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4.0 out of 5 stars123
4.0 out of 5 stars
Format: DVD|Change
Price:£39.23+ £1.26 shipping
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on 23 November 2012
Oh dear! The very best series in the world given a superb HD transfer - but savagely cropped leaving the Hood looking like a boiled egg with the top cut off. Absolutely criminal and stupid! Anyone who says they don't care should be forced back to the early days of VHS when we had to endure pan and scan 4:3 versions of widescreen movies. When our TV's were so small there was very little option. Right now there is no excuse for savage cropping of original aspect ratios - particularly when most people have 40" plasmas or LCD's. Really - right now I'd suggest picking up the DVD set until they get this right. Unless you're happy to have just two thirds of the original image? It's a shame because the quality of that two thirds is superb. Whoever was responsible for this debacle - some kid probably who has no appreciation of the original - should be marched out of the building with his P45.

Crapola. Disgusting. Disrespectful. avoid!!!!
88 comments|147 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 6 January 2010
Imagine if a curator at the National gallery thought that by cropping Constables The Hay-Wain at the top and bottom it would be improved. Well cropping a 4:3 moving image and blowing up what is left up to 16:9 is actually the same thing. Butchery. The film director choose the best compositions for each scene within the aspect ratio they were working with. Change the aspect ratio and you change the composition. God knows how that is an improvement. It also shows the arrogance of the people that believe that they are improving things over what the original director did. Are the people who like their screens filled asking for 2.35:1 films to be cropped at the sides so there are no black bars at the top and bottom? Surely if people want to fill their screens with a 4:3 image they just have to read the manual that came with the Blu-ray player to locate the zoom button.
77 comments|89 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 14 April 2013
The BD set looked very tempting, but a note of caution entered when I read those reviews that revealed the transfer had cropped the original 4:3 aspect ratio to widescreen (thus losing around one third of the picture!). Some reviewers have stated that they either did not notice the cropping (how is this possible?), or that it was done well enough not to matter; other reviewers considered the cropping to be sacrilege to the original material. (One reviewer even suggested that, as film crews had been used to make the TV series, it was common practice to concentrate on a widescreen aspect at the vertical centre of the frame, so that material above and below was not relevant to each shot (but was still OK for 4:3 TV presentation). Sorry, but this is nonsense for this series, see below).

I really did want the BDs and I almost succumbed, but I thought I had better check it out more thoroughly first. I already have volume 1 of Thunderbirds on DVD (purchased when it was first released, before the current DVD remaster). Having viewed it again, prior to my purchase, and also having watched the BD title sequence on YouTube, it is blindingly obvious that the original 4:3 aspect ratio is critically important to a full appreciation of the series (the cropped title sequence looks cramped - you would surely suspect that something is wrong, even if you did not know anything about the original series presentation). Many shots in each episode make full use of the 4:3 frame, so much so that it is difficult to imagine how a cropped 16:9 version could be in any way be acceptable. Indeed, some shots are so tightly framed that any cropping must look like incompetent camera work, at best.

So, I bought the remastered DVD set instead. And it is absolutely great. The quality is excellent, even making one wonder why one would pay around three times the price for the BDs, even if they were not cropped.

Amazon have a bad habit of transferring reviews between BD and DVD. Since I would not wish this review to appear against the DVD (because of the one star), I shall attempt to repost it against the DVD version (where it would get 5 stars if it were not for the non-special packaging - so it gets 4).

Edit: OK, I should have known! When trying to post the review against the DVD product, I get the message:

"Oops! Only one review per customer per product set is allowed."

Oh, come on Amazon, don't you realise that DVDs and BDs are different products!
1212 comments|83 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 27 January 2010
I don't own this set myself. However a friend does and after watching a few episodes, I have to agree that the blu-ray image is quite remarkable. It is still, however, a cropped and butchered image. This show was made in 4:3, broadcast in 4:3 and meant to be seen in 4:3. People will quite happily criticise widescreen movies that have been cropped into academy ratio. Why, therefore, should we be willing to accept the cropping of 4:3 material. I'm guessing that it would be very difficult to gauge the number of lost sales this set has suffered from based on it's incorrect ratio. But I'm guessing it's more than a few. If the publishers were to release a blu-ray version of Thunderbirds, in it's original ratio then I'd quite happily lay down my cash. However until that happens I'm quite content to stick with my DVD's.
1818 comments|138 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 8 June 2015
Many customers have complained about the image cropping for the 16x9 ratio of this Bluray edition. I'm a purist (who already have the original North American and UK DVD box sets in 4x3 ratio) and I usually insist on the original ratio. I gave a try anyway to this cropped version and it's amazing with the many episodes I have watched so far. You'll be blown away with the HD transfer (the DVDs almost look like second generation blurry copies compared to this Bluray). The superior quality of the image makes you forget that part of the image is missing and sometimes help to hide the strings of the characters. And also, for the ones who complained about Kirano being on the cover as the vilain, you should know that he has been replaced by The Hood on the cover of the sets shipped by Amazon (Amazon, you should update the visual on your site). Even though the box says the discs are Region B for Europe, they play perfectly on North American players (I tried them on three different brands). And the extras are a plus since they're not all included on the DVD sets.
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on 13 October 2008
How could they crop the 4:3 image to 16:9? Taking an artwork and chopping off bits for no good reason? Whoever was responsible for that decision should be fired. Its as bad as pan-n-scanning widescreen material. And whoever put this package together is so out of touch, that the character in the background of the cover, who is positioned in a mysterious pose in the top right, is actually Kirano the Tracy family's chef!? Maybe the clueless person putting the design together confused this with the character who should be there - the villian "The Hood" ???

This title needs to be rereleased on blu-ray in proper pillar-boxed 4:3, with redone hidef supplements and corrected cover art. Cmon this is a classic art work not the Teletubbies!
1414 comments|169 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 10 December 2000
This series was great during it's first screenings in the 1960's - though most of us saw it in boring old black and white back then. Then with the widespread use of colour televisions during the early 1970's its true "VIDECOLOR" glory was revealed. Thunderbird 2 captured the imagination of everyone, while the Mole was the vehicle to watch out for. Now the children of the 21st century can watch digitally re-mastered editions of the show in DVD. Whatever your age, you will surely appreciate that good entertainment lasts forever...
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on 3 August 2010
Come on "ITV Studios Home Entertainment"

You can do much better than this... There is a fan base out here of thousands, maybe 100's of thousands and to crop this material is ridiculous!!!

I heartily, and speedily recommend that you discontinue this version and start again with a new (relaunched) 4:3 format with side bars.

... then sit back and watch the sales fly off the shelves.

The version currently on sale will one day have some worth, but only as a tutorial of how not to do it!

I look forward to seeing the launch of a more sensible version.

Thunderbirds, indeed all Gerry Anderson shows have a massive fan base encompassing at least now, three generations and you have really done these fans a diservice with this release.
Please talk to fan bases such as FANDERSON or others worthy societies before embarking on such a monumental error again.

These would really fly off the shelves as both a world wide fanbase collectable as well as an excellent Blu-Ray tester.
22 comments|36 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
VINE VOICEon 7 June 2004
There is so much in Thunderbirds to enjoy again and again, that this complete DVD set is a must-have for fans of all ages. Surely this was by far Gerry Anderson's finest hour, somehow later shows never quite captured the magic for me that Thunderbirds managed to sustain for all 32 episodes. Good stories, wonderful rescue craft, and containing something of the spirit and elegance of the sixties; Thunderbirds says it all. I've been enjoying the series again with my daughter -five -who loves it, and the DVDs have obviously enhanced the viewing pleasure. Small niggles - the enhanced picture quality shows the strings more than I remember them! Plus, the stories are out of sequence with the original showing order, but DVD access makes this problem irrelevant, although the need to tinker with the running order is something of a mystery. Enjoy.
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on 20 December 2011
Was excited to see TB finally out on Blu-Ray but to then find it is in 16:9 format is a huge disappointment. I won't be buying it. Please bring out a 4:3 version...
0Comment|27 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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