Thunderbirds Are Go has proven a big hit for ITV, but if you’re yearning for the good old days of model ships and, ahem, wooden performances then we have some good news. Currently being Kickstarted is Thunderbirds 1965, a project from Filmed In Supermarionation director Stephen La Rivière to adapt three audio-only Thunderbirds adventures as live action, 30-minute episodes using Gerry Anderson’s famed Supermarionation techniques.
The Kickstarter is already more than half funded after just a few days, with £75,000 guaranteeing production on the first episode – an adaptation of Thunderbirds mini-album “The Abominable Snowman”. Once this initial target is reached further stretch goals will be announced to fund the second and third episodes, based on prequel tale “Introducing Thunderbirds” and “Lady Penelope Investigates… The Stately Home Robberies”.
By using the original voice tracks and retro telly-making techniques the episodes are as close as we’ll ever get to more classic Thunderbirds short of mass-amnesia. And there’s an especially good reason why you might want to back the project on Kickstarter: it’s currently the only way you’ll be able to watch the new episodes, as they won’t be sold in shops or online stores. Pay enough and you can even visit the set!
Sylvia Anderson, co-creator of the classic series says: "Recreating the 1960s version of Thunderbirds like this is a great idea. What better way to celebrate half a century? I know that Stephen and his team will produce an episode that will look like something we would have made. FAB!"
Jamie Anderson, son of Gerry Anderson says: “Generations of kids and adults have enjoyed Thunderbirds since it first aired 50 years ago. The magic formula of models, practical effects and puppets is very special, and I’m absolutely certain that Stephen and his team will recreate that magic.”
Stephen La Rivière says: "For Filmed In Supermarionation, we shot new sequences with the puppets using the old fashioned techniques. Whilst many of the methods used seem a little archaic and time-consuming by today's standards, we thought that it would be very special to do a one-off project bringing Thunderbirds back to life 1960s style. Sadly, many of the original voice cast have passed away since 1965. However, thanks to these original audio recordings, we have new, authentic stories that have never been adapted for screen. This means that these old-new episodes should be the most authentic recreation of the 1960s experience as it's possible to get."
For more on classic sci-fi shows like Thunderbirds why not subscribe to SFX?