The Magic Highway


After Vic Elmes left Christie, he dabbled in writing music scores.

lady penelopeVIC married Dee Anderson, daughter of Sylvia and Gerry Anderson, creator of the Thunderbirds and other "supermarionation" series. (The Thunderbirds character Lady Penelope was in fact modelled after Sylvia Anderson.)
   Because of this connection, Vic was able to get a foot in the door of the Anderson stable, and was commissioned to write theme music for some of its shows, the most notable of which was the first year run of Space: 1999, with its "space disco" feel and electric guitar work. Vic also wrote the score for a couple of other Space: 1999 episodes.
investigator   He provided the music for another Anderson project, The Investigator, which unfortunately never got beyond the pilot stage, and to this day remains unreleased. He also collaborated with former Christie bass player Roger Flavell on the Anderson program The Animates.
   After the Anderson projects, Vic delved in the movie world, penning the music for a film called The Ups and Downs of a Handyman.
  The following extracts were taken from answers provided by Vic to a series of questions posed by Space: 1999 fans Jerry Scott, Brian J Dowling, Simon Morris and Kevin McCorry:

"By being married to Sylvia Anderson's daughter, the offer of the job did come more easily than if I'd had no personal connection.
   I did not find it at all easy working on Space 1999 as I had never worked in the film business before. With a lot of help from the program's music editor Alan Willis, I had to learn how to improvise and compromise to get through it all. I don´t remember being influenced by anyone while I was working on the series, only what came out of my own head.
   Alan Willis and I became very good friends, due to our close working relationship, and I have to say I learned a great deal from him, as it was more than obvious that Barry Gray (who wrote most of the other Anderson music) had no intention of trying to work together with me. It became very clear that he considered me as something of an underling or novice where music was concerned, because of his vast classical background. Therefore this made it impossible for us to find a working relationship.


   As for the theme to Space: 1999 (first year), where you can hear the lead guitar piece playing in the intro theme, and of course at the end of each episode, it has to be said that I did write this piece myself, based upon the overall mood of music which Barry Gray was composing. I used a bass player (John McCoy) and drummer (Liam Genockey) from a very good rock band named Zebra, and I played the lead guitar part.
   I also wrote the score for the Space: 1999 episode Ring Around the Moon, although we also used some library music.
   After Space: 1999, I worked on the film The Ups and Downs of a Handyman and on a pilot TV series for Sylvia Anderson, which was a puppet series for very young children. Its title was The Animates, but only a few episodes were televised, because it did not prove to be a success."