Thursday, 27 December 2012

Master of puppets

Lady Penelope in her Creighton Ward mansion

I expect loads will be written about Gerry Anderson this week and deservedly so; therefore I won't say much here.  But, as I was a child in the sixties, I just want to mention that (like many others) I have fond memories of watching 'Captain Scarlet' and 'Thunderbirds' in particular.  They appealed on so many levels - perhaps the main one, for me, was the inclusion of some wonderful female characters.  I loved Lady Penelope (although Parker scared me a little - redeemed only by the fact that he did look a bit like my Granddad) and those feisty Angel Interceptor pilots.  Spin-off merchandise may have been a little less sophisticated back then but I absolutely adored the card 'Cut Out and Dress' dolls I owned for Lady Penelope and Rhapsody Angel.  Lady P came with a picture of her wardrobe with doors that opened out, and some very classy paper trouser suits to dress her in.  Rhapsody Angel (and my sister's Harmony Angel) were accompanied by big fold-out scenery backgrounds - imaginary worlds I frequently got lost in, even though they were only one dimensional.  Rhapsody was gorgeous, wasn't she?!  But then, all the Angels were.  I read a while back that their facial features (all apart from Symphony's apparently*) were based on real people - e.g. Destiny was inspired by Ursula Andress, Rhapsody was taken from Jean Shrimpton and Melody was modelled on Eartha Kitt (that one surprised me a little!)

Then there was the music...   I know we've heard it a million times before but it still sounds good to me.

Gerry Anderson 14.04.1929 - 26.12.2012

* but she looks a bit like Britt Ekland, don't you think?


  1. The Angels were, indeed, fit. The fact that they were wooden and were operated by strings didn't matter a jot to me. I obviously had low aspirations when it came to the female of the species; then again, I'd only just learned to tie my own shoe laces.

    1. Ha. That's an even lower standard than Kenneth Branagh had in How To Kill Your Neighbor's Dog...he insisted that for a man to find a woman attractive, she had to be self-ambulatory. Ha.

      These puppets speak directly to the fact that limitations are essential to creativity.

      I saw the Hobbit this week...most of the scenes were so jam packed with stuuuff that it was impossible to appreciate.

      These puppets have a charm that will never fade.

  2. Poor old Gerry: RIP. I believe that Lady P's look was based on Dusty because Sylvia liked her so and she was 'hip' when the puppet was being created :)

  3. Another part of my childhood slips away. A lovely tribute C - and 10/10 for the title, brilliant!

  4. Huge part of my childhood. Who didn't fancy Lady P and the angels. Just me then! Lol!

  5. Thanks - so I get the feeling that it was pretty normal to find Lady P and the Angels attractive, never mind the wood and the strings?! (I fancied Marine Boy myself, and he was just a cartoon...)

    And hi, Cusp - ah, yes, I can see the likeness. I can just imagine Lady P singing 'The Look Of Love' now - perfect!

  6. Lovely tribute to a great man. Mr. Anderson provided many of the high points of my childhood from Fireball XL5 and Thunderbirds, through Captain Scarlet, Joe 90, Stingray and more. There was a magic to those shows that cannot be replicated. RIP.

  7. Think I may have been too old for that stuff....but I did like Bill and Ben...maybe somthing to do with the weed.


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