Gerry Anderson and Supermarionation were an integral part of my childhood and a great influence upon me. His shows were always a source of great wonder, not only for their innovative special effects but because of their engaging characters. I think this is why Thunderbirds is possibly the most beloved of all his works. It is a very optimistic vision of the future with its central themes of self sacrifice and family. It is ironic that for a man who really didn’t want to make puppet shows and desperately wanted to establish himself a a live action director, that his body of works boasts so many timeless characters that are still accessible today. Something that has alluded so many other film makers.
I’m sure over the next few days we shall see tributes coming from every quarter of the film and TV industry, because so many people have been touched by his work. Virtually everyone in the UK special effects business has worked or been involved with one of his productions in some capacity. Gerry Anderson was a innovator and one of his great skills was finding and nurturing talent. His partnerships with the likes of composer Barry Gray and effects genius Derek Meddings are testament to this. He also was very honest in the treatment of his material, regardless of its target audience. His shows although primarily aimed at children had a great deal of emotional content and morality. He never shied away from violence or the darker themes.
Because the futuristic settings and faux technology that permeated so many of Gerry’s shows, a generation of children grew up with a passion for science and gadgetry. You only have to look at some of the celebrities who are currently paying their respects to see the scope of his influence. For me personally, it was through Gerry Anderson’s work that I discovered the wider world of fandom. Subsequently because of that camaraderie and shared interest, I started blogging. Although it is very sad to see the passing of a talent such as Gerry Anderson, he has left behind a truly great legacy and a body of work that cannot be equalled. So as a tribute why not settle down and watch an episode of Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet or UFO and raise a glass to the late great Gerry Anderson. We’ll not see his like again.