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Gerry Anderson's THUNDERBIRDS Return!!

Published at: Jan. 11, 2011, 10:55 a.m. CST by merrick

Merrick here...

The Fanderson website, "the official appreciation society for the film and television productions of Gerry Anderson", says that "a deal to to make a new series of Thunderbirds" has been "finalised"- per Gerry Anderson.  

For those unfamiliar with Anderson's work, he's the creator and/or producer and/or writer and/or director of shows like STINGRAYCAPTAIN SCARLET, SPACE: 1999 , and (of course) THUNDERBIRDS - which began life as a UK television series back in 1965.  STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION's Jonathan Frakes (director of STAR TREK: FIRST CONTACT) helmed a live-action film adaptation of the property back in 2004; it's not known if this newest version will also be live action, all-CGI, or an updated iteration of the Supermarionation process deployed in the original shows.  

Not too long ago we learned that Anderson's U.F.O. series - about a covert war between super-high-tech human forces and aliens bent on fucking over Earth's populace - had been targeted for bigscreenification by producer Robert Evans.  After an initial flurry of activity, the project went silent - we've no word on where that project stands at the moment.  

It'll be interesting to see where the new THUNDERBIRDS goes, as presumably it'll be at least partially shepherded by Anderson & Co.  as opposed to being merely an off-the-cuff remake.  There's some great tech in the THUNDERBIRDS universe that'll make for some awesome toys.  When I was a kid, I desperately wanted a diecast Thunderbird 2 but my mom could never find one - which broke the heart of a sniveling little Geek like me.  Maybe I'll finally nab the equivalent this time around, although I suppose it wouldn't carry the same nostalgic resonance.  

A number of Anderson projects can now be found on DVD and/or Blu-Ray HERE - one of his THUNDERBIRDS projects is now available via Netflix streaming, while discs of other installments are available to rent.  

Thanks to AICN reader Mark for calling this to our attention!  

— follow Merrick on Twitter ! — 

Readers Talkback

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  • Jan. 11, 2011, 10:57 a.m. CST

    FIRST!

    by Bob

    Got it.

  • Jan. 11, 2011, 10:58 a.m. CST

    Can't we have Stingray instead?

    by BiggusDickus

    That Marina was a hottie!

  • Jan. 11, 2011, 11:05 a.m. CST

    Can't we have TerraHawks instead?

    by MotherPussBucket

    Love the zeriods and cubes.

  • Jan. 11, 2011, 11:06 a.m. CST

    biggusdickus

    by ragingfluff

    ditto on Marina .... but Lady Penelope has her charms too.

  • Jan. 11, 2011, 11:07 a.m. CST

    Colin Farrell for Captain Scarlett

    by MotherPussBucket

    you know it makes sense

  • Jan. 11, 2011, 11:08 a.m. CST

    Now for something constructive.

    by Bob

    This is great, great, great and awesome news to hear. Always loved Thunderbirds. However Frakes' unbelievable live-action disaster was so blatantly kiddyfied and changed to such a degree, it was unwatchable. Frakes' mess centered on the youngest member of the Tracy family, Alan, and Tintin the girl he liked. Thunderbirds was first and foremost about rescuing people from disasters that no one else could, with their advanced equipment, all while keeping the family element intact. There was 1 rescue at the beginning of the movie, and it took all of 1 minute. The rest is best forgotten. My 9 year old son LOVES the old series. Hey, he has good taste. He doesn't care if it's puppets. The stories and the cool rescues are what he loves. He could give a shit about CGI, but if the new series is full CGI i hope it's at least better than the Captain Scarlett update of a few years back. I think a combo of puppets and CGI would be something neat to see.

  • Jan. 11, 2011, 11:10 a.m. CST

    Terrahawks, please

    by theyreflockingthisway

    used to terrify me that one did.

  • Jan. 11, 2011, 11:11 a.m. CST

    BRING IT!!!!!

    by WriteForTheEdit

    Thunderbirds rock it worldwide. To this day, when I think of that spinning ITC logo with the "Da-DAA-DAA-da-DAAA..." music, it still gives me chills of delight.

  • Jan. 11, 2011, 11:16 a.m. CST

    Space Precinct

    by Beezbo

    One of the funniest TV series you'll ever see. Used to watch it in the 90's at 3 AM on Saturday. Very happy to have the new DVD set.

  • Jan. 11, 2011, 11:18 a.m. CST

    WHY?

    by the_booger_in_your_egg_salad

    What's the point of humping this corpse again. The original material sucked and the movie made 22 mill worldwide with a budget of 57 mill. What's next? Sigmund the Sea Monster in 3D?

  • Jan. 11, 2011, 11:19 a.m. CST

    Anderson SOLD the rights years ago!

    by billybigbollocks

    I don't see how he can be involved OR prosper financially from the project since he has publicly stated many times he sold the rights to Thunderbirds a long time back. Therefore buying the DVD's etc, probably puts no money in his pocket either.

  • Jan. 11, 2011, 11:24 a.m. CST

    Team America 2

    by Spandau Belly

    make it happen!

  • Jan. 11, 2011, 11:24 a.m. CST

    Dinosaucers>Thunderbirds

    by Rob

    You know it.

  • Jan. 11, 2011, 11:25 a.m. CST

    Proof reading...

    by bubcus

    ... would have been nice before hitting publish on this webpage. You have some pretty obvious typos. Aside from that, Thunderbirds for me was <b>Thunderbirds 2086</b> that I'd watch after Transformers, GI JOE, Visionaries, and Mask as Saturday afternoon cartoons. I'm somewhat curious if that cartoon will see the light of day as a DVD but I don't know if I or any others even cared that much about the series to warrant it.

  • Jan. 11, 2011, 11:38 a.m. CST

    I'd prefer a Terrahawks movie too. Or Stingray.

    by Ecto-1

  • Jan. 11, 2011, 11:47 a.m. CST

    Derka-derk, jihad. Sherpa-sherpa-SHERPA

    by Nasty In The Pasty

  • Jan. 11, 2011, 11:48 a.m. CST

    Booger... It bombed...

    by Bob

    ..because the movie sucked, simply because they DIDN'T follow the GREAT (despite what you think) source material. Which alienated any fans of the original. Sigmund in 3D actually sounds pretty funny. Couldn't be any worse than Yogi Bear in 3D.

  • Jan. 11, 2011, 11:57 a.m. CST

    Funny...probably Vanessa Anne Hudgens' only watchable film.

    by Anna Valerious

    Well, until "Sucker Punch" comes out.

  • Jan. 11, 2011, 12:06 p.m. CST

    "Captain Scarlett is indestructible...

    by HarryKnowlesNonExistentInceptionReview

    ...You are not. Remember this, and do not try to imitate him!" Ah yes, thanks to samples in old Big Audio Dynamite songs, even us Yanks can recite lines from old British TV shows.

  • Jan. 11, 2011, 12:07 p.m. CST

    Space Precint rules

    by cookylamoo

    I downloaded the entire series. It's better Sci-Fi than half the Trek series.

  • Jan. 11, 2011, 12:15 p.m. CST

    UFO > Space 1999 > Thunderbirds

    by Franky_Four_Fingers

    Where/When is the big screen adaptation of UFO?!?

  • Jan. 11, 2011, 12:17 p.m. CST

    How bout a sequel to Team America?

    by Quadrillionaire

  • Jan. 11, 2011, 12:39 p.m. CST

    Excellent!

    by matineer

    Gerry Anderson led a remake of "Captain Scarlet" in CGI recently that was the best update I've ever seen. He always utilizes new ideas and technology in his shows. Great news and good luck for this project.

  • Jan. 11, 2011, 12:47 p.m. CST

    What about Joe 90

    by bod33

    No one got any love for that series.

  • Jan. 11, 2011, 1:05 p.m. CST

    They're all Mercury astronaut names.

    by VirgilHilts

    Never noticed before: Scott (Carpenter) John (Glenn) Virgil (Grisson) Gordon (Cooper) Alan (Shepard)

  • Jan. 11, 2011, 1:16 p.m. CST

    PUPPETS!!!!

    by Meinert Hansen

    And 20-minute sequences of model spacecraft preparing for launch. Alright!

  • Jan. 11, 2011, 1:25 p.m. CST

    Wes ANDERSON!

    by teddy_duchamp

  • Jan. 11, 2011, 1:32 p.m. CST

    Frakes should direct Dune.

    by BIG_BAD_WOLF_IN_CAPS

    Yes, he should.

  • Jan. 11, 2011, 1:39 p.m. CST

    Thunderbirds 2086 !!!

    by jack black

    ah the memories.my most favorite americanime from the 80s.that and STARCOM. the intro of TB 2086 still rulez: http://bit.ly/dLXVek

  • Jan. 11, 2011, 1:40 p.m. CST

    Frakes totally destroyed any fond memories I have of Thunderbirds.

    by chadiwack

    I used to love this series as a kid and had high hopes that the Frakes movie would kick butt..... but alas IT SUCKED!!!!!!

  • Jan. 11, 2011, 1:42 p.m. CST

    Space Precinct! Space Precinct! Space Precinct!

    by SmokingRobot

    Thunderbirds? Meh. Space Precinct, hell yes. Although how they could find anyone better than Simone Bendix for Officer Castle beats me....

  • Jan. 11, 2011, 1:54 p.m. CST

    Fireball XL5 was better than UFO>Space 1999>Thunderbirds

    by DarfurOnTheRocks2

  • Jan. 11, 2011, 1:55 p.m. CST

    Angry Birds > Thunderbirds

    by DarfurOnTheRocks2

  • Jan. 11, 2011, 1:55 p.m. CST

    Terrahawks > Thunderbirds

    by DarfurOnTheRocks2

  • Jan. 11, 2011, 1:56 p.m. CST

    UFO was waaay better than Thunderbirds

    by fitzcarraldo2

    UFO was, imho, by far the best of Anderson's shows. Looking back, it was really pretty damn bleak and adult. And it had that groovy opening titles music.

  • Jan. 11, 2011, 1:56 p.m. CST

    What's the words??

    by Ribbons

    Thunderbirds! What's the jive?? Bird's alive! How's it sold?? Good and cold!! Wait I might be thinking of the wrong thing.

  • Jan. 11, 2011, 2:12 p.m. CST

    what no Fireball XL5 remake?

    by DonLogan

    Shit, that had a great theme tune. Come to think of it, most of the Gerry Anderson series' had great theme tunes and title sequences; Stingray theme, Stingray Aqua Marina theme, XL5, captain scarlet, joe 90, Terrhahawks )robot noughts & crosses anyone?)...

  • Jan. 11, 2011, 2:27 p.m. CST

    In Supermarionation please !

    by Gelatinousman

    My 7 year old son watches the dvds we have and we both love it. P.S. : I gave him my old Dinky toy Thunderbird 2 (made in England 35 years ago) and he loves it.

  • Jan. 11, 2011, 2:34 p.m. CST

    GoLords! GoLords! GoLords!

    by UglyLittleSpud

    Live action! Make it so!

  • Jan. 11, 2011, 2:41 p.m. CST

    Stamps

    by mfitt

    Beautiful set of Gerry Anderson stamps released in the UK today. Motion stamps so you can see the 5 Thunderbirds in action! Very Popular!

  • Jan. 11, 2011, 2:46 p.m. CST

    The Flashing Blade

    by horvak

    Was bloody awesome anyone remember the re dubbed comedy version?

  • Jan. 11, 2011, 2:57 p.m. CST

    The only problem with the CG Captain Scarlet

    by The_Unknown_User

    was that it apparently cost £1m an episode. Looked incredible, mind you, and the writing was spot on. Poor choices about its timeslot scuppered its chances of building an audience. Be nice to see it back again off the back of a successful Thunderbirds revival.

  • Jan. 11, 2011, 2:57 p.m. CST

    I fuckin loved the Flashing Blade!

    by billybigbollocks

    FUCKING LOVED! Now that's saturday morning TV!

  • Jan. 11, 2011, 3:04 p.m. CST

    Flashing Blade!

    by Wyrdy the Gerbil

    I remember that ..it seemed to run forever though and i dont think i ever did see the end

  • Jan. 11, 2011, 3:19 p.m. CST

    The F*ckwits behind Frakes abortion of Thunderbirds....

    by Jeff Myers

    The F*ckwits behind Frakes abortion of Thunderbirds.... didn't even ask Gerry Anderson to be a creative consultant, even though they shared studio space! They made a complete turkey - everything that is shit about modern movies - all factored in. It was another toy advert with no charm or soul. Anderson may be old now - but he's still 'in the loop' with modern/counter/geek culture. He even praised Team America. To make a movie with his characters and leave him out of the loop was an insult beyond imagining. Also of note: check out the incredible computer colour (color my little yank chums) HD conversions of 'Supercar'/Fireball XL5 on You Tube. Normally, I'd hate that kind of tampering - but it's breathtaking. Also: The British Post Office's commemorative stamps of Gerry's best shows - on lenticular stamps - utterly brilliant! I was leaving time to forgive Frakes.... then they did the last episode of Enterprise <--- it was all a holodeck charade - and I lost all respect. Nuff said.

  • Jan. 11, 2011, 3:35 p.m. CST

    Well, Merrick...

    by Disgustipitated

    ...at least your mom was actively trying to find one. Mine wouldn't buy one...or one of the UFO interceptors...or one of the eagles from Space:1999. They were plentiful at a toy store in the local mall at the time, but she refused to pay "that much" for any of the Dinky toys. Remember the U.S.S. Enterprise one? It actually fired discs out of the front of the saucer. Neat, but not close enough to the one in the show for me which is why I never wanted one of those. The interesting thing about the UFO ones is the Dinky toys were my first experience with them. It would be 30 years before I got to watch the show once it made it's way onto DVD. I Bought the entire series without ever having seen any of them simply based on my affection for Gerry Anderson's shows in general. Space:1999 is one of my all time favorites right under the original series of Star Trek (at the time it originally aired, it was at number 1 with Trek at #2).

  • Jan. 11, 2011, 3:51 p.m. CST

    As Long As...

    by MakNeil

    Jonathan Frakes gets no where near it, and that the director that does actually respects the source material.

  • Jan. 11, 2011, 4:26 p.m. CST

    FRAKES DIRECTED THE GREATEST TREK MOVIE

    by Rob

    FIRST CONTACT DEEP DOWN YOU KNOW IT'S TRUE.

  • Jan. 11, 2011, 4:33 p.m. CST

    UFO and Space 1999

    by shran

    are big-time favorites and wonderful memories for me. I just never could get into Anderson's Supermarionation stuff, though. Not a knock against it, for sure, just not my cuppa. I would love a UFO movie and a Space:1999 series. You would have to update 1999 to a more futuristic, within reach kind of date. And probably have the moon travel via some sort of lunar experiment gone wrong and the moon travel like the ships in BSG. Just sort of randomly jumping in space, attracted by a stars gravitational pull and then maybe it re-starts the effect that caused the moon to jump in the first place and the whole thing begins again.

  • Jan. 11, 2011, 6:05 p.m. CST

    Fuck Terrahawks

    by Jazzmaverickjim

    terrahawks was a big of crap, thunderbirds, joe 90, stingray and Captain Scarlett are all far superior. Make a Captain Scarlett Film and ill piss my pants with exitement.

  • Jan. 11, 2011, 6:18 p.m. CST

    I had all the toys

    by Mag

    Growing up in Australia all the toys were in our stores. Same with Doctor Who...

  • Jan. 11, 2011, 7:50 p.m. CST

    ace of wands

    by Mr Lucas

    I actually saw one episode of Ace Of Wands recently - not bad. I may springfor the set. A shame so many are lost. I expect you're aware of the great http://www.networkdvd.net/ site, where many great shows are available. I would also recommend Sapphire & Steel and Shadows (both gave me many nightmares!) as well as Robin of Sherwood and (also by Richard Carpenter) The Ghosts of Motley Hall. Into The Labyrinth was another good kids show (starring the great Ron Moody who turned 87 the other day, I believe). Not a kids show, but a forgotten gem, is Budgie. I bought the first season and was delighted with it (I vaguely remembered the 80's Channel 4 run). Back on topic, Thunderbirds will always be my favourite Anderson show. I think the magic will be hard to recapture - that fantastic model work and Barry Gray music. It's amazing what they achieved on a UK TV budget all those years ago. High quality is what it was. True craftsmanship.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 8:05 a.m. CST

    I use to watch Thunderbirds when Tech TV played it long ago

    by The_Crimson_King

    anyone remember that channel?

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 11:29 a.m. CST

    I'm trying to imagine 21st century Supermarionation.

    by Royston Lodge

    In my mind, I'm imagining Gerry Anderson watching Team America and thinking to himself, "fuckin' amateurs. I'll show you how it's REALLY done!" Like, imagine if Gerry Anderson teamed up with the technical wizards at Henson's Creature Shop to develop the next generation of movie puppets. The potential for badassery makes me so excited, I could cut glass with my nipples. I'd rather see him attempt that sort of thing with a new property, rather than trotting out the old Thunderbirds iconography. On the other hand, tapping into the pre-build marketing imagery of the Thunderbirds is probably the only way he could possibly get a studio to pay the bills.

  • Jan. 12, 2011, 11:30 a.m. CST

    Or, or, or, imagine if Gerry Anderson teamed up with...

    by Royston Lodge

    ...the wizards who did the miniature fx for MOON. Oh my goodness, I would have a serious geekgasm if that happened.

  • Dec. 27, 2012, 7:07 a.m. CST

    Mainstream Media Must Be Wrong

    by ElfOdin

    I've read several news reports that Gerry Anderson is dead. But that can't be true, because Ain't It Cool News hasn't reported it.