Thunderbirds - Gordon Tracy, Virgil Tracy and Brains
Thunderbirds - Brains, Virgil Tracy and Gordon Tracy ©1965 AP Films

Stephen La Rivière has succeeded in raising money via Kickstarter for filming three episodes of Thunderbirds in the same way as the original with puppets!

Thunderbirds 1965 - The 'Filmed in Supermarionation' team
Thunderbirds 1965 – The ‘Filmed in Supermarionation’ team prepare to blow up an oil refinery

The idea is to make the episodes with sophisticated marionettes, scale models and pyrotechnic effects all realised in front of the camera. These new classic style episodes will be based on original audio recordings which where released as records back in 1965. The episodes will be adopted to make them more visual but by using the audios the puppets will have the exact same actors that voiced the original series.

Thunderbirds - Filming Thunderbird 2
Thunderbirds – Filming Thunderbird 2 for the original series back in 1965 ©1965 AP Films

Stephen was the director, producer, co-writer and co-editor of last year’s documentary Filmed in Supermarionation. There is a band of people all keen to recreate the look of the original even down to adjusting the coloring of the visuals to match the original.

The one difference from the original is that these new episodes will be just an half hour each compared with the whole hour of the originals. This is obviously because they are based on the limited story in the original recording.

The initial target on Kickstarter was £75,000 which would have given them enough to make one of the recording into a episode. They passed that, and the the next £120,000 to make the second and today the passed £195,000 to make all three! As writing there is just 52 hours to left to the Kickstarter offering so they should have a little bit more to help with their budget. If your reading this within that time there is still time for you to become involved.

They have the blessing of ITV, Sylvia Anderson, and the Gerry Anderson Estate. Thunderbirds will celebrate it’s 50th anniversary later this year. it first aired on British television on September 30th 1965.

The original record releases:-

The three 1965 audio story records
The three 1965 audio story records: Fab – The Abominable Snowman, Introducing Thunderbirds and Lady Penelope Investigates… The Stately Home Robberies

Fab – The Abominable Snowman

[quote_box_center]When reports come in from the Himalayas of kidnappings carried out by the Abominable Snowman, International Rescue sends Lady Penelope to investigate. She soon reveals the dark truth and finds herself a prisoner of The Hood who will stop at nothing to get the secrets of the Thunderbird machines. Can International Rescue save Penelope in time?[/quote_box_center]

Introducing Thunderbirds

[quote_box_center]The prequel! In this story set before the first episode of the television series, Lady Penelope and Parker head to Tracy Island in order to discover more about International Rescue. There, they witness the Thunderbird craft in action for the first time. This is unashamedly a celebration of Thunderbirds’ best technology![/quote_box_center]

Lady Penelope Investigates… The Stately Home Robberies

[quote_box_center]Stately homes across England are being targetted for their precious jewel collections. The villains will stop at nothing to complete their task. Their next victim? Lady Penelope. Can she and Parker thwart their diabolical plan?[/quote_box_center]

Thunderbirds 1965 - Real explosions
Thunderbirds 1965 – Real explosions ©2015 James Fielding

Colin Davies

The editor of Film Review Online