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Thunderbirds Are GO (1966)

G | | Action, Sci-Fi | July 1968 (USA)
Zero-X, a manned exploration mission crashes during lift-off on its maiden flight. Two years later an investigative committee finally concludes sabotage, and decides to call on the services... See full summary »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Sylvia Anderson ...
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John Tracy / The Hood (voice)
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Jeff Tracy (voice)
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Tin-Tin Kyrano (voice)
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Gordon Tracy / Brains / Aloysius Parker (voice)
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Neil McCallum ...
Dr. Ray Pierce (voice)
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Scott Tracy (voice)
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Dr. Tony Grant / Angry Young Man / Public Relations Officer (voice) (as Charles Tingwell)
Jeremy Wilkin ...
Virgil Tracy / Space Exploration Center President (voice)
Matt Zimmerman ...
Alan Tracy / Messenger (voice)
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Storyline

Zero-X, a manned exploration mission crashes during lift-off on its maiden flight. Two years later an investigative committee finally concludes sabotage, and decides to call on the services of International Rescue to oversee security at the impending second launch. The second Zero-X successfully reaches its destination, but encounters unexpected hazards, ultimately leading to another call for assistance on its return to Earth. International Rescue respond, and once again Thunderbirds are GO! Written by Raj Rijhwani <raj@courtfld.demon.co.uk>

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Taglines:

Excitement is GO! Adventure is GO! Danger is GO! See more »

Genres:

Action | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

July 1968 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Feuervögel startbereit  »

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(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

It's stated that Zero X can travel at 100,000 mph. Spacecraft sent to Mars have taken up to 9 months, which would mean 270 days. At 100,000 mph Zero X would take a shorter path, which explains the astronauts reaching Mars in 6 weeks. The VASIMR plasma engine being developed by Dr Franklin Chang Diaz could send a spacecraft to Mars in 39 days. See more »

Goofs

At Assembly Control, the name of the Zero-X launch site on the map is given as "Glenn Field". However, when Lady Penelope drives into the car park, there is a sign on the gate of the press enclosure that reads "Glenfield". See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Glenn Field Controller: This is Assembly Control calling all Zero X units. Assembly Phase One - go!
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Crazy Credits

Martian Sequences filmed by Century 21 Space Location Unit See more »

Connections

Followed by Thunderbirds (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Thunderbirds Theme
Written and Arranged by Barry Gray
Performed by The Shadows (Brian Bennett, John Rostill & Bruce Welch)
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User Reviews

 
"Now this is going to be a tough assignment..."
24 June 2007 | by (Hampshire, England) – See all my reviews

I grew up on Thunderbirds repeats as a kid. The excitement, the explosions, the majestic Barry Gray scores... It was a wonderful programme. Even now I have a great soft spot for it and own the whole series on DVD. Though the episodes now seem quite padded here and there and I watch it with much more cynicism than I did as a child, I still love it. A good episode of Thunderbirds is the perfect nostalgia trip for me.

Sad to say, then, that the Thunderbirds movies retain little of the qualities that made the TV show such great fun. Perhaps it's the script: Gerry and Sylvia Anderson were far better leaving the scripting duties to other writers as they couldn't write decent dialogue for peanuts. They wrote Thunderbirds' debut episode, which has awful expository dialogue and lots of pointless sequences that go nowhere - but the episode as a whole is still a classic due to the frenetic atmosphere, the sense of doom and the fantastically imaginative rescue (it's the episode where the Fireflash plane lands on three little buggies). "Thunderbirds are Go!" is just horrendously boring. The first ten minutes are taken up with the Zero-X ship being assembled. Very slowly. Later on we have a long dream sequence where Alan imagines going out for a date with Lady Penelope, which features Cliff Richard and the gang having a sing-song (a musical segment in a Thunderbirds movie - what were they thinking?!) and the entire subplot of what the Zero-X astronauts get up to on Mars has no bearing on International Rescue at all.

The Tracy brothers get hardly anything to do in their own film (John, as is customary, has about 5 lines of dialogue, and Gordon just sits about looking glum - even everybody's favourite, Virgil, has barely any screen time at all). Nor, in fact, are the Thunderbird craft used all that often. In 100 minutes of film there's only one real rescue (featuring Thunderbird 2), with IR overseeing operations at the beginning of the film - which involves them sitting around and peering contentedly at control panels. You'd think with 100 minutes - double the length of one of the TV episodes - the Andersons could've plotted loads of thrilling situations and rescues that involved all the Tracy brothers and their Thunderbird machines, but it was not to be. Thunderbirds 1 and 3 swoop about for a few seconds. Thunderbird 4 isn't even in it (despite being on the DVD cover). Nor are the pod vehicles present - couldn't we even have had the Mole drilling away at something? It really is a tedious film. And that's not even mentioning Alan Tracy ignoring his girlfriend, Tin-Tin, and fantasising about Lady P instead. Way to be a good role-model for the kiddies, Alan. Then again he was a snot in the telly series too...

Maybe I'm being too hard on what is meant to be an inoffensive kids' film featuring explosions and great model work. But then again the TV show was a genuinely exciting and exhilarating programme, which, at its best, provided great entertainment. "Thunderbirds are Go!" has an uneventful plot, awful dialogue, no decent set-pieces, and - the cardinal sin - a boring rescue that doesn't even utilise the Thunderbird craft to the best of their abilities. It's difficult to imagine kids being wowed by it. You'd be far better off going back to the telly series. Show your kids the Fireflash episodes, or that brill one where giant alligators attacked a manor house. Heck, show them the daft one where Parker encouraged everybody to play bingo for half an hour. Both younger viewers and adults looking for warm nostalgia will be disappointed with "Thunderbirds are Go!" Avoid.


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