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Thunderbirds: The Complete Series Blu-ray Review

Thunderbirds- The Complete Series Blu-ray

At long last, “Thunderbirds” comes to Blu-ray.

When it comes to beloved cult TV series, the 60’s British series” Thunderbirds” certainly ranks high. While some viewers have scoffed at the strings and the puppet designs, the Gerry Anderson series (which is filmed in Supermarionation) is an undeniable work of art. The series (which was a great influence on “Team America: World Police”) contains an incredible amount of first rate model, explosion, and puppetry work that remains impressive to this day. More than that, however, “Thunderbirds” is just a flat-out fun family series.

For those that don’t know, “Thunderbirds” is a live-action series entirely comprised of puppets and models. The show revolves around the characters of Jeff Tracy and his 5 sons (Scott, John, Virgil, Gordon, and Alan) who make up the organization International Rescue. International Rescue’s primary focus is to save people in need, prevent the villainous Hood from carrying out his evil deeds, and to stop any disasters (man made or otherwise) by using their 5 trusty vehicles. Aiding them in their quest is London agent Lady Penelope and her trusted aide Parker, the aptly named engineer Brains, and Tin-Tin.

Over the course of the show’s 32 episodes, the Tracy family saves endangered people by land, air or, sea, prevent disasters (like a nuclear explosion), encounter vehicle issues, face off against criminals, and, yes, even confront alligators. Not to be forgotten here is Lady Penelope who has her own missions from time to time.

While a whole new generation is experiencing “Thunderbirds” via the new 2015 reboot currently airing in Europe, several generations of people have experienced and or grew up with the classic “Thunderbirds” series. While others may disagree, to me, it remains the crown jewel of Gerry Anderson’s career. Granted, the pacing may be a little off by todays’s standards, but this futuristic series has stood the test of the time. From the artistry that went into the series to the riveting action set pieces (especially in episodes like “City of Fire” and “Terror in New York City), “Thunderbirds” has something for everyone. On top of all of that, it’s refreshing to see a series that isn’t cynical. “Thunderbirds” envisions a world of hope and clear cut heroes. It may sound simplistic to some, but in today’s world that is filled with dark and complex “heroes,” there’s something refreshing about that.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 4:3 1080p. How does it look? This hotly anticipated Blu-ray release does not disappoint as each and every episode looks positively breathtaking. From the crisp colors to the fact that you can notice so many more details on the puppets and vehicles, it’s really like watching the series anew.

Audio Tracks: 5.1 DTS-HD MA and Mono DTS-HD MA. How do they sound? Purists may opt to watch the series the old fashioned way in Mono, but the 5.1 track is definitely the way to go here. It’s a lively track that really delivers in action centric moments.

Extras include a printable PDF publicity brochure and a documentary titled “Launching Thunderbirds.” The well-made 45 minute docu contains interviews with cast and crew members (including Gerry Anderson), a plethora of photo stills, episode clips, stories of its creation and production, character and vehicle discussions, and more.

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June 8, 2015 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , , , , ,

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