7-8 October, 2006
Sector 25 celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Gerry Anderson fan club Fanderson. This was in the same hotel as Countdown To Disaster the previous year. The hotel is close to a number of studios in the Elstree- Borehamwood area (films shot here include 2001 A Space Odyssey and all the first three Star Wars films; Space 1999 was also going to be filmed here before moving to Pinewood just before shooting). See Map
The convention occupied five rooms of the hotel (and, of course, the bar). There was a large main hall for the main talks and screenings and a small room for "workshops" (usually more informal talks as well as workshop events).
There were 400 registrations, but the rooms were large and never felt too crowded, although getting drinks from the bar was sometimes a bit of a challenge. The queue for Gerry Anderson's autograph was almost as daunting.
The large model room was filled with models, puppets and artwork (production art by Mike Trim for Thunderbirds- UFO, and by Dominic Lavery for the 2003 CGI New Captain Scarlet series, and TV 21 comic art). A huge Zero X model was a highlight.
Dealers were spread across two medium sized rooms, one of which also doubled as the autograph tables. Dealers included Comet Miniatures, with numerous Product Enterprise models including the 12inch and 23inch Eagles, and, for display only, the upcoming VIP Eagle (with orange passenger module) and gift set (with a very nice box and small laser tank). The Fanderson table did brisk business with many items, with the new Mike Trim art book apparently selling very well (Mike designed and built the Nuclear Waste Disposal Area 2 hub for Breakaway).
There were a large number of guests, including many from the New Captain Scarlet series, and from Space 1999 Zienia Merton, Prentis Hancock, Shane Rimmer and Joanna Dunham. (Nick Tate had to drop out some time before as he was in theatre in Australia, Keith Wilson dropped out due to a film commitment). And, of course, Gerry Anderson himself.
The convention package included a special edition of the FAB magazine (containing a revised history of the club, and a detailed examination of non-Anderson series marketed by the merchandising company). There were also a couple of Fanderson's paperbacks- Space 1999 Earthfall by EC Tubb and the UFO scripts. Plus biographies of the guests, a map of the area and filming locations (see my map of the local studios) and advertising.
There were the traditional convention activities- episode screenings, guest interviews on stage, auction and raffles (one for a 23inch Product Enterprise Eagle), and a fancy dress disco on Saturday night. A relatively new tradition is a formal meal, this one held on Sunday night. The menu caused some comment- it was sausages and mashed potato for the main course, although well presented.
Contents copyright Martin Willey
Space: 1999 copyright ITV Studios Global Entertainment