Fifty years after Thunderbirds was first screened – and little more than a month since the death of the show’s creator Gerry Anderson – ITV has announced it is to re-invent the classic adventure series.
Replacing Anderson’s trademark supermarionation puppet style with a combination of live-action model sets and computer generated images, the new series is described as “affectionately paying tribute to the legacy of model locations from the classic series.”
And while Thunderbirds purists may balk at the suggestion of a CGI update, Anderson himself relished the idea of a “modernised” show, revealing before his death that he intended to breathe new life into the franchise, “keeping all the main characters, all the machines and all the locations” but adding “all the mod cons”.
“It will have all the elements that made Thunderbirds popular in the first place but will be made with today’s technology and today’s thinking and today’s pace,” Anderson told Radio 5 Live, even going so far as to say he “hated working with puppets… they can’t walk, they can’t do anything”.
Thunderbirds first brought the adventures of the Tracy brothers and the high-tech vehicles and rockets of their International Rescue organisation to ITV audiences in 1965. The new show, which takes its title, Thunderbirds Are Go!, from the original series’ catchphrase, is set to hit screens half a century later in 2015 for a 26-part run.
Thunderbirds Are Go! is a collaboration between ITV Studios, New Zealand’s Pukeko Pictures and the world-renowned Weta Workshop, which was involved in blockbusters such as James Cameron’s Avatar and Peter Jackson’s King Kong and Lord of the Rings trilogy.
The question is, does that pedigree convince you that an update is a good idea, or should the classic series be left alone? Vote in our poll below and let us know.