Visiting locations used in your favourite show is a must for fans of many classic television series around the world. For Gerry Anderson fans that’s an almost impossible task for the Supermarionation series, since the worlds of Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet and the rest were created almost entirely in studio – yet many locations used in the live action series still stand to this very day. Here are a Gerry Anderson filing locations from across the Anderson universe that you might be able to visit in real life!
Father Unwin’s church
The Church of St. Michael & All Angels in Hughenden, High Wycombe appeared in the opening and closing titles of The Secret Service, standing in for the exterior of Father Stanley Unwin’s. Although the great man himself never held services there (preferring instead to deliver his sermons to his fellow puppets on a stage back in Slough!) those interested in seeing past and present photos of the church as well as learning a little of its 900 year history can visit the St Michael and All Angels website here.
Harry Rule’s Mews flat
2 Courtfield Mews in South Kensington was used as the exterior of Harry Rule’s home throughout both seasons of The Protectors, with additional filming occasionally taking place on nearby Courtfield Road. If you fancy yourself as a real-life Protector then you may be in luck, as the house has come up for sale more than once in the Internet era – although if you’re interested we’d recommend you start saving those pennies now, because it’s not cheap!
Canada, Retha, Luton and more
Black Park in Buckinghamshire has appeared in dozens of notable television series and films, perhaps due to its being situated alongside Pinewood Studios (on which more later). This thickly wooded country park served as an ideal landing site for several UFOs and their occupants, appearing in Identified, Computer Affair, The Square Triangle, and The Sound of Silence, while the lake at the heart of the park doubled as the waters of the Cornish coast in Reflections in the Water. Space:1999 would later return to the Black Park forest to film some of the Retha scenes for The Full Circle, and also shot scenes in and around the lake for The Rule of Luton – although they were clearly unable to get the Park closed during filming!
Harlington-Straker Studios (reception)
Although perhaps better known today for its appearances in several BBC shows (most prominently as the exterior of the eponymous Holby City hospital) Neptune House at the former Elstree Studios (now BBC Elstree Centre) doubled as the reception building and offices of Harlington-Straker studios in UFO. The interior of the building also appeared at the beginning and end of the very first episode, Identified.
Harlington-Straker Studios (studio lot) and more alien planets
In addition to serving as the production base for 9 episodes of UFO and all of Space:1999, Space Precinct and New Captain Scarlet, the world-famous Pinewood Studios also appeared on camera in several of those shows. UFO episodes such as Timelash and Mindbender almost feel at times like an extended tour of the studio lot (and if you’re ever lucky enough to visit you’ll certain be looking out for orange buggies racing about the place!), while Space Precinct also shot several night-time scenes around the same buildings. The wooded studio backlot area also served as part of the planet Retha in the Space:1999 episode The Full Circle, plus past Earth in Journey to Where and Sunim in A Matter of Balance, and would later house the Site R bunker in the final episode of Space Precinct, Deathwatch Conclusion.
If you’ve ever been lucky to visit any of the above locations, or anywhere else that appeared in an Anderson series, we’d love to hear from you in the comments below – especially if you have pictures from your trip!