Saturday, December 29, 2012

R.I.P. Gerry Anderson

Gerry Anderson, creator of iconic sci-fi / fantasy kids fare like Supercar, Stingray, Fireball XL-5,  the wildly popular Thunderbirds and many more, passed away this past Wednesday, December 26. His contribution to Saturday morning children's programming came in the form of cleverly designed puppets using a process he called Supermarionation. It wasn't simply using puppets that endeared him to kids and adults, but his wonderful space and sci-fi set designs and even the scripts which were often grounded in science. In the 1970s he transitioned from marionation to live-actor series with the introduction of U.F.O. and later Space: 1999 which starred Martin Landau and Barbara Bain. Throughout all of this there were numerous merchandising efforts involving a multitude of toys, magazines, comics, books, etc. Numerous knock-offs of original Gerry Anderson teams' designs have appeared over the years, including spoofs of his shows on television. I honestly don't know if he directly inspired any young person to pursue a career in science or engineering or such, but at the very least he entertained people and kept alive the dreams of science and space. He died in his sleep after several years battling dementia.