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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Unhappy

Re: Gerry Anderson is go(ne)

"does having fantasies about Lady Penelope break any of the extreme porn laws "

It does.

In fact even Marina breaks the cartoon porn law.

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Happy

Re: Gerry Anderson is go(ne)

"does having fantasies about Lady Penelope break any of the extreme porn laws "

It depends.....

Did you find the sex scene in team america erotic?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: L.P. was nothing...

Agreed

Looking back, I'm sure many men now realise that Marina is the ultimate fantasy girl... after all, what man hasn't dreamt of a woman who doesn't speak and never has to come up for air?

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Anonymous Coward

Terrahawks

He did Terrahawks too?

I loved that show!

RIP Gerry, thank you

(We need an RIP icon...)

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Unhappy

Wimper

Joe 90........NHS glasses... OhGodOhGodOhGod

I thought I had left those memories behind

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Anonymous Coward

Joe 90

I thought that he was currently in charge of Sunderland FC.

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Unhappy

"Ready, Venus?"

"OK, Steve."

"Right. Let's go!"

Fireball XL-5 was the *best* show in the universe! (At least to my seven-year-old eyes back in 1962.) But I was convinced that "supermarionation" had something to do with cooking (because, you know, "marination"...).

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Silver badge

2nd generation

My father had watched the Thunderbirds and during my teens we watched several episodes together. It was ok, but very dated from a 80s perspective so to say. Now I'm just happy that I got my dose of Thunderbirds.

But speaking of marionettes and such; does the name "Star Fleet" ring any bells? And no; this has nothing to do with Star Trek (this series was around way before that), this is all about X-Bomber; the space ship constructed in secret on moon base and the last line of defence between Earth and the alien invaders of the Imperial Alliance.

A puppet series which ran for approx. 25 episodes, obviously inspired by series such as Thunderbirds.

So yeah; the legacy which was left us maybe even greater than you imagine!

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Rob

Re: 2nd generation

If that's the one where the ships combined into a huge robot, then yes I do, I still have a puzzle of the ship and the alien ship. The only reason I kept it was I was worried I would forget it. That, Thunderbirds, Joe 90, Captain Scarlet, Terrahawks etc all set me on a path for being a sci-fi addict.

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Re: 2nd generation

Brian May (and friends, including Eddie van Halen) did an EP based around Star Fleet.

I feel sorry for the generation that only had Power Rangers and missed out on Anderson's creations and the shows they inspired.

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Gold badge

Re: 2nd generation

"And no; this has nothing to do with Star Trek (this series was around way before that),"

It does, but no, the original Star Trek dates from the early 1960's, Star Fleet dates from roughly the mid 80's. I always thought it was inspired by the Transformers figures around then but anyone in that area would have found it hard to miss the impact of one (or other) of his series.

IIRC Star Fleets creator was also behind The Equalizer (not sure if before or after).

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Thumb Up

Re: 2nd generation

"does the name "Star Fleet" ring any bells? "

With spacefaring pirates, complete with galleon shaped space cruisers with masts and cannon.

They even fired off broadsides at each other, absolute class.

Loved that show as a kid, it looks quite ropey now though.

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Joke

Re: 2nd generation

"does the name "Star Fleet" ring any bells? "

No, but the name Quasimodo does

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F.A.B. S.I.G. R.I.P.

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Boffin

If you want to know where the models came from...

...then this web site will give you a hint...

http://www.madmalc.screaming.net/1960.htm

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Happy

Inspirational sci-fi

....and let's not forget Lt.Ellis played by the lovely Gabrielle Drake.

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Anonymous Coward

Of their time

Lady Penelope and Parker always remind me of Peter O'Donnell's Modesty Blaise and Willie Garvin. They are contemporary creations - a consequence of the 1960s' zeitgeist?

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MJI
Silver badge

So many iconic designs

Eagle Transporter

FAB 1

Thunderbirds 1 -5

Mole

Crablogger

Stingray

Fireball XL5

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Re: So many iconic designs

SHADO Interceptor

SHADO Modile Unit

SPV, MSV, & SPC

God I wanted those toys so much.

I did have an Angel Interceptor Airfix model

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Bronze badge

Re: So many iconic designs

I still have a scar where the fin on the Dinky SPC sliced my foot open ...

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Re: So many iconic designs

I was always partial to that big aircraft (Fireflash I think) which was shown in multiple episodes. I saw the one where it had to land on the moving platforms (the pilot episode I think) and was hooked from then on.

Such a cool design with it's drop wings, although I doubt it would be able to fly in real life!

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Bronze badge

Re: So many iconic designs

A rubber-band driven Stingray was my favourite bath toy. I also had Thunderbirds 1 2 3 4 which I think came as snap-together kits.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: So many iconic designs

I had the SHADO Mobile Unit as a kid, but my favourite model was always the SkyDiver.

PS: While checking my memories/spelling using google I found someone on amazon trying to flog this for £286!

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Product-Enterprise-SKY-1-UFO-Skydiver/dp/B000G3LRSA

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Anonymous Coward

Homage

After complaining about the bland content of my video library my young godson gave me a list of his top 20 DVDs - mostly of action movies.

That "Team America: World Police" was obviously a homage to Thunderbirds surprised me. The pr0n scene caused much mirth. It reminded me of that 1970s homage to the 1930s "Flash Gordon" - replete with smoking firework spaceships and incongruous settings. The title "Flesh Gordon" neatly conveyed the plausibility of it being the director's cut rescuing scenes previously left on the cutting room floor.

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Silver badge

Re: Homage

"obviously a homage to Thunderbirds"

I think paying homage involves respect. There's been a lot of Gerry Andersen ideas that have resurfaced in a number of Hollywood movies of late, invariably handled poorly.

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Silver badge

Re: Homage

I think paying homage involves respect.

I think TA:WP displayed as much respect toward Andersen's work as Parker and Stone[1] are capable of. And whatever you might think of the story, it was a substantial technical achievement - there were clearly a lot of people who cared about their craft working on it. They could have taken the cheaper and easier route of simply doing the whole thing in CGI with a marionette look.

[1] I don't know about Brady; I've never seen an interview with her, for example, while I have caught a few with Parker & Stone over the years.

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5-4-3-2-1 Thunderbirds are gone!

I have so many happy memories of Joe 90, Stingray, Captain Scarlet, Thunderbirds and Space 1999 from my childhood on Saturday mornings.

5-4-3-2-1 Thunderbirds are gone! :(

RIP

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UFO sadness,

Sadly, the sururving cast are gettng smaller and smaller.

Delores Mantez (Lt. Barry) also passed away this year.

Up there with Cmdr Straker,Col. Foster,and Col. Freeman

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Bronze badge

Re: UFO sadness,

It seems about the only one left is Benedict Cumberbatch's mum.

One of the most entertaining characters from UFO is the sinister doctor played by Vladek Sheybal as the foreign accented Dr "Jackson"

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Big Brother

Re: UFO sadness,

"One of the most entertaining characters from UFO is the sinister doctor played by Vladek Sheybal as the foreign accented Dr "Jackson""

You can kind of guess where he got his degree (although what its in is a bit hazy).

The last doctor you'd ever want to visit.

Not of course that you'd remember afterward....

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Anonymous Coward

The Tribute Joke (pretend to be ten again before reading)

Parker! Take off my coat!

--- yes, m'lady.

Parker! Take off my blouse!

--- yes, m'lady.

Parker! Take off my skirt!

--- yes, m'lady.

Parker! Take off my bra!

--- yes, m'lady.

Parker! Take off my knickers!

--- yes, m'lady.

And, Paker!

--- yes, m'lady?

I don't want to catch you wearing them again.

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Re: The Tribute Joke (pretend to be ten again before reading)

Pass the mindbleach....

Was going so well until the last line

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The name lives on

Virgin Trains' Class 57 rescue locomotives (for rescuing failed Pendolini) are nicknamed "Thunderbirds".

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Bronze badge
Coat

surely Japan...

Is the supermario nation.

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Go

Re: surely Japan...

Well done Captain. And @Walt Leipold:

"Fireball XL-5 was the *best* show in the universe!" --- Surely that.

Finally, on Team America... what, no takers yet?!! Sigh, all right then, for you Gerry...

"I'm so lonely..."

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Bronze badge
Unhappy

Big loss for UK Sci-Fi.

Even now the spaceship and aircraft model designs hold their own with the best CGI can offer.

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What, no mention of Dick Spanner? It used to be shown as part of Network 7 (remember that?) on Channel 4. Very surreal and plenty of sight gags in the background.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dick_Spanner,_P.I.

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Rob

Thankyou

I had almost forgotten about that series, used to watch it when I got home from the pub along with all the other late night channel 4 Friday stuff before waking up at 3am thinking I really must get to bed.

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Anonymous Coward

> What, no mention of Dick Spanner?

I managed to find a "totally legitimate" Dick Spanner DVD on eBay several years back which turned out to be better than the chopped around official release. I don't think "surreal and plently of sight gags" quite covers the brutal and sustained pun assault that this show delivers.

You should be able to find it lurking around on youtube; it's very much worth looking up.

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Angel

Angel Interceptors

Am I on my own if I admit that I have, err I mean had, a crush on the angel interceptors pilots?

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And between Stretchy arms and Thunderbirds was...

Torchy! Torchy the battery boy.

My rich uncle bought us a (black and white, of course) TV in 1962, so I was plugged into children's programming every day after school. But, of course, Captain Scarlet was the best - Thunderbirds was too slow and Stingray too scary (can't remember why) and Joe 90 I never watched - no technology.

Strings - there weren't any, were there? Maybe they're not visible with 405 lines.

but thank you Gerry Anderson for enriching my life and giving a window to new futures.

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Gold badge
Pint

And so another part of many peoples childhoods disappers

RIP Gerry.

And for Captain Scarlet fan S.I.R.

I'm off to raise a pint, but I'm not happy.

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Thumb Down

All wonderful stuff

But a bit of a downvote for El Reg for even mentioning the risible 2004 Thunderbirds movie (directed by Jonathan Frakes of STNG no less) in the same article!

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RIP Gerry

And don't forget my childhood favourite SUPERCAR.

Fire one... Fire two...........

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Four Feather Falls

Sorry can't agree with the statement Four Feather Falls didn't catch on. It was hugely popular amongst all the kids at school. They were all talking about the programme next day. I think what you should have said was it didn't catch on with marketing of toys and other franchises for extracting money from parents.

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Happy

Ah yes...

and then there's the spoof version by Pete and Dud which I saw for the very first time this vey day... <sigh>

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=OmvrFg-EhmI

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JB
Happy

Another one here who caught Thunderbirds in the 80s, usually a Sunday lunchtime on ITV. It was the modernist total faith in technology and its consequent fatal flaws that always intrigued me - monorails that couldn't stop, people getting trapped in hermetically sealed underground car parks, that sort of thing. How much less exciting the plots would have been if there had been adequate health and safety legislation in 2065!

I always admired Gerry Anderson's faith in his projects, but somehow felt a little sorry for the way fashions in kids' telly had moved on and left Gerry behind. Not to detract from his many achievements though - his work will most definitely live on for many years to come!

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SAD!!!

I remember growing up in the US watching the usual American CRAP they put on TV for kids. Then we got cable TV and got channels that showed Fireball XL5, Stingray, Thunderbirds, U.F.O. etc.. changed my life.

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DJ

And now for something completely different...

Thunderbirds + Mark Knopfler = http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QUnsH6vr5yA

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Happy

Since when is a electromagnetic solenoid called a 'motor'?

Let's try to be a tiny bit more technically accurate lads?

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