Thunderbirds Are Go Again!

News 10 Feb 2011 - 06:26
Thunderbirds

Thunderbirds is returning to the small screen. Ti wonders just what direction it'll take this time round...

When I was a kid, Friday night was Thunderbirds night. On BBC 2, at 6pm, nothing would get in the way of me watching the show that defined my childhood (that, and Star Trek).

I had all the Matchbox toys, I read the comics, I collected the cards and I even did the whole Blue Peter/Anthea Turner 'make your own Tracy Island' thing.

You can imagine my excitement in 2004 when Universal announced they would be making a live-action feature film, and you can only imagine my dismay when it turned out to be one of the worst movies I have ever seen.

Not only was there no International Rescue-ing of any kind, but most of the Tracy family were trapped in space while a bunch of kids ran away from Sir Ben Kingsley, who better have only been there for the paycheque. If he was there for the script, then I have honestly lost all respect for him, and I've seen Sound Of Thunder.

It was so bad that Thunderbirds creator, Gerry Anderson, refused to have anything to do with it and turned down an offer of $750,000 to simply write an endorsement of the film. It even sullied my memories of the show until I recently bought it all on DVD and basked in some glorious nostalgia, puppet work and epic disasters.

That is why I am kind of excited that Gerry Anderson has announced he is to bring back his beloved show. Details are vague, but Anderson has said that he has finalised a deal to make a new series of Thunderbirds.

Never one to sell himself short, Anderson said on BBC Radio Five Live, "I don't want to sound conceited, but because I'm going to make it, I'm confident that it will be a smash hit!"

To be fair, though, it's Anderson's direct involvement that makes this project so interesting.

The main question is will it still feature models and puppets? A few years ago, Anderson resurrected another one of his shows, Captain Scarlett, but instead of puppetry CGI was utilised. The result was a mixed bag, mainly due to the lack of advertising ITV gave the show.

I barely saw any of it, and I'm a big Anderson fan. However, out of all his shows (and I watched them all), it's always Thunderbirds that I've cared the most for. I will definitely be following this closely and we'll bring you news as we hear it.

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As someone who had been watching since their early childhood through my grandparent's videos of the 90's releases, I would be hesitant to do a series with puppets in today's tv. I am a huge, huge fan of the puppet series...but considering that I, along with every other kid my age, have grown up watching programs and movies that are either animated or use actors, how many younger people who will be watching Thunderbirds for pretty much the first time will actually want to see puppets?

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