THUNDERBIRDS ARE GO! Blast off into more action and more adventure with the first ever feature-length film starring the International Rescue team! Made in 1966, and set one hundred years in the future, Thunderbirds Are Go was the original Thunderbirds movie.
Millionaire ex-astronaut, Jeff Tracy, his five stalwart sons plus Brains, the inventor of the Thunderbird crafts and the fabulous secret agent Lady Penelope launch into action in this “Supermarionation” classic from the mind of the iconic visionary Gerry Anderson!
When the mighty spaceship Zero X is sabotaged on it’s first mission to Mars, International Rescue is summoned to provide security for the second launch attempt. But after the ship reaches it’s destination, it is attacked by Martians! Once again the brave and resourceful International Rescue team is called into action. Can the team help the damaged ship re-enter Earth’s atmosphere and prevent a catastrophic crash-landing with devastating consequences?!
Creator Gerry Anderson decided to base the plot of the movie on the American-Soviet Space Race, in particular the 1960s contest to land astronauts on the Moon, but adapted this story for the futuristic Thunderbirds universe by changing the destination to Mars.
Following on from a highly successful TV series, Gerry Anderson realised that design defects would not be as quickly forgiven in a film adaptation as on the black and white smaller screen. So the puppets from the Thunderbirds television series were expertly revamped, with new paint, wigs and costumes, while models and sets such as the Thunderbird machines were re-built from scratch with greater attention to detail.
Design of the spaceships and miniatures was down to Derek Meddings, known for his work on the James Bond franchise. The film was directed by David Lane, who at 24 years old, was the youngest British film director working at the time. He went on to work on Superman: The Movie.
Bizarrely there is a cameo from Cliff Richard, who also contributed to the score. (He owned a villa in Portugal next to the Andersons.) Also UK TV legend Bob Monkhouse appears as Space Navigator Brad Newman. Monkhouse first approached Gerry Anderson for permission to film a comedy sketch based on Stingray, but ended up agreeing to replace Alfred Marks, who had withdrawn from the film due to a fee dispute. Monkhouse recalled the conversation: “Gerry said “how much would you charge for the job?’ I said, ‘Gerry, I’d do it for nothing.’ And that was the first time I ever heard the phrase, ‘The price is right’.”
The film was financed by TV company ITC and it’s boss Lew Grade, for £250k and won Gerry Anderson a Silver Medal for Outstanding Artistic Achievement by the Royal Television Society
Extras: Gerry Anderson’s Countdown to Thunderbirds, 15 mins “Entertainment is Go” 21 mins (making of Thunderbirds), Audio Commentary with Producer Sylvia Anderson and Director David Lane, Isolated Score track, Cliff Richard and The Shadows unseen test footage, History and Appeal, Factory of Dolls and Rockets, Epics in Miniature, Photo Gallery, Come with me to the rushes, What does F.A.B mean? Original UK Theatrical Trailer, International Rescue Danger Zone Report 01 Booklet.