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Gerry Anderson, Co-Creator of Thunderbirds, Dies

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the rest-in-peace dept.

Sci-Fi 129

jamstar7 writes "According to the BBC, 'Gerry Anderson, the creator of hit TV shows including Thunderbirds, Stingray and Joe 90, has died at the age of 83. He also created Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons and his puppet superheroes fired the imaginations of millions of young viewers in the 1960s and '70s. Thunderbirds, a science-fiction fantasy about a daring rescue squad, ran from 1965 and was his most famous show.' In my opinion, his greatest creation was Space: 1999, an ITV production with practically no budget, which had great shows in the first season. Unfortunately, like so many other Gerry & Sylvia Anderson projects, it ran out of gas in the second season. They did some great stuff." Anderson's son Jamie also has a post in remembrance of his father.

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129 comments

Excuse me (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42398301)

*fart* Oh god, excuse me. I just dropped a gassy Obama in my underwear.

Gerry Anderson (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42398309)

Is GO!!!

Re:Gerry Anderson (2, Funny)

Brett Buck (811747) | about a year ago | (#42398433)

I don't know if he is "Go!" but he is certainly not F.A.B.

Re:Gerry Anderson (2)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about a year ago | (#42401415)

Supercar. Fireball XL5. Stingray. Joe90. UFO.

Man.

Exciting visual stuff, for a 4-9-year-old.

And Barry Gray's theme music for Space:1999. I think I put up with the show, simply for that music.

Space: 1999 was awesome. (4, Insightful)

BitterOak (537666) | about a year ago | (#42398329)

It's amazing to read that Space: 1999 had a small budget. The sets, in the first season in particular, were quite amazing, a big step up from Star Trek in my opinion. (Though the writing and acting in Star Trek were far superior.) But there were some very good episodes of Space: 1999, some of them quite dark. I have them all on DVD and I do still enjoy watching them.

Re:Space: 1999 was awesome. (3, Informative)

trodofor (1002830) | about a year ago | (#42398387)

"no" budget, but wikipedia says that it was the most expensive show produced for British television up until that time: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_1999 [wikipedia.org]

Re:Space: 1999 was awesome. (1)

DrVxD (184537) | about a year ago | (#42399499)

I'm guessing, but I'd imagine a sizeable chunk of that budget was to get Martin Landau and Barbara Bain on board (which was, as I recall, deemed necessary for the lucrative US market).

For me personally, neither of them added much to the show (despite the fact that both are fine actors - Landau especially so); I think the whole thing would have worked better as an ensemble cast without the two "big names".

Re:Space: 1999 was awesome. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42399663)

Our group of high school friends at the time joked "Barbara Bain, the face of concrete.. Martin Landau - the stare that can break concrete"

Re:Space: 1999 was awesome. (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about a year ago | (#42400909)

A review at the time said something like "Barbara Bain maintains exactly the same expression while undergoing massive accelleration".

Re:Space: 1999 was awesome. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42402085)

iirc the series 1 budget was £250,000 per episode. A lot of money in those days, you young whippersnappers. Now get off my lawn!

Anderson has been quoted as saying he hated actors, but apparently he paid all of them well (not just big American stars). I saw an interview with the actor who played Dr Mathias, where he described working on Space 1999 as 'a lucrative 6 months finding different ways of saying 'Yes, Commander" and "No, Commander".'

Re:Space: 1999 was awesome. (2)

symes (835608) | about a year ago | (#42398483)

Completely agree about Space 1999 - and embarrassingly I did not realise GA was behind it. What was nice was a certain air of realism, sci-fi that didn't rely on tricks and alien tech to move the story forward. Good writing with the dues ex machina.

Re:Space: 1999 was awesome. (2)

Dave Emami (237460) | about a year ago | (#42398777)

Completely agree about Space 1999 - and embarrassingly I did not realise GA was behind it. What was nice was a certain air of realism, sci-fi that didn't rely on tricks and alien tech to move the story forward. Good writing with the dues ex machina.

Well, except for the "moon blown out of orbit" underlying premise...

I loved the Eagle ships when I watched the show as a kid, but it wasn't until later that I could put my finger on why: they're believable, workable ships. In fact, they look like bigger, more-advanced versions of the actual lunar lander -- strictly functional. They manage to look cool by not looking like they were designed with the intent of looking cool.

I'm just glad I didn't see the Dragon's Domain episode during the initial run. It would given me nightmares for sure. Hell, I've heard people comment that for them, it still does.

Re:Space: 1999 was awesome. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42399639)

Well, except for the "moon blown out of orbit" underlying premise...

Perhaps Gerry and Sylvia should have called it The Who There, the Moon was always blown out of orbit.

I'm just glad I didn't see the Dragon's Domain episode during the initial run. It would given me nightmares for sure. Hell, I've heard people comment that for them, it still does.

Agreed. How about a parody on the monster from Dragons Domain? It would involve cardboard cutouts, miniatures, invisible thread and and some dude with hefty dreadlocks looking for his fifteen minutes of fame, especially if he has a strong set of falsettos. Don't forget the out-of-focus spinning wheel cover as an overlay.

Consider one's first opportunity to be exposed to classical or neo-classical music from the likes of Tomaso Albinoni to Robert Farnon. I managed to snag myself the soundtrack from year 1 and 2. Let's not forget Derek Wadsworth from Year 2.

This is a lyrical overlay for a track from One Moment of Humanity specifically called "The Strongest Passion".

Let's...run-around...for-a-little-bit! [cue bongos]
Let's...run-around...for-a-little-bit! [more bongos]
Let's...run-around...for-a-little-bit! [yet more bongos]
Let's...run-around...for-a-little-bit! [cue keyboard]
Let's...run-around...for-a-little-bit! [more keyboard]
Let's...run-around...for-a-little-bit! [cue Kenny-G saxophones]
Let's...run-around...for-a-little-bit! [more wailing Kenny-Gsaxophones] .... electric guitars and Kenny-G saxophones while everyone catches breath.

Let's not forget that piece that sounds suspiciously like Gino Vanelli's "Storm at Sun-up"

Re:Space: 1999 was awesome. (0)

1u3hr (530656) | about a year ago | (#42400975)

. What was nice was a certain air of realism, sci-fi that didn't rely on tricks and alien tech to move the story forward. Good writing with the dues ex machina.

Realism? As a teenager and SF fan at the time, I found the stories embarrassingly stupid in almost every respect. The moon wildly flying from one solar system to another each week for no reason at all (except to meet up with the next batch of "aliens of the week") being a major one.

Re:Space: 1999 was awesome. (2)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | about a year ago | (#42401705)

The second season of Space 1999 was definitely as you describe, but the first season was not like that. It was much more serious and realistic. It is just like Lost in Space. The early black and white episodes of that show were ten thousand times better than the later, colour, and campy episodes.

I can just imagine that there was some stupid network executive behind the downfall of both these shows, who thought that science fiction was just for kids and that kids only want to see monsters and aliens. It would be interesting to read an account of the behind the scenes decisions that changed these shows.

Re:Space: 1999 was awesome. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42398691)

I don't know about Space 1999, but I used to watch Stingray, Captain Scarlet and Terrahawks a lot. They were all very impressive, especially Terrahawks.

Re:Space: 1999 was awesome. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42398957)

I loved Brian Johnson's [space1999.net] model work done on series. I was too young to see 2001: A Space Odyssey yet, so I was completely blown away at how authentic looking Moonbase:Alpha and the workhorse Eagle ships looked.

Re:Space: 1999 was awesome. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42399377)

As I recall, the producers at the time bragged that they had a budget higher than Star Trek's.

Re:Space: 1999 was awesome. (1)

Black LED (1957016) | about a year ago | (#42400317)

That isn't saying much. If you watch the interviews and behind the scenes stuff for Star Trek, you'll see that they really didn't have much of a budget and were constantly forced to scrounge stuff out of dumpsters and jury-rig all sorts of set pieces from trash.

Re:Space: 1999 was awesome. (1)

hardburlyboogerman (161244) | about a year ago | (#42400487)

My favorite episode was called "Black Sun" I do believe that was the first use of a Black Hole in any TV Sci-fi series up to then.I know taht after Season 2,the Alphans were left hanging.Not until 2004 when the fan flick"Return To Moonbase Alpha" was the series really concluded

Re:Space: 1999 was awesome. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42400551)

My favorite episode was called "Black Sun" I do believe that was the first use of a Black Hole in any TV Sci-fi series up to then

On Star Trek (TOS), the Enterprise had a close encounter with the intense gravity of a "black star" (not depicted on screen) resulting in the events of the first-season episode "Tomorrow Is Yesterday". That was about a decade before Space: 1999.

Wow... (0)

mcgrew (92797) | about a year ago | (#42398333)

I saw the submission and didn't recognize the name, but I do remember some sci-fi puppetry when I was about 12. I'm sure it's the same guy.

Wow. Been a long time.

My heart is still a fireball (2)

niks42 (768188) | about a year ago | (#42398335)

I'll always remember Gerry and Sylvia Anderson creations with huge fondness. The first program I can remember watching is Fireball XL5, and I've always managed to marry blondes all my life in deference to Venus.

Re:My heart is still a fireball (2)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about a year ago | (#42398403)

I'll always remember Gerry and Sylvia Anderson creations with huge fondness. The first program I can remember watching is Fireball XL5, and I've always managed to marry blondes all my life in deference to Venus.

...and Lady Penelope (voiced by Sylvia) was my puppet fantasy woman when I was 12. Come to think of it, she still is.

Re:My heart is still a fireball (1)

DrVxD (184537) | about a year ago | (#42399543)

..and Lady Penelope (voiced by Sylvia) was my puppet fantasy woman when I was 12

Trivia: Not only did Syliva voice Lady P, she also provided her ankles for the occasional live-action close up.

Come to think of it, she still is

*nods* :)

Re:My heart is still a fireball (2)

Doctor_Jest (688315) | about a year ago | (#42398415)

I was enamored with Space: 1999 when I was a kid (even had the little metal lunar ship too), and I caught up with it again when they were selling the complete series for $20 on Amazon. I know the series hasn't aged well, but I still think it's pretty good knowing they had a shoestring budget. After putting a name with a creation, I bought the "UFO" series (pretty good, for a futuristic show), "Thunderbirds" and "Fireball XL5" (thanks to amazon.com). I look at Mr. Anderson (heh.. no pun intended) as a great visionary creator who made marionettes cool. (and made me want their vehicles and space ships for my own toy collection).

He may not be missed by the current generation, but those of us old enough to remember 3 channel television, he will be greatly missed.

Re:My heart is still a fireball (2)

Vulch (221502) | about a year ago | (#42398539)

He may not be missed by the current generation

In the UK at least there are a lot of Grandads happily watch Thunderbirds with their grandsons, and thanks to some strong female characters quite a few Grandmas and granddaughters tutting about having to watch but enjoying it never the less.

There aren't that many 45 year old series still bear watching.

Re:My heart is still a fireball (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about a year ago | (#42398791)

I caught Space:1999 as a kid, but without knowing that I only ever saw epiodes from season 2. As kids do I got hooked on the ideas of the transport tubes, the pylons in the center of all the room that acted as a video phone, the eagles,etc.

A few years ago I got on a kick of watching Thunderbirds which in turn had me looking up all the Anderson shows. I didn't realize they were related until then and then I finally got to watch season 1.

Space: 1999 is really an odd bird. If you were a little kid you probably liked season 2 better, with that first episode with all the bombast of Brian Blessed and Maya the shapeshifter, but then the adults think season 1 is superior. It has all the better writing, the better plots, and the amazing freaking sets.

I also have to say during that same time I came across Terrahawks. It's a funny series and I don't know if I can prounce it good or bad, but I sure as heck watched every episode. Same with Captain Scarlet and "New" Capatain Scarlet...

Re:My heart is still a fireball (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42399333)

$19,000,000 for both seasons. Those shoestrings can hold tankers secure in a Cat 5 hurricane! Shoe strings...

Re:My heart is still a fireball (1)

mannd (841376) | about a year ago | (#42398955)

Agree on Fireball XL5. Watched it Saturday mornings, loved the opening sequence with the Fireball horizontal rocket-sled-assisted launch, and definitely triggered my lifelong fetish for blonde marionettes.

RIP Gerry Anderson (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42398373)

Let me know when Richard Dean posts

also known for the UFO TV series (2)

Sipper (462582) | about a year ago | (#42398377)

Actually my favorite of Gerry Anderson's work was the TV series UFO https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UFO_(TV_series) [wikipedia.org]
Space 1999 was good when I was a kid, but when I re-watched it as an adult I found it terrible -- the show needed better writing. [A few of the episodes are still good though.]

Re:also known for the UFO TV series (1)

vlm (69642) | about a year ago | (#42398493)

Space 1999 was good when I was a kid, but when I re-watched it as an adult I found it terrible -- the show needed better writing

We could list that kind of series all day. The original battlestar galactica... Buck Rogers... The A team... Frankly the bottom 25% of Star Trek TOS episodes (space hippies? spocks brain?). Seemed like pretty good stuff at the time, but seeing it again via the internet, ugh, I can't believe how much of my life was wasted watching that junk.

Some TV ages pretty well. "World at War" by the BBC, better than any documentary made by the cable networks in the last couple decades. Maybe the best documentary ever made (and yes I am considering the Ken Burns series, although his Civil War might make a good 2nd place).

I might be the only /.er to have ever watched any of I, Claudius. But man what a unhistorical hatchet job to livia (olivia?) or whatever her name was who was portrayed as a mass murderess although no one else historically thinks so (other than a couple conspiracy theory cranks).

Re:also known for the UFO TV series (1)

sconeu (64226) | about a year ago | (#42398517)

I might be the only /.er to have ever watched any of I, Claudius

No, you're not, but unfortunately, I don't remember much of it. But from my class in Roman history (many many MANY moons ago), it was Livia, not Olivia.

Re:also known for the UFO TV series (1)

vlm (69642) | about a year ago | (#42398603)

Yes yes Livia. The conspiracy theory is she was all scheming to kill, well, pretty much everyone except her son. To the point of utter ridiculousness. And the series kinda bought into it, which was a shame, although dramatic. Otherwise a more or less historically accurate show.

Re:also known for the UFO TV series (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42398607)

The I Claudius books were great, never saw the video version (and not just because I saw Caligula in a theater -- I still like Romans.)

I was a big fan of UFO, but some of the plots were so ridiculous they hurt the others and I had to create my own canon. British TV is a stronger dose of fantasy than American. American film can be pretty silly too, but that's mostly about laziness and unwillingness to pay for decent writers.

Re:also known for the UFO TV series (1)

Dadoo (899435) | about a year ago | (#42398703)

Space 1999 was good when I was a kid, but when I re-watched it as an adult I found it terrible -- the show needed better writing

We could list that kind of series all day. The original battlestar galactica... Buck Rogers... The A team...

Yeah, but Battlestar Galactica had some decent episodes, even if some of the stories were stolen from movies. Space: 1999 (and Buck Rogers) redefined bad television. I've been re-watching it on DVDs from Netflix, and I'm up to the episode entitled "One Moment of Humanity". I have to say, it was possibly the worst hour of television ever produced. The "Star Wars Christmas Special" was better.

I'm up to the "Those of you who watched when it originally aired probably remember having nightmares after the "Dragon's Domain" episode (I certainly do), but so far, that's the best one I've seen. "Mission of the Darians" was tolerable, too.

Re:also known for the UFO TV series (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42399073)

You can thank American producer Fred Freiburger, who the Andersons' brought in to make show more appealing to American audiences for schlocky turn the series took in It should be noted Freiburger was brought in as producer on Star Trek's third season which had it share of crap episodes.

Re:also known for the UFO TV series (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42398705)

"Seemed like pretty good stuff at the time, but seeing it again via the internet, ugh, I can't believe how much of my life was wasted watching that junk."

Too bad most Space Nutters don't think that way, they think the sci-fi they read as a kid is an instruction manual for the species.

Re:also known for the UFO TV series (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42398711)

I might be the only /.er to have ever watched any of I, Claudius.

No, you're not alone there, it was required watching in my house back in '76.
Now, I might be the only /.er to admit to watching (and liking) 'The Borgias' (Not the modern crap one, the superior older crap one featuring Adolfo Celli..)

Re:also known for the UFO TV series (2)

The Optimizer (14168) | about a year ago | (#42401051)

When I first watched Space:1999 season 1 in the mid-70s, one of the things they did made a big impression on me: Some of the episodes would end with something like this:

John: What the hell was that and how did we survive?
Victor: I don't know. We don't know. There's a lot of stuff in the universe that we have no idea about, and it could just as easily have killed us all. We survived due to sheer luck and not because we're anything special.

That's paraphrased of course, but compared to the tone and formula/attitude of all the other action and sci-fi on TV in that era, and it was downright subversive.

Re:also known for the UFO TV series (1)

1u3hr (530656) | about a year ago | (#42401419)

I might be the only /.er to have ever watched any of I, Claudius. But man what a unhistorical hatchet job to livia (olivia?) or whatever her name was who was portrayed as a mass murderess although no one else historically thinks so (other than a couple conspiracy theory cranks).

It was pretty popular in Australia. I'll have to give it another look, it was almost 40 years ago I last saw it. All based on the (brilliant) Robert Graves novels. And that in turn based on scurrilous contemporary "histories" by people with axes to grind. Anyway, it was a drama, not a documentary, As well to criticise Shakespeare for historical liberties.

I've been looking at Roman history recently, and it was a pretty extreme and bloody time. Nero, for instance, didn't fiddle while Rome burned, but he did like playing the lyre, and he did have his mother, brothers and sisters and a couple of wives executed or just murdered -- in many cases, because they were plotting the same for him.

Re:also known for the UFO TV series (1)

rm0659 (2318932) | about a year ago | (#42399549)

ufo was excellent & most of the episodes still hold up very well today - most of them were downers, not your typical tv fare.

and i love the silver miniskirt/purple wig "uniform" the women wear on moonbase. :)

Re:also known for the UFO TV series (1)

AtrN (87501) | about a year ago | (#42400005)

I grew up with Gerry Anderson's shows from the early 1960s - I always wanted to be Joe 90 and get things downloaded into my brain (still do) and also think UFO is the best GA show. Dark themes with a cool look (the theme music is great too).

Now back to the point... In the UFO books, yes, there are books, you learn that the purple wigs are in fact anti-static devices! No idea about the miniskirts and knee-high boots though.

Re:also known for the UFO TV series (1)

murdocj (543661) | about a year ago | (#42399849)

I was in college when Space 1999 came out and even at that time, I thought it was awful... horrible acting, bad stories, and a premise that was utterly absurd. I'll have to try to dig up an episode to see if it's as bad as I remember, but I'm really surprised so many people are so nostalgic for it.

It didn't run out of gas (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42398393)

It was Freibergered. That's the same idiot who turned TOS Star Trek into "monster of the week" in the 2nd season.

Don't forget UFO (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42398409)

We were watching UFO episodes on xmas day, found some Space 1999 episodes to watch on YouTube, and threw in a few Thunderbirds episodes as well.

FAB Gerry!

So Captain Scarlet wasn't based on him (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42398457)

Captain Scarlet is indestructible. You are not. Remember this, do not try to imitate him.

Supercar! (1)

drainbramage (588291) | about a year ago | (#42398569)

Wasn't Supercar prior to Fireball et al?
I think it was on in 1961.
Puppets with big heads and a flying car.

Re:Supercar! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42398729)

I allways thought it funny how his 'futuristic' car designs came true, pity he didn't patent the designs.

Legendary TV Shows But Not In USA? (1)

Freshly Exhumed (105597) | about a year ago | (#42398575)

During the 1960s and 70s, distribution of the Anderson shows was common throughout the UK and British Commonwealth countries but unfortunately less so in the U.S.A., sad to say. Today American kids of all ages can see for themselves what all the joy was all about back then. I for one used to run home from school to catch the late afternoon showing of the newest Fireball XL-5 episode on one of the local Canadian TV stations. Stingray was mind-blowing (buildings that lowered underground!) and when Thunderbirds came out (in colour!) I was ecstatic. According to various obituaries in today's British newspapers those Anderson shows have been rerun many times on UK TV and continue to pull in large audiences of all ages. To Gerry, where ever you have gone, a hearty "F-A-B!"

Re:Legendary TV Shows But Not In USA? (1)

sound+vision (884283) | about a year ago | (#42399799)

Yeah, when I read the title I thought this would be about a Mozilla developer. Then I read the summary and I didn't recognize a single one of the names or series mentioned. Then I was like "Wtf, there's sci-fi puppet shows?"

Re:Legendary TV Shows But Not In USA? (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about a year ago | (#42400131)

I watched Thundrbirds in the US as a kid, though reruns have been very scarce since then. And I wasn't even in a big market area.

Re:Legendary TV Shows But Not In USA? (1)

Brett Buck (811747) | about a year ago | (#42400911)

Thunderbirds was *extremely* popular in the US. It was on every afternoon for a long time. It was one of my favorites as a kid - when I see the old ITC logo/bump hear the music, I still get a bit of a jump, because it immediately preceded Thunderbirds. If it came on right now, I would watch it.

The others, not so much. Fireball XL-5 and Captain Scarlet were pretty well-known and UFO was pretty obscure.

    Space:1999 was well known although most people thought it was garbage and some of the episodes were just embarrassing from start to finish - a few examples:

they go through a field that "de-evolves" some of them to cavemen, and it also "devolves" their CLOTHES. I even called that one as it happened "don't make their clothes change, too!" and yet it happened anyway.

  one had some aliens make an atmosphere on the Moon (so they would stay up there, and not land on the planet until they were out of range), and we found that they built Moonbase Alpha with WINDOWS THAT OPEN, and that the staff *brought beach toys and bikinis*. On a trip to the moon.

Don't forget "UFO" (1)

SpaceGhost (23971) | about a year ago | (#42398577)

Just as good in many ways as "Space:1999" (which I also loved) was his 1969 series "UFO", which combined live action with some of the sci-fi puppetry from the Thunderbirds. It was dark and foreboding, centered on a secret government agency in an active war against recurring alien incursions, and you had the feeling that "we" were just at the edge of losing. It included an AI satellite which spoke with an English accent and a moonbase "manned" by women in purple hair and short skirts, one of the very few silly parts of an otherwise very serious drama. It seems to have influenced MIB in more ways than one; one of the secret organizations' special tools was a spray that took away ones recent memories, used on witnesses after debriefing, a tool re-incarnated as the "flashy-thing".
Gerry was quite the visionary, and certainly influenced this old slashdotter.

Re:Don't forget "UFO" (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about a year ago | (#42398839)

There wasn't puppets in UFO, was there? I know he did that, but I thought UFO was a full live action series.

And there was some story explaination for the blue wigs on the moon station... but I don't remember it ever actually being brought up in the series.

Re:Don't forget "UFO" (1)

DrVxD (184537) | about a year ago | (#42399629)

There wasn't puppets in UFO, was there?

No puppetry, but a considerable amount of model work (for vehicles, moonbase, etc). Naturally, Anderson's team had a considerable amount of experience in that field from the earlier marionette series - as a result of which, UFO stands up extremely well to other shows of a similar age.

Re:Don't forget "UFO" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42402107)

The wigs were spun from stainless steel, made as a stunt by long-defunct British Steel.

Re:Don't forget "UFO" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42398841)

That should have been reserved for a more adult time slot. In the early 1970's on Saturday mornings, I remember WCBS TV broadcasting a station ident using the still-frame from the series with a voice over "UFO at Seven".

When I was young, there were two clips on TV that sent me behind the sofa. One was the end shot in the Star Trek TOS favoring a humanoid face with cat eyes. The other was the end credits of UFO between after the sun entered frame from the left toward the end when a spherical asteroid entered frame from the right with the music reaching crescendo. Let's not forget the ITC "Sine & Spine" logo with the bubbling creepy ending to the music.

Re:Don't forget "UFO" (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about a year ago | (#42399011)

Today that loud ITC logo is often associated with the fact that The Muppet Show is coming on, but I assoicated it with Space 1999. It wasn't until the late 80s that I saw the logo without thinking that Space: 1999 was coming on (and then being disapointed by a Muppet Show rerun).

Re:Don't forget "UFO" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42399231)

Gigadittos! Same thing happened here. Year 1979, WCBS TV Channel Two New York, ITC Space Diamonds and the timpani and brass ensemble jingle, getting ready for a third season, fade out...WTF? Jaw crashed through the floor boards and cracked the concrete in the basement after seeing "The Muppet Show" title card. However, the ITC logo used in UFO was an earlier generation with the "world map and orb triplication" intro. The "Space Diamonds" began with the distribution of Space:1999.

And another genius dies. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42398581)

It is such a shame that the childrens programming spewed out nowadays if throwaway trash. I am pretty sure that none of the shows crapped out of the bowels of the current TV will ever achieve the level of fandom that Gerry Anderson's shows did.

Well, that's sad news (1)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | about a year ago | (#42398627)

I can only hope that at his funeral, the coffin is transported by some absurdly elaborate system of conveyor belts, slides, elevators, and so forth.

Re:Well, that's sad news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42398771)

I can only hope that at his funeral, the coffin is transported by some absurdly elaborate system of conveyor belts, slides, elevators, and so forth.

I heard that his coffin will get lowered by obvious strings. *ducks*

Re:Well, that's sad news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42399069)

Complete with heavy-duty stepper motor and pneumatic sounds played at half-speed----"KGRRRRRRRRRRRR-OHWWWWUUWWUUWWUUWWWUU-PFFFFFFFFFFFF..." and forget the speed up and pneumatic breaking sounds of the Travel Tube...all to the Derek Wadsworth soundtrack of the Swift departing from Planet D (prescient of Titan, anyone) in "Brian the Brain".

"...and nooooooo monkey tricks or you know what you'll find when you come BA-ACK!"

My childhood would have been much different (1)

stox (131684) | about a year ago | (#42398667)

had it not been for Gerry and Sylvia's work. They inspired the imagination!

Fireball XL5 & The Thunderbirds (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42398717)

I have many fond memories of both Fireball XL5 and The Thunderbirds. My condolences go out to his family.

GA & ITC: TV worth watching (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42398735)

Yesterday, Lord Lew Grade (Lev Winogradsky) would have been 106. He was the one who financed GA for many years via ITC. Which for us, that means International Television Cult.

I am not ashamed to be one of Gerry's Kids.

Psychedelic (1)

DrEasy (559739) | about a year ago | (#42398833)

All I can remember from Space: 1999 was all the psychedelic colors. The crew would inevitably land on some kind of orange/green/yellow planet with some tall flowers, some kerfuffle would ensue, and guns would make people vanish, problem solved and end of the episode. Fun stuff.

Re:Psychedelic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42399115)

There was an article in Starlog Magazine in 1977 about using those stiff rainbow colored plastic balls for planets. It also mentioned the necessity of removing the price tags, lest one call the series "Space: $1.49".

A note on the weird coloration of the planets in Space: 1999. A few years later, the shots from Voyager showed Io and Europa. That could have been used in the opening shot in Year Two. How about the Huygens lander and the Planet D shot from "Brian the Brain"? I could have imagined Gerry saying "See, I told you so..." complete with finger wagging.

Captain Scarlet and Space: 1999 were the best (2)

rklrkl (554527) | about a year ago | (#42399015)

I have many of the Gerry Anderson DVD box sets and I think the best two series he did were Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons (easily the best puppet show he did - way better than Thunderbirds) and Space: 1999 (OK, you have to ignore most of Season 2 of that, but it did have Catherine Schell as eye candy to compensate).

He didn't do too well with Space Precinct (Gary Ewing as a non-drunk cop? :-) ) and the CGI version of Captain Scarlet was awful (and even stole a whole episode from another sci-fi series!), but at least he tried to keep the UK sci-fi light alive when we've all had in recent years is the truly cringeful Primeval, a less than stellar return of Red Dwarf and the highly variable Doctor Who reboot.

He made being a geek cool in the 70's (1)

goblank (466519) | about a year ago | (#42399031)

Many of Gerry Anderson's TV shows were about the ascendency of the well prepared geek over the muscle bound jock. Joe 90, Captain Scarlett, Thunderbirds, Stingray and Fireball XL5 were hard favorites through most of my childhood. (Doctor Who of course being the other show that celebrated the thinking hero). While geek culture has become much more mainstream, I think that the Gerry Anderson brand of action never found a serious parallel after his shows went off the air. Ryker's (sic) version of Thunderbirds was sad - it was great to see the ships come to life with CGI; but none of the old "feel" of the shows carried over.

Terrahawks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42399135)

Nobody ever seems to mention Terrahawks? I can't be the only one to have watched it, surely?

Re:Terrahawks (1)

RubberDogBone (851604) | about a year ago | (#42401195)

Hardly the only one. I watched as much as I could when it was on in my city, which was not very often. The local station tended to sell that slot to anyone who wanted to run a 30-min ad for something and only ran Terrahawks when they hadn't otherwise sold the time to someone.

To this day, the name Zelda brings to mind nothing to do with Nintendo but instead the scary homicidal alien puppet. It was at least a unique concept for a villain not to mention Ninestein's clones. Not many shows get away with killing off the hero.

Anyway, I suspect the show is not mentioned more because GA is supposed to have said he'd wished it had never been made and at least wanted to forget it existed. It was not one of his favorites for some reason.

For fun, wander around Youtube and check out the Terrahawks Kate Kestrel live action music videos and also the Terrahawks Japanese theme songs. The Japanese open song is rather nice in my opinion. Hated by Fandersons for not being canon but honestly I don't need my fun stamped and approved.

Actual explosions and fire (1)

myowntrueself (607117) | about a year ago | (#42399139)

re-watching Gerry Anderson shows proves to me that actual explosions and fire are a LOT more entertaining than computer graphics.
Theres a feeling of realism in watching it; your brain KNOWS that this is a real object and this is real smoke etc. Modern CG just isn't the same.

Also imagine how much more fun it was to work on! Actually building models and then blowing them up.

Re:Actual explosions and fire (1)

RubberDogBone (851604) | about a year ago | (#42401201)

The genius of Derek Meddings, among other people.

The man was incredible with models. It is enough to watch those scenes alone to see what he came up with.

Aw (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42399661)

He was one of my heros. Thank you.

Sad that a man died, yet HAPPY that he will never. (1)

landofcleve (1959610) | about a year ago | (#42399811)

Spill any of his 'creative' juices on long suffering audiences again.

Re:Sad that a man died, yet HAPPY that he will nev (1)

Brett Buck (811747) | about a year ago | (#42401285)

If only TVs had a way to change what you see, or be turned off.

Re:Sad that a man died, yet HAPPY that he will nev (1)

landofcleve (1959610) | about a year ago | (#42401983)

I've seen things on the interwebitudes that I wish I could burn from my memory, yet I would live with those memories longer than the ones I have of watching even the few moments of 'Thunderbirds' I have been tragically exposed to.

What no mention of UFO? (1)

Phrogman (80473) | about a year ago | (#42399931)

The best series of its kind IMHO.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UFO_(TV_series) [wikipedia.org]

It was awesome, particularly the Moon girls in their miniskirts (I was a young teen after all)

Re:What no mention of UFO? (1)

Brett Buck (811747) | about a year ago | (#42400977)

Purple hair, too. That Colonel Lake was one of the most attractive ladies on TV at the time, as far as I am concerned.

        It was a lot like a live-action version of "Captain Scarlett" and really creepy. They kidnapped people for *spare parts* and breath that green liquid.

     

Re:What no mention of UFO? (2)

mykepredko (40154) | about a year ago | (#42401875)

I would put in a vote for Lt. Ellis over Col. Lake.

I would agree that it was Anderson's best show.

myke

My first experience (1)

SylvesterTheCat (321686) | about a year ago | (#42400327)

I remember I was at my Officer Basic Course at Fort Sill in 1991. I was in my room one night watching cable tv and one of his shows came on, Captain Scarlet, maybe.

My first reaction was that it was incredibly juvenile and poor quality with the obvious puppet strings, etc. Of course, I had no idea who Anderson was and assumed that what I was watching was a current production. I did a little research and realized who he was and what I was seeing.

I realized just how amazing it is that so much creativity can be wrung out of a medium which has fairly severe inherent limitations, at least when compared to live actors or animation.

Re:My first experience (1)

Brett Buck (811747) | about a year ago | (#42400967)

My first reaction was that it was incredibly juvenile and poor quality with the obvious puppet strings, etc. Of course, I had no idea who Anderson was and assumed that what I was watching was a current production. I did a little research and realized who he was and what I was seeing.

I realized just how amazing it is that so much creativity can be wrung out of a medium which has fairly severe inherent limitations, at least when compared to live actors or animation.

      Needless to say, you were not the target audience. But as you say, a lot of creativity and they made good use of what they had. The Supermarionation process was actually quite technically advanced. The mouth movements were electro-mechanically synched with the sound. The heads on the early puppets were so large because the necessary solenoids and electronics were big. Later, with Captain Scarlett, they were able to shrink it down to anatomically accurate dimensions. But it lost something - it's like hand-drawn cartoons VS the God-awful computer animation. The first one you know is fake and you get past it, the second is in the "uncanny valley" - not quite real but not quite fake enough.

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Thank you for my childhood (1)

mykepredko (40154) | about a year ago | (#42401861)

Sad to hear Gerry. Anderson died.

Stingray, Thunderbirds and Captain Scarlet were my favourite shows as a young child. (Although I would say only "The Thunderbirds" had any kind of staying power now that I look back at them as an "adult").

When they came out, I never missed an episode of UFO and Space 1999 (although Space 1999 started out strong but didn't really have the chops to go the distance). If you get the chance, watch a few episodes of "UFO" - many of them are quite good and have aged reasonably well (despite being stuck in 1970).

My favourite quote about him came from Matt Stone and Trey Parker, after "Team America" said that Gerry Anderson must be insane, because of all the problems they had with the puppets in the movie.

A great legacy and I know many people who remember fondly growing up with his creations.

Thank you,

myke

dear gerry (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42401927)

for dragons domain, thank you
for ufo thank you
just thank you actually !

michael

UFO Movie (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42402109)

Hopefully the UFO movie [ufo-themovie.com] will be released this summer.

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