ByMark Newton, writer at
Movie Pilot Associate Editor. Email: [email protected]
Mark Newton

Long before I wanted to become a writer for a movie news website, I wanted to be a Thunderbird. I loved that show. Every morning I would rush downstairs and gobble down breakfast while listening to the absolutely awesome intro-sequence. All this is even more impressive considering I am terrified of puppets.

For those of you unfamiliar with this British 1960s kid show (I feel so sorry for you), Thunderbirds Are Go was the tale of the international rescue organization run by the Tracey family, a group of secretive heroes who rocketed around the globe in order to save the world. What made Thunderbirds stand out was its live-action puppeteering, combined with brilliantly built vehicles and sets (Kind of think Team America, but with less dick jokes). It looks like I might get the chance to love it all over again, as it is now set to return.

Created by Gerry Anderson, who recently died in December, the original Thunderbirds arrived in 1965, but enjoyed a renaissance in the 1990s. Now, Britain's ITV wants to bring it back. According to the Independent, ITV have stated the reboot will feature, "...a whole new level of action-adventure animation for today's audience."

The remake, officially titled Thunderbirds Are Go!, will do away with traditional puppets in favor of CGI animation combined with live-action model sets. The initial batch of 26 half-hour episodes will appear on ITV and their children's channel, CiTV.

ITV have certainly brought in some big guns to make sure the Thunderbirds take off. New Zealand based Pukeko Pictures is co-producing the series with 's Weta Workshop, the guys behind The Lord of The Rings, The Hobbit, King Kong and Avatar. You know, no biggie. You might have heard of him.

This wouldn't be the first time the Thunderbirds has been re-imagined for modern audiences. In 2004 a live-action movie was released which was met with near universal scorn. Anderson himself described it as, "the biggest load of crap I have ever seen in my life". He was not even over-exaggerating. It was that bad.

Let's just hope this new Thunderbirds will be as excellent as the original. Personally, without the puppets, I think it may lose some of its charm, but what do you think? Are you happy to see the Thunderbirds re-imaged for the 21st century? Let us know below.


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