Monday, November 30, 2015

Superhero Media: Thunderbirds Are Go! Season 1

5... 4... 3... 2... 1! What the hell is this? Is that CGI? Where's the "Supermarionation"? I can't believe they did this to Thunderbirds! This is... pretty damn good actually. So the characters are animated, but the sets and vehicles all remain model work, done by none other than Weta Workshop, which do a great bloody job. The programme itself is nicely updated, keeping the themes of benevolent technology, humanism and global adventure from the original, but updating it for a new audience. The Tracy boys are back and it's time to defend the planet from disaster and the sinister machinations of The Hood. Ok, so it's not exactly the same as the original, but it's also not the first remake (Turbocharged Thunderbirds anyone?) and stays true enough to the original that complaining about it would be akin to complaining that Billy Hartnell is no longer on Doctor Who

You know what I like best about Thunderbirds Are Go!? It's a superhero programme. Well, duh, I'm writing about it here, right? But not simply that it is about superheroes, but that they are heroes who don't beat up the bad guys. Now, I don't believe that watching cartoon violence does any harm to children (or anyone), but I do like that there are alternatives like this out there. Thunderbirds Are Go! manages to be fun, exciting and action-packed with very few punches thrown or guns going off; in today's market, that's pretty rare and a bit special.

Maybe it's nostalgia, but I get a bit excited when the countdown starts. It's all I can do to not shout "Thunderbirds are go!" with the announcer. Due to the fact that it's the same for me with "Avengers assemble!", I'm not overly embarrassed by that, but I do try and not get too caught up. I love the idea of International Rescue and the Thunderbirds and I'd love to find a way to include them in my games, though I'm not sure quite how as yet. My hopes that Crooked Dice would rush some Tracy boys into production hasn't panned out and the idea of having a 1/48 Thunderbird 2 is a bit daunting. Still, I've plenty of time and opportunity to work something out, I'm sure before too long Ultimate Alliance players can shout out a countdown with me. 

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