Plenty to enjoy on Gerry Anderson anniversary

As the anniversary of Gerry Anderson’s birthday (14th April) draws near, broadcasters and streaming services in the UK are planning to celebrate!

On the day itself, BritBox in the UK will offer Gerry Anderson’s Greatest Episodes. This will apparently include Gerry’s favourite ten episodes of his own productions, including linking material by the man himself. The episodes are:

  1. Stingray Pilot
  2. Thunderbirds Trapped In The Sky
  3. Thunderbirds Terror In New York City
  4. Thunderbirds Attack Of The Alligators
  5. Captain Scarlet And The Mysterons The Mysterons
  6. Joe 90 The Most Special Agent
  7. UFO A Question Of Priorities
  8. UFO Reflections In The Water
  9. Space:1999 Breakaway
  10. Space:1999 Black Sun

Surprisingly, the selection doesn’t include Gerry and Sylvia’s least known series – The Secret Service – which Gerry had told fans on many occasions was his personal favourite of all his series (and is also available on BritBox). Keen Fanderson members will know that all these episodes have been on BritBox since January, although the linking material will be new to the platform. Normally costing £5.99 per month, if you sign up to BritBox now you get a free 7-day trial.

Network Distributing are offering another of their popular Night In experiences from 14th April via their streaming platform. At just over 4½-hours, Gerry Anderson’s Night In includes Supercar False Alarm, Fireball XL5 A Day In The Life Of A Space General, Captain Scarlet And The Mysterons The Inquisition, Joe 90 The Birthday, UFO A Question Of Priorities, Space: 1999 Black Sun, Terrahawks Close Call and New Captain Scarlet Dominion in high-definition (all already available on Blu-ray Disc). Each episode has a special introduction, and special features include “some Supermarionation commercials advertising everything from Sugar Smacks to… er, more Sugar Smacks….”. All for just £4.99 for 7-day access!

The UK’s Forces TV (Freeview/YouView 96, Freesat 165, Sky 181, and Virgin 274) is inviting UFO fans to choose their favourite episode from the pre-selected shortlist of Mindbender, Sub-Smash, A Question Of Priorities, Reflections In The Water and The Cat With Ten Lives. Voting closed on 10th April. The winning episode will be broadcast at 10pm on 14th April (repeated on 17th April at 9pm), accompanied by some “never before seen on TV” footage including Gerry giving a very special introduction to the winning episode. UFO fans immediately expressed their dismay at the seemingly arbitrary episode selection, which would appear to be geared to those for which it was possible to create an introduction by the man himself.

Shout! Factory are also holding a 24-hour marathon of Anderson productions on the day for viewers in territories with the Shout! Factory TV streaming service.

Stingray and The Secret Service added to Britbox

Britbox (the digital video subscription service created by the BBC and ITV) has recently added Stingray and The Secret Service to the streaming platform in the UK.

The first series to go before the cameras in 1963 at AP Films’ new studios in Stirling Road, Slough, Stingray was also the first British television series to be filmed wholly in colour.

The Secret Service was the final Supermarionation series to be produced by Century 21 Productions (as AP Films had by then become) and was Gerry Anderson’s personal favourite of his productions.

With Thunderbirds and Captain Scarlet And The Mysterons on the platform since last summer, Joe 90 is now the sole colour Supermarionation series to be left out of the ‘box’ (The Most Special Agent notwithstanding!). Hopefully, Britbox will remedy this before too long.