For those who think that computer graphics have always been around to animate live action TV shows, think again. Back in the day — way back as in the 1960’s and 1970’s, Gerry Anderson was creating futuristic space adventures where marionettes (i.e., puppets controlled by strings) moved and talked and took you away on incredible adventures. Shows like Supercar and Fireball XL5 and Thunderbirds — “supermarionation” was the name, but we all knew that the puppets were being manipulated by real people just out of sight. But we didn’t care because what we were watching was so darn cool. Helped along by tons of real special effects amidst miniature models, to be sure.
So getting hold of THE LOST WORLDS OF GERRY ANDERSON brings it full circle: the DVD is crammed with early films and programs that never quite got off the ground. Enjoy what Anderson could accomplish without the heavy lifting of CGI — pilots like “Space Police” that ended up being the template for his fan-fave “Space Precinct” or his first puppet-based film, “Here Comes Kandy.” Or the last puppet film from the original key crew, “The Investigator,” as well as a rarely seen telemovie pilot which spanned the production of Anderson’s live-action series Space 1999. Those who’ve enjoyed watching what Anderson could do will certainly find their entertainment tank filled up by these never-before seen films. And it’s a way for fans of Anderson’s works to “complete” their collection of what was made and which didn’t rise to the forefront.
But there’s more — something physical has been added in this day of streaming where you can’t hold anything in your hand. Remember back when DVD’s always used to include “real” extras inside? Let’s return to those days now, because inside the DVD clamshell is a limited editor postcard, hand signed by son and managing director of Anderson Entertainment, Jamie Anderson (yes, not a facsimile). For fans, that alone warrants getting the cellophane wrap and aggravating security stickers off faster than you can say “FAB.”