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A Thunderbirds Lesson for CBS

By May 11, 2016 March 3rd, 2017 Axanar News, CBS/Paramount Lawsuit


A guest blog by Francisco Perello

I recently received my BluRay of 3 new episodes of a series celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Thunderbirds.

It was a UK Kickstarter funded with the blessing off all the copyright holders that raised $300,000: the most successful non-US Kickstarter campaign.

And if you look on the rear above the PROMOTION ONLY disclaimer you will see ITV,  the company that owns the IP (in part).

ITV gave the fans who made it the green light through a FREE licence agreement . The fans who funded it got lots of cool stuff and ITV got the right to broadcast this as part of the 50th anniversary celebrations of Thunderbirds in September.

Here is the original Kickstarter pitch which makes clear the support of the IP owners….


This has generated so much goodwill and publicity, including extensive prime time coverage in the news on TV, radio, print and Internet, that there is talk of ITV funding a new series!

It would be great if someone could somehow put this in front of those narrow minded, lack of vision, CBS/Paramount execs so they could see how a model collaboration is actually out there doing what Alec has said can and should be done, in what is for certain the first of its kind in the world, and a win,win, win for EVERYONE.

Thunderbirds 1 Thunderbirds 2

This disk, sits lamentably and proudly next to my Prelude to Axanar disc.







THUNDERBIRDS, 50th anniversary, loads of good publicity, happy fans, happy ITV /IP secure!

STAR TREK, 50th anniversary, loads of bad publicity, film sinking, fans annoyed, CBS pissed, IP confused and uncertain!

I’m so humbled by how amazingly well everyone at Axanar has been conducting themselves.

I just wanted to share this campaign, because its my dream (and of course Alec’s more so) that Axanar be a model of how fan and studio production can flourish symbiotically.

Keep up the good fight

Francisco Perello in the UK


Find the original Kickstarter here.

You can read about the campaign on C/Net.


Join the discussion 15 Comments

  • W Ted Jones says:

    I agree this is the way it should be done can someone show it to the judge and maybe he could nudge it in the right direction after all isn’t the judge supposed to help for a mutal settelment

  • …could Axanar afford to buy a billboard in front of / near CBS HQ with a link to an on-line petition and/or phone number for fans to voice their opinions to CBS?


  • P.S.: THANK YOU Francisco Perello! =D

    *THIS* is EXACTLY what CBS should do!! (they are hateful idiots, if they don’t…) =(

  • Ira says:

    So where can we find this disc here in the US?

  • Jason Moon says:

    Maybe if “Star Trek” hadn’t gone on past the original series, they would have been more amenable.(I shudder to think of “The JJThunderbirds Are GO!” Brr.)

  • Brian Heite says:

    Excellent post and example of just how the entertainment ecosystem SHOULD work. ITV should be lauded for their clear sighted understanding of how valuable fans can, and will be in the future. It looks like a very professional job was done, and it seems there is no way anyone ever thought that they were a “threat” to the IP owners. Of course, maybe ITV did a better job than some at actually knowing what their IP was, and didn’t just shotgun everything to see what sticks to the wall, either….

  • Gaius Ross says:

    I’m a massive fan of Thunderbirds and from what I have seen the new episodes look excellent. Annoyingly though, the kickstarter started just after I had donated to Axanar and I couldn’t afford both. I was gutted. Oh well, that’s life.

  • Andrew F says:

    I don’t think that’s a fair representation of the status of the ‘Thunderbirds 1965’ project at all – it’s not a fan film given blessing (or a ‘free licence’, as you put it) by ITV, the people behind it are professionals (some of whom are fans of the original series, of course) who secured a proper licensing agreement for the project the same as any other commercial entity wishing to produce licensed material. Obviously they’re not going to go into the nitty-gritty of their licensing agreement with ITV as it’s commercially-sensitive information, but it’s certainly not comparable to ‘Axanar’ – claims to the two projects operating in similar territory are on pretty shaky ground, I think.

  • Thunderbirds 1965 says:

    Unfortunately, this blog contains several erroneous statements.

    Thunderbirds 1965 was a fully licensed production and required full approval and support of ITV. Its genesis was because we had an existing professional working relationship with ITV as filmmakers.

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