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Gerry Anderson: A Life Uncharted DVD Review

“Gerry Anderson: A Life Uncharted” is an insightful but dry documentary.

“Gerry Anderson: A Life Uncharted” is a documentary film about the late pioneering British TV creator who is known for series such as “Thunderbirds,” “UFO,” “Captain Scarlet,” and “Space: 1999.” Told through archival video and audio interviews (along with some deep fake scenes of Gerry Anderson), the documentary is more about who the man was. His son Jamie Anderson acts as a sort of host and narrator much of the time as interviewees (which includes friends, family, and journalists) describe his bleak childhood, family life (including his close bond with his heroic pilot brother Lionel), how he got into the TV business, his wives and children, the creative teams he worked with, financial woes, divorce and custody battle with Sylvia, and his Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis.

Instead of exploring his work, achievements and legacy, director/producer Benjamin Field opts for a more personal angle by showing who Gerry Anderson was as a person. While there is much to be learned here about his family and professional life, his regrets and failures, the presentation is a bit too dry as the film races through his life at the speed of a Thunderbird vehicle. 

‘Gerry’ also feels more like 2 different movies in one. It’s clear Jamie Anderson was trying to get to know his father more through the making of the film, but the beginning of the film feels like another movie entirely with the showcasing of clips from his work that tie into the narrative (sometimes in a goofy manner). Yes, life imitating art (perhaps in a vindictive way) is touched upon here, but his work isn’t touched upon nearly enough. ‘Gerry’ could have used more of a balance of material here as stories about how he got so attached to puppetry and how productions of his biggest series went would have benefited the documentary (and fans to boot). Some of his series get nothing more than a name drop here which is odd. One can assume fans of Anderson would be more drawn to this documentary, but Benjamin Field doesn’t really encapsulate who Gerry Anderson was as a TV legend to those who might be unfamiliar with his catalog of children’s entertainment and sci-fi programs. It’s a puzzling choice to be sure.

Equally puzzling is the inclusion of deep fake technology which really adds nothing to the movie (other than being creepy). It doesn’t help that the deep fake scenes are out of synch with the archival audio clips either.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 2.35:1. Grade: B+

Audio Track: Dolby Digital 2.0. Grade: B

The lone extra is a trailer. 

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January 7, 2023 - Posted by | DVD review | , , , ,

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