Animals & Nature1 min ago
Thunderbirds - too good for kids?
I just treated myself to a DVD of Thunderbirds Volume I. Excellent stuff. I have very fond memories of this as a child in the 60s, and am thoroughly enjoying this again 40 years later. Sad? Possibly. Do I care? No!
The term target demographic probably didn't exist in 1965, but who was this series aimed at? Just for children? Surely not!
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I too have fond memories of Thunderbirds in the 60s and re-lived these with my son (think he must have been about 5 or 6) when all the old episodes were being shown on one of the satellite channels. It was surprising how little these had dated over the years - just shows how innovative Gerry Anderson was all those years ago in the absence of CGI, special effects and the like! I remember seeing a programme about how the old Thunderbird programmes were made - they had next to no budget to work with which makes what they produced all the more amazing.
My son (now 8), having seen the new Thunderbirds movie, now prefers this to the original puppet series but I think all us old children of the 60s will still have a special place in our hearts for the original! As I have tried to explain to him, we've only got the modern version now because of the 40 year old puppet series. No comparison!
The series was indeed aimed at children, but due to the care and love for their art that the people working on the show put into it ( puppeteers, model makers, cameramen, directors etc ), the series was way ahead of other shows of the period.
Don't forget, most of the same people worked on previous Gerry Anderson shows, and they learnt from their mistakes and were keen to improve. They were all freelance, so would find themselves out of work between productions.
Thunderbirds was comissioned as a half-hour show, but on seeing the first finished episode, Lew Grade, ( who funded the show ) insisted that it should be an hour long ( well, fifty minutes plus commercials ), so overwhelmed was he by the quality of the show.
me again, the theme tune has to be one of the best too.
If you ever get the chance, go see the 1966 feature film "Thunderbirds Are Go" on the big screen. It is available on DVD, but the big screen just shows what a fine art form the puppeteering and model making/filming had become.
Funny as it was, you could tell that "Team America - World Police" would look a whole lot better if many of the artists that worked on Thunderbirds had still been with us.