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ANDERSON, SYLVIA
(19??– ). British tv and film producer.

SCIENCE FICTION, FANTASY, AND HORROR FILM CREDITS
Associate producer: Star Maidens (tv series) (1976).

Animated tv series created and produced with Gerry ANDERSON: Fireball XL-5 (1962-1963); Stingray (1964-1965); Thunderbirds (1965-1966); Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons (1967-1968); The Secret Service (1969).

Animated tv series co-created with G. Anderson:  Joe 90 (1968-1969); The Secret Service (1969).

Live-action tv series created and produced with G. Anderson: UFO (co-created with Hill) (tv series) (1970-1973); Space 1999 (tv series) (1975-77); The Day after Tomorrow (pilot only) (1976).

Animated films produced with G. Anderson: Thunderbirds are Go (Lane 1966); Thunderbirds Six (Lane 1968).

Wrote with G. Anderson: "Flight of Fancy," "The Lost City," "Supercar Take One," "Crash Landing" (1961), "The Runaway Train," "Precious Cargo," "Operation Superstork," "Hi-Jack," "Calling Charlie Queen," "Space for Mitch," "Atomic Witch Hunt," "70-B-Low," "The Sky's the Limit," "Jail Break," "The Day That Time Stood Still," "Transatlantic Cable," "King Kool" (1962), episodes of Supercar; "Planet 46" (1962), "Space Monster" (1963), episodes of Fireball XL-5; "Stingray" (1964), "A Nut for Marineville," "Aquanaut of the Year" (1965), episodes of Stingray; "Trapped in the Sky" (1965), episode of Thunderbirds; Thunderbirds Are Go (animated film) (Lane 1966);  "The Most Special Agent" (1968), episode of Joe 90; Thunderbird Six (animated film) (Brian Burgess, Robert Lynn, and Ken Turner) 1968); Journey to the Far Side of the Sun [Doppelganger] (co-written with Donald James and produced with S. Anderson) (Robert Parrish 1969); "A Case for the Bishop" (1969), episode of The Secret Service; "Identified" (with Tony Barwick) (and directed) (1970), episode of UFO.

Provided voice for:  Fireball XL-5 (tv series) 1962-1963); "Raptures of the Deep" (1964), "Hostages of the deep" (1965), episodes of Stingray; Thunderbirds (tv series) 1965-1966); Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons (tv series) 1967-1968); The Secret Service (tv series) 1969).

Appeared in documentaries: I Love Christmas (David Quantick 2001); TV's Greatest Cars (Nick Bray and Jon-Barrie Waddell 2004); Thunderbirds Are Go: Factory of Dolls and Rockets (short) (Michael Arick 2004); Thunderbirds Are Go: History and Appeal (Arick 2004); "1960s" (2007), episode of Children's TV on Trial; All About Thunderbids (Jeff Simpson 2008).

 
After a thirteen-year marriage and an artistic partnership as creators and producers of television programs, Gerry ANDERSON and Sylvia Anderson separated and divorced in 1975—the strain of presiding over the unmitigated disaster that was Space: 1999 was clearly too much for the couple to bear—and so it is only fitting that I should now separate their entries and attempt to isolate and discuss the contributions of Sylvia Anderson to the history of science fiction film. I will not be surprised if this entry turns out to be brief.

It must have seemed to the young Sylvia Kramm like an ideal arrangement at the time—marriage to a successful, wealthy producer of television series who was willing to grant his beautiful new wife equal credit for what was surely mostly his own work in creating and producing a series of television series featuring animated puppets. Charity demands, in other words, that the various series jointly credited to her and her ex-husband should be properly eviscerated at length in Gerry Anderson's entry, not this one, interpreting her co-equal billing, like other commentators, essentially as a kind gesture from her new husband—though one could question whether crediting someone for the likes of Fireball XL-5 and Space: 1999 really represent acts of kindness. Her other official work on these series fell in the realm of providing voices for the animated series, something she appeared to enjoy doing, and the need to accommodate the co-producer's desire to contribute in this fashion explains why these series always featured prominent, if prissy, female roles. If she was otherwise doing anything to earn her billing as co-creator and co-producer, it came, by most reports, by her habit of hovering over the shows' creative personnel and doing her best to ensure that the results of their work were as attractive as possible. If this is the case, then one must grant her a modicum of credit for the success of these shows: Yes, the puppet series did display a certain colorful style that may account for the fact that so many youthful British viewers retain some affection for them, and the overall look of their best series, UFO, seemed persuasive and authentic (indeed, she was apparently given official credit as costume designer for one episode). Yet it is hard to praise her posited contributions to Space: 1999, a series which generally appeared flat and austere and even managed to make the beautiful Barbara BAIN look unattractive; perhaps Gerry Anderson's efforts to blame her for its failure contributed to their divorce. But it is equally possible that his attractive wife had simply grown tired of sharing the stigma of being associated with her husband's consistently dreadful productions.

Fleeing from the ruins of that series, Sylvia Anderson at first seemed determined to establish herself as an independent creator by traveling to Europe and involving herself in the production of a television series, Star Maidens. Yet this farcical saga of two men fleeing from a repressively matriarchal planet to seek freedom on the planet Earth was, for the most part, depressingly similar to her previous credits—offering, that is, sheer stupidity occasionally enlivened by a visual flair. The only new element was that, at times, there seems to have been an actual effort to make it all deliberately comical, for once, but it hard to attribute this to Sylvia Anderson's influence. After this continental fling, she has apparently been content to relax and live off the proceeds of a no doubt generous divorce settlement and a steady stream of residual payments from old series that have bizarrely retained an audience, and she occasionally surfaces to appear in nostalgic documentaries. At times, her ex-husband surely misses her presence—since his Space Precinct (1994-1995), for example, was both characteristically dire and stylistically dull—and there are those who undoubtedly long for an artistic reunion that might being back the imagined glory days of Thunderbirds and Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons. As Gerry and Sylvia Anderson know from recalling their courtship, and as any informed science fiction viewer knows from observing the ongoing popularity of their joint efforts, love is blind.

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