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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Thunderbirds Set 1
Thunderbirds Set 1
A&E Video
List Price: Unknown [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Chuck Arrington | posted March 12, 2001 | E-mail the Author
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C O N T E N T
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Highly Recommended
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THUNDERBIRDS SET 1

Synopsis:

The world of the future is plagued with disasters on every front. When no one else can help, and the outcome seems bleak, the International Rescue team jumps into the fray! Founded my multi millionaire and ex-astronaut Jeff Tracy and his sons, International Rescue is always on hand and always ready to assist F.A.B.!

The discs (2) are broken up into three (3) episodes per disc at approximately 56 minutes per episode. Set 1 includes: Volume 1

Trapped In The Sky International Rescue must save a sabotaged Atomic Jetliner before all onboard perish! Pit of Peril A Top Secret Army vehicle stumbles across an abandoned mine shaft and disappears beneath the ground. As the temperature rises, the lives of the crew become endangered and International Rescue is called in to save the day! City of Fire Scott and Virgil Tracy race a devastating fire to save a trapped family in the highest skyscraper ever made!

Volume 2

Sunprobe Thunderbird 3 must save a spaceship and her crew before they collide with the Sun! The Uninvited Scott Tracy stumbles into the pyramid lair of the Mysterious Zombites (say it with me…ooh aah!) The Mighty Atom The Villainous Hood Destroys a Nuclear Reactor and International Rescue is called upon to remedy the situation!

The real beauty of this series is the fact that it's all done with incredibly well detailed miniature sets and marionettes excuse me…SUPERMARIONATION! Or so the narrator says. Anyway, when I was a kid, I always wanted to get these sets and play with them. The ships are so cool and the sets are awesome to say the least. This kind of television is artwork in it's truest sense. To be able to convey emotion through a wooden puppet is way cool and these puppets kick butt!

Audio/Video:

At first glance the audio sucks. But wait,… when you select the special features portion, a 5.1 platform is optioned. Once engaged, the audio for the disc is pretty awesome for a 37-year-old series. The center and surrounds are full of activity and the LFE when employed can be pretty thunderous. Dialogue is clear and all the sounds are well established. The video is a different sort though. It's fairly inconsistent in it's presentation. The obvious problems can be seen in Volume 3 of Set 2. The opening episode Vault of Death has a great deal of fog at it's start. The fog pixels and presents a generally poor image until it lifts. Another problem is one of clarity. I don't remember seeing the strings making the marionettes move quite so cleanly. Here I can see every single dadblamed line! On the average the episodes are well presented but there are some aspects that needed tending to. Given the age of the series, you can attribute the errors to existing/remaining elements. 37 years is a long time for something to lay dormant and given it's age, I'm not complaining! Other than those errors, the transfer is a beautiful full frame image with beautiful color and an incredible audio package!

Extras:

The extras include The Making of Thunderbirds from 1965 which is roughly three (3) minutes in length and shows some behind the scenes footage and is more of a teaser than anything else. Production Stills are the only other extra and they are nothing special but nice to have.

Overall:

When I say I loved this as a kid, I really mean to say I LOVED THIS SHOW AS A KID! The sets are incredible, models and miniatures are way way cool and the marionettes, and they are just the best things to happen since sliced bread! The first 12 episodes of 39 are already available and quite well done. The packaging is first rate and the content is so nostalgic it's almost too much to bear. Am I gushing? You bet I am! The only drawback that I can see is that they are priced so high. $40 for six episodes albeit hour-long episodes, is a bit steep. But, what are you gonna do. Because they are such a novelty, the market is already established and they know we (the fans) are going to buy them. Hats off to A&E for putting together another winning effort. I'd love more extras but in 1965, who was doing extras? This is a great set and definitely worth a purchase if you are a fan of the series. My 11-month year old son adores the discs much like his mentally 10-year-old dad! Highly Recommended

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