Not a hoax!
Not a dream!
Thunderbirds are go!
Marking a triumphant return to the small screen this weekend, the Thunderbirds have been spotted in the real world. The underwater vehicle of the International Rescue team was seen in action yesterday.
The new series will utilize computer graphics rather than the supermarionation technique pioneered by Gerry Anderson and his production team in the original series.
Ahead of the brand new series Thunderbirds Are Go starting this bank holiday weekend, Thunderbird 4 took a cruise up the Thames this morning.
The yellow submersible took its maiden voyage to mark the new series of Thunderbirds Are Go, airing 50 years after it bowed off our screens.
Departing from East London, the underwater rescue vehicle made its way up the Thames passing iconic landmarks including Tower Bridge and the Houses of Parliament, naturally en route to Tracy Island.
Looking identical to the Thunderbird we all know and love, the model, which measures 15ft and is made from fibre-glass, took over six weeks to design, construct and paint.
About the Thunderbirds:
Thunderbirds ran from 1964-1966. With a crew of 100 technicians, the program was a staggering piece of TV drama that became a national treasure. Developed by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson with the assistance of Lew Grade (of The Prisoner fame), Thunderbirds spawned two feature length films in addition to the 32 hour-long adventures.
The Thunderbirds are piloted by members of the Tracy family, who live on a stronghold/pleasure resort concealing an arsenal of state of the art rescue machinery for use by the global network known only as International Rescue. Vehicles ranging from an undersea explorer to a high altitude rocket and even an orbiting space station make International Rescue an organization that can perform the impossible. Asking nothing more than secrecy, the IR team launches into action whenever needed.
“Sci-Fi on Strings.” A Gerry Anderson Special
The special effects by Derek Meddings should look very familiar to fans of the James Bond film series as he worked on several: The Man With the Golden Gun, The Spy Who Loved Me, Moonraker, and For Your Eyes Only. I was initially shocked and confused to learn that helming a state of the art puppet adventure series was never Gerry Anderson’s intention. He had hoped to attract the attention of a major film studio by displaying what he could achieve on a miniature scale. On further thought, however… it all adds up. These programs are certainly not your typical children’s entertainment fare. I don’t mean that they contain objectionable material but the level of sophistication and quality is so high that I often feel like I’m watching a film from a parallel universe populated by marionettes.
If you are new to Thunderbirds, there is really nothing else like it.