Terrahawks was the second and final Gerry Anderson series to feature in Look-In. A number of years in development - originally called Thunderhawks and created potentially a Japanese animation co-production - it finally aired as a puppet series in the UK from late 1983.

The format pitted an elite military force, headed by clone Doctor 'Tiger' Ninestein, against grotesque androids, led by witch-like Zelda, who had destroyed an Earth base on the planet Mars, making it their new home.

Unlike Anderson's earlier puppet series, the characters were not string-operated marionettes but controlled from underneath like Jim Henson's Muppets. While it was necessary to return to a more caricatured and stylised appearance because of this, the change gave the characters far more life and animation than previously. In turn, the more serious tone of early episodes gave way to a more satirical and humourous approach that suited the appearance of the new puppets better.

Terrahawks was not as popular with older fans brought up on the all-action adventures of Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet, UFO and Space:1999, but it developed a following among younger viewers, and the Zeroid robots certainly caught their imagination. With the recent release on DVD, the series has gained more popularity for its comic content.

Unfortunately, two factors worked against Terrahawks taking up a longer residency in Look-In. The initial 26 episodes were cut into two televised series, so the first run of 13 ended in January 1984 - scant weeks into the strip's tenure. Secondly, it is alleged there was a disagreement between Look-In and those people representing the Terrahawks merchandising about how the strip should be drawn. External pressure from the licencees led fan artist Steve Kyte replacing Jim Baikie after three stories, but he was unable to please both sides and with no compromise available, the strip ended prematurely in April before a final six-part story completed the run. While editor Colin Shelbourn does not recollect the disagreement, as it was possibly handled by the art editor at the time, Terrahawks did not return to Look-In to represent further screenings later in 1984 and early 1986.

This was a shame, as the strip - written by regular Anderson and Look-In stalwart Angus Allan - caught the spirit of the characters, and was more action-orientated than the puppets in the series allowed.

All twenty instalments will soon be on-line, thanks to Shaqui Le Vesconte, who also edits the Gerry Anderson Complete Comic History website. More details about the Terrahawks in Look-In can be found at:


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