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Thunderbirds Are GO (1966)

 -  Action | Sci-Fi  -  July 1968 (USA)
6.5
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 1,215 users  
Reviews: 37 user | 35 critic

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 ...
...
John Tracy / The Hood (voice)
Alexander Davion ...
Peter Dyneley ...
Jeff Tracy (voice)
Christine Finn ...
Tin-Tin Kyrano (voice)
David Graham ...
Paul Maxwell ...
Captain Paul Travers (voice)
Neil McCallum ...
Dr. Ray Pierce (voice)
Bob Monkhouse ...
Space Navigator Brad Newman / Swinging Star Compere (voice)
...
Scott Tracy (voice)
Charles 'Bud' Tingwell ...
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>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

supermarionation | puppet

Taglines:

Streak Through Uncharted Worlds of Adventure! See more »

Genres:

Action | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

July 1968 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Feuervögel startbereit  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The first feature film to be shot using the Livingston Electronic Viewfinder Unit, also known as Add-a-Vision. This was basically an electronic viewfinder that could be used in conjunction with a Mitchell BNC Camera to take a television picture directly from the camera, enabling the staff of the entire unit to watch any scene being filmed on the television monitors. 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!
See more »

Crazy Credits

None of the characters appearing in this photoplay intentionally resemble any persons living or dead... SINCE THEY DO NOT YET EXIST See more »

Connections

Featured in Fantastic Fantasy Fright-o-Rama Show Vol. 1 (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

Shooting Star
Sung by Cliff Richard
Written and Accompanied by The Shadows
(Brian Bennett, John Rostill & Hank B. Marvin)
See more »

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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.


12 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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