Agent Triple P's all time favourite TV programme when he was little was Gerry Anderson's seminal Thunderbirds; quite simply the best children's TV series ever!
We had models of all the Thunderbirds craft, an International Rescue hat and got TV21 magazine every week to enjoy further adventures of the Tracy family, as brilliantly drawn by the peerless Frank Bellamy. So the recent announcement of a new series fills us both with excitement and dread.
The 2004 film Thunderbirds was a ghastly travesty and the barrenness of the production was exemplified by the dreadful and needlessly fussy updating of the Thunderbirds craft.
The original Thunderbirds craft are design classics (with, perhaps, the exception of the space station Thunderbird 5 which Anderson was never happy with) and were the work of Derek Meddings who would go on to be an Oscar winning special effects designer (special award for Superman in 1978).
Four things, however, give us hope for the new series which is scheduled for 2015; a rather depressing fifty years after the originals were released. Firstly, the updated Thunderbird 1 (above) is a much more subtle update of the original than in the 2004 film. Secondly, David Graham, the original; voice of Parker will be voicing that character once again, half a century later. Thirdly, although it is a CGI series they are using models for the craft. These always look better than pure CGI as was shown by Peter Jackson in his original Lord of the Rings trilogy (c.f. The Hobbit). Fourthly, Rosamund Pike will be providing the voice of Lady Penelope which indicates that the producers have a decent budget.
Tracy Island 1965
Tracy Island 2015