Thunderbirds are GO!
By David HAGUE
I misled my Windows Media Center last night and instead of recording some obscure 3am program on the ABC, I instead managed to record an old, long lost favourite of my pre-youth, Thunderbirds. (I still miss Fireball XL5 and Supercar!)
Now call me old fashioned, but even in middle age (careful!) Thunderbirds still rates up there with Lego, Meccano and model train sets as things to bring a smile to my face. I was initially attracted to Thunderbirds as a 6 year old due to the fantastic model making demonstrated by the skilled artistry of the workshops of Gerry and Sylvia Anderson. I have always wanted to be a model maker, but have the skills and dexterity of a goal post.
You also have to remember that this was the beginning of the space age, and all sorts of weird and wonderful devices and ideas were being played out by people trying to guess the future and us kids lapped it up and had imaginations fired. We’d draw our versions of space ships, laser guns, death rays, flying cars and it was wonderful!
The exotic craft and gadgets of Thunderbirds were borne of those very minds. I distinctly remember seeing the first Toyota Crown (1973) and thinking, “Hey, I drew that as a one man submarine in 1966!” (I still dabble in 3D visualizations using Cinema 4D as a relaxation thing.
Back to Thunderbirds.
Okay the storylines might have been naff, and a pink six wheeled Rolls Royce would not be allowed today without a hefty licencing fee, but that wasn't the point! They were meant to be fun!
And that they were. Comparing today's TV is like chalk and cheese. We are swamped with US sitcoms with overbearing laughter tracks to non-funny dialogue and there is usually some daffy squeeky voiced blonde in evidence as the fall guy.
How about our TV and film makers being a little brave and stepping out of the comfort zone and bringing back some magic to the screen. There has been some of late; Dr Who springs immediately to mind as does Sherlock (the Stephen Moffat version). And Midsomer STILL drags in major audiences as does Grand Designs, the Vicar of Dibley and Doc Martin.
But what about something different apart from the 'kids in the coffee shop who live in the same block of 'apartments', the impossible crime scene, the hospital or the dysfunctional family. Surely there are writers and producers who can do better than this?
Go on be brave! Think ahead as against copying the mundane. I dare you!
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