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Old 28-04-2008, 07:42 PM   #1
Mike Delamar
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Default Thunderbirds unused series 2 stories

hi gents


Ive often wondered if its known what stories/episodes where planned for series 2 of Thunderbirds before it got cancelled?

was there any vehicles or models specifically made for it that where never used? like pod vehicles for example

was there any scripts written?

did the stories that where going to be used, get used in the comics?

just wondering

cheers

Mike
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Old 29-04-2008, 08:47 AM   #2
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Default Thunderbirds - Second Season

There was a second season Mike. The first season was 26 episodes and was broadcast from September / October 1965 to March 1966. The second season consisted of six new episodes and twenty repeats starting in October 1966 and ending in March 1967. The season was spearheaded by 5 of the new episodes and the last one, Give Or Take A Million was shown on Christmas Day 1966 as a networked episode in the U.K. I think the second season had been originally planned to have more episodes in it but the budget for these episodes ended up being used for the cinema film Thunderbirds Are Go.

I read an interview with Gerry a few years ago where he said that some other Thunderbirds scripts had been written but they were not considered good enough to be made. A couple of months ago Gerry was asked in what direction would he have taken the series had it been allowed to continue. His reply was that he would have kept the same winning formula which was great action and adventure. I am sure new characters and craft would have been introduced. I attended Fanderson 82, now over 25 years ago and Gerry said that had Lew Grade not cancelled Thunderbirds in 1966 it might have still been in production today i.e. early 1980s. Some fans think it is too late to do a new Thunderbirds. I disagree and think it would work well if it was done in the spirit of New Captain Scarlet i.e. in the same vein as the TV21 Comics. I am sure ideas for the comics may very well have come from discarded scripts. Ideas can be recycled all the time. I hope my blurb has been of use to you.
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Old 29-04-2008, 09:05 AM   #3
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Some fans think it is too late to do a new Thunderbirds. I disagree and think it would work well if it was done in the spirit of New Captain Scarlet i.e. in the same vein as the TV21 Comics.
Isn't NCS and the recent Thunderbirds movie a good example of why Thunderbirds shouldn't be revisited? It's important not to confuse the joy of seeing new Thunderbirds material being made with it actually being any good. I personally felt that NCS missed the mark for many reasons and we can argue what those reasons were but the public as a whole seems to have agreed. It's a shame but it's very rare for a true classic to be remade in a worthwhile way.
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Old 29-04-2008, 09:11 AM   #4
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I haven't looked at NCS for that reason. Its not Captain Scarlet!!!
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Old 29-04-2008, 12:59 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by DX-SFX View Post
Isn't NCS and the recent Thunderbirds movie a good example of why Thunderbirds shouldn't be revisited? It's important not to confuse the joy of seeing new Thunderbirds material being made with it actually being any good. I personally felt that NCS missed the mark for many reasons and we can argue what those reasons were but the public as a whole seems to have agreed. It's a shame but it's very rare for a true classic to be remade in a worthwhile way.
Thunderbirds could be revisited as live action series and done well.

The problem is that for it to work it would have to stick to the original concept but go into the character backgrounds a bit deeper, be an episodic series to allow for the character development that the original did so well and use the least amount of CGI possible (none at all would be best, but some CGI tweaking to get rid of wires and lighting hot spots on the models) in the SFX - which would mean producing the show would cost a fortune.

New Captain Scarlet to its credit did have a lot of great vehicle designs (but never should have abandoned the SPV), some very good CGI shots (the Angels Falcon craft in action) and some nice character work (though Captain Scarlet should have stayed 100% British and not been made 50% American to appeal to us here in the USA). The sad truth is that even though it was a valiant effort, the project didn't have the budget to do the series properly in CGI - and it showed in the character renderings. The timing of the production of the series wasn't the best, either - instead of being judged unique unto itself it would up being another just another series in the CGI series crowd.

I can understand the point of view that the Anderson shows should be left well enough alone, classic works of their times. But I think that a live action version of Thunderbirds would work. Given the success of the new series of Doctor Who, I'm betting that the rumours that a new series of Thunderbirds is being considered with some well known name as producer (but not Gerry Anderson) have some bit of truth to them.
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Old 29-04-2008, 04:06 PM   #6
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oh yeah knew there was a second series, but the fact that it was only 6 episodes compared to 26 in the first series is what made me think.
so there where stories written but they wernt considered good enough.

I wonder if these survive in writing somewhere?

all interesting stuff, thanks guys

Mike
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Old 29-04-2008, 07:58 PM   #7
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this is one of those emotive subjects that we could talk about for ever.i personally don't see how Thunderbirds could be redone to a level that would keep the diehard fans happy. it would forever be compared to the original and even if bucket loads of money were thrown at it, that's still no guarantee that it will be any good.
cheers Paul
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Old 29-04-2008, 08:21 PM   #8
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If Thunderbirds were to be remade today, IMHO, the only way it could be done is by unsing the techniques that worked before; Marionettes and Models on 35mm film

It worked for the Specsavers advert...

As for stories: there was a really good story in the Thun derbirds Comic in the mid-1990s which told of the formation of IR and the settin g up of Tracy Island as a secret base.

That's what THAT film should have doine, rather than SpyKids 3.5
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Old 29-04-2008, 09:18 PM   #9
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I maintain that the movie should have been "Trapped In The Sky" but with a movie budget.
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Old 29-04-2008, 09:39 PM   #10
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dont think it should be remade, the only reason I asked if scripts etc where written was to see if they are available to read as a "what could have been".

and I never really thought Thunderbirds worked as a movie, it needs to be a series


Mike
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Old 30-04-2008, 09:57 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by paul gray View Post
this is one of those emotive subjects that we could talk about for ever.i personally don't see how Thunderbirds could be redone to a level that would keep the diehard fans happy. it would forever be compared to the original and even if bucket loads of money were thrown at it, that's still no guarantee that it will be any good.
cheers Paul
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I maintain that the movie should have been "Trapped In The Sky" but with a movie budget.
These are both very good points.

But...

Doctor Who had a false start with a not so great movie in 1995, and eventually found its way to present day success - I can watch it on the Sci-Fi Channel and my local Public TV station that had been running the show for nearly 20 years. Thunderbirds is one of the few
worldwide, British created phenomenon left that still has great potential that hasn't tapped. I feel sure that Granada hasn't failed to notice and is planning something.

A feature film had the time to show Astronaut Jeff Tracy's lunar mission, family life and getting International Rescue off the ground in the first hour, then IR's first mission -"Trapped in the Sky" - in the second. And when I was asked by the Tech TV people in 2002 about how a Thunderbirds feature should be made, I told them to just stick to the original format, don't try to reinvent the wheel, don't use CGI unless absolutely necessary. It should have been a no-brainer. But enough of us on this board are involved in some way with the film business and know what happens when the creative people and the financial people tangle.

Here's hoping that the producer of the next incarnation of Thunderbirds is paying attention.
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Old 30-04-2008, 10:29 AM   #12
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There's an old saying "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!"

Any new Thunderbirds series would look dismal to the original. The charm of the original Thunderbirds series was that it was a tongue-in-cheek puppet show.

From a technical view, the charm of the series also derives from the fact that not everything was made professionally. If you get a dvd and watch a few episodes the puppets were sometimes painted badly(skin tones) . Some puppets had dents on their heads(albeit small ones). Many props were made from household objects. When you watch the sequence of Thunderbird 1 in its launch bay you will see a vacumn cleaner pipe acting as a sort of shute or funnel. Sometimes the 2 on Thunderbird 2 would be enormous and then just small lettering. It's shape often changed, especially the nose section, and its colour went from light to dark green! Thunderbird 4 being launched and into deep water still had dirt marks on it - in the middle of the deep ocean!

In the 1960s any mention of sci-fi immediately meant strange space suits aliens and monsters. Here is a tv series that was set many years in the future and none of that sci-fi imaginery nonsense was included - thank God!

All these errors made it such an enduring series. Gerry Anderson, being interviewed on the BBC, once said that he winced at certain episodes as they could have been done better! They could have but that would have made it less charming!

Saying that, the Specsavers advert shows how the maxm of "If it ain't broke" can defy what is sound logic.

This series has made an indent in our society. Richard Branson named one his trains after Thunderbirds. Why even the Prime MInsister acts like a Thunderbird puppet. Mmmmm.... The Hood's 10p Tax Policy!
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Old 30-04-2008, 02:37 PM   #13
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All these errors made it such an enduring series.
You like it because of the errors?

Personally I'm drawn to it for the exciting stories and it's spectacular visuals. Where else could you get fantastic stories of walking machines, moving New York buildings, landing aircraft on the top of elevator cars and generallly showing things that would be impossible to film any other way all created using model effects that looked real. There's also a fascination about the puppets seeming alive and the all to rare notion nowadays of doing good things for people just because. Also in respect of not being professionally made, all the crew took it very seriously and it was filmed using production methods that were exactly the same as feature films of the time. The only difference was the cast were miniatures. There's not a single series on TV today that matches it's ambitious intention or is polished to the same degree. The odd continuity error is almost inevitable but was never deliberately put in.
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Old 30-04-2008, 04:18 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by DX-SFX View Post
You like it because of the errors?

Personally I'm drawn to it for the exciting stories and it's spectacular visuals. Where else could you get fantastic stories of walking machines, moving New York buildings, landing aircraft on the top of elevator cars and generallly showing things that would be impossible to film any other way all created using model effects that looked real. There's also a fascination about the puppets seeming alive and the all to rare notion nowadays of doing good things for people just because. Also in respect of not being professionally made, all the crew took it very seriously and it was filmed using production methods that were exactly the same as feature films of the time. The only difference was the cast were miniatures. There's not a single series on TV today that matches it's ambitious intention or is polished to the same degree. The odd continuity error is almost inevitable but was never deliberately put in.
Well.............. that's put me in my place! Any programme or film has errors - I can't even think of one where there's not a mistake!

For example:
Ben Hur
A telegraph pole shown in the horizon
BraveHeart
That poor girl getting executed and a white transit van in the background passing along quite happily!
Thunderbirds
The Anderbad express train changing colours in different sequences in same episode
A Man for All Seasons
A messenger arriving by boat to Thomas More's Manor and plastic guttering shown! Amazing in the 16th Century!
The Spy Who Loved Me
Roger Moore having a fight in a hotel room and the camera crew in full view reflected on a mirror

I could mention Gladiators but they ares so numerous!

Anyone else know of movie mistakes?
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Old 30-04-2008, 05:28 PM   #15
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I was watching Star Wars A New Hope Special Edition the other day, I noticed that Lucasfilm have put a CGI spark effect visual on the helmet of the stormtrooper who bangs his head on the Death Star control room door as he enters. Turning a movie error into a little bit of humour is a nice touch I think.
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Old 30-04-2008, 07:32 PM   #16
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Have to agree with everything DX- SFX says , with the addition of Attack of the alligators as the sequel ! Errors , sorry , still too entranced with the visuals to care .Class , pure class .
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Old 30-04-2008, 09:02 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dunc1 View Post
There was a second season Mike. The first season was 26 episodes and was broadcast from September / October 1965 to March 1966. The second season consisted of six new episodes and twenty repeats starting in October 1966 and ending in March 1967. The season was spearheaded by 5 of the new episodes and the last one, Give Or Take A Million was shown on Christmas Day 1966 as a networked episode in the U.K. I think the second season had been originally planned to have more episodes in it but the budget for these episodes ended up being used for the cinema film Thunderbirds Are Go.
I don't think this is quite correct. According to the Television Mail Thunderbirds supplement published in December 1965, the decision to produce the first Thunderbirds feature film had already been made before the 'second season' went into production. The film already had a budget assigned to it at that point. The six episodes that might have formed a 'second season' (an American TV season is usually a minimum of 13 episodes, I believe) went into production around the same time that work started on the feature with six scripts that were probably written in late 1965or early '66. Lew Grade decided to cancel further episodes of Thunderbirds around February '66 when he failed to sell the series to any of the main US networks, deciding that a new series would be easier to sell. The TV Mail supplement also mentions that a new series would go into production following Thunderbirds, so some thought must have already been put into some kind of successor.

As far as the possibility of there being rejected or unused scripts - none of the people I've spoken to who worked on the programme have ever mentioned this, to my knowledge none have ever come to light, and I don't think any were ever adapted to comic strip stories. It's possible that Alan Fennell may have had some ideas which he could have written up as TV scripts rather than comic strips, but as far as I know he would only write scripts as and when required.

One suggestion made by some members of the AP team was that Lady Penelope should have her own spin-off series, but obviously that never happened.

Regarding a remake, I think a live action movie with top class miniature effects in the James Bond/Superman style would work with the right script and casting, or a CG animated series in the style of the Frank Bellamy strips. I think a puppet remake would probably only work on TV - unless it was really slick. The puppet sequnce in Stargate a while back worked well I thought, and shows that puppets could still work if done with the right approach. I think it would be impossible to recreate the same style and charm of the original, but I don't think it would be impossible to produce something decent with the right kind of people involved who really understood the special appeal of the original show.
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Old 01-05-2008, 12:03 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by James Price View Post
Well.............. that's put me in my place! Any programme or film has errors - I can't even think of one where there's not a mistake!

For example:
Ben Hur
A telegraph pole shown in the horizon
BraveHeart
That poor girl getting executed and a white transit van in the background passing along quite happily!
Thunderbirds
The Anderbad express train changing colours in different sequences in same episode
A Man for All Seasons
A messenger arriving by boat to Thomas More's Manor and plastic guttering shown! Amazing in the 16th Century!
The Spy Who Loved Me
Roger Moore having a fight in a hotel room and the camera crew in full view reflected on a mirror

And none of those examples were intentional or intended to increase the charm of the product, that was my point. The same applies to Thunderbirds. They're just continuity errors left in in the belief that no one would notice or not worth the time and money to reshoot, just like modern films.
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Old 01-05-2008, 12:59 AM   #19
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Well, I am not going to argue and score points about a 45 year old childrens' puppet tv series! That would be silly I suspect some of those involved in the show have now gone to the great Thunderbird 5 in the sky.

Last edited by Name changed by request; 01-05-2008 at 01:58 AM.
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Old 01-05-2008, 04:12 AM   #20
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Regarding a remake, I think a live action movie with top class miniature effects in the James Bond/Superman style would work with the right script and casting, or a CG animated series in the style of the Frank Bellamy strips. I think a puppet remake would probably only work on TV - unless it was really slick. The puppet sequnce in Stargate a while back worked well I thought, and shows that puppets could still work if done with the right approach. I think it would be impossible to recreate the same style and charm of the original, but I don't think it would be impossible to produce something decent with the right kind of people involved who really understood the special appeal of the original show.

Captain Scarlet was a good candidate for a CGI version because of the switch to the more realistically proportioned puppets of the original.

I think that a totally CGI version of Thunderbirds would be doomed to failure. One of the strengths of the original was the distinctiveness of the superbly done modelwork.

I don't think that CGI is evil - the superhero movie renaisssance starting in 2001 with Spiderman would not have been possible without it. But it's getting to the point where complex, overpopulated -with-elements CGI shots are in movies not because they advance the story, but because the the pixel pushers can crank them out comparatively cheaply as compared to a model shot that would have to be composited. It's the perfect example of the saying "Just because you could didn't mean you should" (that's from Jurassic Park, I think).

Model work necessitated that a lot more imagination and innovation be done in order to coax something special out of a shot - and is why Thunderbirds and the Anderson show still stand out over the years.
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