When I was a kid, my favourite TV show -- by far -- was Thunderbirds. I'm not sure how popular it was in the States (it was huge in Australia and in the UK, where it was made), but it was a show where every week some perilous emergency would happen somewhere around a world of the near future, and the five Tracey sons would use their incredible machines (the five eponymous Thunderbirds) to save the day. It was filmed in "Supermarionation" with scale models and marionettes (which were sent up 40 years later in Team America: World Police). You can get a good sense of the show from the title sequence, which still brings a smile to my face to this day.
The series was "rebooted" as a truly awful live-action film in 2004, so it was with some trepidation that I learned a couple of years ago that it was being brought back to TV. On the plus side, it was (like the original) being made as a UK production, and Weta Workshop (of Lord of the Rings fame) was bringing back the old-school feel with actual scale models; on the downside the iconic marionettes were being replaced by CGI characters. I recently got to check out the new Thunderbirds are Go when it was released in the States on Amazon Video and ... it's not bad!
The episodes have been cut down from an hour to thirty minutes, so the rescues (and the drama) have been downgraded accordingly. It's also aimed at a much younger audience (grade-schoolers rather than pre-teens). But even in my advanced age and with nostalgia-tinted lenses, it's still a lot of fun: the machines are still awesome, the rescues are still exciting, and it's not an entirely male-dominated cast this time round. (The Tracey sons are still here, but Rosamund Pike and Angel Coulby play some major parts now as well.) I had a blast watching it with my young nephew: if you have young kids, it's well worth checking it out with them ... if you can tear them away from Minecraft, that is. For older kids (or adults new to the Thunderbirds canon), you might want to search out the original series instead, which still holds up well today.
That's all from the blog this week. See you back here on Monday, and have a great weekend!