If you don't already have the A&E megaset, this is a fine introduction to the world of GERRY ANDERSON's THUNDERBIRDS. This the real deal & real fun! Marvelous minatures, some of the best explosions and pyrotechnics, and special effects by DEREK MEDDINGS (James Bond, Batman). Forgo the FRAKES film ( it can never be as good!) and pick this up instead.... you' ll love it, and so will your kids...
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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
Before Henson and the Muppets There was Anderson and his ThunderbirdsJune 21 2006
- Published on Amazon.com
For 1964, The Thunderbirds was cutting edge. Forty years later it is still an international cultural icon. When I travel, I still see reruns of these shows. Plus they still pop up on cable.
The show is shot in Supermarionation. This means that the show uses marionettes. Now this would send cringes down anyone's spine but the production values are incredible! The sets are motion picture quality. It is obvious that no expense has been spared. Many quality sets were made and only used in once short scene. Additionally, the scripts are top notch.
The overall premise for the show is a hundred years in the future (2065) International Rescue is a top secret private rescue squad. They use super high tech air and sea craft, five in total, called Thunderbirds. Thunderbird 5 is a manned satellite orbiting the Earth monitoring all radio signals for distress calls. Thunderbird 4 is a submarine. Thunderbird 3 is a spacecraft. Thunderbird 2 is the transport that uses one of six different cargo holders. Thunderbird 1 is a the primary jet / rocket. T1-4 are all launched from secret hangers located on the island estate of the Traceys.
International Rescue is a run by the Tracey's. The oldest son, Scott, is pilot of T1. The next son, John, runs T5. Son Virgil is pilot of T2. Son Gordon is the aquanaut for T4. Son Allen is the astronaut for T3. They are assisted by Brains, the scientific genius that designed the Thunderbirds, Lady Penelope, their London cousin and Tin-Tin.
This is the "Best of" chosen by the fans. It contains six episodes on two discs, the following is a summary of these episodes:
Trapped in the Sky - This is the pilot episode. The Tracey's have just completed their work on the Thunderbirds. The diabolical Hood wants their secret and has planted a bomb on the new super atomic airliner. To make things worse, Tracey ward Tin-Tin is on the airliner.
Sun Probe - A manned space shuttle is performing an experiment on capturing matter from solar flares when their craft gets the instruments over heat and they cannot escape the sun's gravitational pull. It's International Rescue to the rescue. The rescue is a success but then Thunderbird 3 cannot disengage its tractor beam and is being pulled into the sun.
The Uninvited - Thunderbird 1 is shot down by mysterious jets over the Egyptian desert and its communication system is broken. Two explorers looking for a lost pyramid find Scott and are able to contact Thunderbird 5. After Scott and T1 are rescued, the explorers run into their own problems. First they lose their supply of gas and water, then they find the pyramid but get trapped in it. Scott comes to the rescue and is also trapped, then they find that the pyramid is inhabited by a rogue army.
The Perils of Penelope - This episode centers around English cousin Lady Penelope who is part of International Rescue. A friend of Penelope has developed a formula that can convert sea water into a powerful fuel. The co-developer of the fuel has disappeared while on a train. Penelope and her friend decide to retrace the missing partner's trip. They wind up getting kidnapped to. It's Thunderbird 2 to the rescue.
Terror in New York City - Virgil and Scott are returning to base after a mission when Virgil comes across the new super secret USN Sentinel. Thunderbird 2 is hit by missiles and limps back to base. In NYC, the Empire State Building is being moved 200 yards to redevelop the area but an underground river causes the ground to crumble and a news report is trapped. But with Thunderbird 2 out of commission how are they going to rescue the guys. Enter USN Sentinel, it is taking Thunderbird 4 to the rescue.
Attack of the Alligators! - A flower found in the swamps creates a growth elixir. This will help feed everyone in the world. But when the formula is stolen, some is spilled in the swamp and overnight the alligators have grown gigantic. International Rescue to the rescue!
Pit of Peril - Pop up on screen facts version of the show. The US is testing a new terrestrial vehicle, the Sidewinder, when it falls into a 300 foot crevice. It will take International Rescue to safely rescue them. This is a pretty standard episode. This pop up version was made for TechTV and includes their commercial blackouts. The pop up for the most time are very bland.
Before Thunderbirds Were Go: A Profile of Gerry Anderson - A 14 minute profile on the show and creator Gerry Anderson.
An Interview with Gerry Anderson - A 10 minute interview where Gerry tells his philosophy of film making.
Character Autobiographies - Bios on Jeff Tracy, his five sons, Lady Penelope and her retainer Parker.
The Thunderbird Story - A writing of the creation of International Rescue.
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Unusual concept well doneAug. 27 2004
- Published on Amazon.com
This is the action-adventure series of marionettes (not puppets) based on the "Bonanza" family tree structure (father with many sons), and everyone is named after an American astronaut (Alan, Scott, Glenn, etc.) I remember watching this as a kid, so I had a bit of interest whenever I passed by (and passed on) the expensive DVD's available for the series. I'm not going to invest $130 in the whole series, but this "best of" sampler is well worth the money.
Viewing it now as an adult, I can really appreciate the attention to detail, and professionalism that was put into the production. In today's dollars, each episode would cost about $500,000 to make.
Some of it is cool but totally impossible or unlikely, such as launching your huge rocket through the center of your house (after sliding the swimming pool out of the way first). A few things are really over technologized, such as the way the sofa in the office descends on a pneumatic post and carries the occupants about 100 yards to the rocket, then lifts them into place, or the ramp that you slide down, right into the command chair. You'd think the Tracy's would save a few bucks and just walk over and get in.
The stories themselves are rather thin, but the suspense of the rescue and the technological gismos are the fun part.
There are six "regular" episodes, plus one episode that has on-screen text trivia that points out, for example, the toothpaste cap used as the gearshift knob in a vehicle. There is also some sparse background info on Gerry Anderson and the series.
This DVD is "F-A-B".
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Not MY "best of"...!! ;)Nov. 22 2004
Mr P. D. Kinnear
- Published on Amazon.com
I'm a member of Fanderson (the Gerry Anderson appreciation society!) and voted in the poll to see what episodes would be included in this set. Of my selection, only SUNPROBE made it onto this disc but that's okay - You'd be pretty hard pressed to find a "bad" THUNDERBIRDS episode anyway! This is a wonderful series with a very positive philosophy - Set in 2065(ish), there are no wars and the nations of the world are at peace. Sure, we occasionally get a mysterious "foreign power" to play against Internation Rescue, but even then the moral centre is still present: Human life is PARAMOUNT to International Rescue; No matter how much damage to property is done or how much money it costs, as long as one single life is saved then it has been worth it.
TRAPPED IN THE SKY is the first episode of the series and showcases the first rescue mission for the Thunderbirds. The scenes with the FIREFLASH passenger jet attempting to land on International Rescue's mobile platforms, accompanied by Barry Gray's magnificent music, will endure for a long time after seeing it.
Another highlight of the disc is SUN PROBE: It's one of my favourite episodes of the series, featuring a rare space rescue in THUNDERBIRD 3 but managing to show the popular THUNDERBIRD 2 in a good role too.
So this is a great way to sample THUNDERBIRDS if you can't afford the full set, but I think you are missing out on far better instalments if this remains your only exposure to the series (END OF THE ROAD, EDGE OF IMPACT, CRY WOLF and THE IMPOSTERS are amongst my favourites!)
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Gerry Anderson's MarvelsFeb. 11 2007
- Published on Amazon.com
When you watch the Thunderbirds, you must realize this show is forty years old and still holds up. These marriottes are real looking, special effects still hold up after 40 years...and the story lines are intriging
So forget that satire Team America and the live action version of the Thunderbirds, get this..maybe those kids who crave SF adventure can enjoy this complex story lines, rather than those show with 30 second sound bytes of action
The Thunbderbirds (which was orginally called The internation Rescue organization) is is filled with great sets, characters and vehicles (as I said this was 40 years ago).These episodes still hold up. When you sound like a naysayer about these shows, THINK Classic Star Trek! It , in my opinion, still holds up just like classic Trek.
If you like this, get some of Gerry Anderson's other TV shows on DVD... Supercar, Captain Scarlet,Stingray, Joe 90, Space 1999 (yes the Martin Landau/Barbara Bain space opera), The protectors (with Robert Vaughn) and a weaker effort Secret Service. for US audiences, remember buy region one.
For puppets , these shows had complex stories a and over the top characters..worth you time to get and enjoy
Bennet Pomerantz AUDIOWORLD
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
You've got to REALLY like models (and I don't mean pretty women in swimsuits)Jan. 13 2007
- Published on Amazon.com
I grew up with this show. And I remember it looked so cool. I was not exactly disappointed, but just surprised at how much of each episode consists of lovingly-shot sequences with the tiny models they used. This is probably just as well, as I think the model work stands up better than the marionettes. The action sequences make you alternate between thinking "Boy, that looks pretty realistic for a model," and "How did they do that with models?" It's always hard to know which of your childhood favorites to risk watching again, and I'm not sure I'll rush out to try and find Kimba the White Lion or Marineboy (though I would watch Speed Racer in a minute), but this is very enjoyable and just slightly odd.