This exhibition is a tribute to the man who revolutionised the world of television production using his advanced technique of puppetry and model effects called Supermarionation, as well as the wider world of science fiction. While his career began in the 50s, Anderson’s Supermarionation success began with Supercar in 1960. Following that, Fireball XL5 was popular across the globe which in turn led to the creation of the first children’s TV show ever filmed entirely in colour in Britain, Stingray. In 1965 Anderson’s team reached the pinnacle of their puppetry productions with Thunderbirds – a show which remains part of the cultural fabric of the UK and beyond.
Anderson’s innovation didn’t stop there. In the mid-1960s, to capitalise on the nationwide obsession with this new and interesting style of television, the weekly comic in a novel newspaper format TV Century 21 was launched. It updated kids across the country on the adventures of their favourite heroes from the telly, including those of Thunderbirds, Stingray, Joe 90 and Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons. This gave rise to decades more comic tie-ins with Anderson shows, including such iconic titles as Countdown, TV Action, and Look In.
This exhibition at the Cartoon Museum will take visitors back in time to a more magical period of retro-futuristic glitz, glamour and adventure, showcasing original classic comic artwork based on the worlds of Gerry Anderson. It’s an opportunity to relive the nostalgia of crowding around worn-out comics and dodgy TV sets, and to pay homage to the man who (along with a team of many other talented artists and creatives) raised generations of children from the 60s to the 2000s on tales of science fiction and intrigue.
Jamie Anderson, son of Gerry Anderson and Managing Director of Anderson Entertainment said: “Dad was a lifelong innovator and was incredibly passionate about creating great worlds and characters and bringing them to life on the screen in as big a way as possible. Legendary artists and writers have been, and continue to be, inspired by the characters and vehicles he and his teams developed. Comics have helped expand the universe and give additional life to these wonderful shows.”
The Gerry Anderson’s Century 21 exhibition is at the London Cartoon Museum from March 3rd until June 4th 2023.