On 30 September 1965, families all over the UK settled down to watch the very first episode of a new television series from the creators of Stingray. Filled with amazing models, incredible effects, and familiarly stylised puppets, that show would go on to become one of the most iconic series ever produced. And now, thanks to a dedicated team of film-makers, and fans from across the globe - the Thunderbirds puppets are coming out of retirement for one last time.
2015 is proving to be quite a year for the famous Supermarionation show. As well as enjoying its 50th anniversary, it's also been the subject of a rebooted children's version with ITV's Thunderbirds Are Go series. But now, to top it off, thousands of fans from all over the world are joining together to support Thunderbirds 1965 - a project which aims to produce up to three brand new episodes of the classic Thunderbirds series using all original techniques.
As a keen advocate of practical film-making, a fan myself, and son of the man behind it all - I can't help but feel an immense sense of pride, seeing this project come to fruition. The project is using original 1960s soundtracks, released as audio-only 'mini albums', and will adapt these stories, and film the accompanying visuals. The result will be up to three thirty-minute long brand new classic episodes of Thunderbirds!
But recreating what has come before is going to be no mean feat. A very special team is being brought together in order to bring these new episodes to the screen, under the guidance of producer Stephen La Rivière (Filmed in Supermarionation). The team includes many people who went into the industry because of their love of Thunderbirds; people like David Tremont (Avatar, District 9, King Kong, Lord of the Rings) have joined the team. But it's also made up of some key members who worked on the original Thunderbirds series, such as David Elliott - who returns to his role as director after a 49 year absence.
The fact that this five-decade-old puppet show is able to bring together so many different people - be they crew members or project backers - from all over the world is a fantastic testament to the incredible power of this timeless show to entertain and inspire. And that, of course, makes me an incredibly proud son.
The only downside to the Thunderbirds 1965 project is that, for the time being, only project backers are likely to see these new episodes. But bearing in mind that as of 23 July 2015 this project is set to become the biggest ever UK film and TV project Kickstarter has ever hosted, I'm pretty sure that plenty of fans are going to get to enjoy these FAB new episodes.
The Thunderbirds 1965 project is live on Kickstarter, and has just over two weeks to go.