With just days to go before the world premiere of Thunderbirds Are Go! at MipCom Junior in Cannes, ITV has released more information on the origins of the new show which will debut next year in the UK.
In an interview for TV Kids 2014, published by World Screen, the show’s executive producer Giles Ridge describes the original Thunderbirds as the “jewel in the crown” among Gerry and Sylvia Anderson’s many Supermarionation shows from the 1960s.
“Given that the brand celebrates its 50th anniversary next year, it felt right that we return to the wonderful collection of work and give Thunderbirds a go in the market,” he said of the show’s revival, noting the show, aimed at ages six to eight but hoping for a wider audience, will retain its original Barry Gray-arranged theme.
“We were very mindful of not wanting to mess too much with the original. It’s lasted 50 years because it is very special.”
Ridge is very proud of the new show’s look, melding CGI with live-action miniatures and models. “We wanted a co-producer who shared our passion and love for the series, he says, “and who had a track record and reputation in building wonderful models. That’s why we ended up in New Zealand with Pukeko Pictures and Weta Workshop, the company founded by Richard Taylor and Peter Jackson that has been responsible for the wonderful effects in The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit and King Kong.
Ridge also talks about the approach to writing the show and his hopes for its success, as well as about how Tracy Island was recreated.
“Thunderbirds Are Go! will respect the values of the original in terms of characters, storyline and themes of family and heroism, insists Dan Gopal, the executive VP for EMEA distribution and global digital partners at ITV Studios Global Entertainment notes elsewhere in the MipCom Junior guide, “but will be updated for a modern audience.”