We’re very sorry to learn from multiple sources today, that Desmond Saunders has died. Desmond, better known as Des Saunders was a director and film editor who had a long association with Gerry Anderson.
Having served as a director for Supercar (1961–62), Stingray (1964–65), Thunderbirds (1965–66), Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons (1967–68), Joe 90 (1968–69),and both production and post-production roles for The Protectors (1972–73). Des was also production controller for Joe 90 and co-wrote one of the episodes, “Lone-Handed 90”. He briefly worked as a production supervisor for The Secret Service (1969). He later rejoined Gerry Anderson for a stint on Terrahawks (1983–86).
We were very lucky to have Des along to Andercon 2014, where he shared many fantastic stories – showing his charm, and cheeky sense of humour. He also recounted one incident which perfectly sums up Des’ attitude to life…
While working on puppet series for Anderson, the A.P. Films team received constant requests to make the puppets more real. Once, Saunders chose all of the male puppets and put “little willies” on them. When the crew came in during the morning, there was, as Des described, “the most terrible uproar”. In response, he said: “Well, you know, you’ve got to bring them to life somehow, haven’t you?”
We send our condolences to Des’ family and friends.
Desmond Saunders – 1926 to 2018 pictured with Bob Bell on the set of Thunderbirds (1965)