Thunderbirds reboot announced by ITV for 2015

Thunderbirds Tracy brothersITV has recently announced plans for a Thunderbirds reboot of the old marionette centric TV series, giving the Tracy’s another chance of international rescue fame when it airs in 2015. A new Thunderbirds TV series hasn’t been aired since the end of the second series in 1966 and while the 2004 film gave the show a brief return, the reboot will give the much loved, iconic British show a regular weekly slot once again.

The new series will be called Thunderbirds Are Go! taking its name from the 1966 movie sequel to the original televised productions by AP Films. 26 episodes have been confirmed by ITV with 30 minute slots each, giving the reboot a significant production to bring the show back to the small screen in a big way.

Working with Pukeko Pictures, ITV Studios will be going into production throughout 2014 to premier the series on ITV and CITV in 2015, so there’s a fair wait before we get to see the first installment. The development is also teaming up with Weta Workshop, who worked on the CGI for SX movie blockbusters like Avatar, King Kong and The Lord of the Rings, so the project is getting some pretty heavyweight support.

ITV has also announced a fair few of the cast of voice actors that will be taking on the well known roles. In a move of infinite wisdom and tying in with the original shows, David Graham will once again be voicing the legendary butler come International Rescue agent, Parker, which is pretty impressive considering the fact that he’s now in his late eighties. He’ll be joined by one-time Bond girl Rosamund Pike (The World’s End) as Lady Penelope, as well as Kayvan Novak (Fonejacker) as tech wizard Brains.

Thomas Brodie-Sangster (Love Actually, Game of Thrones) will play both middle brothers, Gordon and John Tracy, Rasmus Hardiker (Saxondale) will be voicing both the younger and elder Tracy brothers Alan and Scott and David Menkin will play the fifth of the Tracy boys, Virgil. Grandma Tracy will be voiced by Sandra Dickinson (The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy) and the infamous super-villain, The Hood, will be played by Andres Williams (Foyle’s War).

The storyline will follow a very similar path to that of the original, which was itself set in the 21st Century as the Tracy brothers, along with Brains, Lady Penelope and Parker, spearhead International Rescue from the high-tech Tracy Island. With world threats looming and the menace of The Hood ever present, they’ll have a lot of big issues to deal with.

The production will be filmed using a combination of CGI characters and live-action miniature sets, created by the creative genius of Weta Workshop. It’s obviously a big move away from the supermarionation of the original series, so it will be interesting to see whether or not the Thunderbirds reboot can recapture the essence of Gerry and Sylvia Anderson’s old magic.

Thunderbirds first aired in 1965, following on from the success of Stingray and other supermarionation series that were popular at the time.

There have been rumours about franchise reboots and story adaptations for a long while, so the upcoming re-invention for the International Rescue crew is more than understandable, especially considering its long standing cult fan status. While some might criticise the lack of freshness on the part of ITV for opting for the recreation of a show from the 60s, the new production style could be the injection of innovation needed to bring the Tracy’s, Brains, Lady Penelope and Parker back to our living rooms.

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