Richard Williams

The death was announced last week of one of my cinema heroes, Richard Williams.

Williams was born in Canada but lived and worked nearly all his life in the UK. He used to have his headquarters in Soho Square in London. Am not sure if it is still there.

You will know Mr Williams’ work. He has produced some very famous animation over the years, including Who Framed Roger Rabbit? and credits for many feature films, including some Pink Panthers and The Charge of the Light Brigade.

I have seen Mr W several times at the NFT in conversation about his work. The last time wa maybe a year or so ago. He was there to show his big project, an animated full length film variously called The Thief, The Thief and the Cobbler, The Princess and the Cobbler…

This is/was a kind of Arabian Nights type story, and has one of the most longwinded and troubled production histories of any film. You can read all about it here:

The chances of a final, definitive version appearing seem slight.


I always loved the original Thunderbirds. It was great tv for its time. But, I have always had questions:

  • why were the launch procedures of the craft so complicated?
  • why did the Tracy brothers nearly always wear the same clothes?
  • what had John done that was so bad that he was almost always banished to the space station?
  • why did John wear his uniform at all times when he lived alone?
  • what did John do for fun?
  • how come no-one could detect T5 in orbit?
  • why weren’t IR working all the time? Surely people are in danger at all times, day and night?
  • although IR said no photographs, we have to be anonymous, plenty of people knew their names and their link to Lady Penelope…
  • how did the craft fly? When they were coming in to land, they seemed to hover with no engines burning. Then they fired downwards and this made them go downwards. Then they stopped firing jets, and settled gently to the ground, rather than falling like stones. How is this even possible?
  • why are T2’s wings on backwards?
  • how did The Hood get his name? Who does he work for?