01/01/2012. Contributed by Sue Davies
pub: Big Finish. 3 CDs 210 minute autobiography. Price: CD: GBP16.99 (UK), Download: GBP14.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-8443-561-0. narrator: Shane Rimmer.
check out web site www.BigFinish.com
If you want to pick an actor who’s been in every cult show we obsess about on here, then step forward Shane Rimmer. He was the voice of Scott Tracy in ‘Thunderbirds’ and his autobiography, ‘From Thunderbirds To Pterodactyls’, is certainly a catchy title, if anything it is an understatement about this memoir. A man who managed to insult Warren Beatty over the phone and still get a part in the film, Rimmer is certainly not a shy retiring flower. Not many people could have crammed in all this experience in a lifetime. He was certainly helped by being a Canadian with a lovely warm manner and accent in a land of stiff upper Brits. There’s nothing wrong with being away from your homeland when it brings you continued work opportunities.
His friend, Ed Bishop, shared the trait of being much in demand for the ‘Yank’ in a sea of English received pronunciation. So, thanks to this and by the sound of it being open-minded and adventurous, Rimmer appeared in a raft of cult shows in the 1960s and 1970s including ‘The Persuaders’, ‘UFO’ and ‘The Protectors’. He also managed three separate roles in famous UK soap ‘Coronation Street’ and found time to write episodes of ‘Joe 90’, ‘Captain Scarlet’ and ‘The Protectors’.
Shane Rimmer is also a stalwart of several classic James Bond movies. As captain of a nuclear sub in ‘The Spy Who Loved Me’, he really got to call the shots. His ‘crew’ were old hands at various conflicts, all of them on celluloid. His recall of Barbara Bach’s shower scene is almost photogenic...
This is not just a professional memoir, however, and something of the person comes through as he talks about his family holidays and an abandoned puppy. He feels like a man who would make lemonade out of life’s lemons and though he is never arrogant and puts himself in the background of a life littered with characters and colour. Oh and he gets to battle with a giant squid.
From ‘Thunderbirds To Pterodactyls’ is an special autobiography told in the first person by its creator and because of this, there is immediacy to it, as if you were having a conversation with someone who is happy to talk about his life in a series of anecdotes. It’s comprehensive and there is plenty in there about everything he took part in. It’s an admirable feat considering most of us can’t remember what we had for breakfast.
This is quite a comprehensive history of Rimmer’s time in the studios and lasts for nearly four hours on audio. It’s an amazing list, too, of so many shows and films that you may want to rush out and watch again. Whether you are a cult TV fan, a film fan (‘Superman II’ and III, ‘The People That Time Forgot’, ‘Ghandi’, etc, etc) or a James Bond fan, there is plenty of here for you. If you love little titbits of memory and a little bit of gossip then you will certainly get plenty from this. He even managed to get in a theatrical experience in his extended career.
Never the headline act in the movies, nevertheless this memoir is the story of a rich and fulfilled life of a jobbing actor and a family man.
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