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Old 20-05-2014, 01:19 PM   #1
Richard Baker
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Default Stepson watching Thunderbirds for the first time

Last night I showed my Stepson (10 yrs old) the classic Thunderbirds show- "Trapped in the Sky". He had seen the Frakes movie and liked it but when he saw my collection of models which looked better than the movie versions his eyes lit up. I have the Takara Thunderbird 2 1/144 scale Pod cutaway with the different vehicles displayed right over my build desk and he wanted to know which of them did what sort of work.
I thought the best way to show him was to begin at the beginning- the very first episode where International Rescue goes on it's very first mission. I was a bit concerned the puppets would throw him off- I do not pay that much attention to them as puppets and see them as characters, but seeing them for the first time might be a little weird.

He loved it.

He has announced that the silver one and the green one are his favorites. He is just learning to build models and watching them on the screen made things relateable, the explosions and excitement during the Airport rescue, well it has been a while since I saw him just stop everything and watch a show with complete focus.

Afterwards we went downstairs to my realm and resumed work on his first glue kit and while he was painting I took the 1/144 Remote Elevator Car from my display and set it in front of him. He stopped painting, gently picked it up and examined it from every angle, smiled and wanted to know when we could watch the next show.

Gerry may be gone but his legacy has inspired another generation once again...
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Old 20-05-2014, 03:29 PM   #2
boatshewsd2
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Default And The Beat Goes On...

...and Barry Gray (God rest him) wrote it!

I was just a year or two older, when I saw my first Supercar, and even now - across all these years - know exactly where he is coming from. (Little girls too, you know... )

Good for him, and for you - Andersonphiles for life!
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Old 20-05-2014, 03:37 PM   #3
badsimmonds
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Even after 50 years it still hooks new viewers.
I still remember watching supercar in the early sixties and from that moment on it was a new world. I was 10 when Thunderbirds were first shown and I remember next morning at school asking if anyone else watched it.
I count myself lucky to be growing up in the sixties when there was so much great TV and not just from the Anderson studios.
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Old 21-05-2014, 07:53 AM   #4
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Default Gets you right there, doesn't it?

That's just great, badsimmonds. My youngest started watching Thunderbirds last year at the age of 11 and, for a while, every Saturday morning, it was a regular rota of classic Thunderbirds episodes - he loved them. He's also watched a lot of Season 1 "1999" and loves the fact there's a big Eagle growing in the kitchen. You're exactly right about the "physicality" of the programmes, and the transfer from screen into the real world has obviously struck a chord with your stepson.

Long may it continue. Watch out also for a resurgence again next year, when the new series surfaces, of the original series.

Kindest regards

Patrick
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Old 21-05-2014, 12:27 PM   #5
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One thing that is a LOT different from the shows he has been watching- in Thunderbirds people get hurt and occasionally killed- the good guys are armed and shoot the bad ones when they need to. When Lady Penelope's FAB-1 chased the Hood in the stolen Airport Security car and blew it up he had this surprised look on his face- he did not expect that ending at all.
It is like watching the show for the first time all over again with him. We are not going to rip through the entire series in a week, I am saving these for our special 'Guy's Night' as he calls it.
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Old 21-05-2014, 12:48 PM   #6
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He'll grow up get himself in debt with a garage full of props, puppets & toys & it'll all be your fault

LOL

No seriously great story
I wish my son liked Thunderbirds & Scarlet
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Old 21-05-2014, 01:16 PM   #7
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Default Catch 'em while they're young and impressionable...

Richard, you're spot on with your statement - when I was younger, I remember being quite concerned when I saw the grimace of pain on a puppet's face when shot, or in pain for some other reason (when the Hood gets his foot jammed in the hydraulics, for example, or when Scarlet's shot when at the top of the car park). Once children get past a certain age they become much more cynical about old programmes, but I think some of this "rekindling" has to do with our own enthusiasm for the subject matter - they see the real passion for all these old stories and adventures and it rubs off on them.

My youngest son and I will sometimes look at each other knowingly before one of us says "And this time....it's the last time...."

(Fireflash Pilot, "Trapped In The Sky")

Kindest regards

Patrick
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Old 21-05-2014, 03:33 PM   #8
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Watching New Captain Scarlet at the moment. It's great, people get killed every episode, lots of them by falling. Last nights episode had an elderly mysteronized woman fall off a cliff when Captain Scarlet side-stepped her attack.

Been pondering what makes Gerry Anderson so good. Then realised it doesn't matter if it is puppets, CGI or live action, the shows told a story and take the viewer along for the ride. Few things for kids really do that now, it's more like they take you into a situation rather than tell a story. I don't think many other people would have got away with puppet shows, it was the great story telling and attention to quality that made it work .

Shame my son is at that age where he hates everything I like, especially if it has puppets in it. He did though watch every episode of UFO a few years back and enjoyed it. Just got to wait for grandchildren I suppose!
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Old 21-05-2014, 05:01 PM   #9
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What I find amazing is after the first few minutes you no longer think of them as puppets but as characters. Even the secondary ones have distinct personalities- the first rescue attempt with the target dispatching plane (I forget its name)- watching those two pilots talking together you get the feeling they have flown for a long time and regret somewhat the rather boring task they have been assigned to.

That shows a level of care few shows bother with...
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Old 21-05-2014, 06:16 PM   #10
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Real enough that both my sister and I had genuine crushes on two of the puppets. She was a little older and had a thing about Virgil.

I'm still getting over the fact I never married Captain Scarlet (original puppet), then missed the chance to marry Ed Straker when Mary dumped him. I was only 6 at the time though!

OK I'm now 47 and still have a crush on the Captain Scarlet puppet. I also wish I had at least met Ed Bishop once in my lifetime, just to have let him know what a profound effect he had on me!
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Old 21-05-2014, 06:24 PM   #11
andersonitis
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Default Know how you feel

Still harbouring feelings for Zelda (swoon)
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Old 21-05-2014, 06:27 PM   #12
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She still scares the **** out of me lol.
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Old 22-05-2014, 12:02 PM   #13
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Default Feelings for puppets....

OK, I'll add my two pence worth.

The first time I ever watched "Terror In New York City" as a wee boy, I found the whole "injured Virgil nursing a stricken Thunderbird 2 home" sequence emotionally charged. From the minute the missiles hit TB2, I was on tenterhooks - would he get back to Tracy Island? Finally, the engines scream as TB2 crosses the end of the runway, then she thumps onto the tarmac, the undercarriage collapses, Tin Tin gasps and puts her hand up to her face in shock, Jeff's frown speaks a thousand words, then there's Scott's sigh of relief when TB2's down safely and the foam sprays cut in. It's a fantastic piece of television......and they're puppets, for goodness' sake. I still love that whole story.

I remember Gerry Anderson saying years ago that his approach was to introduce the audience to good, decent people and then put them in some terrible form of jeopardy or danger. Richard's previous comments about the pilots in the target plane are well observed - there's also a tremendous respect there for Meddings, whom they've never met before, prior to his heroic attempt to get aboard the Fireflash. Ditto the Fireflash pilots - they've both clocked Tin-Tin but, being the gentlemen they are, the final comment is merely "I noticed her too - she's kinda cute". I know it's childrens' TV, I know it's from a bygone era, but these are decent characters with a depth far beyond simple puppetry.

Right, I've gone on too long already: apologies.

Kindest regards,

Patrick
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Old 22-05-2014, 01:28 PM   #14
badsimmonds
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I'm glad its not just me thinking of the puppets as real people.
The characterisations on all the series was fab as you really believed they were real ( I still do after 50 odd years)
I still flinch when the Hood gets his foot trapped in the Zero X, its really quite terrifying.
There will be no more great puppet series but at least we have all these great programmes the Anderson's and their fabulous team created for us.
Long may they live.
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Old 29-05-2014, 05:01 AM   #15
Ham Salad
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Odahs View Post
She still scares the **** out of me lol.

Really? She always reminded me of my mom.

Granted, my mom scares me, so....
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Old 29-05-2014, 05:06 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Odahs View Post
R

OK I'm now 47 and still have a crush on the Captain Scarlet puppet.!
Think of how handy he'd be around the house.

Needs to fix the roof? no problem if he falls off. Something stuck in the disposal? No worries fishing it out.

Not sure if your brakes are leaking? Have him test drive!

The possibilities are endless: he's the indestructible handy man.
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Old 29-05-2014, 10:39 AM   #17
Odahs
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ham Salad View Post
Think of how handy he'd be around the house.

Needs to fix the roof? no problem if he falls off. Something stuck in the disposal? No worries fishing it out.

Not sure if your brakes are leaking? Have him test drive!

The possibilities are endless: he's the indestructible handy man.
That wasn't really what I had planned for him, but now you mention it
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