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JOHN THEYDON
novels based on Gerry Anderson TV shows


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Stingray

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Armada, London, 1965
(price: 2/6; 160 pages)

The blurb on the back:
You have seen them on television - Troy Tempest, 'Phones', Atlanta, and the bewitching Marina.
You have thrilled to the adventures of Stingray of the World Aquanaut Security Patrol, and shuddered at the villainy of Titan, X2-Zero and the monstrous aquaphibians.
Now for the first time you can read of their exciting adventures, and you will be enthralled!


Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons

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Armada, London, 1967
(price: 2/6; 128 pages)

The blurb on the back:
We the Mysterons will cause havoc with the world's weather!
London ... torrential rain floods the entire city
Florida ... tornado wrecks the state in seconds
North Pole ... Arctica
(sic) is flooded as the ice cap melts
Spectrum goes into action. . And Captain Scarlet is assigned to defend the world against it's
(sic) unnerving enemy ... The Mysterons!
The fate of the world is in the balance. Will Spectrum fail? Or will the Mysterons succeed in their object - Earth's total destruction.


The Secret Service: The VIP

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Armada, London, 1969
(price: 2/6; 128 pages)

The blurb on the back:
Father Unwin gets an urgent message from the 'BISHOP' - British Intelligence Service Headquarters, Operation Priest. His orders are to guard a royal VIP arriving in England on a visit. An unusual job for a clergyman, but Father Unwin is an unusual priest!
Lying in his study is a book which conceals an electronic marvel - the Minimizer. With this machine, Father Unwin can reduce a tall man to a height of two feet at the touch of a button. A handy gadget to have around in times of trouble - and there is plenty of that ahead!


These books date from a time when children were assumed to be interested in reading, before the modern consensus was reached that they are inherently thick and need to be patronized at all times. So instead of the completely brainless merchandising you find around nowadays, you get some perfectly okay novels.

John Theydon (a pseudonym of John W Jennison, who also wrote under the names Gill Hunt and King Lang) could write, and even without a decent storyline available, he spins a halfway decent sci-fi tale for kids.

The most interesting of these is probably The Secret Service since it's so damn obscure. The last of Anderson's animated series in the 1960s, it featured the voice of the divine Stanley Unwin and was much more subdued (and less American) in tone than the likes of Thunderbirds, Stingray and Captain Scarlet.

But all of these are quietly recommended, and the site linked to below is top notch.



Captain ScarletSpectrumCaptain Blue



ARTISTIC MERIT: 3/5
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE:
2/5
HIPNESS QUOTIENT:
3/5


visit an excellent Gerry Anderson website
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