It’s finally happened. After almost 45 years, there is finally an epic new Thunderbirds film out there. Admitedly it’s just over 14 minutes long, but this is a vastly more impressive effort than the 2004 kid’s film by ex-Star Trek Number 2 Jonathan Frakes. This, my friends and fellow FAB fans, is the real deal…
Yes, it’s a fan film, albeit one fully approved by Fanderson. The quality that Chris Thompson and his team have achieved hangs fully on the obvious care, love and enthusiasm that went into it. It’s also given a big grain of authenticity by bringing in Shane Rimmer, who provided vocals for the original pilot-extrordinaire Scott Tracy, as the narrator at the start and as the voice of Jeff Tracy near the end. He gives an appropriately epic reading that sends chills up the spine, introducing the new challenges for mankind at the cusp of an Anderson-esque 21st Century. International Rescue, we need you now!
This is a timely reminder, then, of how Thunderbirds could be made huge again by one decent movie. Once you get past the haircuts, TB2010 is actually a very accurate little realisation of the spirit of the original show, and it’s hard not to be caught up in the drama and well-executed tension which flows through every frame. While the ever-escalating danger is present, they completely understand how close-ups on faces, the odd eye-roll and a little humour complete the nail-biting tension. It’s a terrific effort and one that is clearly crying out for a sequel, and a bigger budget.
While the CGI could be criticised, it’s also extremely competent and vital to the story. It also gives a far more expansive view of the International Rescue’s incredible, futuristic world. Frankly, setting the rescue in a space station seems very ambitious to begin with, and they pulled it off with a great deal of style and some rather impressive sets for the live action shots.
So, someone out there, give Chris Thompson a massive budget and let’s see what Thunderbirds can really do!