UK premiere of Inferno at Supercelebration

Inferno, episode 22 of Thunderbirds Are Go‘s second season, will receive its UK premiere screening at Fanderson’s Supercelebration convention – a weekend celebrating 50 years of UFO, Doppelgänger, The Secret Service and other Gerry and Sylvia Anderson creations – this September.

The Crystal Spire, the tallest building in the world, catches fire and the local firefighters are rendered helpless. Virgil and Alan are called to extinguish the flames and rescue everyone trapped inside.

Though omitted from ITV’s 2017 broadcast of the series, the episode has been hailed for featuring a rescue reminiscent of the classic 1966 Thunderbirds episode City Of Fire and continues to be available on streaming services elsewhere.

Registrations for Supercelebration will close on 1st September 2019, and we cannot guarantee that there will be any on-the-door places available. Don’t miss out!

 

Happy birthday, Fanderson!

Yes, it was 38 years ago today that Gerry Anderson was joined by Keith Shackleton, Pam Barnes, Mark Jones, Barbara Kitson, Chris Leach, David Nightingale, Phil Rae, Brendan Sheehan and John Williams at Pinewood Studios.

Together, they formed the world’s only official appreciation society for the work of Gerry and Sylvia Anderson – Fanderson.

Gerry Anderson’s Space: 1999 returns

Space:1999, Gerry Anderson’s epic outer space TV series, is returning after 42 years in an exciting audio drama series from Big Finish Productions.

Space:1999 was originally launched in September 1975. It was lavish, it was expensive, it was thrilling, and it was packed with stunning effects and exotic alien worlds. It told the story of the inhabitants of Moonbase Alpha, forced to journey into the unknown when a freak nuclear accident blasts the Moon out of Earth’s orbit and into deep space. Martin Landau played Alpha’s leader Commander John Koenig, Barbara Bain was Dr Helena Russell and Barry Morse portrayed scientist Professor Victor Bergman.

These much-loved characters – and many others – are back this September in a brand-new series of audio dramas which will combine re-imagined versions of classic episodes together with all-new scripts.

After the Apollo missions of the 1960s and early 1970s, space exploration was very nearly abandoned as public pressure mounted for money to be concentrated on problems down here on Earth. 

But, by a whisker, funding was granted for a base on the Moon. Greatly expanded, it became the international Moonbase Alpha we know today. 311 personnel serve in a perfect, self-sustaining, artificial environment – their mission statement: ‘To forward the frontiers of human knowledge and science’.

Dateline: 13th September 1999. The interplanetary Meta Probe is due to be launched from a platform orbiting the Moon. What could possibly go wrong?

Stepping enthusiastically into the role of Commander Koenig is Mark Bonnar, the Scottish multi-BAFTA-winning actor best known for Shetland, Catastrophe, Humans, Porridge, Line Of Duty and Unforgotten. “Space:1999 and Martin Landau were two of my favourite things growing up,” says Mark. “So my ten year old self was jumping up and down when I got the news that I’d been cast!”

Mark is joined by Maria Teresa Creasey as Dr Helena Russell, with additional cast members Glen McCready (Commander Gorsky/Paul Morrow/Alan Carter), Clive Hayward (Professor Victor Bergman), Susan Hingley (Sandra Benes/Alpha Computer/Sian Springer), Timothy Bentinck (Commissioner Simmons), Amaka Okafor (Dashka Kano) and Jules de Jongh (Petra Nordstrom).

Listen to the trailer:

 

Executive producer, Nicholas Briggs, who is also writing and directing the series, explains more: “The possibilities for this series are endless. It’s an unplanned odyssey that starts with a catastrophe. Disparate personalities are thrown together, clinging on for dear life, finding themselves flung to the far reaches of a universe full of wonder and danger. We’re being absolutely faithful to that central concept, but there is also an element of reinvention in this version. It will feel and sound very much like the original, but with extra dimensions and lots of surprises.”

Producer David Richardson says: “I was obsessed with Space:1999 when it first aired. I have a photo of a 12-year-old me standing in my bedroom surrounded by my Space: 1999 posters, books and toys. And the 56-year-old me still regularly watches the series on Blu-ray – it’s been with me all my life and remains a part of my DNA!”

Space:1999 will launch on 13th September 2019 with the pilot episode Breakaway, which has been adapted and reimagined by Nicholas Briggs. This release date has been chosen because it is 20 years to the day after the Moon was blown out of Earth’s orbit (according to the original series’ opening titles)! This feature-length first story is split over two CDs, with a further hour of behind-the-scenes interviews and extras on a bonus disc.

An additional box set of four episodes will follow early in 2020, with the full cast announced in the coming months.

Space:1999 Breakaway – is available now to pre-order at £16.99 for a 3-disc CD box set or £14.99 via download from www.bigfinish.com

UFO soundtrack coming from Silva Screen

The long awaited commercial release of Barry Gray’s freshly remastered score for Gerry and Sylvia Anderson’s 1970 live action series, UFO, will be available worldwide from 13th September in CD, digital and vinyl formats.

2019 would have been Gerry Anderson’s 90th birthday. To celebrate his legacy, Silva Screen Records will release a series of freshly remastered and compiled soundtrack albums from the iconic TV shows. Starting with UFO on 13th September, the Silva Screen releases will feature unforgettable TV themes and will cover all the major, worldwide popular series that Gerry Anderson produced. All the releases in this series are being newly compiled, mastered and designed by the creative team at Fanderson – The Official Gerry And Sylvia Anderson Appreciation Society.

Moving away from his signature militaristic sound which relied heavily on the brass and percussion sections, for UFO, Barry Gray produced a jazz tinged period score, rooted in lounge style. The softer sound, with extensive use of leitmotifs, follows Gerry and Sylvia Anderson’s first live action sci-fi series. Featuring 26 episodes set in the futuristic 1980s, the series is inspired by the two big topics of the 60s – extra terrestrials and the first successful heart transplant. The timing was perfect for a story about the Earth community defending themselves from aliens intent on harvesting human organs and the storyline follows the constant battle of SHADO (Supreme Headquarters Alien Defence Organisation), a secret organisation defending earth against the invaders from space.

Barry Gray was both a classically trained composer and a versatile musician who worked as musical arranger for Vera Lynn, Eartha Kitt and Hoagy Carmichael, resident conductor of the RAF camp dance band and a TV composer. Indeed it was Vera Lynn who introduced Barry Gray to Gerry Anderson. Equally at ease composing for big ensembles, electronica, military bands and jazz ensembles, Barry Gray is best known for creating the music for Gerry and Sylvia Anderson’s Supermarionation television series Fireball XL5, Thunderbirds, UFO, and Space:1999 and his influence on the TV score genre is still evident today.

For the best price, pre-order your double vinyl LP (£24.99) or the CD (£9.99) version from Silva Screen right now (prices correct at the time of publication).

 

Supercelebration Treasure 10: Thank you all so much!

At Fanderson’s Supercelebration convention this September we’ll be raising much-needed funds for our convention charity – The Silver Line – through blind and live auctions, raffles and other activities during the weekend.

Over recent weeks we’ve been teasing you with just a small selection of the unusual and rare items that our generous friends, partners, licensees and club members have donated.

Since announcing our charity we’ve received even more goodies that will be going home with our convention delegates. With raffle tickets at just £1 each, everyone, whatever your budget, has a chance of going home with something special and helping a good cause.

If you would like to donate something to raise money for a great cause, please e-mail details (including photos) to us at fanderson.org.uk@outlook.com before 1st September 2019.

Robert Harrop Parker and Light-Fingered Fred Figurines. These are the Studio Original Masters for the limited edition figurines, produced for Fanderson’s 2015 convention The Future Is Fantastic!

Space Precinct Leather Jacket. A rare promotional item produced for the launch on Sky Television in 1995.

Popcorn SHADO Mobile, Angel Interceptor and SPV (mixed media resin/white metal models).

Graham Bleathman FAB 1 Cutaway Art Print.

UFO Technical Manual. Published in 2009 and long since out-of-print (recently seen for over £125 online).

Laser-etched Thunderbird 3 Glass Block.

Check out the following links for previous teasers…

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And our Supercelebration charity is…..

Having considered all organisations nominated by delegates coming to Supercelebration this September, the club committee is delighted to announce that The Silver Line will be our convention charity.

Loneliness amongst older people can lead to depression, leave people vulnerable to abuse and even affect the onset of dementia. The Silver Line operates the only confidential, free helpline for older people across the UK that’s open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The Silver Line Helpline provides three functions to support older people:

  • a sign-posting service to link them into the many, varied services that exist around the country
  • a befriending service to combat loneliness
  • a means of empowering those who may be suffering abuse and neglect, if appropriate to transfer them to specialist services to protect them from harm

Since their launch in November 2013, The Silver Line Helpline has received over 2 million calls. Over two-thirds of these calls were made overnight or at weekends when no other helpline is available for older people who may be lonely, isolated or confused. They now receive around 10,500 calls every week from lonely and isolated older people; with 53% of callers saying they have literally no-one else to speak to.

Over 3,000 volunteer Silver Line Friends are making regular weekly friendship calls to older people. They have launched Silver Circles, group calls for people with shared interests.

The Silver Line relies entirely on voluntary donations to cover the cost of calls to the helpline, friendship services, and all other costs. We’ll be raising much-needed funds through blind and live auctions, raffles and other activities during the weekend.

Watch this short message about the importance of The Silver Line from founder, Dame Esther Rantzen.

After I wrote a newspaper article describing my feelings, as a widow living alone for the first time at the age of 71, Ellen wrote to me (anonymously, because she said she did not want to burden her daughter) to describe her own feelings of loneliness:

“I can’t get out on my own due to health problems, so it can be as much as 3 days I go without talking to anyone… I dread the winter nights when everything seems to close in around me and I feel so isolated. I am an optimist by nature and sometimes I need that to get through another pointless day where I feel as if I am a waste of space.”

What kind of society have we created when an intelligent, articulate woman feels her life is pointless, and she is a waste of space?

The reality is that older people should be valued as a tremendous asset to society. Older people keep families functioning, (one third of all working mothers depend on grandparents for childcare), they form the bedrock of the charitable sector, in the workplace their skills and experience make an invaluable contribution. If, like Ellen, they become isolated and vulnerable, it is the nation’s responsibility to make older people feel valued, to include them, empower them, and connect them back to their communities. And that is what we hope The Silver Line Helpline will achieve.

Loneliness can cause serious damage, physically and mentally, as dangerous as smoking fifteen cigarettes a day, more dangerous than obesity. When I had the idea that a helpline might prove a vital, liberating link for older people, based on my experience of creating ChildLine, (the helpline for children in distress or danger), I was thrilled by the way charities, statutory organizations and individuals working in the field of elderly care instantly offered their support and expertise. All were united in the knowledge that even given the wide range of excellent projects across the country, some vulnerable older people are so isolated they are extremely hard to reach. And there is a huge unmet demand for advice and friendship. A survey by the Campaign to End Loneliness found that 42% of older people reported that if they need help, they do not know where to turn.

In November 2012 we launched our Silver Line pilot with very limited publicity, with the slogan “No question too big, no problem too small, no need to be alone.” We instantly discovered how crucial our pilot service was to the older people who rang. Some callers rang late at night to say “I just wanted someone to say Good Night to.” Dorothy told us “It’s so good to speak to someone who seems really interested in what I think.” They told us that speaking to our team at any time, day or night, gave them security, and something to look forward to. Many said that the small hours of the night, and the long hours of Sundays were very bleak, if you are alone. Christmas, they said, was particularly painful. I spoke to one elderly gentleman on Christmas Day who told me, “To be one hundred per cent honest, Esther, you are the first person I’ve spoken to all day.” When I rang him back a week later he told me I was the only person he had spoken to all through Christmas and the New Year.

One gentleman told us, “When I get off the phone, I feel like I belong to the human race.” And a lady said that, thanks to the regular calls she receives from our Silver Line Friend, she no longer feels “shuffled under the carpet.”

When Childline was launched, it uncovered the shocking prevalence of abuse and neglect among our children. The Silver Line Helpline has revealed a truth about our older people which just as shattering. The stigma attached to admitting loneliness, the reluctance in older people to ask for help because “there are so many other people far worse off than I am” and “I don’t want to be a burden” has meant that we have ignored and neglected the deep unhappiness created by loneliness, which is afflicting so many elderly people.

We are extremely grateful to Dr Callan and the CSJ for their independent evaluation. Grateful thanks also to the Big Lottery Fund and other generous donors, who enabled us to launch our national service well in time for Christmas 2013. In July 2018 we took our 2 millionth call. We are receiving 10,500 calls a week and have trained over 4000 volunteer Silver Line Friends.  Let us hope it goes some way to prove to the older generation that they are valued, that we care about their well-being, and that The Silver Line gives them the information and friendship they need, and deserve.

Dame Esther Rantzen DBE

Supercelebration Treasure 9: musical Tracy Island, Virgin Trains plaque and more…

At Fanderson’s Supercelebration convention this September we’ll be raising much-needed funds for our convention charity.

The club committee has considered all charity nominations made by members registering to attend Supercelebration, and we’ll be announcing our convention charity very soon.

Our generous friends, partners, licensees and club members have donated a treasure trove of unusual and rare items which will all be going home with convention delegates as a result of our blind and live auctions, raffles and other activities during the weekend.

If you would like to donate something to raise money for a great cause, please e-mail details (including photos) to us at fanderson.org.uk@outlook.com before 1st September 2019.

With raffle tickets at just £1 each, everyone, whatever your budget, has a chance of going home with something special and helping a good cause.

Check out the following links for previous posts, and below is our latest taster of the range that will be on offer…

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Robert Harrop Tracy Island Music Box. A limited edition model of just 250 pieces, and long-since sold out (available second-hand recently from £120 online).

Aoshima Mini Tracy Island model kit

Virgin Trains Plaque, produced by Virgin Trains to commemorate their unveiling of 57301 Scott Tracy by Gerry Anderson in 2002.

Thunderbirds Are Go: Avalanche this Saturday

Premieres at 8:00am on Saturday 13th July on ITV and CITV. Repeated Sunday, Wednesday 4.30pm and Thursday at 7:30am on CITV.

An avalanche traps vlogger Brandon “The Bear” Berrenger (Tom Rosenthal) and his camera assistant Goose in a treacherous snowy basin. Scott, Alan and Virgil must work carefully to dig out Brandon without triggering a second disaster with their vehicles. This is a rather ‘public’ rescue for IR – how will they respond to being in front of the camera?

Easter Eggs:

  • Brand Berrenger returns
  • Sherpa Pod is used

We are about to launch… Stingray!

Stand By For Action!

Fanderson’s new 3-CD soundtrack to Gerry and Sylvia Anderson’s 1964 series Stingray will be available from 1st August 2019.

Remastered and substantially expanded from the club’s long out-of-print 2009 release, this amazing box set of music from Stingray contains the most comprehensive set of recordings from the series ever produced.

Numerous versions of the opening and closing titles are accompanied by the commercial break sting, commercially released tracks and suites from over 30 Stingray episodes. The full-colour 40-page booklet is packed with track details, musicians and known recording sessions, and the package is completed by  a glossy slipcase.

Running for over 228 minutes, Fanderson’s new Stingray album is a vital addition to your soundtrack collection.

Order yours here, for delivery from 1st August 2019.

Supercelebration Treasure 8: Eagle Transporter model kit, Thunderbirds Are Go art print and more

At Fanderson’s Supercelebration convention this September we’ll be raising much-needed funds for our convention charity.

Members who registered for the convention before June have nominated charities that they’d like us to support, and the club committee will be considering all nominees at their July meeting.

Our generous friends, partners, licensees and club members have donated a raft of unusual and rare items which will all be going home with convention delegates as a result of our blind and live auctions, raffles and other activities during the weekend.

If you would like to donate something to raise money for a great cause, please e-mail details (including photos) to us at fanderson.org.uk@outlook.com.

With raffle tickets at just £1 each, everyone, whatever your budget, has a chance of going home with something special and helping a good cause. Keep an eye out for more items, and start saving your pocket money!

To give you just a taste of the range that will be on offer…

Haynes Tracy Island jigsaw puzzle (available recently from £10 online)

Thunderbirds Are Go TB4 cut out (approximately 90x70cm)

MPC Deluxe Eagle Transporter model kit (available recently from £60 online)

Thunderbirds Are Go TB2 End Titles Art Print (a limited edition of just 20 prints were made, numbered and signed by the artist Gus Hunter)