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Thunderbirds: The Complete Collection [Blu-ray]
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All 32 episodes of Gerry Anderson's cult Supermarionation series. The episodes are: 'Trapped in the Sky', 'Pit of Peril', 'The Perils of Penelope', 'Terror in New York City', 'Edge of Impact', 'Day of Disaster', '30 Minutes After Noon', 'Desperate Intruder', 'End of the Road', 'The Uninvited', 'Sun Probe', 'Operation Crash-Dive', 'Vault of Death', 'The Mighty Atom', 'City of Fire', 'The Impostors', 'The Man from MI5', 'Cry Wolf', 'Danger at Ocean Deep', 'Move - and You're Dead', 'The Duchess Assignment', 'Brink of Disaster', 'Attack of the Alligators!', 'Martian Invasion', 'The Cham-Cham', 'Security Hazard', 'Atlantic Inferno', 'Path of Destruction', 'Alias Mr. Hackenbacker', 'Lord Parker's 'Oliday', 'Ricochet' and 'Give Or Take a Million'.
"Filmed in VIDECOLOR [explosions, drum roll, music builds to a climax] and SUPERMARIONATION"! The opening sequence of Thunderbirds is itself a masterclass in Gerry Anderson's marionette hyperbole: who else would dare to make a virtue out of the fact that (a) the show is in colour and (b) it's got puppets in it? But everything about this series really is epic: Thunderbirds is action on the grandest scale, pre-dating such high-concept Hollywood vehicles as Armaggedon by 30 years and more (the acting is better, too), and fetishising gadgets in a way that even the most excessive Bond movies could never hope to rival. Unsurprisingly, it transpires that the visual effects are by Derek Meddings, whose later contributions to Bond movies like The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker echo his pioneering model work here.
As to the characters, the clean-cut Tracey boys take second place in the audiences' affections to their cool machines--the real stars of the show--while comic relief is to be found in the charming company of Lady Penelope and her pink Rolls (number plate FAB1), driven by lugubrious chauffeur Parker, whose "Yes, milady" catch phrase resonated around school playgrounds for decades. (Spare a thought for poor old John Tracey, stuck up in space on Thunderbird 5 with only the radio for company.) The puppet stunt-work is breathtakingly audacious, and every week's death-defying escapade is nail-bitingly choreographed in the very best tradition of disaster movies. First shown in 1964 and now digitally remastered, Thunderbirds is children's TV that still looks and sounds like big-budget Hollywood.
In this box set: All 32 episodes on eight discs, plus a bonus DVD featuring "The Thunderbirds Companion", an exclusive documentary with interviews and behind-the-scenes footage. --Mark Walker --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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I recently bought this Blu-ray set and I really enjoyed it. It was fantastic quality in terms of both the visuals and the audio, on a 40" Smart HD TV. In many ways Thunderbirds was quite advanced beyond its years, showing things as fiction which have either now become a reality or will someday soon.
***Possible tiny spoilers ahead!***
The writing was good, bar the odd episode, but then that's the same with any serialised programme. I found the voice acting to be ok. Considering its age, I think it stands up to the test of time well. I loved the models and miniatures. Very few goofs in the episodes, bar the odd daft thing like drivers side swapping constantly in different shots of the same vehicle.
My only two criticisms would be character development and plot. I don't feel that any of the characters were fleshed out during the series. We know so little about them from the series and they all seem far too nice. A family of men would likely butt heads frequently, it's a little too idyllic. Virgil probably gets the most development and even then it's just shots of him being artistic, painting or playing the piano. Maybe Alan a little too with his love of racing.
My other point would be a specific part of the plots. Every episode is the same: some massive, international, super rich company makes a ridiculously stupid mistake that puts people's lives at risk, somehow don't have any security or quality checks of their own despite being filthy rich and seemingly cannot handle problems with their own super state of the art machinery. It's just a little far fetched that, for example, a huge airport would have no way of dealing with a bomb threat when they've just had multi-million dollar planes made, or that a monorail would be unmanned and develop faults that their own engineers couldn't even manage.
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