Space 1999 Eagle Transporter Forum


Go Back   Space 1999 Eagle Transporter Forum > SHADO Operations > The Monitor

Notices

SPONSORED BY
&

Reply Bookmark and Share
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 17-02-2009, 07:42 AM   #1
mack29
Astrophysics Technician
 
mack29's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Manchester UK
Posts: 289
Default New Thunderbirds Novel

Just finished the new Thunderbirds novel, "Action Alert!" and the most polite way of putting it is that the book is disappointing.

Ms Verba's first Thunderbirds book, whilst hardly great literature, was entertaining in a join the dots kind of way: linking together what back story elements were shown on the televsion programme with some reasonable extrapolation between.

In my humble opinion, this new book misses the point entirely and does something I did not think possible: create a boring Thunderbirds story. The main thread running throughout the book is Jeff's concern over Scott's work related stress. However the only effect stress appears to have on Scott is for him to forget to take off his cap before going into the lounge from a rescue and stopping off to buy some apples for a pie on his way home. Jeff's response to this: get Scott to take a reaction test before going out on a rescue - a test Scott never fails, but would surely put him under more stress as he knew his father would be testing him everytime he went out on a mission. Ms Verba treats the subject of stress related illness with all the sensitivity of a brick, summed up by Alan's crass remark to his Dad: "Is Scott cracking up?" following the aforementioned shopping trip.

I must admit I lost count of the number of rescues in the book, because, frankly, I stopped caring. Each rescue lasts a couple of pages and lacks any form of drama or excitement in their brief description. In fact Ms Verba's description of Scott and Vigil going to the Barbers for a shave and haircut lasts longer than some of her rescues. Of which, please do not get me started on IR's "Cement-Thrower" rescue vehicle.

In fact the bulk of the book focuses on Kyrano's attempt to win a cooking competition: at least we now know who picked the cover image for the Thunderbirds Blu-ray release.

Should Ms Verba write a third Thunderbirds novel, perhaps she should sit down and watch the programme again before returning to her keyboard. And perhaps someone should mention to her that not all book titles need to have an exclamation mark in them.
mack29 is off duty   Bookmark and Share Reply With Quote
Old 17-02-2009, 07:51 AM   #2
DX-SFX
Chief Medical Officer
 
DX-SFX's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 9,094
Default

Haven't read it but it sounds like one to miss.
DX-SFX is off duty   Bookmark and Share Reply With Quote
Old 17-02-2009, 08:42 AM   #3
Masterspy
Eagle Pilot
 
Masterspy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 637
Default

Joan Verba is unfortunately part of a bizarre group of women, who obsess over the character side of things, in a Mary Sue kind of way. They used to be found gathering on the Tech TV boards many years ago and I bumped into some of them at the San Diego Comic Con - weird is putting it gently.

I do wonder if it's the same group of women (not girls!) who keep updating the Wikipedia pages with absolute drivel.

I mean each to their own, and I love this stuff, but Thunderbirds was hardly great chatacter driven drama, was it?
Masterspy is off duty   Bookmark and Share Reply With Quote
Old 17-02-2009, 10:21 AM   #4
DX-SFX
Chief Medical Officer
 
DX-SFX's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 9,094
Default

Certainly not in a soap opera sort of way which is what this book seems to fixate on by the description.
DX-SFX is off duty   Bookmark and Share Reply With Quote
Old 17-02-2009, 10:30 AM   #5
Bishop
Chief Science Officer
 
Bishop's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: South Australia
Posts: 11,796
Default

Fanfic has lots of character stuff in it. Some is good, quite interesting, but some, especially in some shows, just doesn't even fit. Something like S99 has huge potential for human interest, who feels what and who feels whom sort of stuff in the midst of trying to survive in space, where as the Thunderbirds was about the Thunderbirds... they are the characters, the Tracys are essentially just the guys who fly them. Less stress tests and more cool rescues is definitely the way to go in such a case.
Bishop is off duty   Bookmark and Share Reply With Quote

Old 17-02-2009, 12:14 PM   #6
Conrad Turner
Communications Officer
 
Conrad Turner's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Duxford, Cambs
Posts: 1,438
Default

Oh my, now there's a disaster Gerry missed. Work-related Stress! What next? Fireball XL5 and the Credit Crunch! A daring story where Fireball cannot lift off as Space City cannot afford the fuel, but the XL5 crew are being charged rent on their landing pad. The only way out of their dilemma is to turn Fireball into a passenger craft and set up their own budget airline!
Conrad Turner is off duty   Bookmark and Share Reply With Quote
Old 17-02-2009, 12:29 PM   #7
Bishop
Chief Science Officer
 
Bishop's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: South Australia
Posts: 11,796
Default

Put stripes on it and it could be Fireball XL-TIGER
Bishop is off duty   Bookmark and Share Reply With Quote
Old 18-02-2009, 07:11 AM   #8
mack29
Astrophysics Technician
 
mack29's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Manchester UK
Posts: 289
Default

I think part of the fun of reading a tie-in book is to pick up elements of fleshing out the characters, but if you want to do that whilst loosing the raison d'etre of the original concept you're writing the wrong book.

Whilst the brief review of the book picks up on over arcing elements there are so many little "niggles" in the book that irritate, particularly if you're a sad old git like me: TB2's launch ramp is described at being at an angle of 45 degrees - no wonder the SFX lads had to put a block of wood behind the craft to stop it sliding . Rather than saying that Virgil raised TB2 on its hydraulic legs, the familiar sequence is described as Virgil supporting the frame on stilts - which brings all sorts of bizarre visions to mind .

BTW another literary masterpiece is coming to the screen: I read last night on Teletext that production will start later this year on a film with the working title of "Pride and Predator". The high concept being predatory aliens invade the world of Jane Austen. Sounds great and I'm looking forward to the sequel - "Aliens meet Oliver Twist". After a rousing chorus of "Consider yourself" the dancing aliens and waifs converge and the aliens do what they are best at. Following the massacre Fagin walks in only for a face hugger to leap on him and do the dirty dead.
mack29 is off duty   Bookmark and Share Reply With Quote
Old 18-02-2009, 09:44 AM   #9
dukedexter
Astrophysics Technician
 
dukedexter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: North West Cheshire
Posts: 267
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mack29 View Post
BTW another literary masterpiece is coming to the screen: I read last night on Teletext that production will start later this year on a film with the working title of "Pride and Predator".
I see Elton John will be involved so at least it'll be done with good taste.
dukedexter is off duty   Bookmark and Share Reply With Quote
Old 18-02-2009, 10:22 AM   #10
Bishop
Chief Science Officer
 
Bishop's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: South Australia
Posts: 11,796
Default

Sounds like a wonderful production
Bishop is off duty   Bookmark and Share Reply With Quote

Old 18-02-2009, 10:42 AM   #11
cricket
Medical Officer
 
cricket's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Midwest, USA
Posts: 4,560
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mack29 View Post
BTW another literary masterpiece is coming to the screen: I read last night on Teletext that production will start later this year on a film with the working title of "Pride and Predator". The high concept being predatory aliens invade the world of Jane Austen.
You are kidding, aren't you? Right?
cricket is off duty   Bookmark and Share Reply With Quote
Old 18-02-2009, 11:11 AM   #12
DX-SFX
Chief Medical Officer
 
DX-SFX's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 9,094
Default

I think it might be a comedy. Congratulations on breaking the 4000 post barrier too.
DX-SFX is off duty   Bookmark and Share Reply With Quote
Old 18-02-2009, 01:38 PM   #13
cricket
Medical Officer
 
cricket's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Midwest, USA
Posts: 4,560
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by DX-SFX View Post
Congratulations on breaking the 4000 post barrier too.
Thanks. Even in the midst of flu season, one must have priorities!
cricket is off duty   Bookmark and Share Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2009, 04:38 AM   #14
Spacecraft Guy
Weapons Technician
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 131
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mack29 View Post
Just finished the new Thunderbirds novel, "Action Alert!" and the most polite way of putting it is that the book is disappointing.

Ms Verba's first Thunderbirds book, whilst hardly great literature, was entertaining in a join the dots kind of way: linking together what back story elements were shown on the televsion programme with some reasonable extrapolation between.

In my humble opinion, this new book misses the point entirely and does something I did not think possible: create a boring Thunderbirds story. The main thread running throughout the book is Jeff's concern over Scott's work related stress. However the only effect stress appears to have on Scott is for him to forget to take off his cap before going into the lounge from a rescue and stopping off to buy some apples for a pie on his way home. Jeff's response to this: get Scott to take a reaction test before going out on a rescue - a test Scott never fails, but would surely put him under more stress as he knew his father would be testing him everytime he went out on a mission. Ms Verba treats the subject of stress related illness with all the sensitivity of a brick, summed up by Alan's crass remark to his Dad: "Is Scott cracking up?" following the aforementioned shopping trip.

I must admit I lost count of the number of rescues in the book, because, frankly, I stopped caring. Each rescue lasts a couple of pages and lacks any form of drama or excitement in their brief description. In fact Ms Verba's description of Scott and Vigil going to the Barbers for a shave and haircut lasts longer than some of her rescues. Of which, please do not get me started on IR's "Cement-Thrower" rescue vehicle.

In fact the bulk of the book focuses on Kyrano's attempt to win a cooking competition: at least we now know who picked the cover image for the Thunderbirds Blu-ray release.

Should Ms Verba write a third Thunderbirds novel, perhaps she should sit down and watch the programme again before returning to her keyboard. And perhaps someone should mention to her that not all book titles need to have an exclamation mark in them.
I enjoyed the first book, I thought it was a fun read. Sorry to hear that the second one was disappointing.

It seems that Thunderbirds never seems to get a break - the format has such great potential for a book series, I always wondered why Granada or Carlton never acted on it sooner.
Spacecraft Guy is off duty   Bookmark and Share Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


All times are GMT. The time now is 12:03 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
This site and contents are copyright Bernard Walsh 2010 all rights reserved, no reproduction of material in any form without written permission email: Bernie.walsh@mac.com