On September last year, I had attended a Gerry Anderson themed event at the National Space Centre in Leicester. I came dressed as Aloysious Parker from Thunderbirds. Well, sort of. I remembered Parker wore a suit. But one thing I lacked was colouring for my hair and I should’ve really removed my glasses. But the most special time occurred when I met one of Gerry’s many veterans, Shane Rimmer. He was a truly awesome guy. We got chatting briefly about his experiences and he gave me some useful tips on writing. Those included to research other writing materials and the topics covered in a film/TV episode and to carefully consider the characters’ vocabularies.
Here I am with Shane Rimmer. God bless him.
In the wake of Shane’s passing, I meant to write this blog post around that point, but I had been busy with assignments for my course, work and so forth. During a previous post, I stated that I was taking a hiatus from building up this blog. However, considering how lucky I was to meet Shane and that I’m such a fan of the stuff he’s contributed to, I felt it would be an appropriate time to express my honour to him. Plus today is what could’ve been his 90th birthday.
Most people will remember Shane Rimmer as the voice actor for Scott Tracy in Thunderbirds. His character is known to pilot Thunderbird 1, which launches out of a swimming pool, and he is in fact the oldest brother in the Tracy family. He’s known for his fast-paced talking and quick thinking skills. Thunderbirds was Shane’s first collaboration with Gerry Anderson.
Other voice credits for Gerry’s other shows include as various characters in Captain Scarlet & The Mysterons and in Joe 90 and as the titular character in Dick Spanner PI. He also had cameos in some of the James Bond movies including You Only Live Twice, Diamonds Are Forever, Live & Let Die and The Spy Who Loved Me, and in blockbuster movies including Star Wars, Superman, Gandhi and even Batman Begins. Some of you may not recognise him in person, but those of you familiar with Thunderbirds will certainly recognise his voice. There’s one more acting role I should point out and that’s as Joe Donelli in Coronation Street, an American former army guy. Of course, that role was a couple of decades before I was born, but my god, Joe’s death scene, when he sings Silent Night while holding a resident hostage, is so great.
Shane also make a valid contribution to writing. If you check out his resume via IMDB or something, you’ll notice that he wrote episodes for Captain Scarlet & The Mysterons (Avalanche, Expo 2068 and Inferno), most of which end with the Mysterons winning a battle against Spectrum, Joe 90 (Splashdown and King For A Day included), one episode of Secret Service, and some for the Protectors (Zeke’s Blues and Blockbuster). In fact, the episode Avalanche was Shane’s first writing credit. In this one, Captain Scarlet and Lieutenant Green (yes, on that rare occasion, Green and Captain Blue have switched main roles with each other, long story) attempt to block an attack on a network of missile bases in Canada, which is Shane’s birthplace. During their investigation, Scarlet and Green check out every single base to find that the personnel in each base has suffocated due to the removal of oxygen. That, I call an awesome debut!
Considering that Gerry Anderson died before Shane Rimmer did, I have yet to know of anybody personally who actually met Gerry in person. If fans of the shows didn’t get chance, they may have been lucky enough to meet Shane Rimmer. Him or any of the other lot who worked with Gerry. As mentioned above, I was very lucky to meet Shane and he was a lovely bloke. He was talkative and cooperative. I shall cherish that picture of us both and never forget that day.
Shane Rimmer, may you have a happy 90th birthday up in the skies. As Scott Tracy and his fellow Thunderbirds characters would say, F-A-B.