Tracy El­e­ments

Re­launch­ing In­ter­na­tional Res­cue

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“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.”


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!”


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.

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