Model Collector celebrates Scarlet’s 50th anniversary

Model CollectorAnderson fans should look out for the latest issue of Model Collector on Friday 15th September, which contains a special feature on the upcoming 50th anniversary of Captain Scarlet!

Model Collector is THE publication for the die cast model enthusiast in the UK.

As you can see from the cover there should be some great Capatain Scarlet prizes on offer.

Perfect reading matter to get you in the mood for Special Assignment at the end of the month…don’t you think?


Captain Scarlet book to launch at Special Assignment

Captain Scarlet: The Vault

Special Assignment will see the launch of a lavish new book by former Fanderson chairman Chris Bentley. Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons: The Vault celebrates the 50th anniversary of the classic series and is fully authorised by ITV Studios Global Entertainment. We can reveal the cover here for the first time.

Publisher Marcus Hearn was the author of 2015’s Thunderbirds: The Vault. “I see this very much as the follow-up,” he says. “Fanderson’s Mike Jones designed the Thunderbirds book, and I’m pleased to say that he’s working with us on this new project too. Chris Bentley has come up with an amazing amount of material, and we’ve commissioned new photography of the original puppets, studio models and vintage merchandise. We can’t wait to share what we’ve done.”

Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons: The Vault is published by Signum Books on 6 October, but Chris will be signing advance copies at the Special Assignment convention on 30 September and 1 October.


Tickets to Special Assignment start at just £55 per person for one day, or £90 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. Note that Saturday-only or Sunday-only tickets do not include the Saturday evening meal or any other refreshments that are included in the weekend ticket.

Find out more and register now

Your Special Assignment for 2017



Spectrum needs you for a special assignment

Date: 29th September – 1st October 2017
Venue: Holiday Inn, Manor Lane, Maidenhead, SL6 2RA

The Programme | The Guests | The Charity | The Venue | Member Tickets
Non-Member Tickets | Traders Tickets | Terms and Conditions

Friday 29th September 1967: millions sat in front of their televisions, enthralled by The Mysterons – the first episode of Gerry and Sylvia’s Anderson latest creation, Captain Scarlet And The Mysterons.

Fifty years on, and Captain Scarlet fans will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of this ground-breaking series at Special Assignment, Fanderson’s convention for 2017. Plus, of course, over the weekend we’ll be looking at all the other amazing visions of the future that AP Films and Century 21 teams gave us in their productions, including Stingray, Thunderbirds, UFO, Space:1999 and more.


special-assignment-angelsWe all love listening to those who worked on the programmes, gawping at fantastic models, puppets, props and artwork, watching the programmes, playing games, dressing up and having in-depth discussions. You can be sure that Special Assignment will have all of this and more, though at this early stage we hope you’ll understand that it’s still coming together.

Our exhibition of models, puppets, artwork etc is being organised once again by long-time Fanderson member and puppet owner/maker/restorer Chris King, drawing on the generosity of fellow fans and private collectors, so you can be sure it’ll be a humdinger!

the-future-is-fantastic-convention-2We’ve got a long list of guests that we’ve invited to Special Assignment. The following have already confirmed their attendance:

  • Peter Hitchcock – AP Films SFX assistant, projectionist, lip-sync operator and ‘puppet hand’ in his first convention appearance
  • Mary Turner – sculptor and puppeteer
  • Nicholas Parsons – voice of Tex Tucker, the hero of Four Feather Falls
  • Shane and Sheila Rimmer – Thunderbirds’s Scott Tracy and Captain Scarlet writer
  • David Graham – the man of a thousand voices, including Parker from Thunderbirds
  • Mike Trim – influential modelmaker and designer
  • Mike Noble – TV 21 artist
  • Richard Culley – Head of Merchandising at Century 21
  • Liz Morgan – the voices of Destiny and Rhapsody Angels in Captain Scarlet
  • Alan Perry – Captain Scarlet and UFO director
  • Penny Spencer – SHADO operative in UFO
  • Georgina Moon – Skydiver operative Lt. Sylvia Howell in UFO
  • Martin Bower – model maker and special effects designer on Space:1999
  • Brian Johnson – special effects guru on famous for his work on Space:1999
  • John Lee – Terrahawks modelmaker
  • Judy Preece – Terrahawks puppeteer
  • Terry Adlam – Dick Spanner creator, writer and director
  • Phil Ford – New Captain Scarlet head writer
  • Mark Woollard – New Captain Scarlet director
  • Dominic Lavery – New Captain Scarlet Concept Art Director
  • Dee Anderson – singer, writer and daughter of Gerry and Sylvia Anderson
  • Graham Bleathman – prolific cut-away artist

Keep an eye on our website as we’ll announce each new guest just as soon as we receive their confirmation.

Here are a few comments from just a few who immediately agreed to be there with you:

Peter Hitchcock
Peter couldn’t make it to The Future Is Fantastic! but says he “Would love to be there in September 2017.”

Mike Noble
“Hoping to get along to Maidenhead in 2017 – with any luck!”

Shane and Sheila Rimmer
“Always a treat to meet old friends and new ones too!”

Mary Turner
“I think you are all amazing how you have kept the old series going all this time.”

Graham Bleathman
“Always a great atmosphere at Fanderson Conventions. Looking forward to this one”


Over the years Fanderson has raised funds for a wide variety of charities, including The Alzheimer’s Society, BBC Children In Need, Macmillan Cancer Support, Terrence Higgins Trust, Guide Dogs For The Blind and Diabetes UK.

We’re delighted to announce that our charities at Special Assignment will be Breast Cancer Care and the Cinema and Television Benevolent Fund.



The Holiday Inn, Maidenhead was the venue for Fanderson’s The Future Is Fantastic! event in 2015. It’s set in a residential area one mile from Maidenhead town centre and has a complimentary car park for residents. The health club includes a large swimming pool, children’s pool, whirlpool, sauna, steam room and two gyms. The Junction Restaurant serves seasonal dishes as well as classics like steak and pasta, and there’s 24-hour room service. There is also a very large open plan cocktail bar that serves bar snack meals and is great for socialising.

The hotel is in the heart of AP Films/Century 21 studio-land:

  • 3.6 miles/12 minutes to Islet Park
  • 6 miles/12 minutes to Bath Road (AP Films)
  • 6.6 miles/13 minutes to Stirling Road (Century 21)
  • 12.1 miles/23 minutes to Pinewood Studios

The hotel has good transport connections to Heathrow, London, the West, the Midlands and the motorway network:

  • 1 mile (3 minutes) to M4
  • 9 miles (13 minutes) to M40
  • 12 miles (14 minutes) to M25
  • taxi from London Heathrow: 25 minutes/£35 one-way approximately
  • taxi from London Gatwick: 1 hour/£60 one-way approximately
  • train from London Paddington to Maidenhead: 37-47 minutes/from £11.10 one-way
  • taxi from Maidenhead railway station: four minutes/£4 one-way approximately

Rooms at the Holiday Inn are available to delegates at the special rate of £90 per room/per night (bed and breakfast) based on two people sharing. Just call 01628 506070 in normal office hours (9:00-17:00 Monday to Friday) and quote the reference ‘Fanderson’.

Alternative hotels in the area:



As a fan-organised event, the earlier everyone books for Special Assignment, the earlier we know how extravagant we can be in staging the show.

Tickets 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. Note that Saturday-only or Sunday-only tickets do not include the Saturday evening meal or any other refreshments that are included in the weekend ticket. Ticket prices will rise on 1st August 2017.

Book your place(s) online now or, if you’d prefer to pay by UK cheque or postal order, complete the registration form and return it to us with your payment.


Not a Fanderson member?

Anyone coming to Special Assignment who isn’t already a Fanderson member (even if you’re coming with a club member) must buy a Trial member ticket which includes a trial Fanderson membership at a special price of £10. The trial membership will start when you arrive at the convention and run until 31st December 2017. This will give you the latest issue of the club’s FAB magazine, membership badge, enable you to buy our merchandise at the convention at special prices, access our full range of merchandise online and access to the members’ area of the Fanderson Forum.

Special Assignment is being staged by Fanderson. The world’s only official Gerry and Sylvia Anderson appreciation society, Fanderson is endorsed by ITV Studios Global Entertainment, Anderson Entertainment, Gerry Anderson Productions and ITC Entertainment Group, with over 1,300 members worldwide. Based in the UK and run by a small unpaid committee of fans, Fanderson was formed in 1981 from several small clubs at the request of ITC Entertainment and Gerry Anderson, so that they could support a single independent fan body for all Anderson productions.

As a club, we can only sell merchandise to club members, which enables us to keep costs down and direct all our funds into our products and services. No one running Fanderson takes a salary, ‘mutual trading’ with our members means we’re exempt from certain taxes that would inflate our prices, and copyright holders are often willing to forego the expensive merchandise licences that commercial companies have to buy. And, because we’re fellow fans like you, we try to take time and care over the little details in our products that commercial operations often can’t or don’t bother about.

Join us at

TERMS AND CONDITIONS (in addition to Fanderson’s standard terms and conditions)


  • All deposits and subsequent payments are non-refundable.
  • It is your responsibility to pay the hotel bill for your room and any associated costs upon checkout, or to pay any cancellation costs due to your failure to attend the event.
  • The convention committee and/or the hotel reserve the right to decline registration for any reason whatsoever and, should your application for registration be declined, any registration fees that you have paid will be refunded in full.
  • The convention is not suitable for children under 5 years of age.
  • Any children in your party are your sole responsibility for the duration of the convention, and the organisers will not make any special arrangements for children of any age.
  • The organisers will make every effort to provide you with the contents of the programme of events as described, but changes to the programme may be implemented at the organisers’ discretion due to unforeseen circumstances that may arise nearer the date of the event.

Captain Scarlet soundtrack CD now on sale!

Captain Scarlet Pack ShotFanderson’s eagerly awaited triple soundtrack CD of music from Captain Scarlet and The Mysterons is now available to pre-order online today!

The most comprehensive set of recordings from the series ever produced comes complete with a full-colour booklet and is presented in a special souvenir slip case. The release is limited to just 1,000 copies and is exclusive to Fanderson club  members.

The CD box set will be officially premiered at The Future is Fantastic! next weekend and no copies will be available before then. However, we couldn’t prolong the wait for club members attending who wish to pre-order their copy in advance. We expect to start sending out the first orders from Thursday 8th October.

But remember, the fastest way to get your copy and to avoid the dreaded postage charge is to come along to next weekend’s convention and buy your’s in person!

PLEASE NOTE: Fanderson Sales items are only available to club members

Order your copy online now

Original Captain Scarlet mini albums now on sale!

Captain Scarlet mini album - Big Ben Strikes Again Captain Scarlet mini album Flight 104 Captain Scarlet mini-album Special Assignment

  • Specially recorded versions of 3 Captain Scarlet episodes
  • Special narration from Captain Blue

Around fifteen years ago Fanderson released two special mini albums containing four Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons episodes that had previously never been released.

What made them unique was they had been given the ‘mini album treatment’, and contained specially recorded narration by Captain Blue voice artist, Ed Bishop.

Ralph Titterton selected the episodes whilst Cathy Ford and Ros Connors took the scripts and wrote the linking dialogue. The recordings took place at TVS Studios Maidstone in September 1993.

The first two stories, Manhunt and Model Spy were released by Fanderson in 1999 under the title The Manhunt For Captain Black. A second release including Big Ben Strikes Again and The Heart Of New York appeared on the CD The Power Of The Mysterons.

Four other titles were recorded but never released as the club focused on developing its range of highly successful soundtrack albums, the most recent of which is the hugely popular Thunderbirds 50th anniversary 4-disc set.

We have received several requests to re-release the first four Captain Scarlet episodes. Rather than do that, we thought we would take the opportunity to incorporate two of the previously unreleased stories, Flight 104 and Special Assignment, together with Big Ben Strikes Again into a new set. This will form the first of a special range of Captain Scarlet mini albums.

Buy your copy online now!

Please remember that our merchandise is available exclusively to Fanderson club members. If you are not yet a member and want the chance to buy a fantastic range of items from Fanderson sales, you can join Fanderson by completing our online form.

Shout! Factory to release Gerry Anderson series on DVD

Fireball XL5 - The Complete Series

Shout! Factory has revealed that they will be re-releasing the complete series of Fireball XL5, Stingray and Captain Scarlet for the US and Canadian market in early 2015. Scheduled for release between January and March next year, each series can be pre-ordered at a discount from the Shout! website:


Stringray - The Complete SeriesThe series can also be pre-ordered on, which states the extras that have so far been confirmed for each release:

Fireball XL5

  • Commentary with director Alan Patillo and voice artist David Graham
  • Documentary The Noble Art of Fireball XL5


  • Audio Commentary on select episodes
  • Gerry Anderson Biography
  • Making of Featurette: The Thing About Stingray…

Captain Scarlet - The Complete Series

Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons

  • Audio Commentary on “The Mysterons” and “Attack on Cloudbase”
  • Gerry Anderson Biography and Filmography

FAB 78 is almost here…

FAB - Franics Matthews tribute

FAB 78 is on the way, and should be arriving on club members’ doormats from Friday 18th July. As you may already know, our choice of front cover for this issue turned out to be a poignant coincidence.

And to whet your appetites, we can reveal that the latest issue of the club magazine contains….

Recall to Service – Steve Begg
The special effects wizard answers your questions on Zeroids, Dick Spanner and Skyfall!

The Midas Touch: The Lunarville 7 trilogy
We reflect on Spectrum’s perilous trip to the Moon and back in 3 classic episodes of Captain Scarlet.

The Physics of Thunderbirds
Theo De Klerk begins a fascinating exploration of the science behind the technological wonders of International Rescue. This issue: Thunderbird 5!

Space Precinct at 20: Part 2
Stephen Baxter delves examines the printed adventures that were commissioned to promote the series. He also brings in novelist David Bischoff for questioning!

…plus a few other surprises, including Blu-Ray competitions, new Thunderbirds, a UFO Timelash and much more…!

You have to be a Fanderson member to receive your issue!

Francis Matthews has died

Fanderson is saddened to hear of the death of Francis Matthews, aged 86. Francis was an accomplished actor who starred in Paul Temple and appeared in several Hammer films. Yet he will always be remembered by fans and the general public for voicing Captain Scarlet, where he deployed his amazing Cary Grant impersonation to great effect. Francis attended Fanderson’s Sector 25 event in 2006, where he was interviewed alongside Cy Grant and Matt Zimmerman.

Leave your tributes and memories on:

Fanderson’s Facebook Group
The anderson Forum

By coincidence, the next issue of FAB, shown  below, becomes a fitting tribute to Francis. He will be sadly missed.

FAB - Franics Matthews tribute



Alan Shubrook’s 50th Anniversary Thunderbirds Special

Alan Shubrook - Thunderbird anniversary special

Alan Shubrook

Ian Fryer reviews a beautiful Thunderbirds publication from Alan Shubrook.

AP Films/Century 21 special effects technician Alan Shubrook has followed up his book Century 21 FX with a lavishly illustrated 16-page glossy brochure celebrating the 50th production on Thunderbirds. The brochure makes a real effort to take the reader back to the heady days of the mid 1960s.

Although this is largely a Thunderbirds-focused publication, other series get a look-in. Happily, this includes one of my own favourites, Joe 90. Alan reveals that this was a series much-loved by the crew, its production taking place in a more relaxed, creative atmosphere than the hectic Thunderbirds/Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons period.

With the announcement of the closing of Century 21 Studios in late 1969 there is the sense of an opportunity missed that the studio wasn’t converted into a effects studio for hire for other productions. Alas, although the studio did indeed do a small amount of such work, this was probably the right idea some five or six years too early. Had Lew Grade been willing to fund such a project is would undoubtedly have been crushed by the terrible recession that engulfed the British film industry in 1973.

The brochure is very well-written and contains a fabulous set of stills, mostly taken by Alan Shubrook, a keen photographer, himself. It is now available to be purchased via Ebay here

Alan will be doing THUNDERBIRDS 50TH ANNIVERSARY PRESENTATIONS LOOKING BEHIND THE SCENES OF THE MAKING OF THUNDERBIRDS, WITH OVER 350 PHOTOGRAPHS on Sunday 11th May RAF Museum Hendon then Saturday and Sunday 17th & 18th May RAF Museum Cosford.

Andrew Skilleter Thunderbirds artwork on sale

Andrew Skilleter Thunderbirds artwork on saleProfessional Gerry Anderson artist Andrew Skilleter is offering six new Anderson art prints of Thunderbirds 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 for sale. The famous craft are accompanied by their Tracy brother pilots, together with FAB1 and Lady Penelope. The print range has also recently been expanded to include Stingray and Captain Scarlet.

These prints are privately published and are only available direct from the artist. For images and full details on how to buy, plus his Gerry Anderson magazine artwork, check out Andrew’s Facebook page.