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Toonhound presents...






British Movie Toons

    International Rescue take to the air!

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Thunderbird 6   (1968)
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producers: UA / Associated Pictures
                     Century 21
supermarionation - string & radio
                     controlled puppets

      run time: 89 mins


"Thundering in to your sights
           Staggering the imagination
                Brains' greatest inspiration!"


Gerry Anderson's tv creation returns to the big screen in their second

      Skyship 1 - an antigravity airship designed by Brains - is about to embark
      upon its maiden voyage but the spectacled boffin is denied a seat onboard
      by Jeff Tracy, International Rescue supremo, who wants the lad to design a new
      Thunderbird vehicle. Just as well, really, because Alan Tracy, Tin Tin, Lady
      Penelope and Parker travel to England for the inaugural launch and find
      themselves trapped by a criminal gang who have replaced the airship's
      original crew. Their leader, the mysterious Black Phantom, has just a single
      evil objective: to destroy International Rescue!      

        Swish Lady Penelope with the Tiger Moth...      

      "Thunderbird 6" was produced on the gargantuous budget of £300,000. As with
      the first film, voice duties for Virgil Tracy were taken on by Jeremy Wilkin.
      The original artiste from the TV series, David Holliday, had moved permanently
      to the States. The role of Jeff Tracy International Rescue's father supremo also
      switched, with Keith Alexander taking on Ray Barrett's former role - Ray had
      returned to his Australian home prior to shooting.
      Live-action scenes involving the Tiger Moth biplane were filmed on a section
      of the M40 at High Wycombe, in Bucks. The plan to fly the plane under a
      motorway bridge was complicated by demands from the the Department of
      Transport who required the wheels of the Tiger Moth to be touching the
      ground when it passed under the structure. Strong winds and technicalities
      prevented this, and incredibly, the department ended up taking the production
      to court. Fortunately, the case was thrown out.

      So what, exactly, is "Brains' greatest inspiration"? - Well, let's just say he
      opts for a rather retro feel for his new design.

      The film has its moments of pleasure for fans to savour, but it's a protracted
      affair, with too much time spent on incidental flying sequences, and too little
      on plotting and spectacular events... 


      Video bloopers

      Interesting how, in an early 1988 video release from MGM, the film was
      actually packaged and titled in plural
, as "Thunderbirds 6". It looks like the
      sleeve designers lifted the logo from the first film "Thunderbirds are Go"
      and simply spliced on the 'Six'. The copywriters have then prolonged
      the error - it extends to logos, sleeve notes and even the tape label!    

      Thunderbird or Thunderbirds?


     See also

     Thunderbirds (series)
     Thunderbirds Are Go


     Thunderbird 6 on DVD

     UK DVD Thunderbirds movie double-disc set

                Both movies in one box set / R2 / Carlton / July 2004

USA DVD Thunderbird 6 (International Rescue edition)
                Region 1 / MGM / July 2004


director:          David Lane
     producers:     Sylvia Anderson, John Read
     writers:          Gerry Anderson, Sylvia Anderson
     vis fx dir:        Derek Meddings
     vis fx ast:       Richard Conway
     charac. ops:   Christine Glanville, Mary Turner
     voices:          Sylvia Anderson (Lady Penelope Creighton-Ward)
                          Keith Alexander (John Tracy / Black Phantom)
                          Shane Rimmer (Scott Tracy)
                          Jeremy Wilkin (Virgil Tracy / Hogarth)
                          Matt Zimmerman (Alan Tracy)
                          David Graham (Gordon Tracy / Brains / Parker)
                          Peter Dyneley (Jeff Tracy)
                          Christine Finn (Tin-Tin)
                          Gary Files (Foster / Lane)
                          John Carson (Foster 2)
                          Geoffrey Keen (Controller)


      On the web

       The Gerry Anderson Fan Club doesn't have pics, but they go into detail
       about the Tiger Moth fiasco...

       Anthony Clark 
       Anthony Clark's Thunderbirds site is great. This link takes you to his
       concise, informative page on the two tie-in films, with some more
       details for Trivia Hounds to lap up...

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© Carlton International/ MGM UA / F2007