Thursday, 19 May 2016

Nerdversity Reviews: Thunderbirds 1965

The origins of Thunderbirds 1965 can be traced back to 1965, when Gerry Anderson, through his Century 21 Productions released a series of seven mini LPs, 3 of these were all new adventures, the rest were abridged versions of existing TV episodes. The LPs ran at 33 RPM and were 7 inches in size, making them about the same as a single. They were fully voiced by the cast and had sound effects. For years, they were thought lost until they were found again in the Anderson vaults.

Enter: Pod 4 Films and their ambitious project that was funded through Kickstarter to bring these stories to life, using the same filming techniques that had been used in the 1960s. Pod 4 were even able to use the same warehouse in Slough where the original series had been filmed. They bought back some of the veterans of the original series like Christine Glanville and David Elliot. Also to note, the film used to make these has been perfectly matched to the original Eastman filmstock that would have been used by Century 21 back in the 1960s

Featuring all new puppets that are almost identical to the 1960s, Introducing: Thunderbirds serves as a semi pilot and prequel to the series. It runs down the characters of the series and the machines they use with the traditional pomp and glory. It was written by Justin T Lee and directed by Alan Fennell

The second episode is The Abominable Snowman, directed by Stephen La Riviere and written by Desmond Saunders and David Graham. In this episode, Lady Penelope and Parker are sent to investigate strange goings on in the Himalayas. However, she becomes embroiled in a plot by the sinister villain The Hood which requires International Rescue to save the day. It features some very complex camera work and effects shots, plus a guest star from British comedian Sanjeev Bhaskar as a puppet. 

The final episode is called The Stately Home Robberies, directed by David Elliot. This would have served as the final episode of Thunderbirds. It sees Lady Penelope and Parker tracking down a pair of thieves who are robbing stately homes across the country. They trick the thieves into going to the Tower of London. With a ticking time bomb as their other enemy, can Lady Penelope save the day?

This project was certain big and ambitious for what they wanted and they pulled it off. Even though it's brand new, these could have been made in 1965 and noone would have been any the wiser. Big congratulations to Pod 4 films. The stock footage blends perfectly well with the new footage and the boys at Pod 4 did a great job editing the new footage to match. They did a fantastic job bringing back an extinct art form back.