I’m guessing they might change a few things for a modern audience…
Well, this is good news – Weta Workshop and the UK’s CITV are apparently teaming up to make a new “Thunderbirds” tv series.
Expect it to air in around two years time, with a ‘unique blend of CGI animation and live action model sets’ bringing the classic SuperMarionation heroes and heroines back to live for a generation raised on the kind of game-changing effects which Weta seem to produce as standard.
Sparing details are available here at the ITV news site…
Well, this is certainly news that I didn’t want to read today – Gerry Anderson, tv Sci-Fi pioneer and beloved icon of British nerds, has passed away at the age of 83.
I’m not sure how much Anderson’s career resonates with American readers, but to British nerds of a certain age Anderson’s marionette-powered sci-fi action adventures were a regular and welcome injection of derring-do and thrilling storytelling on kids’ tv before the era of on-demand tv and internet made finding such gems somewhat easier.
If I throw out some titles – “Thunderbirds”, “Captain Scarlet“, “Stingray“, “Space: 1999“, “UFO“, my personal favourite “Terrahawks” – you might get an idea of what I’m talking about. Yep, mostly marionette-driven, mostly irony-free adventures which seemed like they came from a different time even when I was watching them as a kid. But they were arguably key in getting me into the kind of sci-fi adventures that I grew to love – this was a time when you couldn’t see “Star Wars“ whenever you wanted (VHS wasn’t yet remotely affordable), and any TV show which took you into space, under the sea or into uncertain alien territory was like delicious catnip to a youthful Fluffrick.
I suspect that most younger readers might have only encountered “Thunderbirds” through the enjoyable but not entirely successful live action Jonathan Frakes film from 2004, which at least managed to keep the best things about the show – the epic-in-scale, perilous rescue missions, largely eschewing violence as a solution to problems, even going so far as to find actors to play the Tracy brothers who were somehow less convincing than their marionette counterparts – and boasted one genius performance from Sophia Myles as Lady Penelope.
Anderson died peacefully at noon today – he had been suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease since 2010. And his brand of energetic, breathless storytelling will be deeply missed.
If you live to be old enough, the odds are fairly good that you’ll get to see the tv shows of your childhood remade for a newer audience.
Today’s example of this phenomenon – “Thunderbirds” creator Gerry Anderson’s late seventies, live action sci-fi drama “Space: 1999”, which is due for the creative respray treatment by Jace Hall’s HDFilms outfit, whose most recent project was the reboot of 80’s sci-fi drama, “V”.
A few things, obviously.
Spaceships + Outer Space Nerdery = Super Win on this blog...
If you’re going to remake things, make sure that you’re rebooting something which was a bit rubbish but had potential. So, that’s “Space:1999” in summation – Quite dated, a wee bit too soap opera in tone, but with hard SF underpinnings to mitigate the cheese – we’re off to a good start.
If you’re going to remake things, get good people to do it and make sure that they have cool ideas and can execute things well. Here’s where there’s a slight issue, in that the recent “V” remake was bloody awful in pretty much every respect and was an object lesson in how NOT to make a tv series.
This one could go either way – all I know is that I’ll watch almost any SF show on principle, even if it turns out to be a bit duff, so I’ll probably be giving this remake a look, should it make it to our screens.