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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon January 18, 2008
For those of you who do not know what Thunderbirds is I will give you a quick rundown. It was an immensely popular science fiction show back in the 60's done almost entirely with marionettes and models. The show chronicled the adventures of an independent organization called International Rescue that used highly advanced vehicles and equipment to perform rescue operations all over the world (and even in space). The show was popular because it paid a great amount of attention to detail, which made those models, puppets, and story plots all the more real and exciting.

This show was previously released on DVD a few years ago, including a complete collection set. So what makes this 40th Anniversary Edition different from the previous release? The big answer is that this collection is digitally remastered and is now shown in its original VIDECOLOR format. Now the original disks shown some signs of remastering as well and the shows never looked better. I'm not sure how much of an improvement this edition will make on that achievement, but it is one of their big selling points.

Aside from the remastering you also get some additional features not included in the original release. Here's a breakdown of all the features:

Making of Featurette: this was in the original DVD set and it's a ten minutes long vintage documentary that mostly covers the innovative (for its time) special effects for the show. These effects were so innovative they were used in many of the James Bond films of the day.

Interview with Gerry Anderson: this is a 40 minute interview with the creator of Thunderbirds (as well many other popular sci-fi shows like UFO, Space 1999, and other puppet-driven thrillers). This in depth conversation also has Gerry talk about his seven favorite projects (he created a total of 15 television shows).

The Brains Behind the Thunderbirds: A documentary narrated by a character of the show: Brains. This hour long feature covers the various characters and their exploits in the series.

Pop Up Trivia - The two part episode "Pit of Peril" will include a pop up trivia track much like the ones they shown on TechTV's release of the show.

There are also lots of production photos and gallaries placed throughout the disks in this 12 disk collection (features are on disk 12). This collection has all 32 one-hour episodes included and is mastered in Dolby Stereo (just like the first release). Total run time is about 26 hours.

If you do not have the Thunderbirds in your collection now is a perfect time to get it. The list price is a good deal lower than the original list price for the first collection plus the packaging takes up a good deal less space (not to mention the remastering and extra features). If you have the original set then I suppose it's going to be a judgement call. I haven't heard any first hand accounts on how much an improvement the remastering will be compared to the original and I can't see how a couple of new featurettes would be enough to do a double dip.
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on June 20, 2003
Imagine James Bond and Mission Impossible performed by marionettes. Throw in some eye opening and lavish (miniature 1/3 scale puppets) sets, special effects, and a "gee whiz!" attention to detail, and you begin to get an idea of why "Thunderbirds" has such a cult following. The scripts are involving and could just as easily have been performed by live actors with good results. There are enough cool gadgets in this series to please the ten year old boy in every grown up man (I suspect this series is more of a guy thing because relationships take second place to action). There is something else fascinating about this series and that is how seriously the producers, directors, designers took what was essentially a children's puppet show and kept to such high (and unnecessary) standards. This may be partly due to producer Gerry Anderson's frustrated desire to work as a mainstream film director/producer with live actors (he eventually got his wish years later). Seeing marionettes perform in realistic sets, with sophisticated action scripts, and good voice acting is a novel experience that appeals to everyone who has ever had a train set and tried to build a miniature town or city.
I bought this series for my mindless summer vacation viewing and it has been great fun. The DVD transfers are very clean.
This is great family entertainment, summer viewing, father and son get together material. Way to go, Thunderbirds!
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on December 16, 2003
Wow!...I've just bought this set and I am really thrilled about it!
I've just seen the first DVD and I relived my whole childhood! I remembered lots of details about these first episodes and to be able to watch them again, some 30 (or so) years later is quite an experience!!!
As a kid I was really impressed by all the gadgets in this series: I loved the airplanes, the spaceships, the cars, the architecture. No wonder why I ended up being a car designer! I remember that all of the first ideas for futuristic automobiles that I drew as a kid had double front axles, just like Lady Penelope's Rolls-Royce!
It's amazing that many of the sci-fi ideas displayed in this series still seem fresh after all these years. A lot of effort and creativity went into producing these episodes!
If you were a fan of the Thunderbirds back in the 60's you'll enjoy this set! Buy it, don't hesitate, it's worth every single dollar!
My only dissappointment is that this set comes in only one language: english. Back in the sixties I watched the series translated into spanish since I live and grew up in Mexico, and I miss hearing the voices that I remembered!...
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on February 20, 2009
Just a warning - if this is the same as the English release (and logic would dictate it is), then it has had the top and bottom chopped off to fill widescreen tvs. It was 4:3, so on a widescreen set there should be black space at the sides, or "pillarboxing".

When will these people learn? Original. Aspect. Ratio!

All that said, buy the SD DVDs instead. Thunderbirds is still one of the greatest sci-fi action shows ever! I can wait 'til they get their OAR blu-ray act together. When they do that, I'll buy it in a heartbeat. My dad loved Thunderbirds, I love it, and my boy loves it too. F.A.B.! O.A.R.!

I know people will slag me off for writng this before it's out (the British version IS already out and people ARE already upset), but I think it's better that I write this before it's perpetrated on more unsuspecting customers. And besides, everyone thinks my reviews are snobby anyway...

Repeat: If they restore the original aspect ratio, I'll buy it in a heartbeat!
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VINE VOICEon February 11, 2007
When you watch the Thunderbirds, you must realize this show is forty years old and still holds up. These marriottes are real looking, special effects still hold up after 40 years...and the story lines are intriging

So forget that satire Team America and the live action version of the Thunderbirds, get this..maybe those kids who crave SF adventure can enjoy this complex story lines, rather than those show with 30 second sound bytes of action

The Thunbderbirds (which was orginally called The international Rescue organization) is filled with great sets, characters and vehicles (as I said this was 40 years ago).These episodes still hold up. When you sound like a naysayer about these shows, THINK Classic Star Trek! It , in my opinion, still holds up just like classic Trek.

All the episodes are here. uncut and intriging, when you want a show the whole family can enjoy, this is it--action and good story lines for the adults, special effects for the kids

If you like this, get some of Gerry Anderson's other TV shows on DVD... Supercar, Captain Scarlet,Stingray, Joe 90, Space 1999 (yes the Martin Landau/Barbara Bain space opera), The protectors (with Robert Vaughn) and a weaker effort Secret Service. for US audiences, remember buy region one.

For puppets , these shows had complex stories and over the top characters..worth you time to get and enjoy

Bennet Pomerantz AUDIOWORLD
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on August 15, 2005
I can't add to the other excellent reviews by others, but I need to comment on Amazon's pricing of $162 which is only $18 less the Suggested Retail Price. Instead, there are other reputable places where you can buy this must-have DVD set for a more reasonable price. Costco, for instance, lists this set at $90, a far cry from Amazon's $162.
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on March 3, 2003
Thunderbirds are Go!!
And so is this Mega edition of this show!!!
I'm real picky when it comes to production values, plot, plausibility, detail, etc., you get the idea. I loved this show when it aired back in the 60s and was real happy to see it finally released it on DVD, when I first saw the singles and smaller DVD sets on the store shelves. But when I saw this MEGA-Set, I leaped at the chance to get ALL the episodes of this incredible show.
The series takes place in the future and granted much of the high techy-ness on the show is laughable (they still use reel to reel audio tape to record their transmissions), but its great nonetheless. The producers of this series took their work seriously and it shows in each and every episode.
There are obviously holes in much of the story-line and technical plausibility aspects of the show (Why does The Hood only want to take pictures of Internation Rescue's equipment? Wouldn't detailed diagrams and plans for building the stuff be much better?), but I consider the painstaking detail taken in the model construction, set design, SPXs and puppetry to be top notch, even in our Star Wars era of technology.
As I watch each episodes now, I'm surprised at some of the relationships I never noticed as a kid (Do you know who Tin Tin's uncle is?)and I find myself at the edge of my seat in suspense as I watch some of the shows. (Will The Thunderbirds rescue Alan Tracy before the bomb goes off, or worse, before he falls off the bridge from heat exhaustion?!?!)
I'm just a old kid at heart and watching this series again makes we remember when I first began to love Sci-Fi.
I highly reccommend this for the kids(You may even want to let your children watch the DVDs!).
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on February 1, 2005
For a television series created in the 1960's, on a shoe-string budget, and with marrionettes as actors, the show was great. Anderson's view of the future was brilliant throughout all of his Supermarrionation series, and including his two live-action series; UFO and Space:1999.

Regarding the statement made in the Editorial Review -- "who else would dare to make a virtue out of the fact that (a) the show is in color and (b) it's got puppets in it?" The show was filmed for a British audience. At the time, only one of the BBC's TV stations broadcast in color. Americans got to see the series in color years before the fans in the U.K. In fact, the BBC released the entire first season as comic books, to placate the British fans. Therefor, the fact that the show was shot in color was indeed a virtue.
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on August 7, 2004
My mother called me downstairs one day and told me that she saw the Thunderbirds on television. I wasn't impressed at first by the show where marionettes save the day, but I decided to watch it for the heck of it and discovered that I actually liked it! The most popular of the Supermarionation series, Thunderbirds is a great family show. My 3 year old niece normally gets scared of science fiction shows, but the marionettes didn't bother her and pretty soon she was talking the "5..4..3..2..1 Thunderbirds are GO!" introduction. I think this is a great family show because the plot lines are easy to understand, such as helping people stuck in a building or stopping a crazy dude from hurting people. Also, the characters are so lively because they enjoy what they are doing. Many children from my mother's day were inspired by these lifesavers to become pilots and astronauts. Such a wonderful television show spawned 2 marionette movies and the 2004 live action film. Hopefully more people will enjoy the series a older generation grew on and a newer generation enjoys like a Star Wars or a Star Trek fan.
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on January 15, 2011
Hard to believe this show was made over 40 years ago. This collection has everything; All the episodes, a bunch of documentaries. I wish it had both the feature films too, alas. The slim line cases make them perfect for showcasing.

I suggest this for anyone looking for how sci-fi television was done before the age of computers.
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