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back to article Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet creator Gerry Anderson dies at 83

Gerry Anderson, creator of classic children's television shows like Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet and Joe 90, has died at the age of 83. Anderson, in conjunction with his then-wife Sylvia, pioneered the use of puppets that had solenoid motors built into them to move the eyes and mouth – later dubbed supermarionation. The wires …

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I only saw the Captain Scarlet reboot last year but boy, what a nostalgia trip. It was the sort of thing the original Scarlet wanted to be.

Shame the broadcaster cocked it up...

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Anonymous Coward

Captain Scarlet, Joe 90 and the Thunderbirds I saw first time round, Space 1999 watched on Sunday afternoons together with the series (not film) Logan's Run.

Wish I could revisit that innocence as everything today is now is so matter of fact.

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WTF?

CGI Reboot

Never mind the reboot, always wanted the original series completed :(

What happens to me now??

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Pint

I never 'got on' with Thunderbirds

But thought Captain Scarlet was great and did enjoy Space: 1999 & Terrahawks.

*raises a pint (on a string)*

Thanks for making some great tv, Mr Anderson.

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Pint

Re: I never 'got on' with Thunderbirds

I also thought Captain Scarlet was great, probably a little to much :S

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Unhappy

Four Feather Falls, a puppet Western that didn't catch on

Yes it did. There were more episodes of Four Feather Falls than there were of Thunderbirds.

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Re: Yes it did

Yet Thunderbirds has been frequently repeated in various countries right up to the present day, while Four Feather Falls doesn't seem to have been repeated anywhere in over forty years.

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Re: Yes it did

B&W vs colour is an enormous factor in determining what gets repeated though.

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Unhappy

Re: Yes it did

Colour was a pretty bold step in the UK (given the UK did not have a colour TV channel until BB2 launched in 1967 or 8)

Walt Disney did the same early on. It's kept the re-run fees rolling in ever since.

RIP Gerry. You made some terrific TV.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Four Feather Falls, a puppet Western that didn't catch on

I've never heard of this, but its was before my time,

I supose this may because this news hack is a yank, but he mentions the BBC once, but never once a mention that all that work was paid for by ITV under the control of Lew Grade.

Plus where is the UFO series, that was the first show to use actors with the pupetry/models only used for the real SciFy vehicles (plus the real gas turbine car for the main star, later purches by DLT).

There was an excellent documentary a year of two back covering the whole history of the Andersons, and the creation of all these shows. It was part of a 50 year celabration or something, with a bit of luck it will be repeated soon as a tribute to this wonderful story teller.

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Re: Four Feather Falls, a puppet Western that didn't catch on

I was wondering where the references to UFO were - in my mind the best of Gerry Anderson's real-actor series. Far better than the hippy-dippy surreal plotlines of Space:1999 (though the Eagle transporters are one of my favourite Anderson tech creations).

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Go

RIP Gerry Anderson

I probably like many others think that Gerry was one of Britain's great television sci-fi creators, and is amazing that such a programme like Thunderbirds don't date and bring joy to those who could be his grandchildren.

A plaque outside Slough Trading Estate, perhaps?

GO - because Thunderbirds are!

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MJI
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Re: RIP Gerry Anderson

An important part of any 40-50 year olds childhood

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Anonymous Coward

Extend that a bit: I'm 60, and you could probably go a bit further!

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Re: RIP Gerry Anderson

I hum (to myself) the theme from Thunderbirds when opening the roller door at work to take the van out.

The next time it will be a more sombre arrangement.

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Anonymous Coward

Thunderbird one

Immediate Launch

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anything can happen

in the next half hour

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Happy

Re: anything can happen

"in the next half hour"

And almost anything did.

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Left out...

Supercar

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Re: Left out...

And UFO

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Re: Left out...

Was "Z-cars" one of his or was it just from the same era?

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@Thomas 4 Re: Left out...

Z-cars was a police drama series, using real actors (and real cars). It's funny how things melt and run together with the passage of time :)

I remember watching it in black and white, 405 lines. Ah, when I were a lad .........

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Anonymous Coward

Re: using real actors (and real cars)

Z-cars... ok... But Dixon of Dock Green? Surely that was supermarionation?

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Alien

Re: Left out...

"And UFO

About as much like a childrens TV show as South Park-The Movie (released as a U in Spain, because it's a cartoon)

There was but you don't want to find out what it is.

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Unhappy

Re: Left out...

and Space Precinct

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Sim

Re: Left out...

and The Secret Service

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Unhappy

Donald and Walter Tracy

What did they do to get written out of the series?

I think tomorrows DVD fare is decided though...

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Three cheers

The guy was an inspiration to anyone who grew up in the 60`s or 70's

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A truly inspirational guy.

R.I.P.

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Can somebody call the Mysterons please?

Got a little job for them. Hell, they brought back Captain Black, they should be cool with bringing back the creator of their universe.

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Go

And another genius is lost to us.

RIP Gerry Anderson

Thank you for the decades of entertainment you gave all children, from a kid who never quite grew up,

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Re: And another genius is lost to us.

I really really really want to upvote this twice! Is that possible??

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Go

Re: And another genius is lost to us.

Upvoted it again for you :-) Now can someone upvote it again for me?

And I'd extend the 'age of influence' to 80s kids too :).. so far we have everyone from 30 to 70... any advance?

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dum-dum-dum-dum-dum-dum-dum

Captain Scarlet forever

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very talented guy, r.i.p.

I always thought the puppets looked crap, but the modelwork was superb.

I loved the designs of things like the passenger planes in thunderbirds, and the futuristic buildings and vehicles in captain scarlet.

Didnt he do a liveaction series called space cops or something in the mid 90`s? It had roy shneider in it and loads of animatronic aliens.

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Re: very talented guy, r.i.p.

Space Precinct perhaps?

Anyway, RIP Mr Anderson. Who'd have thought two circles of light shone on a wall could be so menacing?

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MJI
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Re: very talented guy, r.i.p.

The puppets were advanced for their time, look at the quality of the Captain Scarlett ones compared to Fireball XL5.

The airliner is Fireflash

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Anonymous Coward

Re: very talented guy, r.i.p.

"I loved the designs of things like the passenger planes in thunderbirds, and the futuristic buildings and vehicles in captain scarlet."

To my mind one of the best industrial designers ever. Even today what sane person doesn't want their own roadworthy SPV?

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Go

Re: very talented guy, r.i.p.

Space 1999 Eagle was probably the best toy I ever had, hardy little thing as well, survived many a crash landing on passing planets.

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Pint

Re: very talented guy, r.i.p.

Ah yes, one of my first memories of Thunderbirds :-) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EOCmI72eRh4

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Captain Scarlet

My childhood was complete watching Capt Scarlet and Thunderbirds.

Strings? What strings?

Thanks Mr Anderson, along with Apollo, you helped make me love all things sciency and spaceage.

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UFO

Launch Interceptors and forever praise his name. RIP, Gerry.

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Caught his work in the USA. A brilliant man, whose shows helped to guide me into Naval Aviation and multiple disciplines in the Sciences. Loved the airborne carriers in Captain Scarlet and the infrastructure of ALL his shows.

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Unhappy

Spectrum is NOT green.

RIP Gerry.

You were an inspiration

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Re: Spectrum is NOT green.

Looking on the bright side, the Legend will live on for many years yet. I can't think of many people of his contemporaries who have left that sort of deeply loved legacy.

Like many others I shall raise a glass to his memory.

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Angel

RIP Gerry

Angel One - Immediate Launch.

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Anonymous Coward

Gerry Anderson is go(ne)

RIP

Also, does having fantasies about Lady Penelope break any of the extreme porn laws because if they do I need locking up.

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L.P. was nothing...

...compared to Marina

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Re: L.P. was nothing...

I always preferred Atlanta.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Gerry Anderson is go(ne)

"fantasies about Lady Penelope"

I can recommend the CGI Captain Scarlet for that sort of thing, with a rather eye catching scene of Destiny heading for the shower.

And personally I thought the CGI CS was very much better than the critics thought - great sound, fabulous vehicles, and good editing. A worthy update in many ways, and a pity it wasn't more successful.

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