* Please do not take this as a guarantee that your new year will, in fact, be happy … but I sure hope it is
We’re a couple days into 2022, and I’m on the last day of my annual Christmas vacation. I take a couple weeks at the end of the year to revitalize the old brain and soul, and I’m happy to say this was a pretty good vacation. I got some work done around the house, including finally building a work bench, got to do some cooking (a roast for Christmas dinner and hoppin’ john for New Year’s Day), did some reading, and watched a metric ton of Gerry Anderson shows – Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet, Joe 90, Space: 1999 and the Secret Service (ooo – and there’s a new episode of Nebula 75 out – not Gerry Anderson per se’, but close).
I even took a couple naps (unheard of) and spent a couple nice days sitting on the patio listening to tunes and sipping pop.
What’s on slate for 2022?
First and foremost, I need to finish editing the Blood & Treasure version of Deities & Demigods. I also have a few cool ideas for blog posts that need some finishing/polishing. Other than that, I’m just trying to enjoy the beauty of life, spend time with family, and get myself right with the Lord.
Speaking of blog posts and Gerry Anderson – one of my favorite things about the Anderson-verse is the design. The sets, the costumes – just mid-century awesome. This is part of the reason I dig Star Trek so much. For some reason, I started making notes on the military uniforms that appear in the different series.
While some of the series reference the U.S. military and British military, they also reference world-wide military organizations – the World Army, World Air Force and World Navy. They have some pretty groovy emblems:
Where uniforms are concerned, they can jump all over the place. At some point I’m going to diagram them, because they are super cool, but for now, I’ve diagramed some of the rank insignia. It’s often hard to figure out just what they look like, since the marionettes are fairly small. It’s also hard to figure out the overall schema sometimes. But here’s what I’ve figured out so far …
As a life-long American, I would have once said that the chances of our military changing its rank insignia was nil … these days, who the hell knows? Maybe we’ll get creative by the 2060’s.
U.S. Air Force
The U.S. Air Force got a few different looks in Thunderbirds.
The first one is probably the most realistic, with the traditional colonel’s insignia
The last batch are the oddest; they were worn by men in a control tower. I don’t think there was ever a mention of rank, so how they hang together, I have no idea.
One comment on the emblem worn on the cap of the U.S. Navy personel – it look remarkably like the chrysanthemum emblem used in Japan. I can promise you that the U.S. Navy will not soon be adopting the emblem of Imperial Japan on its caps.
We get a good shot of World Army uniforms in the “Avalanche” episode of Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons.
While the different stripes on the general’s epaulettes and sleeves is weird, one can actually see how this rank system would work. The only question would be what symbol accompanies the stripes for the major – lt. colonel – colonel ranks.
The World Navy apparently gets different rank insignia for surface vessels and submarine vessels.
There’s a taste of the weird and wonderful militaries of the Anderson universe. More to come when I have more time to spend.