The speedboat and sports car models from the pilot episode of Gerry Anderson‘s unmade series The Investigator are to be offered at the Teesside Auction House, Vectis, on Thursday 26th September 2019.
The two vehicles in the sale where created for the 1973 pilot and were previously offered at auction in 2018 by Sworders Fine Art Auctioneers in Stansted Mountfitchet, but failed to make their reserve.
Gerry and Sylvia Anderson are forever associated with “Supermarionation” – a sophisticated form of puppetry. In 1973, after numerous successes with Stingray, Thunderbirds and Captain Scarlet, amongst others, Gerry planned on releasing a new series, The Investigator, based around two inexperienced but dedicated teenagers, trained by a mysterious alien intelligence with mysterious powers to tackle international espionage, environmental disasters and political corruption.
The Investigator was to be the final longform Supermarionation production for Anderson, with three Thunderbirds voice actors in the cast – Peter Dyneley (Jeff Tracy) as The Investigator, Shane Rimmer (Scott Tracy) as John, and Sylvia Anderson (Lady Penelope) as Julie.
(Gerry Anderson’s final Supermarionation production was actually in advertising in 1977, for JIF toppings).
The show never went into full production, and at limited screenings of the pilot, which was shot on location in Malta, it’s easy to see why. With its odd production values, combining live action with puppets to a far greater degree than the broadcast The Secret Service, and a bizarre plot involving foiling an international criminal, the pilot just doesn’t work. It was seen as a rare failure for Anderson, who had enjoyed phenomenal success with his previous 18 successful shows.
On offer in the 26th September TV and Film related Vectis sale is a speed boat, in one sixth scale which had to be towed for the live action sequences in the twenty-three-minute pilot episode. The most-used prop on offer is a red, eight-wheeled sports car, which is radio controlled and fitted with a petrol fuelled motor-bike engine.
Both were designed by Reg Hill and manufactured by Space Models of Feltham, who had made many of the props for Gerry Anderson’s other productions, including Thunderbirds.
Vectis have previously sold toy prototypes of these toy vehicles, which were to be marketed alongside the show.
Unfortunately, the toy line was also mothballed and therefore these are also scarce.
Alongside these items, also in the offer are a huge range of Doctor Who, James Bond and Star Wars figures – even some Palitoy Action Force items; plus both British and US comics, film posters and much, much more.
Palitoy Action Force Action Man Red Shadow 3 3/4″ figure
Marvel UK The Titans Bronze Age Comics 1975 #2,-12, 14-19
The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War” and “Dan Dare”.
He’s the writer of “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.