BOOK
What Made Thunderbirds Go!

Author: Simon Archer & Marcus Hearn
BBC
RRP 16.99
ISBN 0 561 53481 8
Available now


The life and works of Gerry Anderson are pretty well known but this biography tells the story with a degree of clarity and energy that help to make the book a fresh and interesting read. Moreover, as a document on how yesterday's TV was made, this weighty volume is often fascinating.

However, what the book fails to do is get under the skin of its subject. For example, Gerry talks highly of his business partner Reg Hill and then explains that when his old friend resigned the two never spoke again. Why? And why are there so few references to Sylvia, Gerry ex-wife and creative partner?

The answer to the second question is probably easiest to answer - but there are no details about why the marriage broke down. Are the rumoured infidelities still so hard to talk about? And the reason for Bell's silence may have had something to do with Gerry's reputation for being difficult to work with. Again something that isn't broached in the text.

However, as a straight narrative the book is compelling. We will probably only get the true Gerry Anderson story after his death but in the meantime this will do very nicely. A very solid piece of work.

Anthony Clark

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