View Full Version : Thunderbirds Are Go!: Thunderbirds Series Reboot

04-03-2015, 09:38 PM
New Thunderbirds series, retitled Thunderbirds Are Go! debuts soon; they've upgraded from puppets to CGI, but kept to a lot of the miniature models and sets. Not sure how I feel about this; the model work looks great, but the CGI and character models are a bit generic: you can judge the trailer for yourself (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6y2hFqgtjLk), and there's an interview with Richard Taylor of Weta here. (http://www.nzherald.co.nz/canvas-magazine/news/article.cfm?c_id=532&objectid=11426329) At least it looks better than the abominable American live-action remake of a few years ago, but disturbingly I don't hear the awesome original Barry Grey theme music (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9vpMy14XiBw), which should replace the national anthem.

04-04-2015, 01:12 AM
Not bad! A little "uncanny valley" in the modeling -- the same feeling I had with the Tintin movie. I figure I'll get used to it pretty quickly. (Had the same problem with Hoodwinked, and, again, got over it in the first ten minutes or so.)

Nice modeling! I'm guessing they're planning on selling a lot of toys. That's cool: I'm the target audience for that!

I'm a little daunted by the "Shadowy Figure Laughing Maniacally." A Capital-B Capital-G Bad Guy? Do we need that kind of cliché? (Were there Evil Mastermind villains in the old original TV show?)

(I don't automatically reject Evil Masterminds, but I'm suspicious of them. Everybody knows the "If I Were the Evil Overlord" rules by now, but nobody seems to follow them. Dr. Zin and Dr. No and their like just seem so...dorky by today's standards.)

04-04-2015, 01:28 AM
Dude, that was The Hood (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nutI6fF08rs), show some respect. And yeah, I think there is a huge merchandising blitz planned. All I can say is they better get Parker's voice right. Yus, m'lady.

04-04-2015, 01:33 AM
All I can say is they better get Parker's voice right.
It ought to be – they've got David Graham, who did the voice in the original series.

04-04-2015, 02:08 AM
It ought to be – they've got David Graham, who did the voice in the original series.

Dear God, he's 90. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Graham_%28actor%29)

04-04-2015, 01:23 PM
Judging from the trailer alone I can't wait!

04-04-2015, 02:32 PM
Hearing about this actually made my day. Can't wait to see it.

Amateur Barbarian
04-04-2015, 04:15 PM
O deer ghod. All I can remember is the ennnnndlesssss sequence of the big ship being assembled and made ready for takeoff... which made Star Trek I's lavish pictorials of the Enterprise look hasty by comparison.

Baron Greenback
04-05-2015, 10:13 AM
Just watched the first episode. It's quite frenetic in its pacing, but a lot of stuff from the original series is in there. Good fun, and see if you can spot references to other Gerry Anderson properties.

Johnny Angel
04-06-2015, 10:29 PM
Broadly speaking, I approve. If I were to nitpick a lot of stuff, would it really be more than the nitpicking the old series had coming to it? I mean, some eye-rolling stuff that was a product of the original series' time has been replaced with eye-rolling stuff that is a product of our own time.

The Hand is no longer The Yellow Peril, though Tintin is still his niece but is generically ethnic. Her father does not appear as the Chinese Butler. Brains is now Indian or Pakistani. John is a redhead now. Parker, instead of being a reformed safecracker, seems to hint that he's retired MI5. He still carries on the old hypercorrection gag, dropping 'h' from some words and adding it to others.

You would hardly expect modern audiences to put up with the slow pace of an older series, though I still feel that the slow unraveling of tension in the old series works well even now. What wouldn't work now is the sexism (remember the whole episode about the world's largest building getting destroyed by a woman driver?). Frankly, the pace does fix one of the problems of the original show, as my wife put it, "All this to rescue a couple of dudes at a time?" It's true. It takes them hours to get there, hours to set up, and then the actual rescue always happens at the last possible minute and generally it's 'a couple of dudes' on the line.

But that lingering on details was clearly a labor of love, and impressive even now. I enjoy seeing the same vehicles rendered by computers, and I don't want to diminish that art at all, but it's just a lot easier to do that with computers now than it was back then with models and presumably a less-than-lavish budget. Back then, a storyline that in which they needed to model a jetplane having to land on a series of trucks because its landing gear would set off a bomb was astonishingly ambitious. Now, it's presumably just a lot easier to set up complicated action. I'm glad they kept the elaborate vehicle entry scenes, because that's still cool even if it isn't necessitated by limitations of the medium.

As for the pace, I must admit I was surprised at how much more action-oriented The New Captain Scarlet was, and the new Thunderbirds is way faster-paced than that. But that was actually Gerry Anderson at the helm, and it made it clear that it wasn't that he himself wasn't adverse to taking advantage of the faster pace a new medium allowed.

04-06-2015, 10:54 PM
I've had a look around the 'Net and couldn't seem to find anything on US airdates. Any have any idea on what network (if any) is picking it up?

Johnny Angel
05-15-2015, 10:07 AM
I don't know how it's not being shut down, but I can see episodes being uploaded on YouTube.

I'm disappointed at how each successive episode seems to get dumber. To give you an idea, here's an outline I've penciled out for episode 7 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1gOjcviAjmY):

Conductor: PROBLEM: train won’t stop.
Grandma: RUNNING GAG: can’t cook because funny.
Scott: Brains must help because smart.
Brains: Can’t help because THEME: SELF-CONFIDENCE.
Alan: Want to go.
Grandma: Alan can’t go because THEME: STUDY IMPORTANT
Brains: Can’t board train because THEME: SELF-CONFIDENCE
Scott: Brains, must board train because THEME: SELF-CONFIDENCE
Grandma: Can cook because robot has mixer in butt.
Brains: On board, but can’t fix train computer because metaphor for THEME: SELF-CONFIDENCE
Conductor: Mention METAPHOR: SELF-SACRIFICE button to fix PROBLEM
Alan: Because THEME: STUDY IS IMPORTANT, now use buzzwords “Game Theory”
John: Buzzwords fix computer because is computer is now FORESHADOWING: PAST CATCHING UP TO ME
Scott: Still have PROBLEM because computer is also still METAPHOR: SELF-CONFIDENCE
Brains: Stop; METAPHOR: SELF-SACRIFICE button now suddenly changed to METAPHOR: CONFIDENCE IN OTHERS
Grandma: Cook good, sort of – funny.

05-15-2015, 10:23 AM
I watched Thunderbird 6 last night that I DVRed from TCM.

Oh My God! Mind-numbingly Tedious. 10 minutes of (bad) "story" surrounded by filler, filler, filler! I recall the show was The Bomb back when I was a kid, but Holy Cow, that movie was baaaaaad.

Sorry for the hijack. I saw Thunderbirds in the title and had to vent.

Johnny Angel
05-15-2015, 10:40 AM
Thunderbirds 6 is also on YouTube, for some reason. I watched it recently and I wouldn't expect it to appeal to anyone who wasn't a fan of the show, but tediousness was not for me the central problem. Generally, I'm surprised at how successful they are in general at building drama out of pacing when a lot of that pacing even when successful is still padding -- e.g., anytime somebody spends time not quite being able to reach something. The problem I had with Thunderbird 6 was that a central premise of the story didn't make sense either practically or in terms of character: Jeff Tracy wanted Brains to make personal sacrifices because he felt they urgently needed a new model Thunderbird, which urgency makes no sense given that Jeff wouldn't even try to convey any notion of what functionality he thought was missing from the fleet. I'll give away the real reason for Jeff's infuriatingly dickish behavior, though (spoiler alert): to set up the final gag that turned out to be the culmination of the entire theme and plot -- because an old-fashioned biplane was used to effect a rescue, it would be declared Thunderbird 6.

05-15-2015, 11:09 AM
Watched episode 6 last week, and was amazed at how Virgil spent fully three minutes talking about what he's going to do, but while standing in the middle of the road joking around with Grandma as the crane operator was hanging on for dear life! Argh!

Johnny Angel
05-15-2015, 12:32 PM
Yeah, but Grandma solved the dilemma of saving the few vs. the many a nanosecond after it was posited: you can do both! Thanks Grandma, why did we even bring it up?

Also, even if an EMP worked the way it does it the movies, you couldn't turn it into a continuous effect by turning it into an ongoing wave, and even if you could, where is it going to keep getting the power it requires when it itself prevents power from being gettable? And then we're supposed to believe that there's a single dongle that makes the world power grid controllable by one person?

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