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:1999Breakaway – 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
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).
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.
Lego Ideas was set up so that budding Lego set designers could see their design made into sets that we could all buy.
Lego fans can click to support the designs they like and, if a project gets over 10,000 supporters, it goes on to be assessed by the Lego team as a potential set.
Since Lego Ideas was set up in 2010 (as Lego Cuusoo), 26 sets have been produced on a wide range of topics. Andrew Clark has been luckier than most budding designers, as his Doctor Who and The Flintstones sets were both chosen to become reality.
Andrew’s latest idea is this Thunderbird 2 set, and it needs just 300 more supporters to reach its goal. Now, at first glance some Fanderson members might be put off as it appears the design is of TB2 from the new Thunderbirds Are Go series, but click on the updates tab to see that there’s actually a classic TB2 design from the original Thunderbirds series in the submission too!
You can read more about this Ideas set at Brickset and why not take a look at some of the other Anderson designs whilst you’re on the Lego Ideas site.
Yesterday the CD had its world premiere at the UFO convention, SHADO Con 2, and now it’s the turn of all other Fanderson members to get their hands on this stunning release.
The 77-minute CD album contains Barry Gray’s complete stereo score for Doppelgänger (AKA Journey To The Far Side Of The Sun), performed by a 55-piece orchestra with Sylvette Allart on the Ondes Martenot. Composed and recorded for an initial edit of the film, including scenes that were ultimately trimmed from the final cut, it includes cues composed for those scenes that have never been heard before outside the studio.
This is accompanied by a corresponding assembly of mono cues, arranged exactly as heard on screen.
A bonus track included is Threnody For The Victims Of Hiroshima by Krzysztof Penderecki, a short section of which replaced part of Gray’s composition in the final edit of the film – the only piece of library music used.
This latest addition to the critically-acclaimed Fanderson soundtrack library is completed by a 20-page full colour booklet.
Fanderson members had their first chance be able to buy their Doppelgänger soundtrack at SHADO Con 2, which took place on Saturday 30th June 2018 at Quad, Derby. You can find out more details of the event here.
It now goes on sale from the club website today – 1st July 2018 – the 50th anniversary of the start of principal photography on the feature film.
The Doppelgänger soundtrack is a limited edition release and, like all of Fanderson’s merchandise, is available exclusively to Fanderson club members.
To mark the launch of their latest Supermarionation figurine (pictured above), Robert Harrop Designs Ltd are offering Fanderson members an exclusive discount code for use on their website www.robertharrop.com.
Until March 31st, Fanderson members will receive an exclusive 15% Discount, plus FREE UK postage, on selected figurines for orders over £100.
The discount code will be emailed to members shortly, so watch your inboxes closely!
Alternatively, please email Robert Harrop directly for details of the offer.
Also, if you register as a Friend of Harrop you will also receive an automatic 10% discount on all new figurines, including the new figurine of Turata, for the first 4 weeks of their release!
Launching on Friday 23rd February, the limited edition figurine of Turata from Centrallius is the latest addition to Robert Harrop’s Supermarionation Collection.
From the Stingray episode ‘Deep Heat’, Turata is a character of unmistakeable style yet one with questionable motives as he attempts to lure Troy and Phones to a fiery demise.
Traditionally hand sculpted by Mike Rogers and made in the UK by Robert Harrop Designs Ltd, each figurine has been individually hand finished and hand painted.
A strict limited edition of 150 figurines worldwide, each Turata figurine will be individually numbered and will include a Certificate of Authenticity to support its provenance.
Packaged in a presentation box and information card, Turata is available for £60 at www.robertharrop.com or by calling 01952 884804.
‘Captain Scarlet: The Vault’ is the official hardback guide to the making of Gerry and Sylvia Anderson’s classic Supermarionation series. The book will be launched at Fanderson’s Special Assignment convention at the end of September – where fans can get their hands on copies for the very first time!
In addition to the standard edition, a strictly limited edition will also be available at the convention. This version features a different dustjacket, with Captain Black on the front cover. Each of the Captain Black editions is numbered, and will be signed by author Chris Bentley. The Captain Black edition will not be available in any shops and is limited to just 100 numbered copies!
Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons: The Vault is published by Signum Books on 6 October, but Chris will be signing advance copies at Special Assignment on 30 September and 1 October.
SIGN UP TODAY – TICKETS STILL AVAILABLE!
Tickets to Special Assignment start at just £65 per person for one day, or £110 for the whole weekend. We’ve managed to keep the ticket price the same as The Future Is Fantastic! convention in 2015 because we’re a fan club and no one is taking a salary. Saturday-only or Sunday-only tickets do not include the Saturday evening meal or any other refreshments that are included in the weekend ticket.