Five, four, three, two, one. Thunderbirds are go! It was produced between 1964 and 1966 using a form of electronic marionette puppetry. Thunderbirds follows the exploits of the Tracy family, headed by American ex-astronaut Jeff Tracy. Jeff is a widower with five adult sons: Scott, John, Virgil, Gordon and Alan. They lived on Tracy Island. Other characters included Brains, Lady Penelope and her chauffeur Parker. There were five aircraft: Thunderbird 1: a hypersonic rocket plane used for fast response and disaster zone reconnaissance. Piloted by Scott, IR's rescue co-ordinator. Thunderbird 2: a supersonic carrier aircraft that transports rescue vehicles and equipment in detachable capsules called "pods". Piloted by Virgil. Thunderbird 3: a single-stage-to-orbit spacecraft. Piloted alternately by Alan and John, with Scott as co-pilot. Thunderbird 4: a utility submersible. Piloted by Gordon and usually launched from Thunderbird 2. Thunderbird 5: a space station that relays distress calls from around the world. Manned alternately by "space monitors" John and Alan Everyone had a favourite - mine was Thunderbird 4 - the submarine
Before Star Wars, Aliens or the Avengers movies was TV legend Gerry Anderson whose puppet heroes - yes you could see the strings - were are the centre of programmes ranging from Joe 90 to Terrahawks.
His real action shows included UFO and Space 1999.
The series was the first to use an early version of Anderson's Supermarionation puppetry. Thirty-nine 13-minute episodes were produced, broadcast by Granada from February until November 1960. The setting is the late 19th-century fictional Kansas town of Four Feather Falls, where the hero of the series, Tex Tucker, is a sheriff. The four feathers of the title refers to four magical feathers given to Tex by the Indian chief Kalamakooya as a reward for saving his grandson: two of the feathers allowed Tex's guns to swivel and fire without being touched whenever he was in danger, whilst the other two conferred the power of speech on Tex's horse and dog. Nicholas Parsons was the voice of Tex
Captain Scarlet presents the hostilities between Earth and a race of Martians known as the Mysterons. After human astronauts attack their city on Mars due to a misunderstanding, the vengeful Mysterons declare war on Earth In the first episode, Scarlet acquires the Mysteron healing factor of "retro-metabolism" and is thereafter considered to be virtually "indestructible", being able to recover fully from injuries that would normally be fatal. Scarlet's headquarters Cloudbase defended by the Angels, a squadron of five female pilots code-named Destiny (squadron leader), Harmony, Melody, Rhapsody, and Symphony, who fly the Angel Interceptor fighter aircraft
Set in the 2060s, the series follows the exploits of the World Aquanaut Security Patrol (WASP), a military organisation responsible for policing the Earth's oceans. The WASP's top vessel is Stingray, a combat submarine piloted by the daring Captain Troy Tempest, aided by his loyal navigator, Lieutenant "Phones", and Marina, a mute young woman from under the sea.
This followed the missions of spaceship Fireball XL5, commanded by Colonel Steve Zodiac of the World Space Patrol. The crew included glamorous Doctor Venus, a doctor of space medicine; middle-aged navigator and engineer Professor Matthew Matic and co-pilot Robert, a transparent, anthropomorphic robot who would most often proclaim ON-OUR-WAY-HOME. Robert was the only main character in an Anderson series which was actually voiced by Anderson
The series that follows the adventures of a nine-year-old boy, Joe McClaine, who starts a double life as a schoolchild-turned-superspy after his scientist father invents a device capable of duplicating expert knowledge and experience and transferring it to a human brain.
The series was about the ongoing covert efforts of a government defence organisation to prevent an alien invasion of Earth. Earth is being visited by aliens from a dying planet, who are abducting humans and harvesting their organs for their own bodies. The alien incursions may also be a prelude to a possible full-scale invasion. The series' main cast of characters are the staff of a secret, high-technology international military agency called SHADO (an acronym for Supreme Headquarters, Alien Defence Organisation) established to defend Earth and humanity against the mysterious aliens and learn more about them, while at the same time keeping the threat of an alien invasion hidden from the public. The cast included Ed Bishop, George Sewell and Gabrielle Drake
The plot of the show consisted of Supercar, a vertical takeoff and landing craft invented by Prof Rudolph Popkiss and Dr Horatio Beaker, and piloted by Mike Mercury. On land it rode on a cushion of air rather than wheels. Jets in the rear allowed it to fly like a jet and retractable wings were incorporated in the back of the car.
Made in the 1980s. Set in the year 2020, the series follows the adventures of the Terrahawks, a taskforce responsible for protecting Earth from invasion by a group of extraterrestrial androids and aliens led by Zelda. Like Anderson's previous puppet series, futuristic vehicles and technology featured prominently in each episode.
The series was created by Gerry Anderson and was a mix of science fiction and police procedural that combined elements of many of Anderson's previous series such as Space: 1999, UFO and Thunderbirds, but with an added dash of Law & Order and Dragnet
The series follows the adventures of Father Stanley Unwin, a character both voiced by and resembling the real-life comedian of the same name. Outwardly the parish priest of a rural English village, Unwin is in fact a secret agent for BISHOP, a covert branch of British Intelligence that counters criminal and terrorist threats from abroad
The Protectors was first broadcast in 1972 and 1973, and ran to 52 episodes over two series, each 25 minutes longmaking it one of the last series of this type to be produced in a half-hour format. It starred Robert Vaughn (of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. fame) as Harry Rule, Nyree Dawn Porter (co-star of The Forsyte Saga) as the Contessa Caroline di Contini, and Tony Anholt (later to star in Space: 1999 and Howards' Way) as Paul Buchet. Episodes often featured prominent guest actors. Three inexplicably affluent international private detectives/troubleshooters are charged with ensuring the protection of innocents. They belong to an organisation called The Protectors, based in Londo
In the opening episode, set in the year 1999, nuclear waste stored on the Moon's far side explodes, knocking the Moon out of orbit and sending it, as well as the 311 inhabitants of Moonbase Alpha, hurtling uncontrollably into space. There were two series made of the series with cast changes by the second series. Out was Professor Bergman played by The Zoo Gang's Barry Morse and in was Catherine Schell, a shape-changer named Maya, and Tony Anholt as her love interest. Then husband and wife Martin Landau and Barbara Bain, who had been in Mission Impossible together, played Moonbase Alpha Commander John Koenig and base doctor Helena Russell, respectively. many notable actors including Christopher Lee, Margaret Leighton, Roy Dotrice, Joan Collins, Jeremy Kemp, Peter Cushing, Judy Geeson, Julian Glover, Ian McShane, Leo McKern, Billie Whitelaw, Richard Johnson, Patrick Troughton, Peter Bowles, Sarah Douglas, David Prowse, Isla Blair, Stuart Damon and Brian Blessed (twice as different characters).