thunderbirds are go

Thunderbirds Are Go

SO quite recently Jeff Tracy was finally revealed to be alive in the Thunderbirds Are Go-verse. Whoda thunk? Here he is:

And I dunno what to think, because I kinda liked that the first couple of seasons only had him as a presumed-dead ghost in everybody’s lives. That lead to some great character moments. So, hmmm… yeah, I just dunno.

(I haven’t watched TAG in ages now, I still love Thunderbirds but it’s just harder and harder to keep up with TV shows these days. The perils of being an adult with a job, I guess. Maybe I could try downloading the whole lot from where I left off and binge-watching it?)

live-action thunderbirds! + the media

[fancasting] [tag]
scandalous kayo pictures from mlein


Ok first up sorry for the creepy screenshots Scott. Also this got longer than I intended for such a small thing but eh.

Buut… As you know, I love TAG, but I do have a lot of issues with it. I’m not going into them all now because it’s not the time or place, but one of the biggies was what I referred to as the ‘lazy’ animation. In contrast to the classics, where the major characters would have multiple and varied outfits for just their time in the Villa, let alone when they’re out, ,in TAG, they have the grand total of two. This basically turns them into that horrible cartoon cliche where characters apparently wear the same clothes day in and day out…which is so not in the spirit of the OS. Like, this goes to the extreme when Alan apparently sleeps in his clothes and has an empty closet. ??? Ok it’s 2065 but no-one can wash clothes that quickly. I’d also cite the recurrence of Ned as lazy animation too – why bother to create and animate a whole new character for a whole new rescue when you can just reuse the same hapless guy, right? But whatever. I’ll suspend my disbelief for your kids show and watch the OS when I want some craftsmanship. (TAG’s sets are AMAZING no-one is denying that. Hell, I’m running a blog dedicated to them.)

BUT I recently bought the whole of season one on amazon video in HD because, well, why not, heh. But HD has…changed my opinion somewhat?? Because I know they animated them to look like puppets, that’s cool, but the thing is you can’t really appreciate that without some ultra-high definition. In Relic when we get this lovely close up of Scott’s face, I noticed some details – 

They animated in paint brush marks? You can see them on his forehead and cheekbone. Asides from the texture of the ‘plastic’ that they’re made from, and the fake little cute nostrils omg, they pretended that this little non-marionette had been hand painted with a lil paintbrush? And left ‘traces’ of this?

Ok ok, I concede. The animation is in no way lazy if they thought to put details like this in. However…maybe stuff like this would be better appreciated if it wasn’t only visible when sat watching HD versions less than a metre from a laptop screen, rather than in standard or on a regular TV….

reasons why, if you’re looking for a new cartoon to watch (or a new cartoon for your kids to watch), you should try Thunderbirds Are Go:

  • It basically took everything that was awesome about the plot/characters of the original and updated them so there’s no more dubious Sixties vaguely sexist/racist stuff
  • lots of women in command of things, including older women and women of colour, seriously there are quite a lot of ladies on this show who each have their own areas of specialization (science, spying, global defence, etc.)
  • Among the voice talents are: Angel Coulby (Merlin) as Kayo, Thomas Brodie-Sangster (Game of Thrones/Maze Runner/etc) as John, Anjoa Andoh (Martha’s mum from Doctor Who) as Colonel Casey, and Rosamund Pike (recent Oscar nominee!) as Lady Penelope
  • And the CGI/modelwork for the series was done by Weta Workshop, those folks who did Lord of the Rings
  • I am lead to believe there’s a few easter eggs in there for fans of Space Exploration/NASA/etc
  • (Although don’t expect any scientific accuracy)
  • pretty much, as far as I know, zero jokes that are ever at any group’s expense/could be considered offensive? the main villain once wore women’s clothing as a disguise for practically an entire episode and no-one even commented on it
  • opinions are divided as to the effectiveness of the CGI when used for the human characters, but the combination of CGI and models makes the background scenery of this show beautiful
  • it’s just Nice! a lovely little show about how the future of the planet turned out pretty okay after all and the world’s richest people use their wealth and their awesome collection of machines, rockets and submarines to save people from disasters
  • and also naturally there’s a massive dollop of Technology/Science Is Awesome And Can (And Should!) Be Used To Help And Advance Humanity
  • (honestly? think The Martian, but a cartoon and with five Mark Watneys)
  • it’ll never be in danger of cancellation because Thunderbirds has always been HUGE in Britain, but if you’re in the mood for a cartoon that is simultaneously really nice and gentle and full of explosions, you should watch Thunderbirds Are Go