Category:Gerry Anderson

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Gerry Anderson

Gerry Anderson

| Supercar | Fireball XL5 | Stingray | Thunderbirds | Captain Scarlet | Joe 90 | UFO | Space 1999‎ |

Gerry Anderson (subsequently joined by his wife, Sylvia Anderson) produced a number of tv series and a few films, in which futuristic technology and vehicles often played a large role. Anderson's initial focus was on children's TV and marionettes (eg the Torchy the Battery Boy puppet series) ... however, Anderson was frustrated with the limitations of marionettes (specifically the difficulty of getting them to "walk" convincingly), and resorted to a variety of methods of avoiding the problem. In "Supercar", the character spent much of their time seated in a flying vehicle with a large clear canopy, allowing the character to act and move around "leglessly". Making a unique vehicle with unique abilities the focus of the plot allowed characters to act and interact and get involved in exciting action seqences while remaining seated or standing. In "Captain Scarlet" a major character would sit behind a large control panel, and move around on a motorised chair, which avoided the dreaded "puppet walk".

1976: Dinky Toys "Designed by Gerry Anderson"


In Thunderbirds, the concept was arguably taken furthest, with each character associated with their own unique vehicle, each of which was emblazoned with a large number, and whose characters arguably eclipsed those of their pilots. This allowed action sequences to take place in which the marionettes were not visible at all! The vehicles effectively became proxies for the human characters, interacting with their environments and with each others via their banks of specialised tools. A scene might involve Thunderbird 1 coming to the rescue of a stricken Thunderbird 2, potentially allowing minutes to go by with no marionettes on-screen, or perhaps showing them seated in their cockpits while the real action went on outside. This emphasis on "the vehicle as the star", with the vehicle's name in the series title rather than the human characters', combined with an investment in brilliant modelmaking and production design, meant that many of the series' highly distinctive and instantly recognisable designs were excellent raw material for toy companies. Having watched the Thunderbirds carry out exciting rescues on Saturday morning TV, kids to could create their own rescue adventures with a toy Thunderbird in their sandpit at home, or the school playground.

The more vehicle-centric series:

The Gerry Anderson series that heavily featured novel vehicles (making them ripe for commercial exploitation via models and toys), were:

During this period, there were also two Thunderbirds movies, and also a stand-alone live action film "Doppelgänger" (a.k.a. "Journey to the far side of the Sun"), in which the production design and model-making wasn't the main focus, making the film less suitable for merchandising.

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This category has the following 7 subcategories, out of 7 total.

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  • UFO(6 F)

Pages in category ‘Gerry Anderson’

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Media in category ‘Gerry Anderson’

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