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From their humble beginnings in a ramshackle mansion house by the banks of the Thames to their industrial sized studio complex in the heart of Slough, the story of AP Films and Century 21 is a story of craftsmanship, ingenuity, imagination, and magic.

The men and women behind iconic Supermarionation productions reveal their tricks of the trade in this series of interviews.

From his earliest days in the cutting room to his time overseeing the most complex computer animated series ever produced in Britain, a look at the legacy of Gerry Anderson.



From jaw-dropping sets of all varieties, to futuristic vehicles and a beautifully sculpted lead character – an exquisitely intricate production design is one of the highlights of Joe 90. Here are just a few stills that demonstrate the craftsmanship of this fondly remembered series.

AP Films Crew on the set of Thuderbids
Mike Trim details the Tracy Island Roundhouse from Thunerbirds
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This section presents a gallery of the full variety of heads used for Thunderbirds. As you can see, even beyond the change of expressions, there is a degree of natural variation which comes with them being hand made

Fireball XL5 is the final show in the first stage of Supermarionation, the last to be made in black & white, and the final production at the comparatively small Ipswich Road studio. More advanced than what came before, more primitive than what was to follow, Fireball was a stand-out artistic achievement for the time. Here we present a gallery of behind the scenes images and artwork live from Space City.

Many of the vehicles and buildings in the Supermarionation shows were kitbashed - meaning that they were assembled from various bits of existing model kits to create new designs. But the more important elements of the shows were specially designed by Derek Meddings and Mike Trim. Here we present a selection of their surviving artwork.

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With the production of their first feature film, the AP Films team were challenged with realising their most ambitious Supermarionation production to date. Filmed in Techniscope, the resulting movie was a feast for the eyes. Here are just a handful of stills capturing the impressive undertaking in progress and on screen.

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