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Lavender Castle promotional poster | Rodney Matthews

Lavender Castle - Part I: How I met Gerry Anderson

April 13, 2019 1 Comment



I have to admit to being old enough to remember Gerry Anderson’s early TV shows for kids: TorchyFour Feather FallsSupercar and so on - there were so many.  Shows like Thunderbirds and Captain Scarlett have become national treasures with instantly recognisable characters and space machines.  Even though Gerry Anderson MBE passed away in 2012 he is fondly remembered by the generations.  I have often thought that had Gerry been born in the United States he might well have become a second Walt Disney!

Gerry Anderson


So how did I meet this modest and mild mannered English gentleman? 

Rodney Matthews at The Langton Gallery


As I took down the last of my original paintings from the walls of the Langton Gallery in Chelsea, London, where I had just completed a one-man exhibition, it occurred to me with some discomfort that I had not invited Gerry Anderson! 

'How could I compensate for this oversight' I wondered. 

In next to no time I had researched his contact details and with surprising ease been invited to visit him in his office at Bray Studios, in Windsor, where he was shooting a pilot film for Space Police, later renamed Space Precinct

Bray Studios


Unlike many other pitch meetings I have attended, this was certainly more relaxed.  I had the impression that Mr Anderson had put aside some time from his obviously very busy schedule to see me and peruse my portfolio (later he even gave me a conducted tour of the Space Police sets and explained things minutely.)

Previous to that, I had passed said portfolio across his large mahogany desk where he thumbed through the content. He stopped, as one particular image caught his eye. It was a line and watercolour piece titled 'The Bloated Hobgoblin'.

The Bloated Hobgoblin


"I can imagine this as a stop-motion puppet," he remarked, "are there any more like this?"

"Tonnes", I replied.

I left Bray Studios with an invitation to come up with a suggestion for a stop-motion children’s TV series! I drove home with the gigantic smile across my face.

To be continued ... 

Click here to read Part II: The Hiccup


1 Response

Stuart Stickler
Stuart Stickler

April 16, 2019

I remember visiting the exhibition at the Langton Gallery, we came up to town from Bath especially, wasn’t disappointed, now have our own private gallery of Rodney’s work, and a DVD copy of Lavender Castle to boot.

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