Thunderbirds are go once again. It’s hard to really call it a reboot or remake as it’s a more of continuation of the series.
There’s a few changes for sure, IR founder and Tracey family patriarch Jeff Tracey is missing presumed dead which seems like it’s going to be the overall story arc for the series or season. Brains now has no stutter and seems like he is now middle eastern. The loss of the marionettes loses the originals magic but that is not a big deal in my opinion. With the characters now computer animated the limitations of having puppets are now gone. The whole ranges of movements available now give the series a more dynamic and action packed episodes.
ITV along with Weta and Pukeko Pictures made the smart move of mixing the CGI with the live action models and it works so well and cuts together brilliantly to the point that I had a very hard time telling them apart and it’s only on closer inspection that you really could tell. There are the more obvious moments when it’s clear but the illusion of it is a great piece of film making.
The Tracey brothers themselves are a little different to the old series, with Jeff Tracey missing there is no sense of who is actually leading the team. In the old series Scott was always the de facto leader in the field and also when Jeff was away. Now it seems like Virgil and Scott are jointly in charge along with John Tracey up in Thunderbird 5. More emphasis is placed on Alan being the younger hotshot inexperienced Thunderbird and that works really well in the third episode when he is really put to the test. I really like how John is used now as it was no secret that John was Gerry Andersons least favourite character and was never really used apart from a couple of episodes outside of Thunderbird 5. Gordon hasn’t really had much of screen time yet apart from the rescue sequence in the pilot but I liked what I saw and hope he gets an episode like Alan’s where it’s centred on him. Lady Penelope and Parker are still an important part of the team and get to show off their certain skillsets over the first couple of episodes.
The introduction of Kayo is still something that I am uncertain on; she has a shadowy background which I hope will be revealed over the course of the series. The Hood makes a brilliant return and is still as mysterious as ever and no doubt will be a thorn in IR side.
Overall I think the series makes a triumphant return and I have to throw my hat in with the rest of the fans who enjoy the series but have only one major criticism and that’s ITV should be putting this on around prime time. It could easily make great ratings in 5-6 pm timeslot. I really hope that they do this, but having it on demand I suppose does make it a bit easier for fans to watch when they want to. Any fans of the original series I encourage you to check it out.