When legendary TV producer Gerry Anderson handed away in 2012, he left behind a wealth of unused and unfinished ideas – concepts for sequence that by no means materialised to affix the ranks of such traditional sequence as Thunderbirds, UFO and House: 1999. His son Jamie Anderson, now head of Anderson Leisure, has since overseen the additional growth of many of those tasks, with ebook sequence Gemini Power One being accomplished by creator MG Harris from 2013 onwards and a new puppet sequence based mostly on one other Gerry idea, Firestorm, having premiered a pilot episode on YouTube in 2018 (accruing over 350 thousand views up to now) with a full sequence now within the works.
The most recent Anderson Leisure providing, although, is one thing totally different. “Tright here’s solely a lot mining of outdated stuff you are able to do… and there so many good concepts that have been by no means introduced collectively right into a single present,” Jamie tells RadioTimes.com. Rising from “bits of issues that have been by no means completed – concepts, notes, themes” in addition to from conversations between Jamie and his buddy and frequent collaborator Nicholas Briggs (Physician Who) is First Action Bureau, an authentic scripted drama podcast that nonetheless is aiming to channel the spirit of traditional Gerry Anderson reveals.
“It’s new, actually, nevertheless it’s acquired a great deal of the hallmarks of Anderson stuff,” Jamie says. “[It’s a] future setting, sci-fi, secret organisations… nevertheless it’s newly drawn collectively. It’s the primary fully new factor we’ve introduced collectively however that also sits within the worlds of Anderson.”
“It’s inevitably going to have an Anderson really feel to it, due to Jamie and all his familiarity with it, but in addition the truth that I’m only a large fan of all of the Anderson stuff,” says Briggs. “It was an enormous a part of my upbringing. It’s as a lot a part of my DNA as Physician Who’s, which is clearly what I’m extra identified for.”
As for the title being a sly nod to Thunderbirds (F.A.B. – geddit?), Jamie reveals that this too has its origins in a unique unfinished mission, with the acronym being advised by creator and illustrator Spike Greening, who’d as soon as been set to work with Gerry on a sequence of kids’s books.
“It’s an important title, proper?” Jamie says. “And it occurs to suit completely.”
Set in a “near-utopian” future Earth of 2067, the sequence – that includes Sacha Dhawan (Physician Who), Nicola Walker (Unforgotten), Paterson Joseph (Noughts + Crosses) and Genevieve Gaunt (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban) amongst its solid – will observe the titular bureau because it makes use of synthetic intelligence to predict felony exercise earlier than it happens.
A “pilot season” will launch on the first October with the discharge of the primary three episodes, with seven extra then following on a weekly foundation. The conversations about what would turn out to be First Action Bureau solely started in earnest in direction of the tip of 2019, however lockdown placing a short lived maintain on different tasks really helped pace up its growth, notably as soon as a sequence of Large End recordings involving each Jamie and his collaborator Briggs proved distant recording to be a viable prospect.
“I notably keep in mind a breakfast dialog,” says Briggs. “We went to a neighborhood greasy spoon and [Jamie was] speaking about pretend realities and issues…”
“Deep fakes and AI and all that form of stuff,” Jamie provides. “All of the form of stuff that’s within the information very a lot, or comes up on social media – even out of context enhancing, that form of stuff, and how that may evolve in a future world.”
These notions chimed with Briggs’ personal need to “do a particular agent story”, one thing with “a form of spy-fi really feel about it.”
Having hit on an idea, the pair then determined to place the sequence out without cost as a “podcast serial”, a call they are saying additionally helped speed up its launch in addition to guaranteeing there’s “no barrier to entry” for audiences. “Growing any little bit of IP [intellectual property] may be very prolonged and costly, since you’re principally growing scripts, and image decks, and bibles and all that form of stuff with a purpose to present them to a broadcaster or a streamer or a distributor,” Jamie explains.
“That may be probably years of labor and no person ever sees it outdoors of little enterprise relationships, and even then it takes one other one to 3 years, or extra, to get it via the commissioning/financing/manufacturing course of. So that you’ve most likely acquired a lag of 5 years from the time you’re like ‘Let’s do a factor!’ to that factor really being on the market, and that lag may very well be 10 years.”
“I’m very impatient usually,” jokes Briggs. “I couldn’t wait 10 years to develop one thing!”
“That is the antidote really to all the opposite – slower – stuff we’re growing,” Jamie says. “The extra conventional strategy.”
Having seen its evolution expedited by the present world scenario, the First Action Bureau podcast has additionally been particularly designed to swimsuit an viewers’s tailored day by day routine, with bite-size episodes working to between eight and 10 minutes. “Throughout lockdown, what I believe individuals noticed throughout podcasting is that really there was a decline in viewers as a result of that commuting time was gone,” Jamie explains. “Folks haven’t acquired that useless time the place they’ve quarter-hour, half-hour, and even an hour to have a look at a display or hearken to one thing, so these needed to be actually brief, we thought, with a purpose to slot in with individuals’s lives.”
The announcement of the sequence earlier this month additionally got here with an intriguing addendum for Gerry Anderson followers – First Action Bureau will serve not simply as a standalone story however as a part of a wider shared universe, dubbed the “AnderVerse”, which it’ll share with the aforementioned Firestorm (beneath) and a deliberate animated reboot of the traditional sequence Anderson Terrahawks.
Marvel’s Cinematic Universe is a transparent affect, however the concept of hyperlinks between sequence once more has its roots in traditional Anderson materials, with the TV21 youngsters’s comedian of the Nineteen Sixties containing tales which included parts from quite a lot of totally different reveals together with Thunderbirds, Stingray and Fireball XL5.
“In their TV codecs, they don’t sit in the identical universe nevertheless it’s one thing that they have been experimenting with in TV21,” Jamie factors out. “The AnderVerse factor is one thing that has been talked about for a few years on and off… what I discovered was we have been growing these properties individually, they have been all being handled as little separate pots of content material.
“Then whereas we have been engaged on the Terrahawks reboot with the workforce, a query got here up about how a selected character would possibly find yourself crossing into the Terrahawks universe and past, and that simply all of the sudden opened us up from fascinated about these tasks as fully silo-ed to then considering how and why this stuff is likely to be related.
“So then all of the sudden the Firestorm universe opened up and acquired much more thrilling – we’ve been doing a little new scripts throughout lockdown for that, and all of it simply began to work.
“So all this stuff are in a shared universe however on a linear timeline – these aren’t issues which can be taking place in parallel, though there may be some crossover and characters that reappear… that’s most likely about as a lot as I can say, nevertheless it actually works!”
First Action Bureau will launch with its first three episodes on Thursday, 1st October – discover one thing to observe now with our TV Information