Gerry Anderson


Sci-Fi Online : Do you have any plans to make more TV shows?

Gerry Anderson : At the time of replying I am together with my business partner John Needham creating a new supermarionation type series which will shortly go into production and be made in CGI. In addition we are negotiating to remake Captain Scarlet and last but not least a feature film entitled Eternity.

SFO: But are you going to make anymore Thunderbirds?

GA: With the advent of CGI I'm looking forward to making a new series totally on computers so that while the characters will look exactly the same they will be able to behave like real people. The bad news is that this won't happen for a few years yet.

I know the fans will like this new method of production because about a year ago I made a brand new five minute test sequence of Captain Scarlet. I've shown it a great many times and everybody loves it.

SFO: UFO has always been popular - any chance that the show might return?

GA: Recently we had an approach from a German gentleman who wants to finance either a pilot for a new series or possibly a feature film.

Watch this space. If a new show is made, I can assure you it will feature my old friend Ed Bishop.

SFO: How did the idea for Thunderbirds come about?

GA: Just before we had to create a new TV series which turned out to be Thunderbirds there was a dreadful mine disaster in Germany and it took two weeks to get the surviving miners to the surface. I avidly listened to the news and when there was a successful outcome, it triggered the idea for International Rescue later to be called Thunderbirds.

SFO: What does FAB mean?

GA: In the 60s the buzz word was fabulous and this became shortened to fab. When I was writing the first episode a pilot had to talk to ground control and when he received his instructions, the pilot replied "Roger" meaning message received and understood. I remember thinking as Thunderbirds was set in the future "Roger" would probably not be in use at that time so I substituted it with fab but that didn't sound very good. So I changed it to F A B - a new codeword meaning message received and understood.

SFO: Which series out of all your shows is your favourite?

GA: It is a difficult question to answer. I was very proud of Captain Scarlet, UFO and Space 1999 but I suppose at the end of the day the only answer I can give you is Thunderbirds.

SFO: Who is your favourite Thunderbird character?

GA: Undoubtedly Parker. He was sculpted by a very famous puppeteer John Blundell. When I first saw his face I was so impressed that I thought we really must give him a wonderful voice.

It just so happened that I used to lunch at a restaurant where the waiter was very proud of the fact that he worked for 'er Majesty in Windsor Castle. He used to drop his Hs then put them back in the wrong place. I just loved his patter and sent David Graham the voice artist who was to play the part of Parker to the restaurant every day so that he could emulate the way he spoke.

Yes, Parker is definitely my favourite.

SFO: Thank you for your time.

Anthony Clark

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