30th March 2015, 3:41pm
Heir to Thunderbirds throne to speak at international sci-fi symposium
Thunderbirds The man tasked with keeping alive the legacy of the late Gerry Anderson - the creator of Thunderbirds and many other cult TV classics – will speak at an international conference dedicated to Telefantasy.

Gerry Anderson is recognised by many industry critics as the UK equivalent to Walt Disney in terms of sheer creative output. The writer, director, producer and occasional voice artist was known for his futuristic television programmes and as a pioneer of Telefantasy – a TV serial with a fantasy theme.

As 2015 marks the 50th anniversary of Thunderbirds, Gerry Anderson’s most successful series, the University of Lincoln, UK, invites Telefantasy and science fiction enthusiasts to attend a one-off conference dedicated to the genre.

Gerry’s son, Jamie Anderson, will head up the bill of leading industry speakers at the Telefantasy and Society Symposium on Wednesday 6th May 2015.

From an early age, Jamie Anderson was keen to follow in his father’s footsteps and spent much time with Gerry at Pinewood Studios and Cosgrove Hall in Manchester. Now, as director of Anderson Entertainment, he is responsible for continuing the Gerry Anderson legacy and developing his father’s unfinished works. Jamie was the driving force behind Anderson Entertainment’s highly successful kick-starter campaign which raised funds to complete and publish Gerry's final novel, Gemini Force One.

Thunderbirds Are Go! – the major new reinvention of the iconic series – will premiere on ITV in April 2015, 50 years after the TV debut of the children’s classic.

Jamie will be joined at the one-day conference by renowned speakers Shane Rimmer, the original voice of Scott Tracy and star of Thunderbirds, At The Earth`s Core and The Spy Who Loved Me; Graeme Harper, BAFTA award-winning Director of Doctor Who and Star Cops; Richard Edward, Editor-in-Chief of the world’s premier Science Fiction magazine SFX; and Fiona Moore and Alan Stevens, co-authors of the book series The Prisoner, Blake’s 7 and Battlestar Galactica.

Alex Lewczuk, Senior Lecturer in the University of Lincoln’s School of English & Journalism, specialises in the study of popular fiction across media and science fiction in film and television. Speaking about organising the conference, he said: “The 50th anniversary of the much-loved original Thunderbirds series, and the launch of its new incarnation, provides a perfect background for our symposium and an ideal opportunity to combine the worlds of fandom and academia.”

The symposium will explore the continued growth of Telefantasy and its appreciation as an important field of academic study. Leading scholars in the field, such as Dr Fiona Moore of Royal Holloway University and Professor Richard J Hand from the University of South Wales, will lead discussions on the themes of televised science fiction and fantasy as a critique of society.

Also speaking on 6th May will be Sam Stone, author and creator of the Kat Lightfoot mysteries;  Ed Fortune, chief comics writer at Starburst magazine; and John Jarrold, sci-fi literary agent who commissioned the Gerry Anderson biography.

Tickets for the one-day conference, which takes place at the Engine Shed on the University of Lincoln’s Brayford Pool campus, are priced at £45. Student tickets are available for £25.

For further information and to book your place, visit: http://www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/campuslife/whatson/eventsconferences/telefantasy-and-society.html
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