- 1 Season
Thunderbirds is the beloved British children's science-fiction series that originally aired in 1965 and 1966. It's about the adventures of International Rescue, which consist of family and friends that saves the day no matter situation is thrown at them. The Tracey family lives in a hidden island, headed by their super-rich ex-astronaut father. Their remarkable rocket-like vehicles, called Thunderbirds, are stored under water. When they are ready to launch, the pilots yell the series' catch phrase, Thunderbirds are go! The remarkable aspect about the series is that no humans appear on screen. All of the characters are played by marionettes with actor voice-overs. If the marionettes look familiar, that's because they were deliberately made to resemble some of the most famous movie actors of the day, including Sean Connery. The series was created by Gerry Anderson and Sylvia Anderson, the same creative team behind two other marionette-only children's series. Although Thunderbirds was briefly popular in the UK, it took a long time before they made the jump over the Atlantic. Americans may recognize Thunderbirds in the form of movies broadcast in the early 1980s. The movies consisted of splicing several of the original half-hour episodes together, adding some extra music and cutting some scenes in order to make each movie two hours long. Current Thunderbirds fans love the show for nostalgic reasons. Watching the episodes and collecting memorabilia help to recreate childhood feelings and optimism. The series often airs as reruns repeatedly in the UK ans Ireland. Attempts to make an American version of the series have failed. The Andersons claim they are working on making more episodes of their beloved children's classic, but so far nothing has materialized. Veteran science fiction actor Jonathan Frakes directed a big budget Hollywood movie based on the series, but it flopped.