Bibliography and links

There is a bibliography page on this website that covers the rest of it but this section is so specific that it deserves its own.


There are several books that have been written over the years – some better than others and with a surprising number of contradictory accounts of what actually happened.  On this website I have scratched the surface of the story aiming at a more general readership and focusing where I can on the studios themselves, since that is the theme of this site.  However, if you wish to read more (and it is a fascinating story of a man’s work) I would particularly recommend Stephen La Rivière’s book ‘Filmed In Supermarionation – A History of the Future.’  It is extremely well researched and well written too.  For fascinating photos of the SFX workshops you could not do better than Alan Shubrook’s 2007 book.  Unfortunately it is now out of print and very difficult to find second hand.  Fortunately in 2015 he released a new book ‘Century 21 FX Update‘ with even more photos, interviews and a fascinating account of a visit to the studio buildings in 2014.


These are the books I have read and drawn from:


21st Century Visions  – Derek Meddings (1993)

Gerry Anderson’s Fab Facts  – Simon Archer (1993)

Gerry Anderson, The Authorised Biography  – Simon Archer & Stan Nicholls (1996)

The Complete Book of Thunderbirds  – Chris Bentley (2000)

The Complete Book of Captain Scarlet  – Chris Bentley (2001)

What Made Thunderbirds Go  – Simon Archer and Marcus Hearn (2002)

My Fab Years  – Sylvia Anderson (2007)

Century 21 FX  – Alan Shubrook (2007)

Filmed in Supermarionation  – Stephen La Rivière (2009, revised edition 2014)

Century 21 FX Update  – Alan Shubrook (2015)


I can also recommend the documentary made by Stephen La Rivière – Full Boost Vertical – The Supercar Story (which also contains a fascinating CGI 3D walk-through of the Ipswich Road studio) and if you want to see what a typical B-movie looked like in 1960 – try Crossroads to Crime.

However, for the serious enthusiast it has to be the ‘Supermarionation‘ box set sold by Network On Air which was released towards the end of 2014.  This is not cheap at £100 but frankly is worth every penny.  It is beautifully presented and contains a revised, superbly printed new edition of Stephen La Rivière’s book Filmed in Supermarionation.  Most importantly, it includes a 2-hour documentary of the same title made by him containing interviews with everyone still alive connected with the series and some fascinating re-created footage using the original puppeteers and effects designers.  There are also visits to the original studios.  The box also contains Blu-ray discs with remastered high def editions of some episodes of all the shows from Four Feather Falls to The Secret Service and for good measure a new copy of Century 21 magazine.  Go on – spoil yourself.  You know you want to!




There are many websites and forums that deal with Gerry Anderson’s work and several have been useful in researching this page on my site.  Just Google the man’s name or any of his shows and you will find much to read – or to buy if the fancy takes you.  (Obscure model vehicles used on Thunderbirds have sold for £20,000 on eBay.)

One site I found particularly interesting was David Sisson’s in which he interviews several of the effects guys who worked on the Anderson shows and subsequently on various feature films.  You can find it on

Of course, you could also look at the website of the official fan organisation – ‘Fanderson’.  They naturally have loads of info on all his series, and things to purchase.  I am not a member so can’t vouch for them but it all looks well organised and with well supported forums.  They are found at

You could also go to the Fanderson group on Facebook, which mostly deals with people who make models of the various craft and puppets.  There is also an excellent website that covers the man’s past work and his legacy, written by Gerry’s son Jamie on