Lavender Castle (ITV 1999, Jimmy Hibbert, Kate Harbour)

What do you get if you put puppet pioneer and TV legend Gerry Anderson together with the equally legendary children’s TV geniuses Cosgrove Hall – a great slice of scifi fun that combines Anderson’s flair for characterisation with some beautifully lush landscapes created by Cosgrove Hall.

Lavender Castle is the very centre of the universe protected by Captain Thrice and wanted by the evil Dr Agon. Thrice is captain of The Paradox – a gorgeous spaceship that looks like a thatched tudor cottage and his crew all bring their own special talents to the ship, there is Isambard the mechanic; Roger the pilot, ship’s doctor Lyca and Sproggle the somewhat useless navigator – there is also the ships robot Sir Squeakalot.

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A real plus point is the stunning artwork by Rodney Matthews, who back in the day was more noted for prog rock album covers and covers for books by such scifi legends as Michael Moorcock, and indeed the whole series has that sort of 1970’s prog rock meets pastoral flavour.

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In essence it’s a fight against good and evil as Thrice battles against the evil Dr Agon and it’s mix of CGI and stop motion animation hasn’t dated at all, in fact the ruralist design of the Paradox and some of the other ships and buildings means it has sort of a timeless feel.

production details
UK | ITV-Cosgrove Hall-Anderson | 26×10 minutes | 10 minutes | 1999

Writers: Gerry Anderson, Pauline Fisk
Idea: Rodney Matthews
Story: Pauline Fisk
Music: Crispin Merrell
Producer: Gerry Anderson
Director: Chris Taylor

cast
Jimmy Hibbert as Rob Rackstraw as Kate Harbour as

Alastair James is the editor in chief for Memorable TV. He has been involved in media since his university days. Alastair is passionate about television, and some of his favourite shows include Line of Duty, Luther and Traitors. He is always on the lookout for hot new shows, and is always keen to share his knowledge with others.