Tassie link to Thunderbirds creator

Source: The Examiner

A Tasmanian doctor has a special connection to the Thunderbirds: his parents created the hit television series.

Dr Gerry Anderson is an anaesthetist working in Burnie, in the north-west of the state, and yesterday spoke about his father, who died in Britain this week.

The two have the same name and Dr Anderson's six-year-old son, Max, has the middle name of Gerry.

The series first showed on television in 1965, two years before Dr Anderson's birth.

Dr Anderson said although his father was credited as the  Thunderbirds  creator, it was actually a team effort. 

His father and his mother, Sylvia Anderson, were co-creators of the series and his mother did the voice of Lady Penelope, the suave, glamorous character in the series.

He said his father always acknowledged his mother's contribution, but attitudes to women working in television at the time meant she did not get the recognition she deserved.

Dr Anderson said a fond childhood memory was watching the  Thunderbirds  at home with his parents in Britain.

He said he would soon see his mother again when he returned to Britain for the funeral, but he missed his father very much.

``He was a genius and I am incredibly proud that he is my father and he was a very inspirational character,'' Dr Anderson said.

``I am gutted by his death and I will sorely miss him.''

He said the  Thunderbirds  was an important part of his childhood. 

``I was obviously a young child during the Thunderbird  years,'' he said. 

``Although I do not recollect the  Thunderbirds  being made, I recollect watching it every Sunday afternoon over lunch with my parents.

``And I have to say the  Thunderbirds  was my favourite series at that time.

``I will miss my father very much and he was a huge influence on my life.''

Dr Anderson and his family moved from Britain to Tasmania about 20 months ago. 

He and wife Karina have three children, Kelsey, 9, Eimear, 7, and Max.

Dr Anderson said he and his family felt at home in Tasmania and were grateful for the warm welcome they had received.

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