Relaunching International Rescue
1. SEAL OF APPROVAL
“I felt I couldn’t do anything without first meeting Gerry and getting his blessing,” Taylor explains. “I flew to London to visit him at Pinewood Studios where he was working on New Captain Scarlet, and he graciously gave me several hours of his time. At the end of the day he told me, ‘ If you want to give it a crack, you go for it.’ Anderson’s son Jamie agrees that Taylor and Weta Workshop are the only company in the universe that Gerry would have approved to remake Thunderbirds. “He was very proprietary over his creations,“he says. “The fact that he gave Richard his blessing is a good sign of that.”
2. 5! 4! 3! 2! 1!
“The Thunderbirds ships can’t be the same as the originals, sadly,” explains Taylor. “ITV needs to be able to respect and celebrate the original vehicles and series, so our design challenge was to make them appealing to a new, youthful audience and keep them respectful of the original design aesthetic. I grew up loving Thunderbird Four and I still have a slight obsession with it. I’m very happy with how it looks, as well as the rest of the International Rescue craft.”
3. GRAND DESIGNS
Other design challenges included recreating Tracy Island. “I bought 4,000 miniature trees from China!” Taylor admits. “We’ve got a few things the original team never had; bulk volumes of polystyrene and super glue. And laser cutters!” The hangar bays for the rescue craft posed their own set of problems. “We’re working in a different scale than they did,” Richard say. “We can’t just go out and buy a lemon squeezer to chuck onto the wall – we had to sculpt one in a smaller size!”
4. SYLVIA SERVICE
Richard’s date at the 2001 London premiere of The Fellowship Of The Ring was Thunderbirds co- creator and voice of Lady Penelope, Sylvia Anderson. “My wife Tania was pregnant at the time and couldn’t travel, so I had two spare tickets. Out of the blue, I called and invited Sylvia on a whim. She had no idea who I was, but she and her daughter Dee joined me for the premiere. It was phenomenally thrilling to have a date with Lady P!” In the new series Rosamund Pike voices the FAB pink International Rescue agent.