Realistic-looking supermarionettes, highly detailed scale-model sets, impressive pyrotechnic effects -- these things helped make "Thunderbirds" one of the most beloved British kids shows from the 1960s.
Husband and wife team Gerry and Sylvia Anderson created the series, which chronicles the adventures of the Tracy family, who secretly run the covert life-saving team known only as International Rescue. Brains, Lady Penelope and her chauffeur Parker also help the team keep criminals from getting the upper hand.
The original "Thunderbirds" ran for two 16-episode seasons from 1965 to 1966.
Now, to celebrate the show's 50th anniversary, Anderson's son Jamie is urging fans to help fund a project that will pay for making three new classic-style "Thunderbirds" episodes with audio tracks derived from "Thunderbirds" phonograph records produced in the '60s.
The new episodes include "FAB - The Abominable Snowman," "Introducing Thunderbirds," and "Lady Penelope Investigates... The State Home Robberies" and will be made by the team behind the "Thunderbirds" documentary " Filmed in Supermarionation," using the original voice tracks from the records, along with retro filmmaking techniques.
Director Stephen La Riviere and his team have been granted official permission for the series by UK television network ITV, Sylvia Anderson, and the Gerry Anderson Estate.
Luckily for all us fans, backers have already pledged nearly $287,000 toward the effort, well over the $115,789 Kickstarter campaign goal and enough to produce two of the episodes.
However, there are four days left for folks who'd like to see the third episode produced, or who simply want to grab one of the cool backer incentives, like a "Making of Thunderbirds 1965" booklet, a commemorative photo album, a "Thunderbirds" 1965 lobby card, or a signed script. There's even bigger backer perks like props from the show and a tour of the set when they start filming.
We can't wait to see the Tracy family, Brains, Parker and Lady Penelope in action once again. F.A.B!