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Last updated
9 April 2009

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The 1980s/1990s
Supermarionation Graffiti No. 43

© 1984

Although mainly concentrating on Captain Scarlet and The Mysterons, this softback does touch on every show from Supercar to Terrahawks to a greater or lesser degree (in some cases, much lesser).

Joe 90 features over three pages, half of that in colour, with a small photograph of Joe in the Rat Trap on the cover.

Printed in Japan (Japanese text), 52 pages, ¥550.

Published by Tokuma Shoten (Town Mook) Publications 1985

The Japanese have always produced quality items relating to the various Anderson series, and this book is no exception. Packed with photographs from Supercar to Terrahawks, it concentrates mainly on the vehicles, but does touch on the characters and settings as well.

Five pages on Joe 90, including plan views of Mac's Car.

Printed in Japan (Japanese text), 84 pages, ¥980.

Town Mook Super Visual Special 4
It's Easy To Play TV Action Themes

Arranged by Frank Booth/Roger Day
© 1987 Wise Publications

One of around fifty books in the It's Easy To Play range. Those of you who can read music are given the chance to dust off your Bontempi and knock out fairly simple renditions of such televisual action themes as... erm... Bergerac, er... Tales Of The Unexpected, and... ah... The Gentle Touch. Sorry, it did say action themes didn't it?

Alright, there are some themes that warrant the title, like The A-Team and Knight Rider. The theme from Joe 90 features across a mere two pages - which can't really do justice to Mr. Gray's composition. Well, it doesn't if I try to play it.

Printed in England, 48 pages.

Published by DaiNipponKaiga Co., Ltd. 1988

With a nice play on ITC in the title, this softback is basically a showcase for modelmakers. Inside are an enormous number of photographs of both kit-based and scratchbuilt models of craft from Stingray to Space:1999 (missing out The Secret Service and The Protectors). Models from Joe 90 are Mac's car, the MiG-242 from The Most Special Agent, the U57 from Colonel McClaine and the U87 from The Race.

Also of interest are a couple of pages with background on the show, photographs of model kit boxes and Dinky Toys, and a nice two page colour spread with a montage featuring drawings of many of the guest vehicles and aircraft from Joe 90.

Printed in Japan (Japanese text), 128 pages, ¥1900.

It's Thunderbird Century
The Complete Gerry Anderson Episode Guide

by Adam Pirani
© Titan Books Ltd 1989
Published by Titan Books Limited

Sadly known to many fans as The Incomplete and Largely Inaccurate Gerry Anderson Episode Guide.

Contains a guide to Joe 90 episodes, but has the usual mistakes that many guides make - Mission X-14,The Big Fish and Splash Down instead of Mission X-41, Big Fish and Splashdown - because the information is lifted from the ITC Story Information Book and not checked against the episodes themselves. Makes you wonder what else is wrong...

Printed in England, 168 pages, £8.99.

© 1990

With a minor title change and a switch to hardback, this is a sort of "revised reprint" of 1988's It's Thunderbird Century. It features a lot of new models, but also includes a fair bit from the earlier publication. Only Mac's Car and the U-87 make an appearance this time, but the book also includes simple line drawings of Mac's Car viewed from the top and side, and a reworking of the Joe 90 guest vehicle montage, this time appearing as a nice fold-out section.

Printed in Japan (Japanese text), 128 pages, ¥3800.

It's Thunderbirds' Century
Yes, M'Lady

by Sylvia Anderson
© Sylvia Anderson 1991
Published by Smith Gryphon Limited 1991

A somewhat meandering set of recollections, mainly concentrating on Thunderbirds - so much so that the other shows are only really mentioned in passing. Joe 90 hardly gets a look in.

I personally found it a difficult book to read, as the story rambles back and forth in time with no real chronological structure. But it is interesting nonetheless, and there are some nice behind the scenes photographs from the Thunderbirds television series and films.

Printed in Great Britain, 118 pages, £9.99.

by Simon Archer
© Simon Archer and Inimitable Ltd 1993
Published by HarperCollinsPublishers 1993

A book with a tragic background - the author was killed in a car accident while he was on his way to collect the first copies.

Apparently the book was withdrawn after the author's death due to a copyright dispute between HarperCollins and ITC. However, it does appear to have been reprinted since, so presumably the legal issues were ironed out.

If you're an Anderson fan, there's probably very little in here that you didn't already know, and some of the "facts" are fiction. I also think it suffers in that most of the photographs are modern, and many which could be interpreted as being behind the scenes shots of original puppets and miniatures are actually images of replicas being prepared circa 1993.

Printed in Great Britain, 96 pages, £5.99.

Fab Facts
21st Century Visions

by Derek Meddings (with Sam Mitchell)
© Dragon's World 1993
Published by Dragon's World 1993

Superb book about the special effects work of the late Derek Meddings. Packed with information about his miniature work on many of Anderson's shows, and overflowing with amazing pictures from in front of and behind the camera. Highly recommended.

Several pages about the effects and model work on Joe 90, with fantastic photographs.

Printed in Hong Kong, 128 pages, £12.96.

© ITC Entertainment Group Limited 1993
Published by Asahi Sonorama Co., Ltd. 1993

Without a shadow of a doubt, the very best book on the Anderson series and films to come out of Japan - and the most expensive. Now highly sought after (one sold on eBay in March 2005 for £280), it has more than 350 pages crammed with photographs, many unfamiliar to even the most ardent fan. Covering everything from models, puppets & actors to props, sets, behind the scenes shots & merchandise, this book has it all.

With twenty pages dedicated to Joe 90, featuring many of the guest vehicles and craft used in the series, this is a "must have" for any Anderson collector - if you can find a copy.

Printed in Japan (Japanese text), 376 pages, hardback ¥13,500.

Gerry Anderson's Thunderbirds
The Gerry Anderson Memorabilia Guide

Compiled by Dennis W. Nicholson
© 1994 Dennis Way Nicholson
Published by Cooee Concepts Pty. Ltd.

Available only via mail order, this has become something of a bible to the serious Anderson memorabilia collector. While not complete and with some inaccuracies (it states it is a guide, not an encyclopaedia), it is an almost comprehensive listing of merchandise from The Adventures Of Twizzle right up to the 1991-1994 repeats of Thunderbirds, Stingray and Captain Scarlet and The Mysterons.

With over 400 pages (11 on Joe 90), more than 3000 black & white photographs, and a buyers' price guide, this cannot be recommended highly enough. Dennis recently published a CD-ROM version of the first part of the book, completely updated and revised. Just waiting for volume two now Dennis...

Printed in Australia, 404 pages, £19.95 + £5.95 P&P.

by Simon Archer & Stan Nicholls
© Stan Nicholls and the Estate of Simon Archer 1996
Published by Legend Books 1996

Gerry's biography makes fascinating reading. Taking a chronological route from his birth and childhood, through every production from The Adventures of Twizzle right up to Lavender Castle, it gives an extraordinary  insight into his life and work. Sadly, despite being proof read by some members of the Fanderson committee, the book is full of factual and typographic errors. The club did however publish a comprehensive errata which can be found here.

Only just over two pages on Joe 90 (with two errors), and a small photo as part of a montage on the back cover.

N.B. Revised and republished in 2002 as What Made Thunderbirds Go!

Printed in England, 228 pages, hardback £15.99, paperback £7.99.

Gerry Anderson - The Authorised Biography

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