Mike And Mat's Special Effects Adventure

New book opens the doors on decades of TV magic.

18 June, 2010

For those who don't know Mike Tucker, have you not been watching our DVD documentaries? Through umpteen years at BBC Vis-FX he was part of the team which crashed Starbug again and again again, and made various monsters and weapons drip ooze/fire explosives (delete as applicable).

Well, in between Doctor Who spin-off novels and yet more model-based destruction, Mike has co-written The History of the BBC Visual Effects Department 1954-2003, due out this winter.

Mike And Mat's Special Effects AdventureMike And Mat's Special Effects Adventure

The book is by myself and fellow FX Designer Mat Irvine and will be a history of the BBC Visual Effects Department, from its inception in 1954 to its close in 2003 (though also covering the work done by the BBC Model Unit in 2004/5). Mike told reddwarf.co.uk.

We've split the book into three sections - a history of the department, a section on the various different effects techniques, and an in-depth look at 50 iconic BBC programmes that had a heavy effects involvement. It will be a 240 page hardback, with literally hundreds of photographs and drawings, most of them unpublished before.

Which is all rather nifty. But, this being a Red Dwarf website, you know what we're gonna ask...

With Red Dwarf being one of the department's most high-profile and successful shows, we will, of course, be dealing with it in a significant way, using a lot of the design drawings and photographic material that have formed the backbone of the FX talks at the conventions over the years.


We will also be covering quite a few other SF and fantasy shows - Doctor Who, Blake's 7, The Tripods, Star Cops and Moonbase 3, as well as comedies, dramas, sit-coms and light entertainment shows.

And the release date? We're currently dealing with the finishing touches and hope to have finished copies by November this year. So do we, Mike. So do we.

You can find out more about Mike's effects company at The Model Unit website.

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