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  'Thunderbirds' creator Gerry Anderson (1929-2012)

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Author Topic:   'Thunderbirds' creator Gerry Anderson (1929-2012)
Hart Sastrowardoyo

Posts: 2123
From: Toms River, NJ,USA
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 12-26-2012 12:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Associated Press reports Gerry Anderson has died.
Gerry Anderson, puppetry pioneer and British creator of the sci-fi hit “Thunderbirds” TV show, has died. He was 83.

Anderson’s son Jamie said his father died peacefully in his sleep on Wednesday at a nursing home near Oxfordshire, England, after being diagnosed with mixed dementia two years ago.

His condition had worsened dramatically over the past six months, his son said.

Anderson’s television career launched in the 1950s. Once “Thunderbirds” aired in the 1960s, “Thunderbirds are go!” became a catchphrase for generations. It also introduced the use of “supermarionation” — a puppetry technique using thin wires to control marionettes — and made sci-fi mainstream, according to Jamie Anderson.

The Thunderbirds depicted astronaut Jeff Tracy and his five sons, all named after Mercury astronauts: Scott; Virgil (after Grissom); Alan; Gordon; and John.

Jay Chladek

Posts: 2211
From: Bellevue, NE, USA
Registered: Aug 2007

posted 12-26-2012 01:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Gerry Anderson was the creator of many very popular (super)marionette puppet shows such as Supercar, Fireball XL-5, Stingray, Thunderbirds and Captain Scarlet. But he and his Century 21 studio also made the jump to live action actors with the movie "Journey to the Far Side of the Sun" (aka Doppelganger) and used it to springboard the creation of the live action SF shows UFO and Space:1999.

While he has undoubtedly influenced a whole generation of Brits, such was the popularity of his production company's products that it also inspired many around the world (including several people who work in the space program today). In my own case, Space 1999 was the first show of his that I saw as a child and it struck a major chord with me in wanting to explore space (I saw the other shows when my family got cable in the early 1980s). The creations from Anderson's model guys (such as Meddings and Johnston) also influenced my push into doing science fiction and real space models.

Thank you Gerry for the visual trips you took us on. Maybe they were short on stories sometimes (made up for by A LOT of explosions), but they provided some excellent inspirational eye candy.


Posts: 1394
From: Guyton, GA
Registered: Jan 2006

posted 12-26-2012 01:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GACspaceguy   Click Here to Email GACspaceguy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I must have fashioned dozens of Fireball XL5 spacecraft out of paper tubes and cardboard fins as a child. Fireball XL5 was as much a part of my development into an Aerospace Engineer as the real space program was.



Posts: 630
From: Norfolk, VA
Registered: May 2007

posted 12-26-2012 02:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for NavySpaceFan   Click Here to Email NavySpaceFan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was a big fan of his live action shows. I had a U.F.O. lunch box when I was 6, and the Mattel Space:1999 Eagle. RIP, sir.


Posts: 200
From: London, UK
Registered: Jul 2009

posted 12-26-2012 02:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for minipci     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
UFO was always my favorite Anderson show. Just loved that the Colonel Alec Freeman character (George Sewell) was a hard drinker.

RIP Gerry.

Rick Mulheirn

Posts: 2457
From: England
Registered: Feb 2001

posted 12-26-2012 02:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Mulheirn   Click Here to Email Rick Mulheirn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thunderbirds did it for me!. RIP Gerry.


Posts: 2024
From: Belfast, United Kingdom
Registered: Feb 2002

posted 12-26-2012 05:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This is sad news to end a year of sad news. Another part of my childhood has passed away.

Like other space enthusiasts, I grew up with amazing TV shows like "Fireball XL5" and "Thunderbirds" while real astronauts and cosmonauts were beginning the exploration of space. They were exciting times.

Almost 48 years after "Thunderbirds" first burst onto our TV screens, it remains a much-loved TV icon. Now, the creation has outlived the creator.

Thank you, Gerry, for exciting and entertaining generations of children of all ages. Thunderbirds are STILL go!


Posts: 183
From: Albany, Oregon USA
Registered: Jul 2006

posted 12-26-2012 06:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mach3valkyrie   Click Here to Email mach3valkyrie     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Fireball XL5, Supercar and Thunderbirds are the ones I grew up with. Fantastic! R.I.P.


Posts: 4046
From: Geneva, Switzerland
Registered: May 2006

posted 12-27-2012 01:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I remember some episodes of Thunderbirds but TV was not as "watchable" as it is today ("go play outside!" was the motto back then!) But it was an impressive show.



Rusty B

Posts: 239
From: Sacramento, CA
Registered: Oct 2004

posted 12-27-2012 01:56 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rusty B   Click Here to Email Rusty B     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote


Posts: 1490
From: U.K.
Registered: Jul 2009

posted 12-27-2012 06:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for moorouge   Click Here to Email moorouge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Now we'll never know for certain what 'FAB' stood for. Perhaps "Funderbirds Are Best".

RIP Gerry.


Posts: 130
From: St Helens, Merseyside, England
Registered: Oct 2004

posted 12-27-2012 10:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for rjb1elec   Click Here to Email rjb1elec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote


Posts: 231
From: Northampton UK
Registered: Nov 2009

posted 12-27-2012 11:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kite     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote


Posts: 145
From: belleville, IL USA
Registered: Jun 2011

posted 12-27-2012 02:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for bwhite1976   Click Here to Email bwhite1976     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote


posted 12-27-2012 03:44 PM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
How many times as a kid did I think I was indestructable like Captain Scarlett!! SIG Gerry - RIP


Posts: 296
From: Cleveland, OH USA
Registered: Aug 2006

posted 12-27-2012 08:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for space4u   Click Here to Email space4u     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wish I still had my Fireball XL-5 lunch box. I loved that show and Col. Steve Zodiac.

Rob Joyner

Posts: 1292
From: GA, USA
Registered: Jan 2004

posted 12-27-2012 11:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rob Joyner   Click Here to Email Rob Joyner     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
One of the best theme songs ever!


Supercar! Supercar!
With beauty and grace,
as swift as can be,
watch it flying through the air.
It travels in space
or under the sea,
and it can journey anywhere.

Supercar! Supercar!
It travels on land
or roams the skies
through a heavens stormy rage.
It's Mercury-manned
and everyone cries,
"It's the marvel of the age!"

Supercar! Supercar! Supercar!!


Posts: 2024
From: Belfast, United Kingdom
Registered: Feb 2002

posted 12-28-2012 04:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Anyone wanting to hear a link between the science fiction future of Gerry Anderson and the real world of space exploration in the 1960s should play the "Spider" episode of "From the Earth to the Moon." The catchy opening song ("I wish I was a spaceman, the fastest guy alive....") was the end-title song in "Fireball XL5", the puppet show that gave us the orbiting mothership/separate landing vehicle concept before Apollo did it for real.

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