✎ Sylvia Anderson 1927-2016 

16 March 2016 tbs.pm/8827


The bloodbath that is 2016 continues with the death of Sylvia Anderson, co-creator, co-writer and co-producer of many of the nation’s favourite children’s adventure shows, at the age of 88.

Her career in Supermarionation began with The Adventures of Twizzle for Associated-Rediffusion where she was a production assistant. Through each successive marionette series she was a guiding hand on production, voice characterisation and, of course, the voices of female characters – most famously, Lady Penelope in Thunderbirds for Lew Grade’s ITC.

Her last job in the genre was providing the voice of Great Aunt Sylvia in Thunderbirds Are Go, ITV Studios’ CGI reboot of the 1960s series.

A Transdiffusion Presentation

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4 responses to this article

Pete Singleton 17 March 2016 at 12:10 am

And Sylvia’s audio from Thunderbirds mini LPs of the 60s was used (with her blessing) for the three ‘Thunderbirds 1965’ (2015) episodes recently filmed in the original Slough trading estate studio building at Stirling Road directed and produced by Stephen La Riviere. These three episodes faithfully recreate original Supermarionation techniques with not a trace of CGI to be seen.

Paul Mason 17 March 2016 at 2:42 am

One Supermarionation series that is forgotten was the last one, The Secret Service which employed a puppet of a real person, Stanley Unwin, he of the maximost manglifold Englode language he spoke in. I saw it on Granada about 1970 but the series was never repeated. I saw a video of the programme on sale in a branch of WH Smith and I kick myself for not buying it.
The thinking behind it was Stanley Unwin had appeared on a speaking part on a Small Faces LP Ogden’s Nut Gone Flake and thought a series with Unwin as a vicar/secret agent would take off, but alas it bombed, and Secret Service was, after Joe 90 the last of the Supermarionation puppet series.

Paul Mason 18 March 2016 at 2:50 am

Ive just done the logical thing and ordered the DVD of the Secret Service so I will see it again after 45 YEARS!

Arthur Vasey 22 March 2016 at 8:26 pm

The Secret Service was only shown on Thames, Granada and ATV – no other regions wanted it – Gerry Anderson was told by Sir Lew Grade that nobody could understand what Stanley Unwin was saying when he mangled up the English language like he did – it didn’t dawn on Sir Lew Grade that he wasn’t meant to be understood when he spoke like that! Lew told Gerry not to make any further programmes of that series for that reason.

I have only ever seen one episode, “Hole In One” on an old VHS video in my collection, A Night In TV Heaven, made up to look like an evening in front of the telly, using programmes from the ITC archives!

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