Sci-Fi & Fantasy Art, Design, Illustration


Lavender Castle

Lavender Castle - Stop-motion & CGI animated TV show

GERRY ANDERSON MBE
Producer

RODNEY MATTHEWS
Originator of series and all designs

CHRIS TAYLOR
Director

CRAIG HEMMINGS
Executive Producer


Visit the official website:
www.lavendercastle.com

Gerry Anderson The story begins in 1986 when Matthews met film producer Gerry Anderson (Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet, etc.) to discuss the possibility of working together on a children's series. Matthews retired to his studio, later to emerge with a portfolio of images and a synopsis for a comedy space adventure. Anderson liked the idea and images but was at a loss to see how such a detailed and extravagant proposal could be realized given the existing technology and limited budget. However, as the years rolled by, great advances were made with computer-generated imagery that made the series viable, and in 1996 Matthews commenced pre-production drawings. After several false starts, the show was eventually financed by Carrington Productions International, who purchased the copyright. The series combines stop-motion models (made by Mackinnon & Saunders, Manchester) with computer-generated space machines, characters, and backgrounds all based on Matthews designs. The stop-motion animation characters, of which there are fourteen, are on average 17-25cm (7-10in) high and even have professionally made glass eyes. Twenty-six episodes were filmed using direct to hard disk video cameras. This technique made it easy for the animators to see immediate play back of their work. The CG models include The Paradox (a flying thatched cottage), The Cutting Snark (Short Fred Ledd's space galleon), Dr. Agon's Mammoth Machine, and his Dark Station; a highly destructive space battleship.

Click to enlarge The seed of this whole endeavour was an old song that popped into Matthews' mind when he sat down at his drawing board to contemplate the idea of a children's adventure series. It was a song called 'Lavender Castle' dating from 1973, a time known for 'cosmic' or eccentric lyrics. And the lyrics for this particular song happened to be ones that he had written himself when playing in a progressive rock band, for which he was the drummer. The song spoke of a lavender castle and a collection of idiosyncratic adventurers, including John Dory and Lady Forgetmenot, and their quest to find this haven of peace and benevolent power. John Dory eventually missed the boat altogether, while Lady Forgetmenot became known as Lyca on the grounds that this was less of a mouthful. Personally, Matthews still prefers the original name.

The animated series of Lavender Castle also tells the story of a daring band of misfits. Travelling in their homely yet high-tech space ship, the Paradox, their quest is to find the elusive Lavender Castle: a city floating in space, a place of harmony and peace, of purity and power. It is understandable then that the arch villain and megalomaniac Dr. Agon wants to get there first and destroy it - although he has a surprise or two awaiting him...

Of the initial 26 stories, two were written by Matthews, with Pauline Fisk and Chris Trengove contributing stories and scripts; while Gerry Anderson, in addition to producing, wrote the majority of other stories and scripts.

Lavender Castle fulfills a lifelong dream for Matthews of seeing his images move and come to life. He hopes that this series will convey to its young viewers an appreciation of the natural treasures of this world and perhaps others, thus paying back at least some of the pleasure the early Disney films gave to him.

Lavender Castle was shot at Cosgrove Hall Films in Manchester, England.



Click to enlarge


Click to enlarge


Click to enlarge


Click to enlarge




Stop-motion model


Original artwork
CAPTAIN THRICE


Stop-motion model


Original artwork
ISAMBARD


Stop-motion model


Original artwork
SPROGGLE


Stop-motion model


Original artwork
ROGER


Stop-motion model


Original artwork
SIR SQUEEKALOT


Stop-motion model


Original artwork
LYCA


  Stop-motion model


Stop-motion model


 
  Original artwork
DR. AGON
Original artwork
SHORT FRED LEDD
 



 

Lavender Castle TV Show

A video clip of Lavender Castle (an extract from episode 13 - The Galacternet)

Download

8.12MB   512x400   1min 21sec

IMPORTANT - The DivX codec is required to play this video clip!



UPDATE: The complete series of Lavender Castle is now available on DVD!

Click here for details.



Back to top

©2000, 2001 RodneyMatthews.com. All rights reserved. Contact details