c.1980 - Operation Shockwave

Feature film - scripted by Gerry Anderson

A spy thriller which was never completed due to withdrawal of financial backing as shooting started

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c.1980 - Five Star Five

Feature film scripted by Gerry Anderson and Tony Barwick

Producers: Gerry Anderson / Sidney RoseDirector: John Guillermin

A science fiction film which went into pre-production but was never shot due to lack of finance

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1981 - Super Space Theatre

3 x 93 minute edited combinations

ITC produced three Thunderbird features under this general heading made up from different TV episodes with similar storylines. They were transmitted by U.S. syndicated stations and cable TV companies, eventually being released on video in the mid-eighties by Channel 5 Video.

Thunderbirds To The Rescue ( Trapped In The Sky / Operation Crash Dive )
Thunderbirds In Outer Space ( Sun Probe / Ricochet )
Countdown To Disaster ( Terror In New York City / Atlantic Inferno )

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1983 - Terrahawks

39 x 25 min episodes in 2 series of 26 and 13First transmission Sunday 9th October 1983

Created and produced by Gerry Anderson

Scripted by Gerry Anderson and Tony BarwickExecutive Producer: Christopher Burr

Produced by Anderson Burr pictures in association with London Weekend Television

The year is 2020 and the NASA Martian Expedition base has been destroyed by alien craft which then head towards Earth. Earth protectors - The Terrahawks - led by Dr. Tiger Ninestein and Sergeant Major Zero assisted by his zeroid robots pit their wits against Zelda, Imperial Queen of the planet Guk, a witch-like android who can control the nature of matter.

Produced by the newly-formed Anderson Burr pictures at Bray studios, this was a return to puppetry, but now it was Supermacromation - puppetry without strings. The series also featured another futuristic Rolls-Royce. Called H.U.D.S.O.N., it was chameleon in character.

Index Links Episode Guide Terrahawks at SFXB



c.1984T-Force

A larger, re-vamped version of Thunderbirds which was being planned by Gerry Anderson in association with Steven Begg. It included a change of base with larger, more versatile rescue vehicles and Lady Penelope was to be given a pink Porsche instead of the Rolls Royce. Finance for the project proved to be unobtainable.

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1986 - Space Police (Star Laws)

1 x 52 min pilot episode scripted by Tony Barwick

Produced by Gerry AndersonAssociate Producer: Bob Bell

Anderson Burr Pictures

After 15 years as a New York policeman, Lieutenant Chuck Brogan is appointed to command Space Police precinct 44 East, based aboard a space station orbiting the planet ZarXL5. The crew comprised himself, policewoman Cathy Costello (Catherine Chevalier) and a trio of cat-like aliens known as Tom, Dick and Harry, working for an intergalactic police corps fighting organised crime.

Part live action, part puppetry, this was clearly a forerunner of Space Precinct. In order to be able to travel to the surface of the planet, Cathy had to transform her face into 'Siliconide' - which made her easier to 'puppetise'. The series was never made due to the untimely death of Jim Henson, who had shown an interest in it, and the subsequent lack of backing as the company changed ownership.

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1987 - Dick Spanner

22 x 6 min episodesFirst transmission 3rd May 1987

Directed by Steven Begg and Terry AdlamCreative Supervision by Gerry Anderson

An Anderson Burr production in association with Channel 4

A robot-like wisecracking private detective conducts his investigations in a surreal parallel universe where anything - literally - can and does frequently happen in the most bizarre ways.

Gerry Anderson's first stop-motion animation production which was later re-edited into four 25 minute shows. The Anderson-Burr partnership had, in fact, been dissolved before the production of this show. It was screened on Sunday lunchtimes as part of a programme called Network 7, aimed at teenage viewers and was eventually sold to BSkyB.

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1987 - Royal Bank of Scotland

Producing for The Moving Picture Company on behalf of the Royal Bank of Scotland, Gerry Anderson made this strange advert featuring matchstick-like people. This won the advertising industry's Silver Arrow award.

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1989 - Space Police (Star Laws)

An edited, 25 minute version of the 1986 52 minute pilot episode.

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1990 - Parker's Day Off



Produced and Directed by Gerry Anderson

This was made as an advert for Swinton Insurance. It starred the original puppet model ( pictured ) of Parker ( piloting Thunderbird 2! ) and featured some innovative driving by Lady Penelope in Fab1, both of which were rebuilt for the story.

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1991 - Calling Elvis

Directed by Steve Barron / Gerry Anderson

A four minute music video starring Dire Straits both live and in puppet form a la Thunderbirds, promoting their single 'Calling Elvis'. Gerry Anderson directed the 'Thunderbirds' segment which took twelve weeks to make.
Original Thunderbirds sequences were accompanied by the new footage and live action shots of the band, and featured the M.C. Parker single 'Thunderbirds Are Go' on MTV in a remix of the original series theme tune

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1993 - G.F.I. (Warming Warning)

1 pilot episode x 25 minsExecutive Producers: Gerry Anderson and Adam J.Shaw

Produced by Bob McKieDirected by Phil Littler

Gosh! / Inimitable

Another look at the T-Force idea resulted in its redevelopment as a cell-animated series originally called G-Force but ending up as G.F.I. ( Gee Force Intergalactic ). As a rapid response unit for the United Planets, G Force Intergalactic combats major crime and large scale disasters, operating from Star City, a secret base hidden beneath the surface of an asteroid orbiting the Myson system.

13 episodes were drafted, some into full scripts, but only one episode was made ( Warming Warning ), partly in Moscow. The series was cancelled due to the Russian animation being of comparatively poor quality and reshoot costs proved to be prohibitive.

Index Links

 

1994 - Space Precinct

24 x 45 min episodesFirst transmission 27th May 1995

Produced by Gerry AndersonExecutive Producer: Tom GutteridgeLine Producer: Tom Sachs

Digital effects by The Magic Camera Company

Gerry Anderson productions / Mentorn Films / Grove Television (GTV)

The year is 2040. Human, Creon and Tarn police officers form the staff of precinct 88, keeping law and order in Demeter City on the planet Altor. Lt.Patrick Brogan (Ted Shackleford) and Officer Jackson Haldane (Rob Youngblood) always seem to find the most trouble.

This was the most expensive sci-fi series ever produced in the U.K. Although an obvious evolution of Space Police, the name had to be changed due to a copyright conflict with a Lego toy. Now an all-live action show, all the scenes had to be re-shot, the live scenes being done at Pinewood and digital effects at Shepperton using special machines called Lightworks which allowed much wider editing/cutting possibilities. The financer, Grove Television, only just managed to fulfil its commitment before going into liquidation. Originally aimed at adults, it was eventually screened on BBC2 at 6 p.m.

Index Links Episode Guide



1994 - Thunderbirds U.S.A.

13 x 23 minute edited episodes

ITC announced a live action Thunderbirds movie to be in development, planned for release around Christmas 1995. To pave the way for this, 13 of the original TV episodes were cut down to 23 minutes running time ( 30 minutes including adverts ) and broadcast on the American Fox Kids network as 'Thunderbirds U.S.A.' with new voice-overs and 'up to date' dialogue. The movie failed to materialise as ITC were sold to Polygram in 1995.

Index Links


 

1996 - Lavender Castle

26 x 10 min episodesFirst transmission 7th January 1999

Produced by Gerry AndersonExecutive producers: Craig hemmings and Brian Cosgrove

Line Producer: Chris Bowden

CPI / Gerry Anderson Productions / Cosgrove Hall

The adventures of Captain Thrice and the crew of the starship Paradox while on their quest to find the legendary Lavender Castle - a floating city deep in space supposed to be the greatest source of power in the universe. They must find it before the evil Doctor Agon who intends to destroy it!

Made at Cosgrove Hall using computer digital animation. Stories written by Pauline Fisk and music by rock legend Rick Wakeman.

Index Links Series Guide


 

Now . . . and The Future?

Possible live action versions of the supermarionation shows, starting with Thunderbirds. Liz Hurley as Lady Penelope?? hmmm.......... and, eventually, possibly, the long overdue 'Operation Shockwave'.
Thunderbirds returned to BBC2 for the first time in eight years starting 5th September 2000. It occupies an early evening weekend slot and features the whole 32 episode series which have been digitally re-mastered by Carlton International with full stereo sound and a lot less visible strings. It is, of course, accompanied by a huge new range of merchandise, available for Christmas, consisting of over 100 different items including an upgraded version of the highly successful 'Tracy Island' toy with new sound technology features. In 1997 Working Title films announced another revitalisation of the live action Thunderbird film project with a planned startdate of August 1998. No budget was made available, although it is, apparently, still under consideration. A game release is planned for Playstation 2 in 2001 in which Gerry Anderson and other 'real' people will feature as part of the International Rescue team alongside the regular characters.

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