2021 has come and gone, and a new year is upon us – but what surprises does it have in store for Anderson fans? Here are just a few of the things to look forward to in 2022!
Theme days and other events
We’ll once again be celebrating several notable dates throughout the year in the form of special theme days, beginning with Gerry Anderson Day on April 14th. Chosen in honour of the great man’s birthday, 2021 saw the event’s premiere with a special Fab Live event, free livestreams courtesy of both Network and Shout Factory, specially created material for Britbox and Forces TV, and much more – including a worldwide outpouring of love for and appreciation of Gerry Anderson, those who worked with him, and the many classic television shows and films they all worked so hard to bring to our screens.
As we move through the year we have Captain Scarlet Day on July 10th (chosen for the birthdate of writer Tony Barwick, who slipped that date into several of his Captain Scarlet episodes), the Space:1999-themed Breakaway Day on September 13th (in honour of the day that the Moon was blown out of the Earth’s orbit), Thunderbirds Day to coincide with the date of the show’s first transmission (September 30th) and finally Terrahawks Day on October the 10th (10-10!). We’re also hoping to have an in-person presence at various events and conventions – stay tuned for more news on those as we have it!
Gerry Anderson: A Life Uncharted documentary
As part of the celebrations for Gerry Anderson Day 2022, the brand new documentary Gerry Anderson: A Life Uncharted will be launching on Britbox on April 14th. As we approach the tenth anniversary of his passing, this incredibly revealing, emotionally charged and deeply personal documentary will draw on exclusive access to over thirty hours of previously unpublished interviews, in order to share the untold stories that defined his life and body of work.
In a fitting tribute to a television and film pioneer, and with permission from the Gerry Anderson estate, A Life Uncharted will use a wealth of intimate audio archive combined with deep fake technology to allow Gerry to tell his story on screen for the first time. With additional new interviews and commentary from friends, family, and colleagues, subscribers will get unique access to an examination of Gerry Anderson’s life and his perspective on his tumultuous personal and business relationships. From a poverty-stricken childhood raised by a Jewish father and an anti-semitic mother, through a lifetime of personal struggles, this documentary (directed by Benjamin Field) will map his previously uncharted journey to puppetry pioneer, science fiction master and legendary creator.
Stand by for Action! Gerry Anderson in Concert
Just two days after Gerry Anderson Day comes an exciting live event celebrating the music of the Gerry Anderson films and television shows, to be held at the Birmingham Symphony Hall on April 16th! This concert will feature themes and incidental cues from across six decades of Anderson history, including the works of Crispin Merrell, Richard Harvey, and of course Barry Gray! The iconic theme tunes and incidental music from classic Anderson shows – including Thunderbirds, Space:1999, Captain Scarlet and UFO – will be included alongside those of his earliest works like The Adventures of Twizzle, Torchy the Battery Boy and Four Feather Falls, right through to Terrahawks, Space Precinct and his final production New Captain Scarlet.
The films and music will be brought to life by a full orchestra conducted by BAFTA-winning composer and Anderson alumnus Richard Harvey, and introduced by some very special guests! Featuring exclusive footage, newly restored colour and high-definition content, this truly is an epic journey not to be missed. Dressing up and cosplaying is encouraged, as we hope to make this the live Anderson event of 2022!
More novel and comic reprints!
2021 saw the launch of our range of hardback reprints of the John Theydon-penned original tie-in novels based on various Anderson shows, with two Thunderbirds titles (Terror from the Stars and Peril in Peru) and one Stingray (Operation Icecap) available so far. This republishing project will continue into 2022 with several books currently being reviewed by our team of editors, and these titles will be launched with the standard accompanying audio drama releases on CD and download for each book. Also released as part of this collection was Richard James’ brand new novelisation of the unproduced feature film Five Star Five, based on the original script by Gerry Anderson and Tony Barwick, and as well as looking to the future we’ll also continue digging into the archives to see if any more unmade or otherwise ‘lost’ productions can finally be brought to life!
More recently, we’ve been blown away by the spectacular response to both the Space:1999 Moonbase Alpha Technical Operations manual and the first volume of the UFO Comic Anthology. Work is already well underway on Volume Two, and we’re hoping to be able to produce similar complete comics collections for other series! We’d also certainly love to produce more technical manuals, and we’ll be looking at further similar projects in the future!
“Anything could happen!”
We are of course not the only ones working hard to bring you exciting new merchandise and productions! Each year brings many new surprises, and there are doubtless many Anderson-related goodies lurking in 2022 that we have yet to hear anything about at all! As we move into the new year the Supermarionation flag continues fly over at Century 21 Films, with their 2015 anniversary Thunderbirds episode and original Supermarionation series Nebula-75 about to enjoy a high-profile cinema release in Japan.
Back in the UK, among the most notable things that we do know about and can look forward to is the long-awaited launch of Stingray on Blu-ray! Following the 2021 Blu-ray releases of Supercar and Fireball XL5, Network are now turning their attention to the first colour Supermarionation series with a collection of all thirty-nine episodes beautifully restored in High Definition with a host of special bonus features. For those who didn’t pick up the original deluxe editions, it’s highly likely that standard edition Supercar and Fireball XL5 releases will also be launching soon – and who knows? Perhaps other Anderson-related productions may also make their way to Blu-ray before the end of the year…
There’s a lot to look forward to, but what Anderson-related events, projects or merchandise are you most excited for in 2022? Let us know in the comments below!