Gerry Anderson Encyclopedia
Dick Spanner, P.I.
Dick Spanner.png
Released by The Anderson Burr Partnership
Producer Gerry Anderson
Christopher Burr
Directed By Terry Adlam
Steve Begg
Music Director Christopher Burr
Special Effects Derek Meddings
Medium Colour
Episodes 22
Duration 6 Minutes
Original Air Date 1987
Series Guide
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Terrahawks Space Precinct

Dick Spanner, P.I. is a television series created by Gerry Anderson from an original idea by Terry Adlam, it was also Gerry Anderson's first venture into stop motion animation. A full series of 22 six-minute episodes was commissioned after an in-house pilot was made using various materials which included remnants of models from Terrahawks and Space Police.

It was known for its abundant use of puns and tongue-in-cheek humour, and featured Shane Rimmer as the voice of Dick Spanner, a robotic private detective who lived and worked "in a parallel universe not far from here".


Whilst working as a special effects technician on Terrahawks, Terry Adlam had a meeting with Gerry Anderson who was looking for a new storyboard artist. It was here that he showed Gerry his portfolio which included sketches of the character and environment which were inspired by Blade Runner. Gerry was particularly interested in the character of Dick Spanner, and when he asked Terry why this was only the first time he was showing these, Terry replied that he had never asked before.

Main Characters

Dick Spanner

Mae East

Lieutenant O’Grady

Too Tall Tim Johnson

Tall Tim Two

Sidney Sidestreet

Eric Von Strongbow

Gloria Vamp

Wild Man Carew

George Lifeboat

Edward G. Hobson


Initially two serials were produced, each originally broadcast in 11 episodes approximately six minutes in length, but which were edited into two parts for subsequent broadcasts. A third serial was planned, but only one episode was produced, and which has never been broadcast. A two part animated serial was also produced for the 2017 DVD release, drawn by Terry Adlam.


Sam Silverwind

  • The character Sam Silverwind in "The Case Of The Maltese Parrot" was modeled on Gerry Anderson.
  • Gerry would later direct a series of television commercials for Tennent's Pilsner in an almost identical style to the series, starring the robotic character of Lou Tennant.
  • The episode produced for the third serial is notable for featuring adult humour, a topless female character, as well as language which would no longer be considered acceptable. Although it has never been broadcast, it has been released as part of the "The Lost Worlds of Gerry Anderson" DVD set, as well as Network Distributing's DVD Dick Spanner, P.I. release.