Saturday, July 31, 2004


So I'm Playing Amateur Movie Critic Today

Both the New York Post and Daily News savaged Thunderbirds in their reveiws, whereas Stephen Holden of the Sulzberger Bird Cage Liner was somewhat kinder. Alas, Mr. Holden's fact checking needs a bit of of help, in that he claims that the orginal Thunderbirds was never shown in the US. Wrong, pal. The only Gerry Anderson show that was shown in a network timeslot was Fireball XL5, in the halcyon days of Saturday morning TV (10:30 on NBC). The rest of the Anderson shows were syndicated, and thus their airing was strictly a matter for the local stations. Thunderbirds was shown at various times on Saturday on New York's Channel 5 over a few seasons (it had a 10am slot originally if I recall correctly, then was rerun at 8am for subsequent go-rounds). Channel 5 also picked up Fireball XL5 when it was syndicated for a brief time. The other Supermarionation shows (Supercar, Stingray and Captain Scarlet) that were shown in New York were shown on Channel 11. To the best of my recollection, Joe 90 and Secret Service were never shown in the area, and I'm pretty sure that earlier stuff like Torchy wouldn't have been shown.

The kids decided they want to go to see the film after all, and we piled off to the multiplex. It only cost $43 for the bargain admission, the popcorn and drinks. Such a deal. The projectionist managed to run the trailer for Alien vs. Predator (or whatever the heck it's called) backwards and upside down, which gave me a huge laugh. Then came the movie.....

Bottom line is that it's a cute movie. I really doubt it will become a franchise, but I'll probably end up buying it on DVD just for completeness' sake. There's a couple of funny bits involving Lady Penelope that I really enjoyed. The original series, like most of the rest of the Gerry Anderson shows had miserably leaden scripts, but the whizbang factor more than compensated for it, and while this isn't going to change my nostalgia for the series (in its' own cheesy way) it was fun for the family.


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