On The Air joins Gerry and his faithful aide Sean Coyle as they engage the whims, wisdom and general bedazzlements of their listeners.
In this second series of the animated program, Gerry and Sean’s characters are given more depth and stimuli, as we witness tension and despair in the little colourful radio studio in Londonderry.
Gerry Anderson who is delighted to be back in glorious Technicolor is still concerned at how the animators are representing him, he says: “I am still upset about having only three fingers on each hand and no nose. I'm taking this to the highest court in the land. And then to Strasbourg.”
In this series the (genuine) callers are more surreal than in the first, the untapped madness and surrealism of the city and countryside are flourishing here in Gerry’s phone-in mid morning slot. The series will see Gerry getting it from all sides and in the studio the steadfast and supportive Sean helps him along as he fields odd but genuine calls about dead mosquitoes, frightened roosters, hypnotized hens, road rage and aspiring artists that might bring a smile to a nurses face.
Technically, this series is more ambitious and the backgrounds and scenes are more detailed and based on real NI locations. Marrying CGI and live claymation gives a warmth to the animation while giving the backgrounds a realistic feel. The animators have refined and accentuated the physical traits, gestures and habits that make Sean and Gerry so unique.
Joel Simon, director says, “For this second series, we gave more depth and insight to the characters of Gerry and Sean, by choosing dialogue in which they reveal more about themselves. Like the time Sean offered to be Gerry’s ‘rock of empathy’, after Gerry’s nearly had enough of the show’s chaos.
The calls we chose to animate were more surreal than in the first series. You’ll hear about stoned nurses, hypnotized chickens and a confused air traffic controller. I think some characters are funnier than anything we could have scripted ourselves. ”
On The Air begins Friday May 2 on BBC One Northern Ireland at 10.35pm. It is a Flickerpix animation for BBC Northern Ireland.