Ewbanks are go for Gerry Anderson archive sale

AN INCREDIBLE cache of Gerry Anderson material – including items so rare they have not been seen in public before – will go under the hammer at Ewbank’s this month.

The £150,000 consignment of puppets, models and other items relating to legendary TV sci-fi producer Anderson will be auctioned at the Burnt Common saleroom in Send on Monday 30 November.

BIG SCREEN – A poster from 1966 film Thunderbirds Are Go (estimate £300-£500)

Cleared from Bray Studios, Berkshire, after Anderson’s production company wrapped up its final series of Terrahawks in the mid-1980s, the archive became the property of Julian Bell. A driver and handyman at the studios, Bell hid it away for more than 30 years. He died in 2019.

Alastair McCrea, one of the experts at Ewbank’s, said that hidden among the items from Thunderbirds, Captain Scar-let and the Mysterons and Terrahawks he discovered the original production pupp-ets for Space Police, an Anderson project for which only one episode was made.

Space Police was not shown on tele-vision. The project was shelved and transformed into Space Precinct almost a decade later, so the puppets have not been seen in public until now.

CONCEPT DESIGN – Hand-drawn artwork for T Force, a Thunderbirds remake that never happened, showing Penny, aka Lady Penelope, with Parker in front of FAB 1 (estimate £400-£600)

Alastair said: “Going through this consignment has been a journey of discovery.

“Boxes of carefully preserved pieces that hadn’t seen the light of day for more than 30 years have turned out to be a time capsule of the Gerry Anderson story from the 1960s onwards. 

“It’s all been frozen in time, and the thrill of discovery is just how a scientist would feel on finding one of those 100-million-year-old insects trapped in amber.”

Among the rarest of the previously unseen pieces is the puppet of Officer Cathy Costello, used in the pilot episode of Space Police, along with similar puppets for three of the male characters, Officers Tom, Dick and Harry.

LIKE GOLD DUST – Gerry Anderson’s personal script for the Terrahawks episode Gold, complete with handwritten notes and corrections in his handwriting (estimate £100-£150)

“It’s a miracle these have survived, and are in such good condition, especially as so much production material was scrapped immediately after use,” said Alastair.

The auction also features original production-used hero craft ­– each worth thousands of pounds – a puppet head from the Captain Scarlet series, Anderson’s personally annotated scripts and even storyboards for a series of Thunderbirds that was not filmed.

Anderson expert David Sisson has spent the last 35 years building replica models and restoring original studio props from Anderson’s shows, as well as writing books and articles about the phenomenon. He has been amazed by the discovery of the archive.

David said: “It’s unique. There’ll be a lot of interest. Terrahawks has a growing appreciation from the younger generation of Anderson fans. When I do my public displays, a lot of these people recognise Terrahawks even when they don’t recognise Thunderbirds.”

There have been rumours among the fanbase for years that the Terrahawks production pieces survived. Bell attended a convention and hinted that he had a lot of them – but the trail went cold.

CLASSIC CRAFT – Above, Battlehawk, used in the production of Terrahawks, is around a metre long (estimate £4,000-£6,000)

David said: “I expect the hero craft to be the big sellers. The Battlehawk is the prize piece, along with Hawkwing and Treehawk.

“What makes this auction so special is that there will never be another chance to see everything together in one place. 

“Once it’s sold it will be spread around the world and never be together again. You really can’t overstate how special this is going to be.”

MEV, also used in the production of Terrahawks (estimate £1,500-£2,500)

Ewbank’s expect bidders from across the world.

Alastair said: “Bearing in mind that much of the Anderson production mater-ial was destroyed or ended up in skips to make way for the next project, this is close to being a miraculous survival. 

“It’s been the talk of fans across the decades, but no-one really knew what happened and whether anything was rescued. This auction finally solves the mystery.”

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