Following the 50th anniversary of hit puppet series Thunderbirds, a unique trio of adventures are released this month as part of a Kickstarter campaign to bring the classic Supermarionation series back for one final outing.
In the Sixties, several audio-only Thunderbirds adventures were released commercially on vinyl. Three of these were original stories, unique from the broadcast series and featuring the voices of the original cast, including Sylvia Anderson as Lady Penelope and David Graham as Parker.
Some fifty years later, these recordings have been expanded and restored to form the basis for three newly-produced episodes, employing the traditional Supermarionation techniques and effects which made the original series a global phenomenon.
Cast: Peter Dyneley, David Graham, Bob Monkhouse, Shane Rimmer, Ray Barrett, Neil McCallum, Sylvia Anderson, Christine Finn, Charles Tingwell, Jeremy Wilkin, Paul Maxwell, Matt Zimmerman, Alexander Davion
Director: David Lane
Writers: Gerry Anderson and Sylvia Anderson
Released By: Fabulous Films
Duration: 89 minutes & 85 minutes
Release Date: June 15, 2015
Reviewed On: Blu-ray
In 1965 Gerry Anderson led his team at AP Films to produce one of the most expensive and enduring television programmes of all time. Thunderbirds was the culmination of several years experience in the creation of adventure drama with marionettes and scale models, utilising cutting-edge technology and special effects to present a futuristic world. Filmed using a process coined Supermarionation, Anderson’s shows were unique in their unmatched production values, perilous stories and orchestral scores, evidenced by the popularity of Thunderbirds fifty years on.
The entirety of audiences in 1965 experienced Thunderbirds in low resolution monochrome, on comparatively small television screens. Regardless of the broadcast limitations of the time, the explosive bravura of the series shone through and Thunderbirds was a huge success in Europe, enjoying a phenomenon which was expected to spread to the lucrative American market. ITC’s Managing Director, Lew Grade, was so pleased with Thunderbirds that he quickly funded a project to bring a movie version to the big screen. Capitalizing on the show’s popularity, a cinematic adaptation would offer all the action and adventure in full Technicolor with a widescreen frame. Scripted by Gerry and produced by Sylvia Anderson, Thunderbirds Are Go was released through United Artists shortly before the Christmas of 1966.
Theatre Manager, Writer, Film Photographer & Printer, Reviewer, Reader. Secular biped mammal with own views. © Samuel Payne 2016