SCIENCE! We always love to hear from people who were inspired to pursue careers in science or technology by what they saw on screen in the various Gerry Anderson series, and while much of that is down to the awesome vehicles we also mustn’t forget the brilliant minds of the characters that created those wonderful craft! Here are five of our favourite scientists and geniuses from the Gerry Anderson universe!
#5 – Professor McClaine
Professor Ian ‘Mac’ McClaine may not win Father of the Year any time soon, but there’s no denying his technical prowess. Not only did he create the B.I.G.R.A.T., a vast machine capable of recording the knowledge and experience from one mind and transferring it to another, he also cobbled together a flying car during his spare time. Whatever moral and ethical queries we have regarding the B.I.G.R.A.T. – and oh, there are so many – we have to give the man props for technical ingenuity, even if we are both interested and horrified at what form his next invention might take!
#4 – Lieutenant Hiro
Lieutenant Hiro is the commander of Spacehawk and the resident technical genius of the Terrahawks team. A former child prodigy and orphan Hiro’s intellect proved invaluable in setting up the Terrahawks organisation, and his accomplishments include the Computer Command Center, the Zeroids, and the Cyberzoids. Deeply philosophical and thoughtful Hiro is content to live a solitary life aboard Spacehawk with only his plants and Space Sergeant 101 for company, and enjoys a unique kinship with his Zeroid second-in-command. Hiro may seem quiet and unassuming but when crisis looms he is more than capable of doing what needs to be done in order to save the day!
#3 – Doctor Beaker
Along with Professor Popkiss Doctor Horatio Beaker is one of the genius minds behind the invention of Supercar, and is almost a prototype for all the Anderson boffins to follow. Much of what later made Brains so appealing is present in Beaker; the stutter, the absent-mindedness, and the uncanny ability to get himself into trouble! Boasting another outstanding vocal performance from David Graham Doctor Beaker was easily the breakout character of Supercar, so much so that there was talk of giving the character his own spinoff series! Sadly this never came to light, much to Beaker’s dismay we’re sure.
#2 – Professor Bergman
Astronomer and technical advisor Victor Bergman is the kindly old uncle of Space:1999, a useful trait to have when his other only function on the series is to look puzzled and say some variation on the phrase “John, I just don’t know!”. Still, he’s always ready with a theory or two, some of which are rooted as much in the world of the supernatural as they are in the world of science as he himself once admitted; “the line between science and mysticism is just a line.” His quarters are packed with all sorts of interesting gadgets and gizmos which we’d have love to take a look at – even if we’re not sure what most of them do!
#1 – Brains
The technical genius of the International Rescue organisation certainly needs no introduction! It’s impossible not to like Brains; he possesses a brilliant mind, yet is socially awkward and prone to wandering into trouble without thinking, but is still someone you’d want by your side in a life-or-death situation. Also, all those cool Thunderbirds machines? His phenomenal mind made all that possible!
Brains is easily one of the most popular Anderson characters of all time, but his appeal also extends beyond the fan community and he is one of only a handful of Anderson characters to make an indelible mark in British pop culture. As he himself might say “I think I got it!”
So there you have it; five formidable scientific minds from the Anderson universe – but do you agree with our order of the top 5 Gerry Anderson scientists? If not let us know in the comments below, along with any of your faves we may have missed!