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'Thunderbirds', 'Captain Scarlet': Gerry Anderson classics - Friday Fiver

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The Creator of the TV show 'Thunderbirds' Gerry Anderson says farewell to two of his most famous puppets, Lady Penelope and Parker at Planet Hollywood in London (2001)

© PA Images / Yui Mok/PA Archive

It's the first Friday Fiver of 2013 and following the sad passing of TV icon Gerry Anderson at the tail-end of 2012, this week's quintet of telly picks serves as a tribute to the man who thrilled children and adults alike, first with his magical adventures in 'Supermarionation' and later with slicker live-action efforts.

You can check out our picks for Gerry's top shows below and be sure to share your own favourites in the comments section!

Stingray (1964-65)
The first Supermarionation show to be filmed in colour - and indeed the first British television programme to be filmed entirely in colour - Stingray followed square-jawed hero Captain Troy Tempest, member of the World Aquanaut Security Patrol (WASP).

When he wasn't battling submarine warrior race The Aquaphibians, led by the ruthless King Titan, Tempest was busy swooning over beautiful but mute sea-lady Marina, who of course inspired the show's memorable end theme...



Thunderbirds (1965-66)
Anderson's fifth puppet series is easily his most famous and fondly-remembered work. Though it only ran for two series, at its peak Thunderbirds was more than a simple children's show - it was a global sensation.

The series has endured in popularity over the years and a potential revival has been mooted several times - the ill-fated live-action 2004 film adaptation is better best forgotten, but as recently as 2011, Gerry Anderson was announcing plans for a new Thunderbirds series. It's a real shame that, in all likelihood, these plans will now go unrealised.



Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons (1967-68)
Anderson's follow-up to Thunderbirds - which aired for a single series in the late '60s - was a darker beast than its predecessor and was also far more visually accomplished, featuring far more life-like models.

Like its forerunner, Captain Scarlet was also revived in recent times, though more successfully - Gerry Anderson's New Captain Scarlet aired 26 episodes in 2005, with new CGI animation (or 'Hypermarionation') replacing the original show's puppetry.



UFO (1970-71)
The first totally live-action series attempted by Anderson, his wife Sylvia and their collaborator Reg Hill, UFO - like many of the shows on this list - only ran for a single series, but is still fondly remembered by aficionados of cult television.

Ed Bishop - who had previously voiced Captain Blue in Captain Scarlet - starred as Commander Edward Straker in this funky sci-fi drama, with Brit actor Michael Billington playing his SHADO colleague Colonel Paul Foster. Sadly a planned UFO film remake - with Fringe actor Joshua Jackson attached to the Foster role - never materialised.



Space: 1999 (1975-77)
Emerging from the ashes of a scrapped second UFO season was Space: 1999 - a deliberate and rather po-faced sci-fi thriller for its first run, the show was revamped with a more campy style for its following 24-part series.

Both the sober early episodes and the flamboyant antics that followed have their supporters, but both eras of Space: 1999 boasted a terrific cast - led by US star Martin Landau - and plenty of engaging, space-faring drama.



Do you agree with our picks? Are you a Terrahawks fan or a Joe 90 addict? Name your favourite Gerry Anderson shows below!

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