Parker and Lady Penelope face ‘Terror From the Stars’!

Stand by for action! Anderson Entertainment launch a new Thunderbirds audiobook!

“I grew up with Gerry Anderson’s shows, so working on this audiobook has been a delight. I also love voicing contrasting characters – and they don’t get much more different than Jeff Tracy and Parker!” – Impressionist Jon Culshaw.

Thunderbirds: Terror from the Stars is a new audiobook from the world of Thunderbirds. Produced by Anderson Entertainment, it sees renowned impressionist, actor and comedian Jon Culshaw portray ex-con chauffeur Parker and Genevieve Gaunt voice aristocratic superspy Lady Penelope, originally voiced David Graham and Thunderbirds co-creator Sylvia Anderson, respectively.

Jon Culshaw will also be voicing International Rescue founder and leader Jeff Tracy, a role he has recently been bringing to life for YouTube videos exclusively for Anderson Entertainment. “I grew up with Gerry Anderson’s shows, so working on this audiobook has been a delight. I also love voicing contrasting characters – and they don’t get much more different than Jeff Tracy and Parker!”

Jon Culshaw. Photo: Kim Jones © Image subject to copyright.

The audiobook also comes with a charming message from David Graham saying that, in his 96th year, he feels deserving of a rest from his most famous role and is passing the baton to a new team. The cast is rounded off by Joe Jameson, Anna Leong Brophy, Wayne Forrester (best known in Anderson circles as the voice of Captain Scarlet from 2005’s New Captain Scarlet) and Justin T. Lee, who is currently stranded millions of miles from Earth as the voice of Commander Ray Neptune, the intrepid hero of Century 21 Films’ new Supermarionation and Superisolation series Nebula-75.

Thunderbirds: Terror from the Stars will be available as both a full-cast audio drama and a hardback book reprint of the novel that it’s based on. Terror from the Stars is adapted from John Theydon’s 1965 book Thunderbirds, originally the first of eight novel spin-offs from the original classic Supermarionation series, six of which were written by Theydon himself.

John Theydon had a lengthily association with the worlds of Gerry and Sylvia Anderson, writing numerous novel spin-offs for the various Supermarionation series, including the 1965 story book Supercar on the Black Diamond Trail, along with further novels for Stingray, Captain Scarlet and The Secret Service. Book spin-offs continued to be fertile ground with Anderson productions beyond John Theydon’s works, with numerous paperbacks based on Gerry and Sylvia’s live-action works UFO and Space: 1999 being written during and after their initial broadcasts.

This new Thunderbirds audiobook is a welcome and logical step forward for Anderson Entertainment’s continuing output of audio-based works from the worlds of Gerry and Sylvia Anderson. 2017 saw the release of enhanced audiobook adaptations of Theydon’s trio of Captain Scarlet novels, a series of works in partnership with Big Finish. Further collaborations with Big Finish include the recently released audio reimagining of Space: 1999, Anderson Entertainment’s original spy-fi series First Action Bureau and audiobook readings of Anderson ranges Into Infinity, Gemini Force One and Space Precinct as part of the Gerry Anderson Audio Collection.

Thunderbirds: Terror from the Stars is the first production in a new licensing deal with Anderson Entertainment. This will include further audiobook releases for Stingray, Joe 90, UFO, Space: 1999 and of course, more Thunderbirds. It’s possible then that these forthcoming releases will continue Anderson Entertainment’s trend of breathing fresh life into previously published works, many of which haven’t been reprinted since their original publications throughout the 1960s and 1970s.

This exciting announcement comes as the first ever annual Gerry Anderson Day prepares for blast off on the 14th of April. This event commemorates the life and work of Gerry Anderson and will feature special events, livestreams, unique new content from Anderson Entertainment, a special YouTube programme and one-off and limited products.

There are also guest appearances planned from some very big-name celebrity fans. Expect some fun – and a lot of surprises – finding out who they are!

Meanwhile on Twitter, Big Finish is hosting a Terrahawks social media listening party to celebrate Gerry Anderson Day! Actors and writers from the series will be tweeting along, chipping in facts and memories of the stories using the hashtag #Terrahawks. To join in, press “play” on the Big Finish SoundCloud playlist stream of the three Terrahawks episodes here at 8pm (UK time) precisely on Wednesday 14 April. Then follow @BigFinish on Twitter, or click on the #Terrahawks hashtag to see what people are saying and add your own comments.

‘Thunderbirds: Terror from the Stars’ is available to pre-order now in a four-CD set that includes a behind-the-scenes documentary. Both the CD set and the hardback book are available from the official Gerry Anderson store. The digital version can be exclusively pre-ordered from the Big Finish website here

❉ Further details on Gerry Anderson Day can also be found from Anderson Entertainment. #GerryAndersonDay

  Fred McNamara is a contributing writer for a variety of digital and print publications, covering comic books, films, TV and more. His work has appeared on such websites as PopMattersWhatCulture, Flickering Myth, Grovel, the Official Gerry Anderson Blog, ScreenRelish, and in such publications as Starburst Magazine, Andersonic and Comic Scene. His work has also appeared in anthologies published by Watching Books and Who Dares Publishing.

News source: kilogrammedia / Big Finish Productions.

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