Following two spectacular screenings at Andercon 2015, Fabulous Films has released the two original Thunderbirds feature films on blu-ray. As well as presenting the epic voyages of Zero-X and Skyship One in cinematic high definition, these new releases are packed with special features including some rare archive material that has never been seen before.
Thunderbirds Are Go (1966) sees International Rescue called in to assist with security at the launching of the Zero-X space craft following a previous sabotage attempt by The Hood. The crew of the Zero-X are to be the first men to land on Mars, and upon arrival they are attacked by giant Martian rock snakes! The ship is damaged and the brave International Rescue team have to mount a dramatic rescue operation before Zero-X crash lands in Washington!
This first feature film outing for International Rescue looks incredible in high definition with sharp images and vivid colour. Derek Meddings’ stunning special effects look better than ever and the detailing of the vast puppet sets make for a new viewing experience for even the most seasoned Thunderbirds fan. It is worth noting that Fabulous have utilised a print which includes the opening credits over the Zero-X assembly sequence, a feature that is noticeably absent from previous releases. The audio is available in both the original mono and a newly mixed 5.1 surround track. Neither fails to disappoint as Barry Gray’s mammoth musical contributions combine with the crisp dialogue and roaring sound effects to keep the viewer’s excitement levels at maximum.
An extensive number of special features have been included which range from trailers to never before seen test footage from the production. This features Cliff Richard and the Shadows giving a performance of ‘Shooting Star’ so that the puppeteers would have reference material when shooting their scenes for the film. This, along with a number of interviews and an audio commentary, provide a great insight into how Thunderbirds was brought to the cinema screen.
Unfortunately Thunderbirds Are Go failed to hit its high goals at the box office, but not wanting to abandon the idea of presenting the exploits of International Rescue on the big screen, Century 21 were commissioned to produce a second feature film: Thunderbird 6.
Thunderbird 6 (1968) is a tale of ruthless espionage as Lady Penelope, Parker, Alan and Tin-Tin take off on Skyship One for what they hope will be “a lovely, peaceful holiday”. During their voyage, however, it is discovered that the crew has been replaced by a gang of criminals working for the mysterious Black Phantom. Will International Rescue be able to save their comrades from the brink of destruction? And will Brains be able to meet Jeff Tracy’s demands for a new addition to the Thunderbird fleet?
Similarly to Thunderbirds Are Go, this blu-ray features stunning audio and visual quality which shows off the skill that the Century 21 team put into making these feature films. Thunderbird 6 stands up perfectly nearly 50 years later because of the enormous attention to detail that can be seen in the sets and special effects. Not to mention the puppets really do look like movie stars!
Once again the special features on this disc provide some fun anecdotes surrounding the film’s creation, such as how the stunts performed by a real life Tiger Moth plane for the film nearly left the production in serious trouble! Or what happened when Gerry & Sylvia Anderson got a call from renowned director Stanley Kubrick…
For any Thunderbirds enthusiast this is a must-have set which allows for a fresh viewing of two classic adventures. If you happen to be new to Thunderbirds this is something a little different to what you might be used to, with Thunderbirds Are Go showing off even incredible technology from the Anderson vision of the 21st Century, and Thunderbird 6 setting the stage for some nice characterisation between some of the series’ greatest heroes.
Both feature films are now available from the Official Gerry Anderson shop in time for the Thunderbirds 50th Anniversary.