Thun­der­birds Are Go Vol­ume One

Five! 4! 3! 2! Win!

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Rated -

Re­lease Date: OUT NOW!

2015 | U | DVD Di­rec­tors: David Scott, Theo Bayn­ton Cast: Ras­mus Hardiker, Thomas Brodie- Sang­ster, David Menkin, Rosamund Pike, An­gel Coulby, Kay­van Novak, David Graham

It’s hard to

imag­ine how ITV’s new Thun­der­birds show could be a bet­ter trib­ute to Gerry An­der­son’s clas­sic orig­i­nal. Sure, there are changes – In­ter­na­tional Res­cue’s been given a CGI makeover, and it’s been re­tooled for mod­ern at­ten­tion spans – but the essence of the se­ries re­mains the same. That a 50- year- old premise can still feel fresh shows how ahead of its time Thun­der­birds was.

Thun­der­birds Are Go works be­cause it’s made with to­tal love for the source ma­te­rial. As in the orig­i­nal, the ( re­mark­ably faith­ful) hard­ware and launch se­quences are the real stars of the show, and they’re shot beau­ti­fully.

With episodes half the length of their 1965 coun­ter­parts, this ac­tion- packed show moves at one hell of a lick, and there are no more than a cou­ple of dud sto­ries in the run. In­deed, the writ­ing team have come up with some truly in­ven­tive res­cue mis­sions, with “Sky­hook” ( in which the Tracy broth­ers at­tempt to res­cue a ship that’s fall­ing up­wards) a mas­ter­class in high­con­cept sto­ry­telling.

The weak link is the char­ac­ter­i­sa­tion. While the Tracy Is­land line- up has been given an up­date – pa­tri­arch Jeff is pre­sumed dead and space res­i­dent John is now de facto leader – ef­forts to make the al­tru­is­tic sib­lings more dis­tinct from one another prove a lit­tle over­sim­plis­tic. And while the move to make Tin- Tin ( now Kayo) part of the team with her own Thun­der­bird is welcome, those good in­ten­tions fall flat when she’s sub­se­quently woe­fully un­der­used.

Yet these are rel­a­tively mi­nor quib­bles. This is as FAB a re­boot as we could have hoped for, with plenty to sat­isfy In­ter­na­tional Res­cue fans old and new. So why the hell did ITV ban­ish it to 8.00am on a Satur­day morn­ing? Ex­tras: None. Richard Ed­wards

Nine­teen cans of Red Bull later, the boys were ready.

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