MORE than £40,000 has been raised in less than four days by fans of Thunderbirds creator Gerry Anderson to get another of his sci-fi puppet concepts off the ground.

Gerry’s son Jamie, of Hampton, near Highworth, is managing director of Anderson Entertainment and behind the bid to bring Firestorm to the small screen.

One year after successfully securing more than £33,000 through crowd-funding website Kickstarter to create book series Gemini Force One (GF1), he is at it again.

And his father’s legion of followers have not let him down.

The project to create Firestorm, which follows an anti-terrorist operation to bring down a global threat, was launched through Kickstarter on Tuesday, and at the time of writing was approaching £45,000 in pledges.

More than 700 backers have thrown their support behind the proposed programme in an effort to get beyond the £49,280 goal set by Jamie and his team.

The project will remain open for another 30 days, with a safe assumption Firestorm will secure its goal, but there are stretch targets which could secure a bigger and better pilot episode.

“I thought it would go better (than GF1),” he said. “A book isn’t very sexy. Printed words on a block of paper are nothing.

“This is going to be visible. The tangible stuff in it, I hoped would capture imaginations. We don’t want to count our chickens just yet, but we hope we can exceed the goal by some way.

“Something in the region of £100,000 would make a really good pilot episode. The sheer expense involved in creating something like this is crazy.”

Firestorm was originally conceived by Gerry Anderson in 2001 under the title Storm Force.

The series was eventually bought by a Japanese production company and developed as an anime series. The ultimate aim is to create the series with puppets and props similar to those used in Anderson’s classics Stingray, Thunderbirds and Captain Scarlet.

If a six-figure total is reached, a 22-minute pilot episode would be created and sent off to television channels, distributors and online organisations, which might then agree to a series.

“The ideal scenario would be for us to exceed our goal by a long way, make the pilot episode, people love it and the executives at Netflix see it and want this to happen,” said Jamie.

“That would be wonderful. The backers will get their copy and we will send it around to finance companies, distributors, channels and online video companies.”