Thunderbirds Are Go - Scott, Virgil, Alan, Gordon and John
Thunderbirds Are Go - The Thunderbirds lads: Scott, Virgil, Alan, Gordon and John in front of their home, the exotic Tracy Island ©2015 ITV

The new tv version of Gerry Anderson’s Thunderbirds called Thunderbirds Are Go is due to air this year which marks the original show’s fiftieth anniversary.

The 1965 version used marionettes (string puppets) but this new version uses CGI for the characters and maintains the use of models for the sets. Weta Workshop known for The Lord of the Rings and Avatar is one of the companies behind this production.

For the original, as was usual for puppets, the heads were slightly bigger proportionally to the bodies compared to real people. Also the eyes were bigger is relation to the head giving them a cute look (bit like a baby). You may remember this look, and use of marionettes and models, was copied for the 2004 comedy Team America: World Police.

In this Thunderbirds Are Go 2015 version you will note that the CGI characters do look like their puppet versions. The heads however are now to the scale of real people but they have kept the slightly bigger eyes. Their bodies seem to have gained a bit more muscle!

This reboot claims to be action packed has been made using a unique mix of CGI animation and live-action model sets to deliver, what they say is, a new level of action-adventure animation whilst also paying tribute to the classic 1960’s phenomenon.

Thunderbirds Are Go (2015 tv) – Trailer & Premiere

The re-invention of Gerry and Sylvia Anderson’s iconic series will star Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl, Pride and Prejudice) as Lady Penelope and original cast member David Graham who reprises his role as Parker.

Other star voices will include Kayvan Novak (Fonejacker, Facejacker) as inventor Brains and Thomas Brodie-Sangster (Game of Thrones, Love Actually) voicing John Tracy.

Thunderbirds Are Go is being promoted as major new children’s series and is a co-production between ITV Studios and Pukeko Pictures. The series will debut in Spring 2015 on ITV and CITV and has been sold to Australia’s Nine Network with more international stations expected.

Fans will have already noted that Thunderbirds Are Go was also the title for the first of two feature film versions of the Thunderbirds TV show back in 1966.

Thunderbirds Are Go (2015 tv) – Image gallery

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Colin Davies

The editor of Film Review Online