I’ve only reviewed a couple of series of Thunderbirds Are Go, despite having watched them all. It felt wrong reviewing it: I’m a die-hard fan of the originals and when I’ve mentioned fanfiction in previous posts, well… this is my fandom. A reboot of the show, specifically aimed at a much younger audience, was frustrating more often than not.
With the show coming to an end, however, I wanted to do a wrap-up of my thoughts.
I’m the first to admit that although I had strong doubts about how they were going to finish it…I loved it. I thought they got the tone right, the characters came together in a way that made sense and there was an underlying emotional arc that hit the older viewers (I’m not just talking about me here).
This isn’t as much a review about the final series, but about how they carried the show off as a whole. There were highlights and frustrations throughout the entire thing.
For the majority, I thought the rescues were implausible and the characters doing things that went against their personalities. The “bad guys” were immature and childish (ironic, given this is a children’s show), and gave no depth to the characters and no chance for development: you could tell stories were done to appeal to the younger audience. Which is fine, that’s it’s intended market, but from a different perspective, it didn’t work.
That being said, there were a lot of episodes that got it right. And, you guessed it, these were the ones with a level of maturity.
A couple of episodes left characters in trouble and both the reactions of the others and the backing music used, gave these episodes more depth. They worked for the older audience, especially those who were introduced to the Tracys a long time ago. It showed that, even though it was a children’s show, it could work on multiple levels. Kudos to the writers for these episodes.
I also found the ones where there was a genuine rescue rather than it just being the bad guys causing trouble also had an added depth to them. A recent episode about forest fires would have touched a cord with viewers and the team work displayed in those ones give a much stronger message to a younger audience than the explosions and violence from the villains in some of the others.
I had huge doubts about the finale – there were so many ways it could have gone wrong. But you know what? I sat watching it with a huge grin on my face as it delivered in a way I hadn’t been anticipating.
Watching this reminded me that things from your own childhood can be reworked for a younger audience. It also shows that an intended market is not restricted to one demographic and, if done right, can work on multiple levels to appeal to a much larger group of people.
Now, of course, I want to go and watch the originals again…
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13 thoughts on “Television Review: Thunderbirds Are Go”
I didn’t know if I was going to love the reboot of the show, so I never watched it. Now having read this review though, I think I might have to give it a go!
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Don’t get me wrong there were several episodes that drove me mad. But there were also enough that hit all the right buttons that overall, I felt pretty positive about it 🙂
Loved the old thunderbirds as a kid. Never seen any of the new version, as of yet my kids aren’t interested
You know I’ve been waiting for you to review!! AHHHHH! Those boys! Of course I was going to have all kinds of Gordon love because he’s just awesome (though we never got to see him swimming in the pool!!). We really got to see the closeness between the brothers in Series 3 and how they coped when someone they loved was potentially dying! SOS was one of my favourite episodes!!
Okay…that’s my professional moment. Now for my fangirl one: THAT FINALE!!! IT ALL CAME TOGETHER!! ALAN! THE HOOD! Loved the small nod to the mention of the funky TB hats! xD
Brilliant review!! xxx
I haven’t ever even seen or heard of this show before, the old one or the new one! I must be missing out!
I actually don’t know this show…
Oh my gosh, there is a reboot of Thunderbirds? I loved that show when I was a kid! I love your review and definitely want to check the series out now.
Ah I loved Thunderbirds as a kid, I’m glad you enjoyed it! 🙂
I’ve never seen any of this before. I’m curious now.
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I love both shows. Scott is my favorite character