An atmospheric flyer with low orbit capabilities which can also be fuelled for deeper space journeys – ‘a VW of the future’.
Featuring triple jet thruster engines, retracting landing feet with hydraulic assisted scissor doors this vehicle was given to Lieutenant Brogan as a family transport vehicle.
Designed as ‘Volkswagen Beetle like’ in its internal spacing and layout by tv and movie model-maker/designer Bill Pearson. His team included Alan Brannan and Chris Trice. Chris Trice states: ‘During an early meeting, Bill suggested wouldn’t it be amusing if Ted Shackleford’s character had a weekend hobby like a VW custom car. Gerry Anderson thought it was a great idea. Bill reiterated ‘like a VW, not necessarily a VW’ but Gerry liked the VW idea. Budget dictated that once it was built, it got reused as many times as possible.’
A full-size version was later made in fiberglass at Pinewood Studios and the design eventually used for all runabout vehicles in Demeter City throughout the production. The car was part of the opening titles and similar vehicles are seen in red, yellow, green or off-white paint throughout the series.
Two other design variations are seen on the VW theme one in red and another yellow.
The Gerry Anderson made for TV series is set in the year 2040 and starred American actor Ted Shackelford as former NYPD detective Patrick Brogan, now a lieutenant with the Demeter City police force on the planet Altor in the Epsilon Eridani system. Brogan and his partner Jack Haldane (played by Rob Youngblood) must adjust to living in another solar system, and investigating crimes being committed by aliens as well as humans.
Behind the scenes set photographs courtesy spaceprecinct.com. Some images courtesy Alan Brannan from ‘From Sketch to Screen’ publication. Some information courtesy Chris Trice.