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Thunderbird 6: The Movie [DVD]
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More electronic puppet action in this, the second of the 'Thunderbirds' films. This time round, Tracy Island's resident genius Brains designs a revolutionary new aircraft, the Skyship One, only to see it hijacked on its maiden voyage. The Thunderbirds team get ready to come to the rescue, but with Alan Tracy and Lady Penelope trapped on board the Skyship, and Thunderbirds 1 and 2 heading into a trap set up by the hijackers, it's not going to be that easy.
Thunderbird 6 was the second feature spin-off from the hit Gerry Anderson puppet-animation TV series Thunderbirds, and revolved around a new addition to the line-up of International Rescue's five emergency craft. The plot sees Lady Penelope, Alan, Tin-Tin and Parker as the only passengers on the maiden, round-the-world flight of a futuristic airship, which is hijacked in a bid to capture Thunderbirds 1 and 2. From the moment Alan arrives on a Bond-style jetpack, the film veers away from the TV show into espionage adventure territory, and while the only people International Rescue rescue are their own members, they kill a fair number of baddies. The global tour means there are more locations than ever, and though the story takes a long time developing, the Die Hard-on-an-airship finale delivers the most explosive set piece of Gerry Anderson's career. As for Thunderbird 6, opinion remains divided as to whether it's an ingenious twist or a disappointing gimmick, but the movie's blend of model and live-action footage results in two superbly staged stunt sequences. Predecessor Thunderbirds Are Go (1968) is also available, and the Andersons would make one further feature film, Journey to the Far Side of the Sun (1969).
On the DVD: The anamorphically enhanced 2.35:1 ratio image is sharp, full of detail and boasting well-saturated colours, only the briefest moments of damage and some graininess revealing the age of the print. The film was shot in ultra-wide Techniscope, and there are moments were it is very obvious that parts of the original 2.74:1 picture have been cropped at the sides. The mono sound is powerful with no hint of distortion. Extras are the original trailer, galleries of behind the scenes photos and promotional artwork, though the highlight is the highly informative commentary by Sylvia Anderson and director David Lane where they note how they made this film and worked on Captain Scarlet simultaneously.--Gary S Dalkin
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Recently I purchased the 9-disc Thunderbirds box set and discovered that these two films weren't included, so I decided I must have them.
This is a 2 disc set - one film plus extras per disc.
THUNDERBIRDS ARE GO
An 89 minutes film based round the Zero X mission to Mars.
Watch out for the appearance of Cliff Richards and the Shadows.
audio commentary with Sylvia Anderson and David Lane (Director)
history and appeal
factory of dolls and rockets
epics in minature
2 easter eggs
Regions playable - 0, 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5
Subtitles - English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Dutch and Greek
Soundtrack languages - English, German, French, Italian and Spanish
Members of International Rescue are guests for the maiden flight of a new aircraft.
An 86 minutes film.
audio commentary with Sylvia Anderson and David Lane
Building better puppets
quiz - craft mission
Subtitles - English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Sutch and Greek
Soundtrack languages - English, German French and Spanish (no Italian)
Thoroughly enjoyable and not featured on the 9 disc boxset - Thunderbirds Complete Series Digistack--9-Disc Box Set [DVD].
The, perhaps rather too long, assembly of the Zero X craft in the opening sequence is accompanied by Barry Gray's most regal and dignified composition, the wonderful Zero X theme.
There are many standout moments, such as the beautiful point of view shot of the transit from atmosphere to outer space as Zero X embarks on it's mission, and Alan's desperate work upon it's return. Lady Penelope and Parker have one of their finest dry comic moments when they dispatch the Hood, closely followed by a magnificent view of the Zero X ascending.
The Mars mission itself foreshadows the general theme of Captain Black's ill fated mission to that planet in Thunderbird's successor series. A near perfect (dream sequence lets it down) adaptation from TV to screen.
The second movie is much lighter in tone, if not content. In "Thunderbird Six" four members of the team abandon their previously vital anonymity to take a holiday on the 21st century's least commercially viable aircraft, apparently designed to carry no more than a dozen passengers if the seating arrangements are anything to go by, before being on the receiving end of a rescue at the world's least effective early warning station; while Jeff Tracey goes through some sort of stress related crisis and obsesses over the need for a "Thunderbird Six", ignoring the fact that the multitudes of machines at their disposal have served International Rescue perfectly well through almost forty rescues. And it is a glorious finale to the Thunderbirds franchise. While aspects such as the high body count in a saga which had until this point placed high value on human life and the occasional moments of whimsy can jar, overall this is an enjoyable romp.
The models are of course exceptional, the landscapes in particular are the most convincing of any Supermarionation production, with trees especially far more realistic than ever before, adding to the scale perfectly. Models and sets combine to make the intercut model and live shots of the Tiger Moth bi-plane virtually indistinguishable. Widescreen and a movie budget give the model makers, set designers and cinematographers scope to create some truly spectacular images, from the aerial view of Lady Penelope's convoy to the breathtaking high altitude vistas at the scene of the rescue. Images such as these would not have been out of place in blockbuster live action movies at the time and stand up today against the self indulgent CGI backdrops of recent years.
As you would expect, the music is excellent although a few comic passages lessen the tension in the bi-plane escape scene. However this is easily forgiven as Barry Gray's main theme for the movie is just about the most infectiously bright and optimistic movie theme ever. Make a point of watching the photo gallery in the special features to hear the full piece.
Even the glib denouement cannot detract from the pleasure of this film, which provides a colourful and captivating culmination to an iconic piece of popular culture.
The special features are good without being overwhelming, informative and it's good to hear Sylvia Anderson's recollections. She hasn't tried to distance herself from these shows, like Gerry did in the seventies, and her likeable manner and obvious pride in the show shine out.
This set is a must for any Thunderbirds fan and also as a unique and iconic part of modern entertainment history. And of course, both films have fantastic explosions.
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Also goes with the box set of all the episodes that I have.Read more