Gerry Anderson, R.I.P.

by Armand Vaquer


The creator of television shows Supercar, Fireball XL5, Thunderbirds, Space: 1999 and others has died. 

The Los Angeles Times reports:
Gerry Anderson, the British creator of the TV series “Thunderbirds” renowned for his original and influential use of marionettes on TV, has died following a lengthy battle with mixed dementia. He was 83. 
Anderson’s adult son Jamie made the announcement, according to the Associated Press. He said that his father died peacefully in his sleep on Wednesday at a nursing home in Oxfordshire, England.
Above, Fireball XL5 on launcher.
Anderson was known for his marionette puppetry technique that used ultra-thin wires.  I first saw this in the Supercar series in the early 1960s and then in Fireball XL5 (Anderson's then-wife Sylvia was the voice of Venus in the series), which was one of my favorite shows when it aired locally in 1963.

 

 About six years ago, I attended a retrospective on Anderson's career at the American Cinemateque that was held at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood.  A number of his shows, including Fireball XL5, were shown.  Although I hadn't seen the show since its run, all of its themes and characters were very familiar to me as if they were seen just days before. I now have a complete box set of Fireball XL5 episodes.

 For the full story, go here.

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