‘Thunderbirds’ is to return to screens 50 years after its television debut.
ITV is to join with the famous New Zealand-based Weta Workshop, the effects and CGI company behind the ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy and ‘Avatar’, to reinvent Gerry and Sylvia Anderson’s iconic puppet series.
Tentatively titled ‘Thunderbirds Are Go!’, it will debut on ITV and CITV in 2015.
Said Richard Taylor of Weta Workshop: “Thunderbirds was a hugely influential television series in my childhood. Having watched it originally in black and white, it was only years later that I discovered the full and rich world that Gerry and Sylvia Anderson, Derek Meddings, Mike Trimm and their team created.
“It is thrilling therefore to think we have the opportunity to work with ITV on this new series inspired by this most wonderful of British shows.
“I personally, together with the teams here at Pukeko Pictures and Weta Workshop, look forward to designing and creating an inspirational world that will engage the imagination of a whole new generation as it did for us nearly half a century ago.”
The series began in 1965, and centred around International Rescue, a secret organisation coordinated by the Tracy Brothers and their father, ex-astronaut Jeff Tracy.
Its Thunderbirds vehicles, numbered one to five, captured the imagination of a generation, despite the show running for just two series.
It was also made into a film in 2004, starring Bill Paxton, Anthony Edwards and Ben Kingsley.
Co-creator Gerry Anderson revealed that a new series was in the planning stages in 2011, and would be CGI rather than the original marionette style.
He passed away on Boxing Day last year. [ITV]