Some key questions, answered here. For those who has never never been to a convention, or just wants to know more about TV21

So, what is a Convention?

A convention is purely a gathering of people who share an interest. Sometimes this interest might be in science fiction books or, as in the case of Fanderson, a gathering of members of a club.

Making new friends isn’t hard, even if you’ve never attended one of our events before. Everyone at a Fanderson con is there for the same reason, so it’s easy to start a conversation. Just ask:  ‘what’s your favourite series?’

Remember, everyone is there because they want to be there. Lots of people might be attending on their own. We are going to put a thread onto the Fanderson Forum nearer the con so that people can introduce themselves before the event, make friends online and make it even easier to meet up on the day.

Visit the Fanderson Forum

So what happens at a con?

This can depend upon the subject matter of the con and the organisers. Different types of cons have different ‘flavours’, but they are never dull! Fanderson cons often include conversation-style interviews with the guests from the series. These interviews can sometimes be with one guest or a group.

Who are the guests at Fanderson Cons?

Past guests cons have included Gerry and Mary Anderson; actors & voice artists from most of the shows; writers; model makers; puppeteers; and artists and writers from the Anderson comics. They all make themselves accessible during the event, with many of them spending their free time in the bars and lounges of the hotels so that fans can chat with them. Who can forget the experience of line dancing with Peter Gordeno at one of the Coventry cons!

Other programme items could include talks such as ‘Would Thunderbird 2 Really Be Able To Fly?’, how Crispin Merrell created the music for Space Precinct, what it was like to work for Alan Fennell, reminiscences of working for Gerry Anderson, and how to make a puppet walk convincingly!

Guests often participate in these talks, such as Crispin Merrell, Mike Noble, Francis Matthews, Matt Zimmerman and Zenia Merton, as well as fans who are experts in the topics being presented or discussed. There are also plenty of opportunities for fans to discuss their own interests, such as writing fan fiction.

All guests appear at autograph sessions, which gives you the chance to meet them and get something signed. Although you can bring your own items along, each con will have guidelines about whether you have to pay for an autograph, and how many items you can have signed. This is to make sure that everyone can meet the guests without having to queue for hours.

Can I buy merchandise at the con?

Yes. There is usually a room where Dealers have tables to sell a variety of merchandise, so bring some money with you. You never know what essential purchase might be in that room waiting for you!

Are there any original props or models on display?

Fanderson cons are renowned for their displays of original and studio quality replica models, puppets and props. There is usually an art & model room where you can see them all and talk to the artists and model makers. Sometimes this includes the model makers from the original series.

Do all fans wear costumes?

Not unless you want to! Everyone is very relaxed about this and no one is going to force you to wear a costume. Having said that, if you want to spend the day dressed as Captain Scarlet, it will be a good talking point! We usually encourage people to dress up for the traditional disco on the Saturday, but, again, if you don’t want to, you don’t have to.

Sounds good to me, so how do I pay?

Details of how to register can be found on the Fanderson website

What happens when I arrive at the event?

You will need to come along to the Registrations Desk which is usually at the entrance to the con. You’ll be given a con badge so that people know who you are and can see you have paid your entrance fee. You’ll also receive a pack of information that includes a con book and a timetable of events, so you can see what is happening when.