The Thunderbirds International Rescue Edition - on DVD
Gerry and Sylvia Anderson created some wonderful TV series back in the 1960s.
We remember a bunch of nifty sci-fi shows that used neat, roboticized
marionettes (a process they called Supermarionation), titles ranging from Supercar
to Fireball XL5 to Stingray and, finally, to the Thunderbirds.
The concept behind the Thunderbirds was a family, the Tracys, who ran their
own high tech first response service called International Rescue, featuring
six really neat sci-fi vehicles ranging from a space platform to a submarine
and most points between.
It was fun stuff, featuring really neat gadgets and excellent special effects
for the day. The stories, looking back on them (and having watched these movies
based on the TV show), were pretty silly, but to adolescents looking for just
such far out adventures as the Andersons gave us, they were wonderful toys.
The movies in this two disc boxed set were big screen versions of the type
of stories found in the series. Theyre good examples of the Andersons
stuff, and if you liked the shows as a kid or are merely looking for
something clean you can show your kids this isnt a bad place to
Thunderbirds Are Go sees the Tracys called upon to help out the first
manned flight to Mars, an improbable-looking (but very cool) ship that undoubtedly
took up quite a bit of the movies special effects budget. The story could
easily have been crunched into a TV episode or two with the elimination of silly
sequences such as a dream-sequence involving one of the Tracy Boys, the "lovely"
Lady Penelope, and "Cliff Richard, a marionette version of the 60s
pop singer who performs a song accompanied by puppet versions of his band The
Still, its fun and isnt that what its all about?
Thunderbird 6 revolves around Lady Penelope, Alan Tracy, Tin-Tin, and
Parker - passengers on the maiden, around-the-world flight of an airship. Alas,
theyre hijacked by some baddies who want to capture a couple of the Thunderbirds
(and who wouldnt?).
This movie goes beyond the usual Thunderbird TV fare - for example its
their own members that International Rescue must save this time, though they
also manage to kill a number of baddies. There are plenty of locations and effects
and stunts and explosions, and once again isnt that what
these things are all about?
The DVDs are very well done. Both movies are presented in anamorphic
widescreen, 16x9 TV compatible, and the picture quality is very good. Colors
are bright and rich and the overall image is crisp and clean. The picture is
better than we expected.
Audio is Dolby Digital 5.1 and, we were pleasantly surprised to find, dts,
and the sound quality is very good, all things considered, though your rear
channels dont get much of a workout.
You also get a surprising amount of extras:
* Commentary by producer Sylvia Anderson and director David Lane
* "History and Appeal" featurette
* "Factory of Dolls and Rockets" featurette
* "Epics in Miniature" featurette
* Animated photo gallery
* Easter eggs
* Theatrical trailers
* "Lady Penelope" featurette
* "Building Better Puppets" featurette
* "Tiger Moth" featurette
In all, this is a terrific couple of titles for those longing for a good DVD
release of some of the best from those British puppet masters.
Gerry Andersons Thunderbirds, the International Rescue Edition, from
MGM Home Entertainment
Featuring Thunderbirds are Go,
93 min. anamorphic widescreen (2.35:1, 16x9 TV compatible), Dolby Digital 5.1
and dts surround
and Thunderbird 6,
89 min. anamorphic widescreen (2.35:1, 16x9 TV compatible), Dolby Digital 5.1
and dts surround,
Produced by Sylvia Anderson, Directed by David Lane
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