Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Opening Impressions: Thunderbirds Are Go

You see, I would add in some sort of witty title and the name of the material that is the subject of this post. But, this already does it so well for me. So...

Wait, sorry, wrong one...

Yes, something a bit more substantial then the impressions of Digimon Fusion Season 2, the return of the Thunderbirds, and as you can tell from those two clips, nostalgia is the focus.
"We're back"

So for those who have never herd of it before now, Thunderbirds is a show about a family saving the world from natural and unnatural disasters with the goal of saving as man lives as possible. To achieve this, a series of rescue vehicles were made, each serving a different purpose. Thunderbird 1used for fast response and recon along with a mobile control base of operations for missions.  Thunderbird 2 which is used for transportation of smaller vehicles, Thunderbird 3 being a Single stage to orbit spaceship used for space rescue missions and maintenance, Thunderbird 4 which is a small submarine, normally transported by Thunderbird 2 and Thunderbird 5 which is a space station used for communications and global surveillance of weather patterns, geological measurements and distress signal surveillance. Other machines include The Mole, Firefly, Monobrake, DOMO (Demolition and Object Moving Operator), Elevator Cars, Excavator, Fire Truck, Jet Air Transporter, Laser Cutter Vehicle among others such as the iconic pink Rolls-Royce: FAB 1. The reason I bring this up is because if you plan on watching this show, expect those to make an appearance. Thunderbirds 1-5, FAB 1, The Mole and possibly DOMO have already made appearances, and apparently episode 5 is going to have a focus on the plane that can never stay in the air: Fireflash, my guess is that the elevator cars or the new Thunderbird S will make an appearance.

If you've ever seen the Thunderbirds, then you'll be familiar with the Tracy Family, and you'll know what I mean when I say they're almost exactly the same as the original puppets from the 60's. They do have some influence from the movie, mainly giving them more distinctive personalities based on what I've seen. However this is subjective and could likely change as the series progresses. Some characters have been updated to be more culturally accepted (mainly Brains now being Indian) and the new Kayo, who is basically Tin-Tin. Aside from the name and the new combat skills, she looks to be the same as Tin-Tin, however this is me basing this on memories of a show from the 60's I watched over a decade ago.
Faithful, but not the same. Welcome to the 21'st century Tracy Island

The animation seems to be getting a lot of hate from people, but for me, this is something that you have to look closely at, look at the finer details, but I actually think it's brilliant. Aside from the fact that CGI allows you to do more, answering some questions like "How does Thunderbird 2 get Pod 4 back?" and the a fore mentioned combat, the art style that they went is very much an updated look. More detail in the Thunderbirds and Tracy Island, but the characters still look like puppets, at least in the faces. It's one of those "blink and you'll miss it" moments, but if you look closely at their faces, the lip sync is the same as the original puppets. Its a nice bit of attention to detail that, to most would make it worse, to me makes it better.
Would like to point out, if the look wasn't enough, Parker is also voiced by David Graham again.

If you grew up with the Thunderbirds, then it looks like you'll enjoy this show, and if you didn't then now is a great time to be introduced. It's faithful to the source material while still making the changes to bring it into the 21st century... at least more gracefully then "that one"... I'll be sure to do a full review of this when the season ends, assuming I have more to talk about. But until then, up next: LEGO Dimensions. See ya tomorrow.

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