Filmed in Supermarionation (2014)

18 Feb


Telling the story of Gerry and Sylvia Anderson, the movers and shakers behind some of the most beloved and timeless children’s television of the 20th Century,Filmed in Supermarionation combines talking heads, behind the scenes footage and specially shot interludes with Thunderbirds cast mates Lady Penelope, Parker and Brains breaking down exactly how to make a model space craft fly, how to shoot underwater, and how to stage convincing explosions in miniature.

It’s all engrossing stuff, shot and cut with pace and style. As someone who was only vaguely aware of the Andersons and their work, this documentary was a real eye opener, and should prove a lovely little treasure trove to viewers who grew up on the adventures of Mike Mercury, the Tracy brothers and Captain Scarlett.

While the Thunderbirds-related material is the centrepiece, it is the innovations and developments of the Anderson’s earlier works which is the most fascinating. What makes it all the more interesting is that the filmmakers brought back all the old designers and effects meant to re-create their work in order to show the viewer exactly how these shows were made.

Overall, Filmed in Supermarionation is a terrific record of a style and craft of filmmaking that we will probably never see again. Highly recommended.


By Tim George


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