Synopsis: A powerful underwater sea quake turns a busy rescue into a perilous one. Gordon’s mission is to rescue a research team trapped in an undersea lab.
Review: As a casual viewer of the original ‘Thunderbirds’ series from childhood. I was a little dubious about this reboot, but thankfully it appears to have turned out far better than anyone could have expected it to and successfully wipes the stain left by the Jonathon Frake’s directed feature film from memory.
Obviously as with most animated series of this nature, which use a combination of CG and live models. There are a few small issues such as issues with depth of field, and the “weight” of the iconic rescue vehicles, but this will likely improves as productions moves on with the series.
All five Thunderbird craft are reproduced with much love and remain steadfastly true to the originals from the classic Gerry Anderson show. I have to admit to whooping when I saw the take of sequence of Thunderbird 2 with the trees moving aside and the sun loungers being blown to one side as the magnificent rescue ship takes off. I can see the repetition of “5,4,3,2,1” getting annoying after awhile though. So lets hope this is scaled back a little as the series progresses.
The story for the first episode was pretty good and does a great job of introducing the characters. I enjoyed the pluck of the new character Kayo, who has a secret and is a fantastic addition to the team. I also think the younger kids will get a kick out of Brain’s pet robot.
This pilot episode was filled with iconic imagery from other well known Gerry Anderson shows. Two examples of this right off the top of my head is that an old episode of ‘Stingray’ is playing on the TV at one point and the underwater lab, which the team rescue people from in the episode had a cockpit area, which was very reminiscent of the Eagle ships from ‘Space 1999’.
In terms of characters. The only character missing from the original line up is Jeff Tracy, the head of international rescue, but his absence seems to have worked out as a subplot for the show, which I hope gets resolved by the end of the first season. The upside of his absence is that it gives John much more to do.
The voice acting performances were fairly good for a first outing. A bit rough in parts, which is what you would expect, but I think they will only get better as the show progresses. Rosamund Pike’s take on Lady Penelope is particularly good, not Sylvia Anderson, who voiced it originally, but Pike has made Lady P her own, which is always the best approach. I really liked the updated version of her pink Rolls Royce.
The new theme music is really nice and and the incidental music worked really well with the action on the screen.
The question of whether this will enjoy the same longevity of the original is one that we’ll likely revisit in years to come. The show does not have the charm of the original, but what it does really well is give an updated modern feel to the series, which I feel today’s children and big kids like myself will enjoy.
‘Thunderbirds Are Go’ will air weekly at 8am on CITV. It is definitely one to set your Sky Plus or Virgin Media Boxes for.
- Fantastic start for a new take on a classic
- Some small issues with depth of field, and the “weight” of the iconic rescue vehicles
- Model Work10
- Voice Acting8.5
- Incidental Music10