Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Obit: Gerry Anderson R.I.P.

I've just learned that producer Gerry Anderson, creator of the Space: 1970 television favorites UFO and Space: 1999, has passed away at age 83. Anderson, who also produced the 1969 sci-fi feature, Journey To The Far Side Of The Sun (a/k/a Doppleganger), the TV special, The Day After Tomorrow: Into Infinity, and the 1990's program, Space Precinct, was diagnosed with mixed dementia two years ago, and moved permanently to a care home in October of this year. He leaves behind four children and his widow, Mary.

Of course, in England and elsewhere, he is probably best-known for his "Supermarionation" programs - including Fireball XL-5, Thunderbirds, Supercar, Stingray, Terrahawks and Joe 90 - which combined sophisticated puppetry with extensive miniature effects. Many of these shows aired in the U.S. during the 60s and 70s, but didn't have quite the cultural impact here that they did at home.

Obviously, I am a huge admirer of Anderson's live-action genre efforts. Space: 1999 and UFO are both milestones in the realm of 70s sci-fi, and classics of their kind.

R.I.P. Gerry, and thanks.


  1. I was born in 1970 & Gerry Anderson & his wife Sylvia introduced me to my love of Sci-fi with Space:1999. Thunderbirds, Fireball XL-5 & UFO were also favorites.

    RIP Gerry thank you for sharing your talented & creative passion.


  2. I remember rushing home from school to catch the latest episodes of "Stingray" and Thunderbirds." Maybe he didn't get the popularity in the USA, but he sure did with ME!

  3. I just saw this and came right here to make sure you saw it as well.

    I loved Space:1999. I never saw enough of UFO to love it, but I did enjoy it. Journey to the Far Side of the Sun is still one of my favorite movies.

  4. OMG..

    Rest in Peace, Mr Anderson, sleep well, and thank you for entertaining us all.

    Space:1999 will ALWAYS be 'my show'.

  5. I watched his program beginning with Supercar on WPIX-TV in NYC all the way through to New Captain Scarlet -- which I had to "pirate" via the Net because no one bought it over here. He made a difference in my life. Rest in peace, Gerry. You did great work.

  6. Thunderbirds was a critical influence on me in my childhood - the best show Gerry Anderson ever created. I introduced them to my children, and I hope they in turn will enthral their own children with them. Some of the best TV SF ever made.

  7. Y'know, the original shooting model for Moonbase Alpha was up for sale on the Eagle Builders community blog last year. Only $16,000.

    I WAS SO TEMPTED to tell the wife that I'm gettin' it.

    Ah, divorce..? Sorry, it would have been SO worth it. Imagine the braggin' rights around the world..? I don't recall the exact measurements, but laid out it was like 20x30 feet or something.

    Oh, the pain.

  8. Pardon my language, but...goddamnit. After hearing about the passing of Jack Klugman and of Charles Durning, I find out about this.

    Loved SPACE: 1999, and consider UFO to be one of the best SF shows ever made. And I have a fondness for CAPTAIN SCARLET. Gerry Anderson's contributions to science fiction television will not be forgotten.

  9. R.I.P. Gerry Anderson.

  10. R.I.P. Mr.Anderson,and thank you for all the entertainment over the many years.

  11. What a blow to the entertainment world these past few days.

    As a big fan of both Space: 1999 and Thunderbirds, I hereby raise a glass (OK a mug of tea) in hononr of Mr. Anderson.

    Rest In Peace good sir.

  12. That makes three of the big names of that Star Kid era, all gone. Gene Roddenberry, Irwin Allen and now Gerry Anderson. They were the legends of televised science fiction in that decade, responsible for so many hours spent in front of the TV after school and on weekends. The only "repeat offender" left from our childhoods is Glen Larson.

  13. Very sorry to hear the news. Some of my earliest memories of television are of watching Space:1999, and I have been a huge fan of his shows all through my life. He will be missed.

  14. My introduction to Gerry Anderson came with "Journey To The Far Side Of The Sun" on the big screen. I only saw the Thunderbirds later.
    Many of this ones concepts, sets, and actors were to re-appear in UFO. These British shows had a very different feel than the ones made here in the states.
    I'll raise a glass in toast to Gerry along with Barking Alien and other Star Children of the 70's