In the 1960s, the sci-fi British TV show Thunderbirds followed the secretive organization International Rescue, created and operated by Jeff Tracy and his five sons. Scott, John, Virgil, Gordon, and Allen used technologically advanced rescue vehicles (Thunderbirds 1-5) to help save anyone in need. Now, to correspond with the 50th anniversary of Thunderbirds, ITV has revived the show with Thunderbirds Are Go!, a new series that will debut in 2015.
The original Thunderbirds was created using marionette puppetry – similar to Team America: World Police – and scale model special effects. Now, with the help of Weta Workshop (the special effects studio behind The Hobbit trilogy), ITV revived the series using a mixture of CGI and live action sets. Some of those effects can be seen in the new teaser trailer for Thunderbirds Are Go! as well as the first image released from the series
The teaser trailer (above) and the first image of the five Tracy brothers (below) offer fans more of an idea as to how the CGI will look in the finished Thunderbirds Are Go! series. A redesigned version of what appears to be the Thunderbird 5, the space station used by International Rescue, is featured in the teaser and on the newly launched website Thunderbirds.com.
The voice cast for Thunderbirds Are Go! includes Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl) as Lady Penelope, Thomas Brodie-Sangster (The Maze Runner) as Tracy brothers Gordon and John, Rasmus Hardiker (Your Highness) as both Scott and Alan Tracy, and David Menkin (Arthur Christmas) as Virgil Tracy. Additionally, David Graham is returning as Aloysius Parker, his role from the original series.
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Both the teaser trailer and the image from Thunderbirds Are Go! give the impression that the new series will stay true to the original. Certainly the concept – a team of brothers trying to help people – is exactly the same. The biggest difference between the two shows seems to be the way in which they’re created.
Although the CGI of Thunderbirds Are Go! brings the series into the 21st century, fans of the original show may miss the quirks and aesthetics that come along with marionette puppetry. However, the CGI opens up Thunderbirds Are Go! to the younger audiences of today – since it is meant to be a children’s show.
Like other revived/rebooted series, the series’ need to acclimate to today’s children’s programming may alienate older viewers – or it may not. We won’t know for sure until the series premieres sometime next year.
What do you think of the CGI-rendered Thunderbirds Are Go! series? Or do you prefer the puppets from the original Thunderbirds? Let us know in the comments!
Thunderbirds Are Go! will air on ITV in 2015.
Source: Film Divider