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Thunderbirds Are GO (1966)

 -  Action | Sci-Fi  -  July 1968 (USA)
6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 1,267 users  
Reviews: 38 user | 34 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 | See All (2) »

Taglines:

See ... their fantastic battle with the sinister 'Rock Snakes' of Mars! - See ... the most exciting air rescue ever performed! - See ... the most advanced space-craft ever created! - Hear Cliff Richard and the Shadows sing "Shooting Star" 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

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

Connections

Follows Four Feather Falls (1960) 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

The awful writing means that the potential is wasted and it is no more than a 25-minute story excruciatingly padded out to 90
30 July 2004 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

The space race continues with the first manned mission to Mars in the shape of the Zero-X. However things are put back when the Zero-X is sabotaged during take-off and crashes. Two years later the team are ready to try again but fears over security give them pause. With the Thunderbird team on standby, the mission goes ahead but can the Tracey family help make the perilous mission a success.

With the live-action remake hitting the cinemas, I decided to avoid the kids in the cinema by watching this original feature instead. Those complaining about how the remake is not any good because of the fact that Anderson was not hands-on involved should perhaps check this out as it is proof that a feature-length version of the series was not any easier for the creator himself! I sat to this just content to see those great ships used well in a reasonable story but, I'm sad to say, that I didn't even get that. The film leaves it for about 20 minutes before the Thunderbirds even get involved and then they only really do anything of merit in the final 10 minutes. In terms of actual good content, I reckon you could have got an episode out of this easily enough but no more than that – and that's the problem. The plot is padded at the start with a very slow take off of Zero-X, in the middle with a terrible dream sequence and towards the end with a laughable mission on Mars!

The Andersons' are entirely to blame because they wrote the script themselves and produced a padding piece of nonsense that lacks any sense of excitement, pace or, god help us, fun! The dream sequence is a good example – a silly, overlong section that only pads the film and exposes us to Cliff Richard and the Shadows; however the actual mission to Mars is equally as bad with aliens being settled on for the reason a rescue is needed at the end (however the aspect of flame-throwing aliens on Mars is not even mentioned after this scene!). This is the film's great failing, it just cannot sustain the running time at all and most of the time it is very apparent padding that only frustrates – personally I think anyone else could have come up with a better plot for the film that would have seen more rescues and use of the Thunderbird ships. It is annoying because, as a child, I used to watch the show and I think the ships and the models were all cool however they were all very poorly used and most of the screen time seemed to be given over to the anonymous crew of the Zero-X and Lady Penelope.

The cast do reasonable voice work but never manage to bring emotion to their delivery – something that could really have helped the poor story get a bit of tension into it. Although the song is awful, it is at least momentarily amusing to see puppets of Cliff Richard and the Shadows but, let me stress, it's only momentarily amusing. The only other voice of note is that of the late Bob Monkhouse, but he has little to do and it's one you have to listen for to catch it.

Overall, even fans of the series will feel let down by this film. It is full of ineffective padding and essentially relegates the all-action thunderbirds into third place in their own movie! The writing is awful and will send fans rushing back to their boxsets and will leave the rest of the viewers reaching for the remote control. A very poor film in the place of what should have been a cool, breezy and fun big screen outing for fans.


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