Courtesy: Timeless Media Group
Gerry Anderson’s classic sci-fi/action series Thunderbirds is not the only series that he created during his life. Though, it is safe to say that of the series that he created it is the best . That is both the personal opinion of this critic and apparently that of audiences in general. The fact that Thunderbirds has been re-imagined so many times since its original run on television from 1964 – 1965 proves that true. It has been made into a variety of TV series and even an absolutely horrid teen-centric big screen adaptation in 2004. There is also a whole new reboot of the original series in the works set to air this year on British television. It goes to show the longevity of the series. Now thanks to Timeless Media Group, this classic series has finally been resurrected once more. While not the first time that the series has been released in full—it was last released by A&E Home Video in 2008 in a twelve-disc DVD box set—it proves to be just as welcome in any classic TV lover’s library this time out as in its previous release if not even more welcome. The very fact that it has been presented both on DVD and Blu-ray this time is one clear reason that it is such a welcome return. The writing behind the series should be noted whether audiences are seeing the series for the first time or for the first time again. The writing behind Thunderbirds makes it stand out from any of Anderson’s other series. Last and hardly least worth noting of TMG’s newly re-issued full series Thunderbirds set is its look and sound. It looks and sounds just as good as ever if not better. That is especially the case for the series’ Blu-ray presentation. That impressive look and sound in the series’ new re-issue rounds out the ways in which it shows itself to be a completely welcome return both for the series’ original fans and for a whole new generation of fans. Considering all of this it can also be said that TMG’s new re-issue of Thunderbirds: The Complete Series is one of this year’s best new box sets for children and families.
TMG’s new re-issue of Thunderbirds: The Complete Series is a completely welcome return both for the series’ original fans and for the current generation of fans. Considering the amount of work that went in to resurrecting the series and doing it right for that matter, it is also one of the best new box sets for children and families. It shows this to be true in a number of ways, the main way being its overall presentation. TMG’s release of Thunderbirds: The Complete Series is not the first time that the series has ever seen the light of day. It was previously released in 2008 in a twelve-disc box set by A&E Home Video. It was only available on DVD at the time, too. TMG’s new re-issue offers the series on both DVD and Blu-ray. Whereas A&E Home Video’s box set was composed of twelve discs and was quite bulky to say the least, TMG has presented audiences with a DVD and Blu-ray box set that are both much more streamlined. The DVD box is composed of eight discs and the Blu-ray set six discs. Even if either set had to add an extra disc to house the bonus features included in A&E Home Video’s box set, both sets released by TMG would still be more ergonomic than that of A&E Home Video. To that extent the series’ packaging both on DVD and Blu-ray in its new release plays a big part in why fans of all ages will enjoy it. The only down side to the packaging and overall presentation here is that it is lacking an episode guide of any sort. Given it would be nice to have had that. But even without it, neither set suffers so much that it isn’t worth the purchase. It’s just a minor detail. The fact that fans of the series are presented with two ways to watch the series and in cases that are much more ergonomic than that of its previous release more than makes up for that one negative aspect of the packaging. That being the case, the overall presentation of Thunderbirds: The Complete Series in its new re-issue presents a sound foundation for both sets.
TMG’s presentation of Thunderbirds: The Complete Series on both DVD and Blu-ray is within itself a great positive for the series in its return. The fact that both the DVD and Blu-ray set are more ergonomic than that of A&E Home Video’s previous twelve-disc DVD presentation makes both sets even more worth of a welcome return for fans of all ages. Both elements together form a solid foundation for both the series’ new DVD and Blu-ray sets. That means that there is still much more to be examined here including the series’ very concept and the related work of its writers. The concept behind Thunderbirds is completely apart from anything that Gerry Anderson developed for any of his other series. Instead of going out into space as in Fireball XL5, beneath the waves as in Stingray or even using super brain power to fight the forces of evil. The closes that Thunderbirds comes to any of Gerry Anderson’s other series by comparison is to Supercar. And even that comparison is loose at best. It could actually be argued to a point that Thunderbirds is so enjoyable because it built on the concept behind Supercar and made it more relatable to young viewers than Supercar or even any of Anderson’s other series. Here, in Thunderbirds, is a covert team of operatives that uses cool, high-tech gadgets and vehicles to save the world. It just happens to be that they are all brothers and are led by their father. That within itself is an entirely original concept that has seemingly gone on to be the model for a number of other action series that have come along since then. The brothers don’t save the world from aliens from another world (Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons) or from other sources in their missions. Rather the bad guys and situations in general are more real and in turn more believable. The series’ premiere episode is proof of that as International Rescue has to save a jet that has been strapped with a bomb that would not only destroy the plane but would also lead to a massive spread of radioactive material in the jet’s explosion. Another episode later in the series’ run sees the team having to save one of its own from a group of villains. There’s even a point in the series’ run in which the Tracy brothers have to aid the U.S. Army in recovering a new vehicle not from villains but from a fiery pit once used by the army to dispose of its own old equipment. Simply put, the concept and writing behind Thunderbirds presents concepts and adventures that are more tangible than those presented in Anderson’s other series for lack of better wording. In being more believable the series also becomes more accessible and in turn enjoyable, which is why even some five decades since it first premiered it remains just as enjoyable as any children’s series on television today if not more so. It’s one more reason that the series, now in its latest re-issue, is a completely welcome addition to any classic TV lover’s library.
The largely original concept behind Thunderbirds and its fun, entirely believable stories make it just as enjoyable as any children’s series on television today if not more so. That within itself makes the series’ new re-issue a completely welcome return for audiences of all ages both on DVD and Blu-ray. The fact that TMG has presented the series in separate, streamlined DVD and Blu-ray boxes makes its new release even more welcome in any classic TV lover’s library. Both elements together give audiences more than enough reason for audiences of all ages to own Thunderbirds: The Complete Series in its new presentation whether on DVD or Blu-ray. One would be remiss to ignore the overall quality of the episodes in their new re-issue, having noted the series’ packaging and writing. The series looks and sounds just as impressive as it did in its original run five decades ago. This is especially the case with the series’ Blu-ray presentation. The video is crystal clear. Yet at the same time, the static that was there in the show’s original run is there, too. It has just been cleaned up to the point that the picture isn’t hindered. So, retro TV fans won’t have to worry there. It still maintains its original look. That look has just been tweaked a little. Just as impressive is that the Blu-ray presentation presents the video in its original 4:3 aspect ratio. It hasn’t been stretched out or distorted to accommodate wide screen televisions. It is a big statement that the people at TMG would make sure to maintain this aspect of the show. Added to the fact that it still boasts its original static (albeit cleaned static), the look of the series proves to be its own huge bonus for audiences regardless of their familiarity with the series. The sound is just as interesting to note. Audiences will find themselves by and large holding their remotes, constantly adjusting the volume as they watch. That isn’t the fault of those that re-mastered the show. That is actually how the sound was presented in the show’s original run. While it is somewhat irritating, keeping in mind that this is exactly how the audio was originally presented makes the inconsistency bearable. It might even create even more of a sense of nostalgia among audiences. That sense of nostalgia will keep audiences fully engaged in every episode. Being fully engaged, audiences will in turn see for themselves the importance of the series’ concept and its writing. That appreciation coupled with an appreciation for TMG’s dual, ergonomic presentation of the series will lead finally to the agreement that TMG’s new re-issue of Thunderbirds: The Complete Series is a completely welcome return. It is in fact one of this year’s best new box sets for children and families.
TMG’s new re-issue of Thunderbirds: The Complete Series is one of this year’s best new box sets for children and families. It shows this in so many ways including its packaging, its production values, and of course its concept and writing from one episode to the next. That is not to discount other factors such as the work of those that controlled the marionettes. They were the real stars of the show. The bonus material makes the set even more of a hit. That is because one of the bonus features allows audiences to print out classic brochures promoting the series. There is also an in-depth documentary that discusses how Thunderbirds came to be along with other topics. Whether for these elements, for those that were more directly cited, or for any other element not noted here, any classic TV fan will agree that TMG has impressed greatly with its newly released re-issue of Thunderbirds: The Complete Series. It is a series that was well worth the wait, especially for those that perhaps didn’t already own the series on DVD or even VHS. It is one that is one of this year’s best new box sets for children and families. Thunderbirds: The Complete Series is available now in stores and online. It can be ordered direct from TMG via Shout! Factory’s online store on either platform at https://www.shoutfactory.com/kids/kids-action-adventure/thunderbirds-the-complete-series. More information on Thunderbirds: The Complete Series and other titles from TMG and Shout! Factory is available online now at:
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