The complete Thunderbirds series will be available on DVD and Blu-ray June 9, 2015 from Shout Factory. We had a chance to take a look at the Blu-ray release and enjoyed the packaging and production quality. Thunderbirds was a novelty TV show from the mid 1960s featuring puppets or ‘Supermartionation‘ as they were called from Gerry Anderson. The show revolved around the Tracy family who used their wits and technology to help protect and save humanity.
Thunderbirds The Complete Collection includes all 32 episodes (50 minutes each) presented in fullscreen 4:3 aspect ratio (original broadcast), Dolby Mono audio, Color and 1690 minutes approximately running time. This set contains only two special features: Launching Thunderbirds Documentary and a printable PDF Publicity Brochure.
Viewers new to the series should take note that the show is a novelty much in the same vein as The Muppets yet Thunderbirds features fully animated marionettes and live action – complete with moving parts and talking mouths. The storylines in each episode generally involve someone or something in peril with the Thunderbirds team as the best and sometimes only result in saving the day.
Shout Factory has done an excellent job on the packaging and production of this collection. The picture quality is pretty outstanding considering the age – in fact if not for the 4:3 aspect ratio one could almost believe it was something made today.
Watching Thunderbirds years later it’s easy to see the show should have been shorter in length like 28 minute episodes instead of 50 minutes each. Something that Gerry Anderson goes into detail about this debate in the Documentary on disc 6. We’re sure the shorter format would have played better for American audiences and most likely led to a longer duration of the program.
The Documentary features Gerry Anderson who created the show discussing the genesis and distribution of Thunderbirds. It also goes in great detail about the voice actors and cast and features interviews with many of the people behind the scenes both actors and puppeteers.
Overall, Thunderbirds The Complete Series offers a pristine archive of a fun and novel show from the mid 1960s. If you saw the Matt Stone and Trey Parker epic Team America World Police film and wondered where all of it originated then now is your chance to delve into the classic original series.