Terror from the Stars | Anderson Entertainment starts count down for Thunderbirds audio book series launch

Anderson Entertainment, the production company founded by Gerry Anderson – the man behind shows like Thunderbirds and Space: 1999 – has detailed a ‘significant new arrival in the audio market’, with the launch of Thunderbirds: Terror from the Stars.

An adaptation of John Theydon’s 1965 book Thunderbirds, the title is the first of Anderson Entertainment’s new series of audio versions of classic Gerry Anderson stories from the ’60s and ’70s. The series is now being made available thanks to a new licensing deal with ITV Studios.

A newly printed collector’s hardback version of the original book will be included with the boxed four-CD set. A download-only version will also be available.

This ‘significant new series’ will build on the vast popularity of Gerry Anderson’s creations and the appeal of audiobooks to a wide range of consumers – from commuters and homeworkers to joggers and gym users.

Anderson Entertainment has already enjoyed success in the audio entertainment market, notably through collaborations on Terrahawks and Captain Scarlet with production company, publisher and distributor Big Finish and its own all-new audio drama First Action Bureau. These audiobooks, however, are entirely Anderson Entertainment-devised and produced, although Big Finish will be handling distribution of the digital download-only versions.

This will also be the first time a dedicated series of audiobook and hardback packages has been produced across a wide range of Anderson titles – most of which have never before been adapted for audio.

In Thunderbirds: Terror from the Stars, the ex-con cockney chauffeur Parker and the stylish aristocrat Lady Penelope, originally voiced by David Graham and Sylvia Anderson, will be brought to life by voice actor and impressionist Jon Culshaw, star of Dead Ringers and Spitting Image, and actress Genevieve Gaunt, also known as Pansy Parkinson in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and Wilhelmina ‘Willow’ Moreno Henstridge in the popular soap opera The Royals.

Jon Culshaw will also be voicing Jeff Tracy, the head of the Tracy family, and Genevieve Gaunt will play Grandma Tracy. The Tracy brothers, the evil Hood and the brilliant Brains will also be voiced by a talented cast that includes Wayne Forester, Justin T Lee, Joe Jameson and Anna Leong Brophy.

The Thunderbirds: Terror from the Stars audiobook and hardcover reissue of the original book will launch in May on the Gerry Anderson store (shop.gerryanderson.co.uk). The package has been available for pre-order from April 11th in a four-CD set that includes a behind-the-scenes documentary. 

Thunderbirds: Terror from the Stars will be followed by audio and hardback versions of other iconic Gerry Anderson creations, including Stingray, Joe 90, UFO and Space:1999. There will also be more Thunderbirds adaptations.

Jamie Anderson, MD of Anderson Entertainment, said: “The success of Anderson Entertainment’s audio-focused ventures, like the all-new audio drama First Action Bureau and Terrahawks, has underlined the strong appeal of audio formats. With material available in the form of popular 1960s and 1970s books and strong support from talented voice casts, we think this new venture will be eagerly embraced by a wide audience.”

Brand-Ward tapped to develop Germany’s Bibi & Tina for global audiences

The licensing agency and consultancy firm, Brand-Ward has been brought on board to develop a strategy to launch the German children’s brand, Bibi & Tina to a global audience.

Owned by Kiddinx Media GmbH, a leading name in distribution and marketing for children’s audio plays and books, kids’ music, animated features, and apps, Bibi & Tina began life in Germany as a radio play spin-off of the Bibi Blocksberg brand. It was quickly developed into a TV series for ZDF as well as a range of audiovisual productions.

It follows the adventures of Bibi, a girl with special powers, her best friend Tina, and their horses Sabrina and Amadeus. Over its 30 year history, Bibi & Tina has become a major brand in the German market with over 20 million storytellers sold to date, 5.6 million videos sold, a number one soundtrack album, and 1.7 million books shifted.

The IP has been on air with 54 episodes on TV for the last 13 years, a live action series on Amazon Prime, and four feature films. Bibi & Tina has embraced the digital age with 105 million streams per month across all major platforms. 

The brand is celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2021, and Kiddinx has launched the 100th episode of the radio play in January. 

Holger Küchler, managing director at Kiddinx, said: “Internationalization has become a priority for our brands. We are pleased that we have found a committed and professional partner in Brand-Ward who will be accompanying us on this journey to bring a smile to every child’s face.”

Karl Blatz, head of international business development at Kiddinx, added: “Bibi & Tina always stood for equality and sustainability. These core values have been with the brand for thirty years and are now more important than ever before. We truly believe that Bibi & Tina provide captivating entertainment that children won’t be able to get enough of.”

Jean-Philippe Randisi, co-founder of Brand-Ward, said: “Quietly and discreetly, Kiddinx has created over the last decades, a number of gems for children with an incredibly enduring success. Bibi & Tina is a favourite brand for kids there, and we are delighted to help Kiddinx fulfil their ambition of making it part of kids’ lives not just in Germany but around the world.”