Supercar was a children's TV show produced by Gerry Anderson and Arthur Provis's AP Films for ATV and ITC Entertainment. 39 episodes were produced between 1961 and 1962, and it was Anderson's first half-hour series. In the UK it was seen on ITVand in the US in syndication (the first Anderson series to be shown overseas). The format uses puppets in a technique calledsupermarionation, a name that was first seen in the closing titles of the last 13 episodes.
The plot of the show consisted of Supercar, a vertical takeoff and landing craft invented by Rudolph Popkiss and Horatio Beaker, and piloted by Mike Mercury. On land it rode on a cushion of air rather than wheels. Jets in the rear allowed it to fly like a jet and retractable wings were incorporated in the back of the car. Retrorockets on the side of the car slowed the vehicle. The car used "Clear-Vu", which included an inside television monitor allowing the occupant to see through fog and smoke. The vehicle was housed in a laboratory and living facility at Black Rock, Nevada, U.S.A. In the show's first episode, "Rescue", the Supercar crew's first mission is to save the passengers of a downed private plane. Two of the rescued, young Jimmy Gibson and his pet monkey, Mitch, are invited to live at the facility and share in the adventures.
The series inaugurated what would become an Anderson trademark, the launch sequence. Every one of his series up until Space: 1999 would include these – in Supercar's case, the charging and firing of port and starboard engines, the activation of an interlock, the opening of (overhead) hangar doors, and finally the vertical take-off.