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Top 5 Gerry Anderson Puppet Show Explosions

When you hear the name ‘Gerry Anderson’ one of the first things to spring to mind are the many spectacular explosions seen across most of his shows. While you could probably compile a ‘Top 100’ list of classic Anderson explosions and still leave off someone’s favourite we’ve decided to go with two lists of five, starting with our five favourite Gerry Anderson puppet show explosions! So, let’s start things off with a bang (sorry)…

#5 – Terrahawks – Operation Zero

There’s no denying it; Terrahawks is an odd show, and the final episode of the series is even weirder than most. Sergeant Major Zero has nightmares of Hawknest under attack from Zelda and co, with their ultimate aim being the destruction of the base by detonating the Terrahawks’ brand new fuel store. Despite the fact that it ultimately ‘never really happened’ we still count this explosive finale as one of Terrahawks’ finest effects sequences, and a wonderful homage to the various fuel depots and power stations of Thunderbirds that nearly always came to a fiery end.

#4 – Captain Scarlet – Fire at Rig 15

Sabotage at this Spectrum oil refinery leads to a massive explosion which turns out to only be the first phase of the latest Mysteron plan. Captain Scarlet is loaded with so many notable explosions (The Mysterons, Heart of New York, Traitor and Inferno just to name a few) but this one makes our list just for the sheer scale of it. When we hear stories of the Century 21 special effects crew accidentally setting the studio ceiling ablaze with their explosions, we’re pretty sure scenes like these are the ones they’re referring to.

#3 – Stingray – An Echo of Danger

It’s rare that X-20 ever managed to outwit the Stingray crew, but he definitely manages that in this episode by luring them away from a crude oil shipment they’re escorting before opening fire on it. One shot causes a chain reaction that engulfs the supply chain, and Stingray only has enough time to rescue the survivors before the blaze reaches the pull vessel and it is literally blown out of the water. It’s all rather a departure from the usual jolliness of Stingray, and is easily one of the most spectacular pre-Thunderbirds effects sequences.

#2 – Thunderbirds

We couldn’t possibly ignore this terrific series of explosions that concludes the opening titles sequence of every episode of Thunderbirds. Although it doesn’t appear in any actual story the dramatic destruction of this power station, set to the stirring strains of Barry Gray’s Thunderbirds theme, set the tone for the upcoming fifty minutes of action and adventure superbly and is just one of the many highlights of the show’s title sequence. Eagle-eyed viewers may also spot the Black Rock Laboratory from Supercar in the lower right of the image, sadly coming to an explosive end amid the flames…

#1 – Thunderbird 6

The fiery destruction of the Dover missile base at the end of the second Thunderbirds movie is easily one of the most spectacular special effects sequences of any Gerry Anderson production, with rockets and silos being incinerated left and right and debris flying all over the place. Then, just when you think the fire can’t get any bigger, it somehow explodes again and becomes twice the size it was before. It’s no wonder that this sequence was reused in the first episode of Joe 90 to add some cinematic spectacle to the Most Special Agent’s debut outing.

We know, we know – we’ve missed off one of your favourite Gerry Anderson puppet show explosions, right? Well, let us know in the comments below which are some of your favourite explosions from the puppet shows and spread the explodey love!

Written by
Chris Dale

Writer, editor & voice actor on Big Finish's Doctor Who, Terrahawks, Thunderbirds and Captain Scarlet audio ranges. Host of the Randomiser on the Gerry Anderson Podcast.

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