It is the earth year 2020. Zelda and her android forces from the Planet Guk have taken over the red planet Mars, and are using it as a base to launch their planned destruction of Earth. Our only defence is the elite force Terrahawks. I wasn't sure if my son would go for this series as he has long tired of Stingray and Thunderbirds since overdosing on them as a 5 year old (he still has a soft spot for them though and loved the recent Thunderbirds movie). He's now 9 and is totally impressed with Terrahawks. The script and special effects were quite startling when it was first on TV in September 1983, and even as a 27 year old I did watch most of the series. I liked the fact it had a `smart' Rolls Royce (called Hudson - and being older I got the 'Upstairs Downstairs' gag). It isn't as swish, modern and pink as Lady Penelope's one though. At the time I found the series a bit childish compared to Dr Who, UFO, Space 1999, and Star Trek - which was no doubt the intention of Gerry Anderson. However I did think Zelda was a bit scary. Picture quality on this 4:3 DVD set isn't top-notch, but it's adequate on the small screen, and the colour is nice and bold. The special effects are at least as good as GA's other series, if not better.
There's quite a few extras on the episode DVDs 1 to 9: all the show scripts, 'interviews and biographies' [all text and interesting, but oddly in capitals so not easy to read], and things like the merchandise as a series of photo slideshows. There's also a separate extras bonus DVD 10 that has the U.S. and original UK credit sequences, 'Gerryhawks': a spoof sketch, and 'exclusive cast interviews' with Anne Ridler, Jeremy Hitchen, Ben Stevens and Denise Bryer. Our 'Terrahawks: The Complete Series' DVD set doesn't have any subtitles and has English audio only. The series is rated U, but probably best suited to age 6+.
Anyway, my son totally loves the series, and we are busily going through the episodes. Watching it again I now see it as a bit of an `inspiration' for the Power Rangers franchise, although Terrahawks itself has many plot elements from GA's Captain Scarlet and UFO. The stories are a bit repetitive perhaps (hardly surprising as there are thirty-nine episodes), but who can complain with great characters like: Tiger Ninestien, Mary Falconer, Captain Kate Kestrol, Lt. Hawkeye, Sgt Maj Zero and the Zeroids, the evil witch Zelda, her son YoungStar, sibling CysStar, and their monster's such as the robot `cubes', Tempo the TimeLord and Yuri the cuddly killer teddy bear. A bit expensive to buy perhaps, but you do get 39 x 25 minute episodes, and my son thinks they would be cheap at twice the price (as he's not paying). So, recommended for today's youngsters - particularly pre-teen boys. Also try the `Dan Dare' (2001) DVD set, GA's own `Joe 90' DVD set and the B&W `Torchy the battery boy' series for that young man in your life.