Daniel DiManna
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Remembering Gerry Anderson’s ‘Supercar’

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An illustration of the Supercar
Forget the Batmobile; this is the coolest super-powered vehicle from the 1960s
Photo: James Vaughan via CC

During the 1960s, there were few creative personalities as prolific and beloved as Gerry Anderson. While most people will naturally remember him for creating Thunderbirds, there was a lot more on his resume than that. This is the story of one of Anderson’s most enduring creations: the 1961 TV series Supercar.

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Remembering ‘Supercar’

Before one can discuss Supercar or any of Gerry Anderson’s legendary output, one must first mention the unique way Anderson brought these shows to life. Anderson and his crew in Great Britain were the creators of a one-of-a-kind form of visual storytelling they dubbed “Supermarionation.” Basically, this meant that the characters of Anderson’s shows were created using advanced marionette puppets. These puppets inhabited handmade miniature worlds, and were treated like actors on a set. The end results were memorable shows like Fireball XL-5, Thunderbirds, Stingray, and Supercar.

Airing from 1961 through 1962, Supercar was the first of Anderson’s shows to bear the famous “Supermarionation” moniker. The story, stretched out over 39 episodes, was a sci-fi/adventure epic that centered on a high-tech team that orchestrates daring rescues and explorations all over the world. Their vehicle of choice – and the real star of the show – was the aptly named Supercar.

The Supercar was truly an adventure-loving child’s fantasy-come-true back in the early 1960s. The hovering car was armed to the teeth with scientific equipment and communication devices. Even cooler, the Supercar was capable of traveling literally anywhere. It could fly through the air, hover over or under the ground, travel underwater, and even rocket into outer space.

For nearly a year, Supercar entertained children and families in Great Britain and beyond. Its success would fuel the creation of an entire decade’s worth of “Supermarionation” spectacles, including the legendary Thunderbirds in the mid-60s.

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Did you grow up with Supercar, Thunderbirds, or any of Gerry Anderson’s TV shows? Share your memories in the comments below.