Thunderbirds Are Go

Dir: David Lane
Star: [voice] Ray Barrett, Alexander Davion, Sylvia Anderson, Peter Dyneley

It's difficult to take this seriously, in the light of Team America: World Police, but even seen in that light, forty years have not been overly kind to this. The pacing, in particular, is astonishingly sluggish. It's difficult to see how kids could ever have sat through the mind-numbing opening ten minutes alone, depicting the very slow assembly and launch of a rocket, without either wriggling on their seat or being dosed with psychotropic drugs. The plot - such as it is - centers on the re-launch of the Zero-X flight to Mars; the first was sabotaged two years previously, and International Rescue are brought in to make sure it doesn't happen again. They succeed, but when the spaceship returns to Earth, an accident leaves it crippled and unable to land.

Do have to say, the model-work remains F.A.B, shall we say, with the climactic explosions as good as anything Hollywood can produce now - creator Derek Meddings went on to work on many of the best Bond films, and Barry Gray's soundtrack has a similar, 007-esque feel. But if those technical aspects are fine (save the occasional clunky insert shot of a real hand!), the script is plodding and pedestrian; it feels as if they took one 25-minute episode and stretched it out to a feature. Or, worse yet, took three such episodes, removed the interesting stuff, and then stretched it out to a feature. Some things from your childhood are best left behind; for the sense of wonder that can be invoked in an eleven-year old is radically different from the one required thirty-plus years later.

December 2007

Wooden, to say the least
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