The countdown to the first ever International Thunderbirds Day has started. It’s going to be a little longer than just five seconds this time around, mind you, with the date set for 30 September – the 52nd anniversary of when the show first aired.
What this event really means to you and me is that Vue Cinemas will be screening two new episodes of the current Thunderbirds Are Go series and a ‘restored’ episode of Gerry Anderson’s puppet version called The Abominable Snowman. This episode is actually (though the press materials are pretty vague about it) a fan-made, Supermarionation-powered film using audio from the original story record, F.A.B, and the occasional line edited in from episodes of the TV show. [UPDATE: As director Stephen La Rivière noted on Twitter, these fans were professionals and paid. The fact they are fans is probably the most important thing, though.]
There are three of these retro-produced episodes in total, funded by Kickstarter in 2015 and since released to backers, but only one of them is screening on International Thunderbirds Day.
The big screen should do the new show’s practical sets and props the world of good, but it remains to be seen how well the CG characters will come out of this. Personally, we’d also be intrigued to see how the old school techniques applied in the fan film look when they’re 20 feet tall. Probably pretty nice, we’d think.
Tickets are on sale now for screenings on the Saturday afternoon. We don’t know what makes this event International, nor why it wasn’t just called International Rescue Day. No other events for International Thunderbirds Day have been announced – at the moment it looks like a Vue screening programme that’s been gussied up a bit. Maybe we can plan some of our own. Any International Rescue nuts fancy getting together down the pub, maybe?