Anderson Entertainment is a film production company set up by Gerry Anderson MBE and his wife Mary. Today the company continues to develop projects from Gerry Anderson's personal archive as well as managing his estate and existing work.
Gerry Anderson's television series and films span over 50 years from the Supermarionation productions Supercar, Fireball XL5, Stingray, Thunderbirds, Thunderbirds Are Go, Captain Scarlet And The Mysterons, Thunderbird 6, Joe 90 and The Secret Service, through to the live-action productions Doppelgänger, UFO, The Protectors, Space:1999 and The Day After Tomorrow, as well as the more recent Terrahawks, Dick Spanner, Space Precinct, Lavender Castle and New Captain Scarlet, an incredible CGI-animated reworking of the original television series.
What is Anderson Entertainment?
Anderson Entertainment was founded by the late Gerry Anderson in 2002. It was set up as a production company to handle various projects that Gerry worked on. Following his death from Alzheimer's in 2012 the company was taken over by his wife Mary Anderson who worked with him on various productions across nearly 4 decades.
The time leading up to and following Gerry's death was very difficult for all concerned. After the funeral, consideration was given to closing Anderson Entertainment down. However, right up until the point that his illness prevented him from doing any more, Gerry remained a truly creative man eager to see his work realised.
At the end of his life Gerry was not an especially wealthy man having sold his rights in many of his successful productions in order to fund new shows. However, a certain amount of money was left and it was decided that this should be invested in seeing that his work, both old and new, continues to live on.
Mary Anderson is the Managing Director of Anderson Entertainment whilst son Jamie runs the day to day operations.
What does Anderson Entertainment do following Gerry Anderson's death?
Anderson Entertainment has two specific goals.
1) The preservation and promotion of Gerry's past work
2) realising the projects that he was unable to see through to completion himself.
What projects were these?
Gerry worked tirelessly on developing new formats across the years. Naturally, not all of these were successful and some of them he was more passionate about than others. Those projects that he was particularly dedicated to we would like to see realised.
In his final couple of years he was devoted to a project called Gemini Force One. We felt that this had a lot of potential and that had the dementia not taken hold he would have undoubtedly seen this through to completion.
What about Gerry's old work?
Gerry was a prolific creative and his hit rate of successful television series is perhaps unrivalled. Sadly, Gerry was largely uninterested in his old work and always felt that the future was more important than the past. He was very unsentimental, was often strangely ashamed of some of his bigger achievements, and kept little to do with his own work.
Unfortunately, this meant that his shows have ended up scattered across different copyright holders and a lot of his work - outside of the properties owned by ITV - ended up in what could be described as 'rights hell'.
We are extremely proud of what Gerry achieved and recognise the pioneering work both of him and his various teams. We appreciate some shows were more successful than others, but across the years we have seen that even the smaller Anderson shows still have a fan base.
Anderson Entertainment is now working with the help of others to unpick some of the rights problems and to bring the work of Gerry and his talented colleagues across various media into the modern world.
Does Anderson Entertainment just put out new merchandise?
Not at all. For instance, one of the problems of tangled copyright issues is that it often means that master elements (film negatives etc.) end up being lost or damaged as no one is able to exploit them.
Anderson Entertainment has recently reacquired certain rights in Terrahawks. Despite this being a very successful series in the 80s the archival state of the series is poor. At the present time negatives for the series are missing and until recently certain episodes were believed to survive only on 1 inch tape format (which would prevent any serious restoration). Over the last few months we have been involved in a worldwide search for film elements and we hope to bring you news regarding our work in this area soon.
What items of interest did Gerry leave Anderson Entertainment?
As stated above, Gerry Anderson was a very unsentimental man. For years, the only item of apparent interest he kept was a Parker puppet, until he too was disposed of. Upon his death we discovered a box of items that included previously unseen pictures from his productions as well as a number of personal items that throw new light on the story of his life. It is our hope to share these items with you in due course.
However, part of Anderson Entertainment's long term aim is to form an archive dedicated to his work. This would include props, scripts and other items of interest related to his productions. Furthermore, we are undertaking an extensive project which involves interviewing as many of Gerry's colleagues as possible to build up the most accurate picture possible of his life.
We eventually plan to make this archive accessible to individuals and businesses in order that Gerry's legacy can live on. We feel that these items should be enjoyed as much as possible and not remain locked away.
Isn't this just a cynical attempt to make money from the legacy?
This is a criticism a lot of estates face and perhaps sometimes those criticism are valid. However, this is definitely not the case with Anderson Entertainment. It is run very much as a family concern and our first priority is to the man that was husband and father to us.
Gerry was a driven man and many would describe him as being difficult. However, this was because he was determined to see his projects through to completion without external interference. We feel that to deviate from that would be to go against one of his biggest principals and so in realising his unfinished projects we have worked hard to preserve the purity of his vision.
We were offered several book deals for Gemini Force One, but all of these involved making significant changes to Gerry's vision. This is why we launched our very successful Kickstarter campaign which, as a result, has led to the book being picked up by Orion and will see that Gerry's final creation will be enjoyed by a whole new generation of children.
You're producing new merchandise. What's the aim behind that?
Gerry Anderson fandom has been strong for many years and we would like to see that it continues to be so. Through this merchandise we hope to offer things that the die-hard fan might be interested in as well as the casual fan. Some projects, like our recent Space Police script book, would be commercially unviable for other companies. Nevertheless, we would like to make as many interesting items available as possible.
Money which is generated from the merchandise is used to help to fund further projects. Whilst there was a certain amount of money left by Gerry this obviously needs to be replenished in order to continue.
Do you support the fans?
Both Gerry and Mary Anderson supported fandom where possible for several decades. They recognised the importance of the fan base and the need to give something back to those that had enjoyed Gerry's work so much. In the latter half of Gerry's career he often employed people that were fans of his previous work. We continue to see that many of Gerry's fans have gone on to produce great pieces of work in their own right and it is our sincere desire to continue to support the many loyal fans - both old and hopefully new.
What is Anderson Entertainment's relationship with Alzheimer's Society?
Shortly after Gerry was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, Jamie suggested to him that there may be some mileage in Gerry helping Alzheimer's Society to raise awareness and vital funds. Gerry agreed, and for the final year of his life, Gerry worked together with Jamie and the society to raise over £1M for Alzheimer's Society's research and support services, as well as raising awareness of the condition.
Since Gerry's death, Jamie has gone on to become an ambassador for Alzheimer's Society - regularly attending and speaking at their fundraising and other events. The Gerry Anderson Estate also created the Gerry Anderson Tribute fund which has raised many thousands of pounds for further research into this devastating disease.
What about other questions there might be?
Please feel free to contact us! We do receive a fairly high level of correspondence already and it can take time to reply, but we endeavour to respond within 48 hours.
We are deeply dedicated to our work, even though it is not very easy. In the year since Gerry died we have been successful in many of our goals and we hope that this may continue. Even when Gerry wasn't particularly proud of his work, his burning wish was still that it would be seen by as many people as possible. We are grateful to all the individuals and companies that are helping us fulfil that wish.
Mary Anderson - Managing Director
Jamie Anderson - Director
Henry Gewanter - Public Relations
Robert Kirby - Literary Agent