This September marks 50 years since Gerry and Sylvia Anderson’s ground-breaking Thunderbirds series blasted onto TV screens in the UK. To celebrate this special anniversary, the iconic puppets will be making a spectacular return in three brand new episodes in Thunderbirds 1965, a project created by director Stephen La Rivière.
In addition to the much-loved television series, three Thunderbirds audio episodes were recorded and launched in 1966, with music and dialogue from the show’s original voice cast. Thunderbirds 1965 will see La Rivière film the Thunderbirds puppets and sets he faithfully recreated for the Filmed in Supermarionation documentary, using all of the classic Supermarionation techniques, and combine this with the original audio footage to create three brand new video episodes in the distinctive Thunderbirds style.
The Thunderbirds 1965 project will launch on the crowdfunding website Kickstarter on Thursday 9th July at 9.00am, and backing the project is the only way that fans from around the globe will be able to watch these new episodes.
In addition to a DVD / Blu-ray of the finished production, project backers have the opportunity to receive other exclusive rewards including a commemorative photo-book featuring rare and previously unpublished stills from the original series and an exclusive ‘Thunderbirds Experience’.
This experience will give backers the chance to visit the Thunderbirds 1965 production studio and experience first-hand the classic model and puppet filmmaking techniques first developed fifty years ago. The recreated marionette stars will also be around for meet and greets.
The Thunderbirds 1965 Kickstarter campaign is ambitious – aiming to raise £75,000 to fund the first of the three special episodes – but the successful backing Anderson Entertainment gained for their Gerry Anderson project, Firestorm, served as a good indication that there’s no shortage of enthusiastic support for such great schemes.
If the project surpasses this initial target, the remaining episodes will be also produced.
Thunderbirds 1965 will be produced by the team behind the critically acclaimed Filmed in Supermarionation documentary, which tells the story of the pioneering production of Thunderbirds, Stingray, Captain Scarlet and other memorable marionette television shows. Sylvia Anderson and the estate of the late Gerry Anderson have welcomed the initiative.
Sylvia Anderson, co-creator of the classic series says: “Recreating the 1960s version of Thunderbirds like this is a great idea. What better way to celebrate half a century?
“I know that Stephen and his team will produce an episode that will look like something we would have made. FAB!”
Jamie Anderson, son of Gerry Anderson says: “Generations of kids and adults have enjoyed Thunderbirds since it first aired 50 years ago. The magic formula of models, practical effects and puppets is very special, and I’m absolutely certain that Stephen and his team will recreate that magic.”
Stephen La Rivière says: “For Filmed In Supermarionation, we shot new sequences with the puppets using the old fashioned techniques. Whilst many of the methods used seem a little archaic and time-consuming by today’s standards, we thought that it would be very special to do a one-off project bringing Thunderbirds back to life 1960s style.
“Sadly, many of the original voice cast have passed away since 1965. However, thanks to these original audio recordings, we have new, authentic stories that have never been adapted for screen. This means that these old-new episodes should be the most authentic recreation of the 1960s experience as it’s possible to get.”
• Further information can be found at www.thunderbirds1965.co.uk or via Kickstarter