RIP Alan Harris

#RIP: actor & miscellaneous crew member Alan Harris died on Jan. 31, 2020 at the age of 81. He played Leia’s Rebel Escort in “#StarWars IV: #ANewHope”, Bossk / Bespin Security Guard / stand-in for C-3PO for Anthony Daniels in “Star Wars V: #TheEmpireStrikesBack”, Stormtrooper / stand-in for C-3PO for Anthony Daniels in “Star Wars VI: #ReturnOfTheJedi”, double for actor Terrence stamp as Chancellor Finis Valorum in “Star Wars I: #ThePhantomMenace”; Vervoid / Sevateem Council Member in #DoctorWho; Main Mission Operative / Alphan / Entran Prisoner / Patient in #Space1999; Skydiver Engineer / Interceptor Pilot in #GerryAnderson’s #UFO; man in street in #Scrooge; prison guard in #AClockworkOrange; photographer in #JourneyToTheFarSideOfTheSun; Doctor / Hotel Porter / Journalist / Man at Party in #TheAvengers (TV series); an uncredited stand-in for Peter Hinwood in #RockyHorrorPictureShow; stand-in in #TheDarkCrystal; stand-in for Christopher Reeve & Gene Hackman in #Superman (1978), stand-in for Gene Hackman in “Superman II”; & more.

Our condolences to his family, friends and fans. May he rest in peace and may the Force be with him always.

Alan Harris

Alan Harris (1938-2020)

References

RIP Shane Rimmer

#RIP: actor Shane Rimmer has died at the age of 89. Born May 28, 1929, Shane Rimmer voiced the character of Scott Tracy in #Thunderbirds. He also played an InCom Engineer in “#StarWars IV: #ANewHope”, Hogan in #ThePeopleThatTimeForgot, Capt. Daniels in #WarlordsOfTheDeep, Seth Harper in #DoctorWho, an Eagle Pilot / Maintenance Section Voice / James Kelly / Voice of Bannion in #Space1999, a CIA agent / Lt. Bill Johnson / an alien / Seagull X-Ray co-pilot in Gerry Anderson’s #UFO, Older Gotham Water Board Technician in #BatmanBegins, Colonel in #AlienAutopsy, Board Member 1 in #DarkShadows, E. J. Saggs in #SpaceTruckers, Naval Transport Commander in #Superman (1978), Controller #2 in #SupermanII, state policeman in #SupermanIII, voiced several characters in #CaptainScarletAndTheMysterons, voiced several characters in #Joe90, played Rusty / team executive in #Rollerball (1975), played Redneck (Melvin) in #MoronsFromOuterSpace, & much more, including playing Cmdr. Carter in the James Bond movie #TheSpyWhoLovedMe.

Our condolences to his family, friends and fans. F.A.B.

Shane Rimmer

Shane Rimmer (1929-2019)

References

Barry Gray: The Composer behind the Works of Gerry & Sylvia Anderson

Children who grew up in Britain in the 1960’s were the first to see the science fiction of the late Gerry & Sylvia Anderson (1929-2012, 1927-2016). These works included a very characteristic set of musical scores that were all composed by the late Barry Gray (1908-1984).

Barry Gray

Barry Gray (1908-1984)

The works to which we’re referring were mostly filmed using puppets in a format that Gerry Anderson dubbed as “Supermarionation”, but the later works were filmed with live actors. We’ve listed the main works below (excluding derivative works), which all have the music composed by Barry Gray.

Barry Gray’s music is characterised by the use of brass and percussion sections, as well as extensive use of leitmotifs. (A leitmotif is a short, constantly recurring musical phrase associated with a particular person, place, or idea.) His works also required the use of fairly large ensembles of musicians, as well as some unusual electronic instruments to produce some very unconventional musical notes and sound effects:

  • An ondes martenot, which was invented in 1928 by French cellist Maurice Martenot  in an attempt to replicate the accidental overlaps of tones between military radio oscillators. ondes_martenot
  • A swarmatron, which is an analogue synthesizer that uses a ribbon controller rather than a keyboard and is noted for its use of multiple oscillators that are linked through a ‘swarm’ control to create its distinctive sound and method of playing.jyniyot2wqop1gibpbci

A live concert of Barry Gray’s music was performed in 2016 in Brighton, UK. Below is a YouTube video discussing the music and instruments that Barry Gray used:

Barry Gary’s Opening and Closing Themes

Included below are YouTube videos of the theme songs written by Barry Gray:

Supercar theme:

Fireball XL5 theme:

Stingray opening & closing themes with snippets:

Thunderbirds opening & closing credits with snippets:

Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons opening and closing themes:

Joe 90 opening and closing credits with snippets:

Journey to the Far Side of the Sun movie theme with other themes:

UFO opening and closing themes with snippets:

Space: 1999 first season opening theme:

Space: 1999 first season closing theme:

References