okay, now 2016 can suck it. Sylvia Anderson is dead.

In the States, everybody knows Doctor Who and Blake’s 7, but the Gerry and Sylvia Anderson collaborations spanned decades as well, new series after new series, some of the most amazing, crazy, quirky, modernist epic madness you’ve ever seen.

And the thing is – because sexism, everybody thinks of Gerry as the only mad genius, but I got news, he wasn’t. Sylvia was slugging right in with him. She had a career after they broke up. And the important part, the part people don’t know unless they dig into all this, is…

Sylvia was the one who made their worlds work. She was the one who sold you on their modernist futures, who put the pieces together so they breathed, and even when it was the supermarionation (puppet) shows – no, especially when it was the puppet shows – it was her aesthetic that made them live.

Thunderbirds without Sylvia, without Lady Penelope? Impossible. Captain Starlet without the Angels? Ha!

Yeah, you want to see the difference Century 21 shows with and without Sylvia? Compare series one of Space: 1999 with series two. That’s when they separated, between those two years. They were already fighting pretty badly in year one, so it’s not always their best work, but I will goddamn well stack up “Voyager’s Return” or “Dragon’s Domain” or “Mission of the Darians” against anything that came out of Star Trek and look pretty goddamn good, thanks.

And then look at the train wreck that is Series 2 and know, that’s without Sylvia. Don’t discount her. Ever.

And now she’s gone. Not, I suppose, “before her time,” even though she was still working as a voice actress last year. She was turning 89 later this month; that’s where you really start to lose even the more durable of people.

But I don’t have to like it.

So long, Lady P. Thank you. It’s been marvellous. Well done. Well done.

eta: I made my Tumblr blog a Sylvia Anderson fan blog for the day. Here are the posts. I may add more.