Gerry Anderson, who died at Christmas, was a major part of my childhood. As noted science-fiction author Alastair Reynolds said on Twitter, Anderson created a future that seemed believable and lived-in. He filled the loosely-linked universes of Stingray, Thunderbirds and Captain Scarlet with vast engineering projects, all lovingly created in miniature, then frequently blown to bits at the end of the episode. And it was all made in my home town of Slough, in an industrial unit so anonymous nobody is now completely sure which one it was.
It’s remakable how well his 60s work stands the test of time, and has been proved by the number of times it’s been repeated to enthrall new generations. Compare it with the cardboard and plasticene of Dr Who from the same period, for example. And it’s all from an age where children’s TV weren’t just glorified toy marketing campaigns. I don’t think there ever were toys made of half the machines from Thunderbirds.
And we mustn’t forget Barry Gray’s magificent scores, which I’m sure had an effect on my taste in music over the following decades. How many other TV series had incidental music still memorable after 40 years?
So farewell Gerry. You were someone who knew how to capture the imagination of every seven year old.