Gerry Anderson FAQ

The Gerry Anderson Frequently Asked Questions List


Compiled By Kimberly Murphy

(kimberly.murphy@acenet.com)

Here are the answers to some of the more frequently asked questions by Gerry Anderson fans in print and on internet. I have attempted to compile a reasonably complete first primer for the new Anderson fan as well as a list of interesting trivia points for long-time Anderson devotees. Comments, corrections, additions, etc., are welcome.

Please address all correspondence to Kimberly Murphy:

e-mail:		kimberly.murphy@acenet.com
snail mail:	9740-E Covered Wagon Drive
		Laurel, Maryland 20723-1512 USA

  1. Who is Gerry Anderson?
  2. What shows has he produced?
  3. Have any of them been on networks in the U.S.?
  4. Which of the Anderson shows is the most popular?
  5. Why was THUNDERBIRDS cut to a half-hour for its 1994 run on FOX?
  6. I remember lots of video movies based on Anderson shows. Were these new films?
  7. What is Supermarionation?
  8. The puppets look different between THUNDERBIRDS and CAPTAIN
  9. SCARLET AND THE MYSTERONS. What happened?
  10. What does "F.A.B." stand for?
  11. What other commonly-used acronyms are there in Anderson productions?
  12. Is it true that STINGRAY's Marina the Mermaid was modeled after Sylvia Anderson?
  13. Sylvia Anderson suddenly stopped appearing in the credits of SPACE:1999. What happened?
  14. Captain Scarlet's voice sounds just like Cary Grant. Intentional?
  15. I thought I heard the voice of FIREBALL XL5's Steve Zodiac coming out of the World President's mouth in CAPTAIN SCARLET. Did I?
  16. Wasn't Patrick McGoohan supposed to be in CAPTAIN SCARLET?
  17. Wasn't CAPTAIN SCARLET recently called a "racist" show?
  18. Commander Straker in UFO looks and sounds an awful lot like Captain Blue in CAPTAIN SCARLET. Coincidence?
  19. What's the deal with the purple wigs in UFO?
  20. Wasn't the puppet for JOE 90's Sam Loover in another Anderson production?
  21. Has Gerry Anderson ever done a voice for a character in his own shows?
  22. Which Anderson show had the most episodes?
  23. Which Anderson regular has done the most with him?
  24. Didn't Gene Roddenberry produce the second season of SPACE:1999?
  25. Why does the second season of SPACE:1999 look so different from the first?
  26. Didn't I see THUNDERBIRDS on MTV a few years back?
  27. Those writers' names in the TERRAHAWKS credits look made up. Are they?
  28. I thought I saw a pilot for SPACE PRECINCT with a different cast. What happened?
  29. Are there any official sources of information (books, etc.) on Anderson productions?
  30. Are there any fan clubs out there?
  31. What kind of Anderson fan fiction is available?
  32. How do I meet other Anderson fans on internet?

1. Who is Gerry Anderson?


2. What shows has he produced?


THE ADVENTURES OF TWIZZLE
     Children's show based on British screenwriter Roberta
     Leigh's short stories; first production for APFilms

TORCHY THE BATTERY BOY
     Bigger-budget effort, also based on Leigh's stories

FOUR FEATHER FALLS
     Children's western about a lawman with four magical
     feathers in his hat

CROSSROADS TO CRIME
     An young policeman stumbles across a gang of hijackers
     operating out of a local cafe and goes on an independent
     investigation to infiltrate their ranks and foil their
     plans to hijack 20,000 of nickel alloy ingots; only
     feature-film production of APFilms; first Anderson live-
     action production

SUPERCAR
     Mike Mercury tests Professor Popkiss' and Dr. Beaker's
     experimental vehicle; start of the Supermarionation era;
     first production for ITV

FIREBALL XL5
     Colonel Steve Zodiac and a French doctor named Venus lead
     the forces of the World Space Patrol at Space City
     against invading aliens; first Anderson series to appear
     on a U.S. network (NBC)

STINGRAY
     Captain Troy Tempest helms the World Aquanaut Security
     Patrol's finest vessel against the undersea tyrant Titan;
     first series shot in color for ITV

THUNDERBIRDS
     The five Tracy brothers, their cook's daughter Tintin, a
     scientist named Brains, a ex-safecracker-turned-chauffeur
     named Parker, and socialite spy Lady Penelope Creighton-
     Ward make up International Rescue, an elite mercy
     organization; first hour-long Anderson series; most
     popular Anderson show worldwide; Century 21 Productions
     produced two feature films, THUNDERBIRDS ARE GO and
     THUNDERBIRD 6; reworked into half-hour format for FOX in
     1994

CAPTAIN SCARLET AND THE MYSTERONS
     "One man fate has made indestructible" leads Spectrum, a
     world security force, in their war of nerves against the
     Mysterons from Mars; first Anderson show with
     proportionately-scaled marionettes; first television
     production by Century 21 Productions

DOPPLEGANGER (a.k.a. JOURNEY TO THE FAR SIDE OF THE SUN)
     Feature-length film about two astronauts who discover a
     mirror-image Earth; first live-action feature film from
     Century 21 Productions; many actors and props reappeared
     in UFO

JOE 90
     Nine-year-old Joe McClaine is the World Intelligence
     Network's top spy, thanks to the Brain Impulse
     Galvanascope Record And Transfer machine that transfers
     brain waves and knowledge patterns through a pair of
     glasses; character-based series rather than technology-
     based

THE SECRET SERVICE
     Father Stanley Unwin and his gardener Matthew are an
     unlikely spy team for British Intelligence Service
     Headquarters--Operation Priest, thanks to the Minimizer,
     a device that shrinks objects and people; only Anderson
     production set in the present day (1969); first to
     combine live action and puppetry, substituting a full-
     body double for Father Unwin in motion sequences

UFO
     Former Air Force Colonel-turned-studio executive Ed
     Straker leads the super-secret Supreme Headquarters Alien
     Defence Organisation, headquartered beneath England's
     Harlington-Straker Studios; first live-action show; last
     production for Century 21 Productions

THE PROTECTORS
     Harry Rule, Contessa diContini, and Paul Buchet are the
     movers and shakers behind an elite private security and
     investigative agency; first production by Group 3
     Productions; second live-action show; most episodes of
     any Anderson production

THE INVESTIGATOR
     An alien investigator shrinks two humans to miniature
     size to prevent the defiling of significant artifacts in
     this unsold pilot; combination of live-action and
     puppetry; puppets resurfaced in a Jif commercial, the
     last Supermarionation production

SPACE:1999
     Commander John Koenig must keep 311 colonists together as
     their base on the moon hurtles through the galaxy after
     an atomic waste explosion on the dark side of the moon;
     third live-action show; last joint production of Gerry
     and Sylvia Anderson; second season produced by STAR
     TREK's Fred Freiberger

THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW (a.k.a. INTO INFINITY)
     NBC SPECIAL TREAT episode, about two spacefaring families
     who are en route to Alpha Centauri; intended as a pilot
     but not picked up; shot between seasons of SPACE:1999 and
     costarred three SPACE:1999 players; narrated by Ed Bishop
     (UFO's Ed Straker)

TERRAHAWKS
     Dr. Tiger Ninestein leads an elite planetary defense
     force headquarted in a secret base in South America;
     first Anderson series without Sylvia Anderson's
     involvement; first puppet show using the Supermacromation
     technique; all but three episodes solely written by
     Anderson regular Tony Barwick

DICK SPANNER P.I.
     Mild-mannered robot private detective Dick Spanner
     wisecracks his way through impossible-to-follow sight-
     gag-filled plots; series of shorts for Channel 4's
     NETWORK SEVEN series, later condensed into two hour-long
     shows for Channel 4; characters animated by stop-action
     animation puppetry rather than Supermarionation or
     Supermacromation

SPACE PRECINCT
     New York Police Department Lt. Patrick Brogan is assigned
     to the "space precinct" of Demeter City in the year 2040;
     fourth live-action series; most recent Anderson
     production, now running in U.S. syndication

3. Have any of them been on networks in the U.S.?

4. Which of the Anderson shows is the most popular?

5. Why was THUNDERBIRDS cut to a half-hour for its 1994 run on FOX?

6. I remember seeing lots of movies at the video store based on Anderson shows. Were these new films?

7. What is Supermarionation?

8. The puppets look different between THUNDERBIRDS and CAPTAIN SCARLET AND THE MYSTERONS. What happened?

9. What does "F.A.B." stand for?

10. What other commonly-used acronyms are there in Anderson productions?

A by-no-means-complete list appears below:

10-0 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Negative (TERRAHAWKS)
10-10. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Roger (TERRAHAWKS)
10-50. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Immediate Launch (TERRAHAWKS)
BIGRAT
 . . . . . . . . . .Brain Impulse Galvanascope Record And Transfer (JOE 90)
BISHOP
 . . . . . . . .British Intelligence Service Headquarters--Operation Priest
 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (THE SECRET SERVICE)
FBV. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Full Boost Vertical (SUPERCAR)
IR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .International Rescue (THUNDERBIRDS)
MEV
 . . . . . . . . . . . . .Martian Exploration Vehicle (THUNDERBIRDS ARE GO)
MSB
 . . . . . . .Maximum Security Building (CAPTAIN SCARLET AND THE MYSTERONS)
MSV
 . . . . . . . Maximum Security Vehicle (CAPTAIN SCARLET AND THE MYSTERONS)
PWOR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Proceeding With Orders Received (STINGRAY)
SHADO
 . . . . . . . . . . .Supreme Headquarters Alien Defence Organisation (UFO)
SIG. . . . . . . . . .Spectrum Is Green (CAPTAIN SCARLET AND THE MYSTERONS)
SIR. . . . . . . . . . .Spectrum Is Red (CAPTAIN SCARLET AND THE MYSTERONS)
SPV
 . . . . . . . Spectrum Pursuit Vehicle (CAPTAIN SCARLET AND THE MYSTERONS)
WASP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .World Aquanaut Security Patrol (STINGRAY)
WIN. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .World Intelligence Network (JOE 90)
WSP. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .World Space Patrol (FIREBALL XL5)


11. Is it true that STINGRAY's Marina the Mermaid was modeled after Sylvia Anderson?

12. Sylvia Anderson suddenly stopped appearing in the credits of SPACE:1999. What happened?

13. Captain Scarlet's voice sounds just like Cary Grant. Intentional?

14. I thought I heard the voice of FIREBALL XL5's Steve Zodiac coming out of the World President's mouth in CAPTAIN SCARLET. Did I?

15. Wasn't THE PRISONER's Patrick McGoohan supposed to be in CAPTAIN SCARLET?

16. Wasn't CAPTAIN SCARLET recently called a "racist" show?

17. Commander Straker in UFO looks and sounds an awful lot like Captain Blue in CAPTAIN SCARLET. Coincidence?

18. What's the deal with the purple wigs in UFO?

19. Wasn't the puppet for JOE 90's Sam Loover in another Anderson production?

20. Has Gerry Anderson ever done a voice for a character in his own shows?

21. Which Anderson show had the most episodes?

22. Which Anderson regular has done the most with him?

23. Didn't Gene Roddenberry produce the second season of SPACE:1999?

24. Why does the second season of SPACE:1999 look so different from the first?

25. Didn't I see THUNDERBIRDS on MTV a few years back?

26. Those writers' names in the TERRAHAWKS credits look made up. Are they?

27. I thought I saw a pilot for SPACE PRECINCT with a different cast. What happened?

28. Are there any official sources of information (books, etc.) on Anderson productions?

29. Are there any fan clubs out there?

30. What kind of Anderson fan fiction is available?

31. How do I meet other Anderson fans on internet?