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Monday, 21 April 2014

FOUR FEATHER FALLS




One of the first Western TV shows that I remember was Four Feather Falls. It was set in the town of the same name in Kansas, where a daring sheriff called Tex Tucker was the sheriff.

The four feathers that the town was named after were magical feathers given to Tex by a medicine man called Kalamakooya, as a reward when Tex saved his grandson, Makooya who was alone and lost in the desert. When Kalamakooya appears, Tex and Makooya and Tex's horse and dog were all extremely thirsty, so the medicine man caused a waterfall to appear. A town is later built on the spot and Tex becomes the sheriff. Aptly, the town was named after the four feathers and the waterfall.

Four Feather Falls was a puppet show produced by Gerry Anderson for Granada Television in 1960. He would go on to produce other puppet shows like Fireball XL5, Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons and most famously of all Thunderbirds.


Tex was brave, resourceful and utterly honest. He proudly wore the feathers on his hat. Two of the feathers gave his horse Rocky and his dog Dusty the power of speech. The other two caused his guns to swivel in their holsters and fire whenever he was in danger. They could, of course, shoot the guns out of the hands of baddies whenever needed. In keeping with the times and the genre Tex also used to burst into song and had a great voice.


The full introduction

Kids loved the show which was screened every week in black and white. Each episode was a mere thirteen minutes long, but they all had a neat little adventure that provided conflict when Tex either lost or had his feathers stolen. Thus, although he had the magical feathers that made him and his friends, Rocky and Dusty unbeatable, yet he often had to get out of trouble by using his brain or his fists. And of course, Rocky and Dusty contributed their special equine and canine wisdom.

The show ran for thirty-nine episodes  throughout 1960 and attained a cult following among British youngsters. The stories were narrated by the legendary Nicholas Parsons, while Michael Holliday, a popular singer of the day, provided Tex's singing voice. You'll hear him 

Four Feather Falls may have been responsible for instilling a love of Westerns in many British youngsters back in the '60s. The stories have an old world charm about them. Pure nostalgia.


The complete series is available on DVD:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Four-Feather-Falls-Complete-DVD/dp/B001NPKR9A/ref=sr_1_1?s=dvd&ie=UTF8&qid=1398073574&sr=1-1&keywords=four+feather+falls

4 comments:

  1. A whole lot of western cowhands were Scottish! We had a horse named Rocky (a mustang that Dad caught) and a dog named Dusty, too. Interesting reading.

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  2. That's brilliant, Jacquie. So you must have lived in Four Feather Falls! Lucky you.

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  3. I've never heard of it but I like the premise. Not sure I could sit through it now - black and white and puppetry would be a bit too old world for me. :-)

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    1. Ha ha! TV was all black and white back then, Jo. And you could see the strings, but it didn't matter.

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