Hang on, Fans! “Thunderbirds Are Go”———Again!

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Prepare for Takeoff! Fans of 1:6 scale dioramas and sci-fi adventure loved the intricate sets, machines and rocketry featured in Gerry Anderson’s “Thunderbirds” TV series and movies of the 1960s. Fortunately, the Thunderbirds are slated to return in 26 new half-hour episodes, not as “Supermarionation’ creations (right), but as CGI animations (left). The results remain to be seen. Cross your fingers! (Photos: ITV)

Fans of 1:6 scale drool uncontrollably at the sight of some of the Thunderbirds cockpits and other detailed sets. Imagine the adventures you could have with THIS one! (Photo: ITV)

Fans of 1:6 scale typically drool uncontrollably at the sight of some of the Thunderbirds cockpits and other ultra-detailed sets. Imagine the adventures GIjOE could have sitting in THIS one. Holy, WOW! (Photo: ITV)

Supermarionation is OUT.
CGI is (Apparently) “IN.”

I don’t know about you, but I absolutely LOVED Gerry Anderson’s 1960s UK show called Thunderbirds Are Go! I have all the episodes on DVD and rewatch them regularly (the full-length film versions as well). I also own many of the playsets, action figures, vehicles, a vintage ’60s coloring book and scads more Thunderbirds merchandise. For ardent fans like myself, the recent news of a new Thunderbirds TV program is like throwing meat into a lion’s cage. I’m all OVER it! Here’s the intel released in today’s article by the UK Telegraph:

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“Thunderbirds are back. A new image of the Tracy brothers has been released by ITV, showing the puppets of old have been replaced by CGI characters with boyband haircuts and very tight trousers. The picture features [l-r] Scott, Virgil, Alan, Gordon and John in front of Tracey Island. ITV’s ‘reboot’ of the 1960s show, called Thunderbirds Are Go, is a mix of CGI and live action, and will air this spring – 50 years after the first show was broadcast. Rosamund Pike will voice Lady Penelope. David Graham, the original voice of Parker the chauffeur, will return to reprise his role. Thomas Brodie-Sangster will voice John Tracy, and Kayvan Novak will be the voice of Brains.”

(Photo: IDW01)

The “stars” of Thunderbirds were actually the mind-blowing rockets, space planes and other far-out vehicles featured on the show. Our favorite? Thunderbird 2! Oh, YEAH, baby! (Photo: IDW01)

“An ITV spokesman said the series would ‘deliver a new level of action-adventure animation whilst paying tribute to the classic 1960s phenomenon.’ The original show was created by Gerry Anderson, who died in 2012 and had given the remake his blessing. The new version will be broadcast in 26 half-hour episodes and has been made by Peter Jackson’s Weta Workshop, responsible for special effects in The Lord of the Rings. 

Graham, the only original voice cast member to feature in the remake, said Anderson was ‘delighted’ that the show would be introduced to a new generation. ‘In one of the last interviews he gave on television, he said it was going to come back. We all who worked on it would like to dedicate it to his memory,’ Graham has said.”

This closeup shows detail of some of the equipment, uniforms and Tracy Island. (Photo: IT)

About Face! This closeup shows detail of some of the equipment, uniforms and Tracy Island. (Photo: ITV)

Bottom Line: Depending on your “take” regarding the Thunderbirds, this news will come either as a big deal—or no deal at all. For us, it’s a VERY big deal. Time to get out our Tracey Island playlet and launch Thunderbirds 1, 2 and 3! (For more intel, see first video clip below and website HERE.)

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2 thoughts on “Hang on, Fans! “Thunderbirds Are Go”———Again!

  1. Joseph Benedetto says:

    F.A.B., Commander!

  2. kneonknight says:

    I have never seen a single episode of this series, and only know of it from an article in Starlog Magazine from the late 70s. I was fascinated by the photos and descriptions of the various special effects used in the series, and rather envious of the lucky folks who got to see it during its original run. I will definitely be checking out the latest incarnation, and am hoping there will be a merchandising tie-in that will breathe some new life into our hobby.

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