TV - Thunderbirds Are Go

Thunderbirds are go

The new look Thunderbirds make their DVD bow next week. Did Steve Taylor-Bryant think it was FAB?...

I really didn’t want to write this review. I knew damn well whatever I wrote would have sections of fandom calling for my head, but as a professional (I get paid in biscuits) I sat and watched ITV’s new DVD release Thunderbirds Are Go. Cards on the table – I didn’t think I would like it, one remake too far, “what do you mean no puppets and supermarionation?” BUT I didn’t hate it at all. Let me explain.

The basics were still all there. The Tracy Brothers, International Rescue, the hidden island base, really bad physics and scientific terminology that makes no sense at all, and Parker and Lady Penelope all gave the familiarity that we of a certain generation needed. Yes, it was otherwise all new and shiny but still felt familiar nonetheless. Rosamund Pike as the voice of Lady Penelope added a level of class to proceedings and having the original Parker, David Graham, back on voicing duties added the sense of the past that I had been craving. Brains has received a update, now more hipster than scientist, and the introduction of new characters like Kayo helped to paint the whole thing as new which allowed my kids to really enjoy the show (if I’d told them it was a sixties show their old dad had watched as a kid they never would have gone within a mile of the TV).

Once I had got my head around the animation rather than puppetry, and the animation is very, very clever, I liked the show. The writing was as good as the old version, appealing to both adults and children alike which is no mean feat, and the whole project was well worth doing and a good example of how bringing back an old classic can and should be done. My only complaint is that, by the end of the series, I was slightly bored with the repetitiveness of it all but my children were still enthralled and, after a conversation with my own father, I realised that the repetitiveness of the original got to him when I was a child as well, so I guess it’s an age thing (or a Dad thing).

I hope ITV make more of the series, I hope the DVD helps bring a classic to a new generation and, in a time where children lock themselves away with their technology, I hope more families manage to sit around the television and watch this as families should. The best aspect of this remade show for me was its ability to allow my family to spend some quality time together and for that I am truly grateful.

Image - Amazon