Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

This Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page will answer many of the questions that we’re regularly asked about Fanderson and the way in which the club operates. With one notable exception this page isn’t designed to answer questions about Gerry and Sylvia Anderson’s productions, as you’ll find answers to many of those on our People, Productions and Locations pages.

So, firstly, to our most received question:

Nothing! Despite appearances, as used by International Rescue in Thunderbirds “FAB” is not an acronym – it’s simply a call sign like ‘Roger’ or ‘Ten-Four’ to acknowledge received instructions. In the 1960s, when Thunderbirds was in production, the term ‘fab’ was in common parlance as a shortened form of ‘fabulous’ which, of course, everything was. The phrase has enjoyed resurgence in recent years and ‘FAB’ itself entered the Collins English Dictionary in 2002: “‘FAB [interjection British informal] an expression of agreement to, or acknowledgement of, a command [from British television series, Thunderbirds].”

Fanderson is a club for fans worldwide of all of Gerry and Sylvia Anderson’s television and film productions. It was formed in 1981 at the request of Gerry Anderson and ITC Entertainment as they wanted to assist and support one single fan body for all of the Anderson productions to which ITC owned the copyright.

Since then the club has been recognised as the world’s only official appreciation society for the work of Gerry and Sylvia Anderson and their talented colleagues by their families and every one of their production companies/backers.

One of the longest-running TV and film fan clubs in the world, Fanderson is based in the UK and organised by a small unpaid committee of longtime fans.

Rather than limiting our scope to specific productions, we’re interested in ‘the worlds of Gerry and Sylvia Anderson’.

Whilst that primarily includes their productions together, it also covers their own individual projects, plus the work of other talented people that worked with them.

So, that can include the other ITC shows, programmes like Cloppa Castle, the James Bond films, and newer productions such as Thunderbirds Are Go – albeit all to a lesser degree.

Note that as, in many cases, the films and television programmes the club is concerned with were made several decades ago, our products may contain images, attitudes, phrases and references that were commonplace at the time but may not be generally acceptable today.

Fanderson was set up by Gerry Anderson and ITC (owners of the majority of his work at that time) as they wanted to recognise and support a single fan club. Gerry’s personal endorsement of the club was given in perpetuity at the formation of the club, with Sylvia’s daughter Dee similarly sanctioning the club in honour of her mother.

As subsequent owners of the ITC catalogue, Polygram, Carlton and now ITV continues to recognise and support Fanderson as the only official club for the works of Gerry and Sylvia Anderson, and their amazingly talented teams.

The club’s status, combined with the following factors, enables us to invest in items of merchandise that would be financially unviable to commercial merchandisers, based on the relatively small quantities that they could expect to sell.

  • As with any club, our purpose is to give like-minded people the opportunity to meet and have access to products and services that are not available to the general public.
  • As a club, restricted to ‘mutual trading’ with our members, exempts us from paying income tax under UK law. To do otherwise would mean we’d have to add tax to the selling price of our merchandise, making everything more expensive.
  • Our licensing agreements with the various Anderson copyright holders usually allows us a free license to produce limited edition merchandise, on the strict understanding that Fanderson only sells its products to club members. The alternative would be to buy a commercial merchandise license – again inflating our production costs.

Always remember, as a not-for-profit club, our prices are set so that we simply recoup what it costs to make our merchandise.

We’re flattered when non-members suggest ways around the above, so that they might be able to buy our merchandise. Of course, we’re not in a position to pick and choose which laws we want to abide by!

The club committee is formed of club members who offer their services. Committee positions are unpaid and duties are performed in members’ free time, so you should allow a few days to a reply to any enquiry, and allow up to 28 days to receive your merchandise.

Committee service continues until an individual decides to retire, is dismissed for acting against the best interests of the club, or is replaced by member vote at our Annual General Meeting.

Vacant committee posts are usually advertised in FAB Express magazine and on our website, and in the past positions have come about from members suggesting roles to improve the running of the club.

Gerry Anderson was instrumental in forming the club and was our honorary President until his death in 2012.

He took an active interest in everything we did, regularly contributed to the club magazine by providing information about his latest projects and answering members’ questions, and always made time to offer assistance as required.

However, he entrusted all decision-making about the organisation of the club, its merchandise and events, to the members of the committee.

For many years the club did not involve Sylvia Anderson in its activities at Gerry’s request (given the breakdown of the Andersons’ marriage in the 1970s and their subsequent divorce in 1981).

However, having first obtained the approval of Gerry’s widow Mary, in 2014 club chairman Nick Williams made contact with Sylvia Anderson in response to calls to do so from club members.

On 3rd October 2015, Sylvia Anderson was welcomed to the club’s convention The Future Is Fantastic! with a standing ovation from over 250 delegates. Her children Dee Anderson and Dr Gerry Anderson subsequently sanctioned Fanderson as the official appreciation society of their mother, alongside Gerry.

The licensing and development rights to the properties in the ITC Entertainment library of films and television programmes are now owned by ITV Studios, which recognises Fanderson as the only official appreciation society for Gerry and Sylvia’s work.

This special relationship gives us access to their library of photographs and other materials, and free license to produce merchandise based on the Anderson television series produced for ITC between 1960 and 1976. All of this is on the sole condition that we only ever sell our merchandise to our club members.

In return Fanderson offers ITV an information resource, consultancy and research service and assistance to their commercial merchandise licensees, should they require it.

Fanderson’s status as the official Gerry and Sylvia Anderson appreciation society was bestowed in perpetuity by Gerry Anderson himself and by Sylvia Anderson’s family.

ITC Entertainment authorises Fanderson’s status as the only officially-recognised appreciation society for the television series on which they retain the copyright: Supercar, Fireball XL5, Stingray, Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet And The Mysterons, Joe 90, The Secret Service, UFO, The Protectors and Space:1999. The owners of all other Anderson productions also recognise the club’s official status.

Despite the club’s relationships with ITV, ITC and other copyright holders, Fanderson is independent of any company or individual.

Ever since its inception in 1981, Fanderson had enjoyed a mutually supportive relationship with Gerry Anderson (he had, after all, been instrumental in creating the club).

Following Gerry’s death, in 2014 Anderson Entertainment (AE) made various spurious and unsubstantiated claims against Fanderson via solicitors and threatened the club with legal action. The club committee responded fully but for over eight years now (since March 2015) Anderson Entertainment has simply left the threat of further action hanging over the club. They haven’t progressed their claims through the courts and given us the opportunity to defend ourselves, nor have they withdrawn them.

Fanderson would love for the Anderson fan-base to be united once again (as per Gerry’s intention when forming the club), and to be able to work with Anderson Entertainment. We have repeatedly offered to meet with AE’s Jamie Anderson to understand what we did to prompt their earlier action (and for him to satisfy himself that whatever it was is no longer the case). Our most recent offer to meet was 9th June 2023, to which we’ve not had a response.

Therefore, whilst these claims and threats continue to hang over the club and its members, it is inappropriate for any of Fanderson’s output, channels or services to be used to promote Anderson Entertainment, its products and services, or its officers.

As part of our licensing agreements, we are only ever permitted to manufacture 1,000 copies of our soundtracks. We are also only permitted to make physical copies available, not via digital download.

When we started releasing soundtrack music we were under the impression that members wouldn’t pay more than £10 for an album, so our first disc was the combined Supercar and Fireball XL5. Then, in 1998 we realised that double albums would sell, so released Space:1999 Year One.

Since 2014 we’ve changed tack and now aim to release the most complete soundtracks possible, whether that be on 1, 2, 3 or 4 discs, whatever the cost. We’ve so far been able to give Stingray, Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet And The Mysterons, Joe 90, UFO and Space:1999 this full boxset treatment.

However, these releases are incredibly expensive and time-consuming to produce. Thunderbirds was released in 2015 and sold out in 2020 – that’s five years to recover our production costs.

We’ll always consider re-releasing soundtracks as long as there’s new material to be included, and as the club’s finances allow. What we won’t do, however, is even mention any new product until it’s actually in production.

As part of our licensing agreements, we can only make our soundtrack albums available in physical form, not as either digital downloads or to stream.

Please see the earlier answer and, if it helps, think of the membership fee as that premium – which also happens to give you access to the full range of club services and products. Just let us know if you don’t want to be sent your membership pack and we’ll invest your membership fee in services and merchandise for other members instead.

Even without the cost of a merchandising license, our limited production quantities mean that our unit costs are sometimes higher than they would be on comparable commercially-produced items.

Taking Fanderson’s soundtrack CDs as an example, there are many factors that contribute to the production cost such as engineering, editing and digital remastering, the hire of recording studio facilities, manufacturing, duplication and on-body print, packaging reprographics and print, composer royalties, musicians’ royalties, and so on. We have to recoup that investment on the sale of just 1,000 units, whereas a commercial licensee would spread it across many times that amount.

Thankfully, the vast majority of club members respect and adhere to the law and appreciate the amount of time given freely by club members to produce FAB Express and FAB Annual, our events and our exclusive merchandise.

However, there’s a small minority who buy our output and then sell (often inferior quality) counterfeits on Ebay.

We believe that making a key element of our membership package available in an electronic form that could be so freely distributed would be detrimental to the viability of the club.

Yes, of course!

About a quarter of our members live outside the UK. You’ll find full details of membership rates and how to pay on the Join Us page of the website. Just add to the membership fee the postage for the part of the world in which you live.

Yes, of course! Just add your membership to your cart whilst shopping online and you’ll be charged for your complete transaction.

Your order won’t progress until we’ve received payment, so if you order a membership separately, you won’t then be able to order merchandise until we’ve received payment and your membership can be processed. Doing it all in one means we wait just once for the payment!

Note, however, that Memberships and Sales operate separately and are located in different parts of the UK, so they will be delivered separately. Please allow up to 28 days for delivery of your membership pack and/or merchandise order.

You can pay online with most major credit and debit cards and PayPal. If you pay by card we will charge you in Pounds Sterling (GBP), and your card company/bank will do the conversion and charge you in your local currency. So that you can check the amount that you’ve been charged your card statement will usually show both currencies.

If you’re in the UK, you can also pay by post with a cheque (with a UK bank sort code) or UK postal order.

Most banks throughout the world can exchange your local currency into Pounds Sterling (GBP), although there is often a charge to you for doing this. It is usually easier and more economical to pay by credit or debit card.

UK General Data Protection Regulations were introduced on 1st January 2021 and Fanderson’s Privacy Notice, created at the time of EU GDPR implementation on 25th May 2018, is as follows:

Fanderson will only use your personal information to administer your account and to provide the products and services you have requested from us:
• providing your FAB magazines
• providing your merchandise
• providing information about, and access to, our events
• providing you access to the Fanderson Forum
• reminding you that your membership has expired
• sending you news and offers (including those on behalf of third parties) that we believe will be of interest to you
• general correspondence
We will never pass your personal information to a third party for any other reason. We will retain your personal information for six membership mailings after your membership expires (nominally two years), and then permanently delete it.

You can ask us to delete your personal information at any time by e-mailing, including your name, address and membership number, at which point your membership will terminate immediately, without refund.

All orders are placed ‘On Hold’ until we receive the funds from PayPal. This is usually the same day but sometimes it can take a little while for PayPal to send us the money and, in this case, the order stays ‘On Hold’.

The order changes to ‘Processing’ as soon as we’ve received payment and you should receive a confirmation email.

Fanderson is run by volunteers spread around the UK, so memberships are mailed from one location and merchandise from another. Please also note that merchandise orders may be split over more than one package.

Although they might be delivered to you at different times, you should always have received everything within 28 days (in the UK at least). If you’re worried about any order you’ve placed, please get in touch with us.

FAB Express is nominally published each spring, summer and winter. Each issue details when the next mailing is expected and we’ll confirm this on our website when we know the latest issue has been mailed.

To make administration easier and keep control of costs, all memberships now expire with the summer mailing (and, as long you’re logged in to our website, the FAB Express issue number is detailed in the My Account section).

We include a letter with each year’s renewal, confirming when we need your renewal back and the cost for the coming year.

We plan production of FAB Express and FAB Annual according to the number of club members we have, plus an allowance for any new members.

Once a membership mailing is complete all remaining stock is directed to serving new members as part of their welcome packages. Obviously, if we have any stock remaining after all that, it will be available to buy as a back issue, though we obviously can’t guarantee that.

Our most recent convention, Supercelebration, was held at the Holiday Inn, Maidenhead on the weekend of 20th to 22nd September 2019. It was the club’s last full weekend event, celebrating 50 years of UFO, Doppelgänger, The Secret Service and the productions of Gerry and Sylvia Anderson.

We’re keen to help and support fans wishing to stage their own events, whether that be with organisational assistance, seed funding, advertising etc. Do get in touch at if you’re organising an Anderson-based event and would like our help.

The Fanderson committee members live at different locations across the UK, so sending your mail to the right address (as detailed on our forms and in FAB magazine) means you’ll get a much quicker response. Our PO Box is really for ‘first contact’ queries or for submitting letters and articles to FAB Annual. Of course, mail sent to any of our addresses will get forwarded to the right people, it might just take a little time.

If Fanderson is provided with broadcast/release details in advance we will post this as a News story on our website.

The full range of Fanderson merchandise is in the shop of our website. We cannot supply any items that are not listed.

However, when we’re getting stock ready for one of our conventions or events we may come across long-since-deleted items, so we’ll always bring those along to the events to members have a chance to buy them.

Sorry, but we simply don’t have the resources to offer a valuation service. Especially as potential selling prices fluctuate greatly and quite literally are down to just how much a buyer is willing to spend.
You’ll get the best help by joining our Facebook group, which will enable you to get the feedback and advice you want from the web’s biggest group of Anderson fans.

Sorry, but we don’t offer an autograph service by mail. However, our convention guests are usually more than happy to provide sign autographs for delegates.

Members’ suggestions, including the information about their preferred productions, help us to target our efforts towards the most popular shows, although we aim to cover all of them to some degree.

Many of our items have either been suggested by our members, or in some cases actually produced by our talented members.

Yes, we want everyone to enjoy our programmes.

In fact, Fanderson’s first DVD release, The Day After Tomorrow/Space Police, was the world’s first internationally compatible disc, with PAL on one side and NTSC on the other.

We held physical AGMs in 2015 and 2016: no members attended in 2015 and just one attended in 2016. As a result, the committee agreed not to waste funds on further physical AGMs.

Instead, members have since been invited to contribute and vote online on issues raised at a virtual AGM each spring. Details are published on our News pages.

Members can always put questions to the committee by writing to/e-mailing us.

Conventions and events also provide an excellent opportunity to talk informally with committee members.

The club’s financial status is fully reviewed at every committee meeting and an annual summary is freely available to members on request.

We’re governed by UK tax laws, which say that we can only “mutually trade” with our club members. This means that we cannot accept payment for advertising in any form.

However, sample products are gladly received for review, which we will usually offer to club members as competition prizes. We will also happily include flyers in our member mailings (either at no cost if there’s no increase in our nominal postage cost, or to reimburse us for the additional postage.

We never pass on members’ personal details to any person or organisation, for any reason, other than our trusted partners for mailings.

We don’t have the authority to close a YouTube account, but be aware of YouTube’s action on copyright infringement, which states that they will terminate an account if they receive three copyrights strikes within 90 days. This is YouTube’s policy, and is entirely out of our control.

Of course, Fanderson will always protect its rights and those of programme owners, where possible. This includes reporting copyright infringement on YouTube.