The Lost Worlds Of Gerry Anderson
String theory and beyond
Release Date: OUT NOW! 1955- 1992 | 12 | DVD Creator: Gerry Anderson Cast: Shane Rimmer, Brian Blessed, Nick Tate, Nicholas Parsons, Ed Bishop, Peter Dyneley
Gerry Anderson’s legacy is unassailable. Thunderbirds, Stingray. Captain Scarlet. Gems of Brit telly, exploding with imagination and charm, his muse on fire. But what lurks beneath this quality threshold? What’s rattling around in Gerry Anderson’s bottom drawer?
This two- disc set gathers oddments and rarities from the string king ’s career, some strange, some weak, all fairly fascinating. There are a couple of starchy curios: post- war magazine show You’ve Never Seen This marks Anderson’s directorial debut, while Blue Skies Ahead finds Nicholas Parsons in his tweedy ’ 50s pomp, extolling the virtues of Majorca in chilly black and white.
1973’ s The Investigator is infinitely more interesting to Anderson fans. A misfiring pilot mixing puppets and live action, it’s a weirdly forlorn thing, its young heroes reduced to marionettes by a glowing “voice from the future”, the better to fight crime. They don’t seem to have had much say in this. After trundling around Malta in a tiny, eight- wheeled car they perch on cliffs, looking rather sad. It’s existentially peculiar even by Anderson’s standards.
The Day After Tomorrow is a mid-’ 70s blast into a black hole, Interstellar by way of Open University, while Space Police is a clunky, synth- drenched early pass at Space Precinct, its animatronic aliens preserving a final slice of puppet show charm.
An unscreened episode of Dick Spanner PI rounds it all off. Anderson’s into Plasticine now, and while the animation has a wonky, “Sledgehammer” video charm, its crass, laddish gags and dodgy racial caricatures feel beneath him. It’s clear that his muse has gone. Maybe she was called Sylvia after all. Extras: Here Comes Kandy, a kids’ puppet show pilot from 1956; Blue Cars: Martians, an SF- themed live- action commercial; a collection of original film elements for Space Police, including test footage; photo galleries.
In the late ’ 70s Gerry Anderson created Thunderbirds- styled ads for Jif Dessert Toppings. They’re not included here, sadly.
Failed pilot The Investigator – not the new Top Gear presenters.