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).
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.
- Works filmed in “Supermarionation”:
- Supercar (TV series, 1961-1962, 25 episodes)
- Fireball XL5 (TV series, 1962-1963, 39 episodes)
- Stingray (TV series, 1964-1965, 39 episodes)
- Thunderbirds (TV series, 1965-1966, 32 episodes)
- Thunderbirds Are Go (Movie, 1966)
- Captain Scarlett and the Mysterons (TV series, 1967-1968, 32 episodes)
- Thunderbird 6 (Movie, 1968)
- Joe 90 (TV series, 1968-1969, 30 episodes)
- The Secret Service (TV series, 1969, 1 of 13 episodes)
- Live action works:
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.
- 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.
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:
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: