returns her ragdoll, Flopsy. Torchy offers to take her to Topsy Turvey Land to retrieve the doll, but she refuses, so Mr. Bumbledrop decides to use reverse psychology to get her into the rocket. Once she arrives in the strange land, she's horrified to discover she's shrunk to the same size as Flopsy, who begins exacting her revenge.

  • Song: "The Naughty Children Song" (Torchy)
9"Bossy Boots is Taught a Lesson" Gerry Anderson Roberta Leigh

Flopsy exposes Bossy Boots to the various indignities she suffered at the girl's hand: she pushes her down, shoves food in her face, strips off her clothes, and locks her outside. While wandering around in her underwear, Bossy Boots falls into a hole that King Dithers had dug. The king takes pity on the girl, who vows to change her wicked ways.

  • Song: "Frutown" (Flopsy)
  • Note: The series two episode "Torchy Gets a Surprise" bridges the story between this episode and the next.
10"A Bell for a Penny-Farthing" Gerry Anderson Roberta Leigh

Torchy decides to ride his bicycle instead of playing with Squish or taking out Pom-Pom's curlers. Soon, he accidentally crashes into Pilliwig the clown, who insists that he cannot ride his bike again until he gets a bell. While searching for a ringer, he stumbles upon Whirly, the humming top. Whirly laments the fact that his innards are rusty, and he can no longer hum, so Torchy suggests that he eats peanuts so that the oil will lubricate his gears. While visiting the peanut tree, Ting-a-Ling offers to ride along with Torchy and serve as his bicycle bell.

  • Song: "I've Got a Penny-Farthing" (Torchy)
  • Note: The second series episode "Banana Bridge" forms a bridge between this episode and the next.
11"A Trick on Pom-Pom" Gerry Anderson Roberta Leigh

Now that her fur has regrown and is curled, Pom-Pom has become extraordinarily vain and decides to prance around showing off. Torchy convinces his friends to teach her a lesson by tying a dirty sock in her fur and slathering her with dirt.

  • Song: "Flopsy"
  • Note: The second series episode "King Dithers and Daffy" bridges the story between this episode and the next.
12"Torchy is Stolen" Gerry Anderson Roberta Leigh

In need of a new battery, Torchy returns home with Pom-Pom in tow. After Mr. Bumbledrop and the pooch head off to the store, Torchy decides to follow, but his battery wears down, and he collapses on the road. Moments later, Mrs. Meaniemouth finds Torchy and decides to bring him home as a present for Bogie, despite Mr. Bumbledrop's pleas from a distance. After the Meaniemouths head off to buy a new battery for their stolen toy, Mr. Bumbledrop and Pom-Pom sneak into their house to retrieve him.

  • Song: "In My Little Rocket" (Torchy)
13"King Dithers Loses His Crown" Gerry Anderson Roberta Leigh

King Dithers decides to brush his hair before his trip to Frutown, and he accidentally leaves his crown behind. After Daffy the Donkey pulls him into town, the king invites Torchy and Squish back to the palace for tea, but they soon discover the crown is not where he left it. Using his magic light, Torchy finds Polliken, an odd bird who seems only to be capable of making odd noises. They eventually learn the reason: Polliken is hiding the king's crown inside his beak. The bird explains that he loves shiny objects and likes to hold them in his mouth, so the king invites him back to the castle to guard his crown and jewels.

  • Song: "I'm Pollikan"
14"Pilliwig Gets a Present" Gerry Anderson Roberta Leigh

The resident toys are no longer amused with Pilliwig's jokes, which depresses the clown. Torchy and Flopsy decide to picnic on an island, where they discover Ena the hyena. They bring her back to Frutown, where Pilliwig is delighted to meet someone who will always laugh at his antics.

  • Song: "Flopsy"
15"Bad Boy Bogey" Gerry Anderson Roberta Leigh

Torchy encounters Bogey drowning his pirate toy, Pongo, in the pond, so he decides to bring him back to Topsy Turvy Land. Once there, Daffy decides to give the boy his comeuppance by submerging him in the water. Meanwhile, Pongo discovers he likes this strange new world and has no intention of ever leaving.

  • Song: "The Naughty Children Song" (Torchy)
  • Note: The second series episode "Bogey Learns Another Lesson" bridges the story between this episode and the next.
16"Torchy and the Strange Animal" Gerry Anderson Roberta Leigh
Torchy, Flopsy, and Pom-Pom decide to visit the toys who dwell in the mountain's caves. They discover the caves abandoned and find Gillygully and Whirly outside, claiming that a monstrous creature has moved into their turf. Torchy and Pom-Pom elect to investigate and discover Sparky, a lonely dragon who's been desperately searching for friends.
17"Bossy Boots Forgets to Be Good" Gerry Anderson Roberta Leigh

Torchy learns that Bossy Boots has reverted to her horrid old self, and she's been refusing to feed her coins to Clinker, her money box. Torchy lures the back to Topsy Turvy Land, with the promise of a party in her honor, but instead, he forces her to feed the starving bank.

  • Song: "In My Little Rocket" (Torchy) & "Clinker the Money Box"
18"The Hungry Money Box" Gerry Anderson Roberta Leigh

Clinker is overjoyed to discover an enormous pile of coins that no one requires in Topsy Turvy Land, but Pongo the pirate decides to claim them for his own. Torchy uses his magic lamp to find a gold mine, which turns out to be empty. Fortunately for Clinker, on the grounds above, a money tree has bloomed.

  • Song: "I'm Pongo the Pirate" & "Clinker the Money Box"
19"The Naughty Twins" Gerry Anderson Roberta Leigh

Torchy returns to earth to find Mr. Bumbledrop asleep. Not wishing to wake his friend, he sets the table and putters around the house doing nice things. Unfortunately, his battery wears out and he collapses in the garden, where he's found by twins Bobby and Babs. The dastardly duo decide to take him home and imprison him in a chicken run, but Mr. Bumbledrop figures out what has happened and comes to his rescue. The old man and toy-boy decide to go to Topsy Turvy Land and lure the twins into the rocket with a bag of toffee, but Mr. Bumbledrop is slow to react and gets left behind.

20"The Twins Learn a Lesson" Gerry Anderson Roberta Leigh

Torchy entrusts King Dithers to lock the twins in his dungeon, but the loonie king is the one who gets locked away. Fortunately, Polliken becomes wise to the situation and puts the bad siblings in their place.

  • Song: "I'm Pollikan"
  • Note: The second series episode "The Big Storm" bridges the story between this episode and the next.
21"King Dithers Goes Down to Earth" Gerry Anderson Roberta Leigh

Torchy gets caught in a hurricane that blows him back to earth. Unable to return without his rocket, he asks the toys to send Pom-Pom to retrieve him, but the lass has made herself sick eating chocolate. King Dithers volunteers to fly the rocket, and Polliken accompanies him, but the kooky king steers them onto the moon. They discover the Man in the Moon has grown weary of his duties and decides to sleep through the night instead of illuminating the sky.

  • Song: "In Topsy Turvy Land" (Flopsy)
22"Torchy is Saved at Last" Gerry Anderson Roberta Leigh

Torchy uses his magic light to find King Dithers and Polliken. They fit the Man in the Moon a pair of sunglasses so he can sleep through the day, and prepare to head to earth. Mr. Bumbledrop tells Torchy that Bossy Boots has become a good girl, so the toy-boy decides to reward her with a party in Topsy Turvy Land. However, the girl has remained in bed for a week, pretending to be sick to evade her schoolwork. When Torchy learns of this, he reprimands the wretch and leaves her behind as he and Mr. Bumbledrop head for the stars.

  • Note: The second series episodes "King Bumble-Drop" and "Pilliwig Gets a New Suit" bridge the story between this episode and the next.
23"Torchy and the Man on the Moon" Gerry Anderson Roberta Leigh

The toys have tired of the native food in Topsy Turvy Land, so Torchy decides to stop at the moon and grab some cheese as he returns Mr. Bumbledrop home. Torchy becomes too enamored by the vat of cheese that the Man on the Moon has been making, and he falls in and drowns.

  • Song: "Clinker the Money Box"
24"Bogey and the Statues" Gerry Anderson Roberta Leigh

After returning Torchy to working order, Mr. Bumbledrop falls ill, so the boy heads to Mrs. Meaniemouth's to retrieve some cough syrup. There, Torchy is captured by Bogey, who ties him up, drags him to the park, and forces him to watch as he destroys the statues. Torchy finally gets free and poses as a statue to mess with Bogey. He returns home with the medicine, which Mr. Bumbledrop says he no longer wants, so Torchy has to trick him into drinking it.

  • Song: "The Naughty Children Song" (Torchy)
25"The Moon Falls Asleep" Gerry Anderson Roberta Leigh

Sunset falls as the toys return home from the beach, and they soon find themselves enveloped in pure blackness. Torchy and Flopsy head off in the rocket and discover the Man on the Moon has overslept. After waking him, the toys find themselves stuck in the cream cheese pond, but the moon man is able to rescue them before any damage occurs.

  • Song: "Flopsy"
26"Torchy's Birthday" Gerry Anderson Roberta Leigh

Torchy feels isolated as all of the toys secretavely makes plans for his birthday. Whirly overhears his wish for a little brother, so Pom-Pom visits Mr. Bumbledrop and makes him build one.

  • Note: Although Torchy's unnamed brother announces that he will live in Topsy Turvy Land and play with him forever, the character is never referenced again. Coming so late in the show's run, it's probable that this was saved as the series finale in both the Highlands and London.

Series Two

No.TitleDirected byWritten by
1"Flopsy Goes on a Picnic" Vivian Milroy Roberta Leigh

Flopsy insists going to the beach by herself. Torchy and Squish are miffed, so they decide to steal her picnic basket, but ultimately, they hide inside of it to give her a fright.

  • Songs: "Frutown" (Pom-Pom)
2"Torchy Gets a Surprise" Vivian Milroy Roberta Leigh

Bossy Boots wants to take Flopsy back to earth, but the ragdoll refuses. However, Flopsy is lonely, so Torchy returns with Pom-Pom to keep her company. Later, King Dithers gives Torchy a Penny Farthing bicycle.

  • Songs: "Flopsy" & "King Dithers, the Dithery King."
  • Note: This story bridges the series one episodes "Bossy Boots is Taught a Lesson" and "A Bell for a Penny-Farthing."
3"Banana Bridge" Vivian Milroy Roberta Leigh

Flopsy has lost so much stuffing that Torchy insists Pom-Pom gives the dolly some of her fur. Later, the toys want to use a banana as a bridge, but they do not have the strength to move it on their own, so Torchy visits the caves, where he finds Daffy the donkey.

  • Song: "In Topsy Turvy Land" (Flopsy)
  • Note: This story bridges the series one episodes "A Bell for a Penny-Farthing" and "A Trick on Pom-Pom."
4"King Dithers and Daffy" Vivian Milroy Roberta Leigh

Torchy and Pom-Pom miss Mr. Bumble-Drop, who declines their invitation to come to Topsy Turvy Land. Meanwhile, Daffy feels like she has no purpose. Coincidentally, King Dithers has just ordered a new coach, so Torchy suggests that the mule should pull it.

  • Songs: "In Topsy Turvy Land" (Flopsy), "I've Got a Penny-Farthing" (Torchy), and "King Dithers, the Dithery King."
  • Note: This story bridges the series one episodes "A Trick on Pom-Pom" and "Torchy is Stolen."
5"The Toys Get the Collywobbles" Vivian Milroy Roberta Leigh

When all of the toys come down with bellyaches, King Dithers informs them that they can remedy the situation by eating vegetables.

  • Songs: "In Topsy Turvy Land" (Flopsy) and "Frutown" (Pom-Pom).
  • Note: The Man in the Moon randomly appears as one of the residents of Topsy Turvy Land.
6"Bogey Learns Another Lesson" Vivian Milroy Roberta Leigh

Bogey amuses himself by filling Flopsy with nuts and bolts, which weigh her down, so King Dithers punishes him by making him wear a suit of armor. Meanwhile, Whirly mentions there’s a treasure chest in the caves, so Pongo decides to steal it.

  • Song: "I’m Pongo the Pirate"
  • Note: This story bridges the series one episodes "Bad Boy Bogey" and "Torchy and the Strange Animal."
7"The Polliken Bird is Stolen" Vivian Milroy Roberta Leigh

Pongo arrives at the castle and learns that Pollikan has the king’s crown in his beak, so he lures the bird onto his boat. Ting-a-Ling figures out what’s happened and enlists Torchy to rescue Pollikan.

  • Song: "I’m Pongo the Pirate"
8"Torchy Has an Accident" Vivian Milroy Roberta Leigh

When he can’t find Pom-Pom, Torchy decides to fashion a dog whistle from a piece of tin, but he ends up swallowing it. Possessing only the ability to whistle, Torchy can’t use his magic beam, so all of the toys convene to try to discern a solution.

  • Song: "In Topsy Turvy Land" (Flopsy)
9"Sparky the Dragon" Vivian Milroy Roberta Leigh

When Whirly gets a stiff neck, Torchy suggests that Sparky breathe on him to loosen it up. Meanwhile, Pom-Pom gets chocolate paw prints all over Torchy’s house, and she’s less than thrilled when he insists she clean up.

  • Song: "I’m Pom-Pom the Poodle"
  • Note: It’s possible that this aired after the first series episode "Torchy and the Strange Animal".
10"Bogey is Naughty Again" Vivian Milroy Roberta Leigh

Torchy discovers Bogey is just as awful as ever, so he and Pom-Pom return to earth. Bogey ties a tin can to the poodle’s tail, so Mr. Bumble-Drop reprimands him and lures him to the rocket. Bogey is unwillingly whisked away to Topsy Turvy Land, where Squish ties a tail and tin can onto the boy and forces him to walk through town.

  • Song: "The Naughty Children Song" (Torchy)
  • Note: The Man in the Moon makes another random appearance as a resident of Topsy Turvy Land. Unlike in "The Toys Get the Collywobbles", his face is clearly seen.
11"Pilliwig Cleans The Chimney" Vivian Milroy Roberta Leigh

In an attempt to be funny, Pilliwig is unintentionally rude to Torchy. To redeem his sins, he agrees to sweep the king's chimney.

  • Songs: "King Dithers, the Dithery King" & "I’m Pollikan"
12"Pongo The Pirate" Vivian Milroy Roberta Leigh

Pongo wants a companion to cook for him, so he decides to kidnap Flopsy.

  • Song: "I’m Pongo The Pirate"
13"Pongo and the Gold Mine" Vivian Milroy Roberta Leigh

Pongo steals all of Clinker's money while he's asleep. When Clinker and Squish go into the mine to retrieve some gold bars, Pongo follows them and ties them up. Eventually, Torchy comes to their rescue.

  • Songs: "I'm Pongo the Pirate" and "Frutown" (Flopsy)
14"King Dithers' Birthday" Vivian Milroy Roberta Leigh

King Dithers throws a birthday party for himself and invites all of the toys to attend. They amass some unusual gifts, and Torchy puts too much baking powder in his cake, which makes it so light that it nearly carries him away.

  • Song: "In Topsy Turvy Land" (Torchy)
15"Washing Day in Topsy Turvy Land" Vivian Milroy Roberta Leigh

After the toys have hung their washing on the clothesline to dry, an orange juice rainstorm blows through and keeps them drenched. Torchy enlists Sparky to blow dry them, but the sickly dragon is only able to muster a sooty vapor that worsens the situation.

  • Songs: "In Topsy Turvy Land" (Flopsy) & "I'm Pom-Pom the Poodle"
16"The Gluebell Wood" Vivian Milroy Roberta Leigh

Whirly and Sparky discover a fairy, who's recently arrived in Topsy Turvy Land. They invite her to a party and gather flowers for the centerpiece, but discover that the gluebells are sticky, which causes some irritation for their friends.

  • Song: "In Topsy Turvy Land" (Torchy)
  • Note: This episode features the only additional character to appear in the second series. However, the fairy is a redressed puppet who infrequently appeared as the mother of Bossy Boots.
17"Squish Falls Down A Well" Vivian Milroy Roberta Leigh

Squish is perplexed when his squirt gun is suddenly empty, so he goes in search of water to refill it. The king informs him of a wishing well, so the boy climbs down in the bucket and gets stuck. Torchy attempts a rescue, but he too winds up inside of the well.

  • Song: "King Dithers, the Dithery King"
18"Flopsy in Trouble" Vivian Milroy Roberta Leigh

As Flospy relaxes on the beach, the Ting-a-Ling bird spies what it thinks is a worm. It swoops down and flies away with the would-be meal, which turns out to be Flopsy's stuffing. Torchy attempts to repack the dolly, but he puts the stuffing in upside-down, resulting in Flopsy speaking backwards.

  • Song: "In Topsy Turvy Land" (Torchy)
19"The Big Storm" Vivian Milroy Roberta Leigh

Torchy arrives back on Topsy Turvy Land the night of a great hurricane. As he rushes the toys to safety in the caves, the wind snatches him and blows him back to earth.

  • Song: "In Topsy Turvy Land" (Flopsy)
  • Note: This story bridges the series one episodes "The Twins Learn a Lesson" and "King Dithers Goes Down to Earth."
20"Daffy's Birthday" Vivian Milroy Roberta Leigh

Daffy has grown weary of pulling the king's carriage, so she runs away on his birthday. Pongo finds her on the beach and harnesses the mule to his ship.

  • Song: "I'm Pollikan" and "I'm Pongo the Pirate"
21"Flopsy Makes A Christmas Pudding" Vivian Milroy Roberta Leigh

Torchy gets some coins to bake inside of the king's Christmas pudding, but the greedy Clinker decides to retrieve them and falls into the pot, and he's accidentally baked by Flopsy.

  • Song: "King Dithers, the Dithery King"
22"Gillygolly in Trouble" Vivian Milroy Roberta Leigh

Gillygolly is tired of his afro, so he visits Torchy's home in hopes of obtaining some peanut oil to straighten his hair. Torchy is out, so Gillygolly takes a nap. Pom-Pom is jealous of his naturally curly tresses, so she decides to shave them off and claim them for her own.

  • Songs: "I'm Pom-Pom the Poodle" and "Topsy Turvy Land" (Torchy)
23"King Bumble Drop" Vivian Milroy Roberta Leigh

During Mr. Bumble-Drop's first visit to Topsy Turvy Land, King Dithers goes mad with power and begins implementing various rules. The toys revolt, lock Dithers in the dungeon, and proclaim Buble-Drop the new king.

  • Song: "I'm Pom-Pom the Poodle"
  • Note: This story is set after the series one episode "Torchy is Saved at Last."
24"A New Suit For Pilliwig" Vivian Milroy Roberta Leigh

Ena kits a ridiculously large sweater for Pilliwig, which he's forced to wear after Torchy accidentally splatters his suit with paint. Ena volunteers to wash it, but she puts too much starch in the garment, which begins to dance on the clothesline, as if alive.

  • Song: "I've Got a Penny-Farthing" (Torchy)
  • Note: This story is immediately followed by the series one episode "Torchy and the Man on the Moon."
25"The Obstinate Donkey" Vivian Milroy Roberta Leigh

When Pongo's grapefruit sloop springs a leak, he steals Daffy's umbrella to use as a boat.

  • Song: "Frutown" (Pom-Pom)
26"Pom-Pom Gets The Hiccups" Vivian Milroy Roberta Leigh

Torchy searches for a remedy when Pom-Pom gets the hiccups. Meanwhile, back on earth, Bossy Boots attempts to cheer up Mr. Bumble-Drop by posing as his new dog.

  • Song: "Frutown" (Pom-Pom)

Merchandising

A small assortment of merchandise was issued during the show's run, most notably a series of books by creator Roberta Leigh, including an annual "Gift Book" from 1960–1964. Many of the featured stories were short adaptations of her scripts. Other merchandise included the board game Torchy's Race to Topsy Turvy Land, [39] a children's playsuit which was packaged with a cardboard Torchy puppet, [40] a pocketwatch, [41] [42] and a Torchy marionette by popular toymakers Pelham Puppets [43] [44]

Books

  1. Torchy and the Magic Beam (1960)
  2. Torchy in Topsy Turvy Land (1960)
  3. Torchy Gift Book (1960)
  4. Torchy Gift Book (1961)
  5. Torchy and Bossy Boots (1962)
  6. Torchy and His Two Best Friends (1962)
  7. Torchy and the Twinkling Star (1962)
  8. Torchy Gift Book (1962) [45]
  9. Torchy the Battery Boy Goes to a Party (196?) [46]
  10. Torchy Gift Book (1963)
  11. Torchy Gift Book (1964)

Comics

Torchy appeared weekly from August 1960 to August 1961 across 52 issues of Harold Hare's Own Paper. [47] The majority of characters were featured in the single-page comic strip, but Flopsy was referred to simply as Rag Doll (and she had normal eyes, as opposed to buttons), there was no Mr. Bumble-Drop, and Whirly and Ena never appeared. Torchy did occasionally venture back to earth to contend with Bogey and Bossyboots (whose name, like PomPom's was condensed to one word).

In 1968, Leigh was the editor of "Wonder," a weekly comic book that was sold at Esso petrol stations. [48] Each issue featured a tie-in coverstory for her subsequent show Wonder Boy and Tiger, as well as a strip titled Bossy Boots. The character bore no physical resemblance to the puppet (she sported glasses and wore her hair in a ponytail [49] ), but like her Torchy counterpart, Bossy Boots loved to tell everyone what to do.

Harold Hare's Own Paper

Roberta Leigh loosely adapted her own stories from numerous episodes for the untitled strips, but many of the details were altered. [50]

#DateSummaryNotes
11960-08-20On his birthday, Torchy emerges from his Pineapple home and stumbles on a Penny-Farthing bicycle, which his friends have wrapped and left on his doorstep. Torchy rides it right into Rag Doll, who insists he get a bell, and Ting-a-Ling Bird offers to do the job.Adapted from "A Bell for a Penny-Farthing."

In the show, King Dithers gives him the bike, and he crashes into Pilliwig.
Torchy appears on the front cover, and the comic strip begins its run regularly placed on page 7.

21960-08-27Torchy learns that the toys are frightened of something inside the cave, so he goes inside and discovers Sparky the dragon.Adapted from "Torchy and the Strange Animal."

Features the strip's only appearance of Gillygolly. In the absence of Whirly, there is a small gaggle of teddy bears.

31960-09-03Pilliwig needs a home, so Torchy helps him pluck an apple from the tree, and PomPom pulls it on a sled to Frutown, where it's hollowed out and turned into a house.Adapted from "The Building of Frutown."

The cover includes a small image of Torchy's head, with his light shining onto the banner headline: "Meet Torchy the Battery Boy Inside!"

41960-09-10PomPom agrees to give Rag Doll some hair for stuffing, provided she gets her remaining fur rolled up in curlers.Adapted from "Topsy Turvy Land."
51960-09-17King Dithers cannot find his gold medal, so Torchy uses his magic beam, and they discover Pollikan, who has the medallion in his mouth. The king decides to make the bird the keeper of the royal jewels.Adapted from "King Dithers Loses His Crown."
61960-09-24Rag Doll's silver teapot is missing, and so is King Dithers crown. They soon discover that Pongo the pirate has stolen the treasures, along with the Pollikan bird.Adapted from "The Polliken Bird is Stolen."
71960-10-01As they rocket back to earth, Torchy and PomPom see Bogey knocking over statues in the park, so they decide to scare him.Adapted from "Bogey and the Statues."
81960-10-08PomPom runs away to avoid donating more fur to Rag Doll, so Torchy produces a dog whistle and promptly swallows it. No one can get the whistle out until Daffy the Donkey passes by and offers to pull it free with her magnetic hooves.Adapted from "Torchy Has an Accident."
91960-10-15Pilliwig's suit is dirty, so Torchy washes it and Sparky dries it, but then they discover the garment was overstarched.Adapted from "Washing Day in Topsy Turvy Land."
101960-10-22Rag Doll knits a scarf for Torchy that's too long. The Battery Boy notices Pilliwig on the swing just moments before the vines break and the clown goes toppling to the ground, so he retrieves the scarf and uses it as a rope to hold the swing.Original story.
111960-10-29Torchy sees Bogey tying a can to a puppy's tail, so he brings the boy to Topsy Turvy Land, where Daffy the donkey sews a tail and can onto him.Adapted from "Bogey is Naughty Again."
121960-11-05Bogey fills Rag Doll full of nuts and bolts, so the king weighs the boy down with a suit of armor.Adapted from "Bogey Learns Another Lesson."
131960-11-12All of the toys are sick from eating too many sweets, so King Dithers teaches them to grow and eat vegetables.Adapted from "The Toys Get the Collywobbles."
141960-11-19PomPom insists of going to the beach alone, so Torchy and Rag Doll hide in a decoy picnic basket and scare her.Adapted from "Flopsy Goes on a Picnic."

Squish had not yet been introduced, so PomPom takes Flopsy's place, and she takes Squish's.
The strip is moved to page 10 beginning in this issue.

151960-11-26Pilliwig falls in a chocolate puddle and gets a stain on his suit. PomPom tries to lick the chocolate off and attempts to cover it with flour; Rag Doll offers to sew a patch over it. Ultimately, Torchy uses his magic beam and finds paint to cover the stain.Original story.
161960-12-03Daffy the donkey doesn't want to pull the king's coach in the hot sun, so Torchy holds an umbrella over the mule's head to shade him.Original story.

Combines elements of "Daffy's Birthday" and "The Obstinate Donkey."

171960-12-10As they repaint his house, Torchy, Rag Doll, and PomPom are slopping paint everywhere, so they recruit Daffy to use her tail to paint the house. Once the donkey is done, they clean his tail and invite everyone over for dinner.Original story.
181960-12-17King Dithers burns his finger on the stove, and in the absence of a bandage, Torchy uses his magic beam to find nettles. In his rush to catch up to the Battery Boy, the King stubs his toe and requires a walking stick. Torchy pleads with Pongo to use his oar for a cane, and when the pirate refuses, Daffy chases him away. As the King returns to the castle with the oar under his arm, he thanks Torchy for his assistance by giving him an orange.Original story.
191960-12-24On Christmas Eve, Torchy and PomPom convince King Dithers to pose as Father Christmas, but the King gets stuck in Rag Doll's chimney.Original story.
201960-12-31Pilliwig enlists PomPom and Sparky to star alongside him in a circus performance, which they decide to throw at night. The sky is too dark for the Topsy Turvians to see what's going on, so Torchy uses his magic light to illuminate the show.Original story.
211961-01-07Sparky is tired of living in the caves, so Squish and Torchy build her a house with a mound of logs that they found in the forest. Unfortunately, this initially forget to build a chimney, and the dragon's breath smokes up the house. Torchy's magic beam leads him to King Dithers, who lends him a top hat to use as a smokestack.Original story.

First appearance of Squish.
Mistakenly includes the first of two teasers for "next week['s]" story about Gluebells.

221961-01-15PomPom's mirror falls off the wall and shatters. Squish suggests that she should use the water in the river to see her reflection, but the clumbsy poodle falls in. As Rag Doll dries her and rolls her fur into curlers, Torchy utilizes his beam to find a brass tray. After some polishing, PomPom to use the tray as a mirror.Original story.
231961-01-21Rag Doll feels unwell, so Pilliwig brings her orange juice and sticky gluebell flowers. The clown then attempts to cheer her by juggling her dishes, but they drop and shatter on the floor. Torchy's magic beam shines onto the gluebells, which they squeeze the nectar from to glue the plates back together.Original story.
241961-01-28King Dithers insists Daffy should take him into town in the rain, but when the King insists on using his umbrella, the mule bucks him off and straight into Torchy's window. Torchy uses his magic beam to find a deck chair, which they fashion into a covered wagon so Daffy can keep her umbrella.Original story.
251961-02-04Pongo steals Torchy's bicycle and buries it on the beach. When Torchy's magic beam shines his way, the pirate claims that he doesn't have the bike, but the tide rolls in and washes the sand away, revealing the treasured peddle cycle.Original story.
261961-02-11Everyone is spring cleaning but there are no brooms to be found, so Torchy fashions some from sticks and ferns. Rag Doll sweeps so hard that her stuffing falls out, so Torchy replaces it with ferns.Original story.
271961-02-18The wind blows so hard that it pushes everyone's homes into the lollipop fields, where a flood ensues. Torchy is baffled when the magic beam directs him toward the bed, but he realizes the sheets can be used to fashion sails for the houses, to help glide them back to Frutown.Original story.
281961-02-25King Dithers sends the toys on a scavenger hunt which returns them to his kitchen, where they find a giant cake awaiting them.Original story.
291961-03-04Currently unknown. The previous week's teaser said "The Battery Boy helps make such a lovely bonfire."Original story.
301961-03-11Torchy's battery is running low, so he returns to Earth with PomPom to replace it. His cell completely drains, so as Pom-Pom goes to buy a new battery, Bossyboots finds Torchy and puts him in her toy cupboard, where he gets buried. As PomPom searches the cabinet, a cat leaps onto the toys, which sends them toppling out, revealing Torchy.Original story.

Sole appearance of Bossyboots.

311961-03-18Rag Doll is absent from the party at King Dithers' castle, and they soon discover the reason why: Her cherry house is on fire! The toys race back to the castle for water and are able to put out the fire before much damage occurs.Original story.
321961-03-25Rag Doll is proud of the hollyhocks that she's been growing, but squish and PomPom trample the flowers. Torchy shines his magic light on Pongo, who uncharacteristically donates his oars to hold up the blooms.Original story.
331961-04-01Squish climbs a tree and uses a hollow stick as a straw to shoot cherries at an unsuspecting PomPom. The poodle seeks aid from Torchy, who uses a water pistol to flush the space boy out of the branches.Original story.
341961-04-08Squish doesn't realize his own strength and pushes the swing so hard that Rag Doll flies into the field, where she gets covered by lollipops. Torchy makes Squish pulls King Dithers' coach to prove that the space boy is more muscular than he thinks.Original story.
351961-04-15Torchy brings Bad Boy Bogey to Topsy Turvy Land and instructs him to paint Rag Doll's cottage, but he paints her face as she sleeps, and the doll awakens believing she has the measles.Original story.
361961-04-22Torchy and PomPom go in search of nuts to play conkers, but they cannot get into the magic wood without crossing a river, so they construct a bridge made from lollipops. On their way back from retrieving the conkers balls, the bridge collapses and PomPom gets wet. Torchy suggests that he puts in her curlers, and then they can play the game.Original story.
371961-04-29While berating Daffy the donkey for oversleeping, King Dithers falls into a hole. Daffy finds Torchy, who ties a rope to his bicycle and pulls his highness back up to Topsy Turvy Land.Original story.

Beginning with this issue and for the remainder of the comic's run, the Torchy strips were bumped up to page 5 and reduced to two-thirds of a page, with the remaining space filled by the paper's weekly "Once Upon a Time" stories by Donald Bisset.

381961-05-06As Rag Doll helps Torchy wallpaper his home, he falls into the bucket of paste, and the doll has to scrub him down. Then the Battery Boy realizes he's run out of wallpaper, so they head into the magic wood, where they retrieve leaves to adorn the walls.Original story.
391961-05-13Flopsy knits a sweater that's too big for Torchy and Sparky, so they give it to King Dithers.Original story.
401961-05-20The toys never know what time it is, so Torchy rockets back to earth to retrieve a toy Policeman with a pocket watch from the rubbish bin.Original story.

Torchy and PomPom talk to a toy shop owner who resembles Mister Geppetto from Disney's version of Pinocchio .

411961-05-27Torchy and PomPom create a mailbox from an old log and toadstool, and they enlist Daffy to deliver it.Original story.
421961-06-03Pilliwig's tooth hurts so badly that he cannot go to King Dithers' party, so Torchy uses his beam to find a clove tree to provide the clown with some pain relief.Original story.
431961-06-10Rag Doll wants an apricot to bake a pie, but when the fruit proves to be too large to move, Torchy decides to fasten it to a pair of rollerskates and pull it home.Original story.
441961-06-17While frollicking at the seaside, Sparky gets so wet that she cannot breathe fire. Torchy asks Pongo to use his sail to dry her, and he steadfastly refuses, but while they argue, PomPom borrows the sail and dries the dragon.Original story.
451961-06-24Rag Doll is sad over the decaying state of her dress, so Torchy uses his magic beam to lead them to a pile of shiny leaves, which she uses to fashion a new frock.Original story.
461961-07-1The toys are bored by the playground equipment, so Torchy finds a ladder and wooden plank to construct a slide.Original story.
471961-07-08As Pilliwig and Torchy enjoy their tea, Daffy arrives with a load of balloons for them to blow up for King Dithers' birthday party. To speed the process, Torchy inflates them with his bicycle pump.Original story.
481961-07-15Rag Doll doesn't have enough fabric to curtain one of her windows, so Torchy picks berries and leaves and helps paste them to the glass.Original story.
491961-07-22Rag Doll puts her hair in curlers, but when it doesn't dry quickly enough, Torchy enlists Sparky to blow-dry her hair.Original story.
501961-07-29Torchy and Squish play ball at the seaside. When the current drags their ball away, Torchy uses his bicycle pump to inflate an orange so they can continue to play.Original story.
511961-08-05When the Ting-a-Ling bird gets distracted and flies off of Torchy's bicycle, he attaches a cuckoo clock to serve as a bell. Torchy attempts to startle squish with the clock, but his plan backfires and he falls off the bike. Just then, Ting-a-Ling bird returns from his flight.Original story.
521961-08-12Rag Doll cannot keep her washing on the line on a windy day, so Torchy borrows PomPom's hair grips to use as clothespins.Original story.

Final Torchy comic of the series.

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References

  1. Hirsch, David (September 1978). "The Magical Techniques of Movie & TV SFX, Part XI: Supermarionation". Starlog. Retrieved 10 February 2020. "The only thing I can say about Twizzle being a success," recalls Anderson, "was that we were immediately asked to do another series for Roberta Lee entitled Torchy the Battery Boy.
  2. "Gerry Anderson: The Puppet Master, Part One". Teletronic. Archived from the original on 4 April 2019. Retrieved 10 February 2020. With an increase in the budget this time round to £27,000, the incentive was there to see how much further they could go with the puppet series format.
  3. Hirsch, David (September 1978). "The Magical Techniques of Movie & TV SFX, Part XI: Supermarionation". Starlog. Retrieved 10 February 2020. By this time we were really becoming very, very tough businessmen, and we insisted on a budget of $1,400 per 15-minute segment. At the time, that, too, was a pretty tight budget, but it enabled us to make some fairly substantial advances in the technique of filming."
  4. Marcus, Laurence (16 April 2005). "Torchy the Battery Boy". Television Heaven. With an increase in the budget this time round to £27,000, nearly double of what they had to spend on Twizzle, the incentive was there to see how much further they could go with the format.
  5. "Roberta Leigh Obituary". The Guardian. 8 January 2015. Retrieved 10 February 2020. She wrote the 52 Torchy scripts in 26 days, she said – particularly enjoying writing the funny parts.
  6. "Why I Created Torchy". TVTimes Northern edition for 8–14 February 1959. Retrieved 10 February 2020. She is the mother of an eight-year-old boy, Jeremy, and has given much thought to children’s reactions to varying situations on the screen.
  7. "Why I Created Torchy". TVTimes Northern edition for 8–14 February 1959. Retrieved 10 February 2020. Although I didn’t set out to write a series of moral tales", said Roberta, "any 'message' in the story appeared naturally.
  8. "Why I Created Torchy". TVTimes Northern edition for 8–14 February 1959. Retrieved 10 February 2020. All the main puppet-characters have their own signature tunes, and I am hoping that children will come to associate a character with a piece of music.
  9. "The Gerry Anderson Studios". TV Studio History. Retrieved 10 February 2020. She even wrote the songs – at least, she hummed them to the composer Barry Gray and he went away and arranged and recorded them.
  10. "The Gerry Anderson Podcast, Pod 69: Barry Gray – Music Maestro". 1989. Retrieved 19 February 2020 via YouTube. On [Twizzle] and Torchy, I got the tunes just hummed on the tape recorder. I had to put them in shape, and arrange them, and conduct sessions on both [of] those series.
  11. Hirsch, David (September 1978). "The Magical Techniques of Movie & TV SFX, Part XI: Supermarionation". Starlog. Retrieved 10 February 2020. "Wood was now used to construct the body. Moveable mouths were added to the heads.
  12. "Dimensions of Gerry Anderson". Sixties City. Retrieved 10 February 2020. 3-Dimensional sets were introduced for the first time on this series and puppets were fitted with moving mouths and eyes.
  13. Marcus, Laurence (16 April 2005). "Torchy the Battery Boy". Television Heaven. The puppets were further improved with moving mouths and eyes, and finer wire was used to make it less obvious on screen.
  14. Marcus, Laurence (16 April 2005). "Torchy the Battery Boy". Television Heaven. The puppets bodies were cut from wood by Glanville’s father, her mother then made the costumes and the finished article was then given back to Christine to add the finishing touches.
  15. "The Gerry Anderson Podcast, Pod 77: Christine Glanville – Supermarionation Puppeteer". 1991. Retrieved 19 February 2020 via YouTube. They were made in our garage. My father did the basic cutting-out of the wood, and I did the finishing off. My mother dressed them in the kitchen.
  16. Archer, Simon. "Christine Glanville Interview". Supermarionation. Retrieved 18 February 2020. It was during this series that Gerry Anderson devised the method of using automatic lip-sync and two unimportant characters were made to try this out.
  17. Archer, Simon. "Christine Glanville Interview". Supermarionation. Retrieved 18 February 2020. "We considered leather to begin with, but then decided that rubber would be ideal, but we couldn't find any thin enough except the obvious choice: condoms!" Her father was despatched on a shopping spree around the chemists of Maidenhead for a big supply of the vital component.
  18. "The Gerry Anderson Studios". TV Studio History. Retrieved 10 February 2020. Christine Glanville was the chief puppeteer and she sent her father round every chemist's shop in Maidenhead to buy a selection of condoms so that various grades of rubber could be experimented with.
  19. Frattasio, Marc J. "The Hows and Whys of Supermarionation". Supermarionation. The area on the puppet's face below the movable lower lip was cut out to provide clearance for the motion of the lip and this cut out area was filled with a flexible leather used to make fine women's gloves. Originally, rubber condoms were tried for this purpose but they proved to be too fragile!
  20. Archer, Simon. "Christine Glanville Interview". Supermarionation. Retrieved 18 February 2020. The paint would not adhere to the rubber. So, it was back to the drawing board!
  21. "The Gerry Anderson Studios". TV Studio History. Retrieved 10 February 2020. As it happened, a little chamois leather flap was found to work best.
  22. Marcus, Laurence (16 April 2005). "Torchy the Battery Boy". Television Heaven. The sets were also improved by Reg Hill and his assistant, giving the whole series a much more three-dimensional feel.
  23. Hirsch, David (September 1978). "The Magical Techniques of Movie & TV SFX, Part XI: Supermarionation". Starlog. Retrieved 10 February 2020. Cardboard cutouts provided a three-dimensional effect on the sets.
  24. Archer, Simon. "Art Directing the Future". Supermarionation. Retrieved 19 February 2020. There was a further member of the team in the workshop who assisted with the production of many of the sets, which included such detail as trees, bushes and rocks made from coal.
  25. Frattasio, Marc J. "The Hows and Whys of Supermarionation". Supermarionation. Retrieved 19 February 2020. The sets and props build by Derek Meddings for Torchy the Battery Boy were largely made from painted wood and cardboard cut outs just like the items made for The Adventures of Twizzle. However, Derek incorporated a greater degree of sophistication to the set pieces, introducing an entire miniature town with houses shaped like pieces of fruit and interior sets full of realistic miniature furnishings.
  26. "The Gerry Anderson Studios". TV Studio History. Retrieved 10 February 2020. They looked for suitable premises to use as a studio and took out a lease on a wing of Islet Park House – a large, somewhat run-down Victorian gothic mansion on the bank of the Thames in Maidenhead. The house had a ballroom which could be used as a film stage and... a ceiling that was only just high enough and two pillars within it – these had to be incorporated into some of the larger sets.
  27. Hirsch, David (September 1978). "The Magical Techniques of Movie & TV SFX, Part XI: Supermarionation". Starlog. Retrieved 10 February 2020. A.P. Films could not afford to house itself in a proper studio, [so] Anderson and Provis had set up shop in an old mansion in Maidenhead on the banks of the Thames river.
  28. Archer, Simon. "Art Directing the Future". Supermarionation. Retrieved 19 February 2020. The stage was an area of about 20sq. ft. and was spanned by a bridge from which the puppeteers worked.
  29. Hirsch, David (September 1978). "The Magical Techniques of Movie & TV SFX, Part XI: Supermarionation". Starlog. Retrieved 10 February 2020. Lack of space forced them to set up the carpentry shop in the same ballroom they had used for shooting. Whenever the carpenter started up the circular saw to construct a new set, the puppeteers could not hear the dialogue playback. Every time Gerry asked for quiet, the carpenter made it clear that if he didn't continue to work, the next set would not be ready in time for shooting.
  30. Hirsch, David (September 1978). "The Magical Techniques of Movie & TV SFX, Part XI: Supermarionation". Starlog. Retrieved 10 February 2020. "It was a very bad winter that caused the Thames river to burst its banks and Islet Park became an island almost slam bang in the middle of the river. Fortunately, the building had been built upon high footings. The interior of the mansion remained dry, although the building was surrounded by water. Every morning, we had to cross the river to get to work by rowboat.
  31. Archer, Simon. "Art Directing the Future". Supermarionation. Retrieved 19 February 2020.
  32. Chilton, Martin (9 February 2016). "The Beatles were paid only £5 for their first gig at Cavern Club" . Retrieved 17 February 2020. He remembers joking and banter being a big part of the Beatles' routine in those early Cavern days. The band members took the mickey out of each other and sang skits on adverts and children’s programmes such as Torchy the battery boy.
  33. Lewisohn, Mark (2013). The Beatles: All These Years (1st ed.). ISBN   9781101903292. People remember them doing the theme tune of ITV's children's puppet series Torchy, the Battery Boy.
  34. "The Beatles – Torchy, The Battery Boy 3.12 – Jan 3 – 1969 Let It Be Sessions" . Retrieved 17 February 2020 via YouTube.
  35. "Get Back/Let It Be sessions: day two". The Beatles Bible. Retrieved 17 February 2020. The full list of songs recorded on this day, including fragments and off-the-cuff, unpublished songs with presumed titles
  36. Marcus, Laurence (16 April 2005). "Torchy the Battery Boy". Television Heaven. It is believed that ABC aired 'Torchy' in the Midlands and Northern region area before 1960. Its debut may have been Sunday 11 January 1959 from whence it was shown bi-weekly.
  37. Marcus, Laurence (16 April 2005). "Torchy the Battery Boy". Television Heaven. Torchy the Battery Boy didn’t air in London until 23 February 1960. The delay meant that by the time it reached the screens the second series, made by Associated British-Pathe, was ready for transmission, too. As a result, ITV was able to show an unbroken run of 52 episodes, all new to television.
  38. "Torchy the Battery Boy: The Complete First and Second Series" . Retrieved 17 February 2020.
  39. "UK Auctioneers". 21 October 2014. Archived from the original on 10 February 2020. Retrieved 10 February 2020. Chad Valley Torchy the Battery Boy Game: Race to Topsy-Turvy Land. Another Television Game from Chad Valley having a great illustrated playing board and box complete with 4 Torchy Boy stand-up cardboard playing pieces and 1 rocket, numbered spinner, and lettered tiles.
  40. "TORCHY 'THE BATTERY BOY' CHILDREN'S PLAY SUIT ( GERRY ANDERSON) SUPER SCARCE". eBay. Archived from the original on 10 February 2020. Retrieved 10 February 2020. Produced by Raincheque. Here is your chance to own a very rare Torchy Boy play suit with original box and free make yourself puppet.
  41. Novros II, Lester J. "Torchy the Battery Boy Merchandise Guide". Supermarionation. Retrieved 18 February 2020.
  42. "Eight Fantasy Character Pocket Watches". liveauctioneers. Retrieved 18 February 2020.
  43. "Pelham Puppet – Torchy The Battery Boy ABC TV Original Box Very Rare". eBay (archived). Archived from the original on 10 February 2020. Retrieved 10 February 2020.
  44. Burman, Rob (2015). Gerry Anderson Collectibles (1st ed.). ISBN   9781445648736 . Retrieved 17 February 2020. The Pelham Puppets version features Torchy in a little red jacket with green trousers and a simple replica of that famous magic torch that, sadly, doesn't light up.
  45. "Torchy Gift Book, Roberta Leigh, 1962, 1960s children's annuals, gift books, Daily Mirror, television series, battery boy poodle dragon". Etsy. Archived from the original on 24 February 2020. Retrieved 23 February 2020.
  46. "Torchy The Battery Boy Goes to a Party Paperback" . Retrieved 23 February 2020.
  47. "The Gerry Anderson Complete Comic History". Archived from the original on 25 May 2016. Retrieved 23 February 2020. Harold Hare's Own Paper. Related Strips: Torchy the Battery Boy (issues un-numbered, from 20 August 1960 to 12 August 1961)
  48. Stringer, Lew (3 February 2007). "Comic oddities: Wonder – The Esso Comic". Blimey! The Blog of British Comics. Retrieved 21 February 2020. It was published weekly on Fridays, cost 6d (2 and a half pence) carried a number but no date, and was edited by Roberta Leigh, creator of sixties puppet series Space Patrol.
  49. "Comic Oddities: WONDER (1968)". News UK. 17 February 2018. Retrieved 21 February 2020.
  50. "Harold Hare". british comics: comics from the uk. Retrieved 23 February 2020.