The World of Supermarionation

Films

 The information below WILL contain spoilers if you've not seen these films and are arsed about that. This page is going under a good amount of construction, screenshots will be added within time.

Thunderbirds Are Go!

 

Thunderbirds Are Go!

Directed by

David Lane

Produced by

Gerry Anderson
Sylvia Anderson

Written by

Gerry Anderson
Sylvia Anderson

Composers

Barry Gray

Cinematography

Paddy Seale

Running Time

93 minutes

Distributor

United Artists
Rank Organization

Release Date

December 12, 1966

Budget

£250,000

 

“Thunderbirds” wasn’t the hit in America that it was round the rest of the world (it sold to 65 countries) and, even though it was shown coast-to-coast, one has to wonder if this influenced Lew Grade's decision not to renew it for a second series. However, before this Grade, now Sir Lew Grade, came up with the idea to transfer "Thunderbirds" to the big screen.

"Thunderbirds Are Go!" was premiered with glittering ceremony at the London Pavilion in Piccadilly Circus on Monday 12th December, 1966. Everyone was positive and upbeat about the film and the next day the press echoed these sentiments. Wherever the film was being shown it was accompanied by posters that declared, “Adults should be accompanied by a child!”

Despite positive initial reviews, which praised the film as a well-made cinematic transfer of the “Thunderbirds” television series, “Thunderbirds Are Go” soon proved to be a box office failure for the Andersons. The disappointment of this outcome was intensified by the knowledge that Series Two of “Thunderbirds” would be cut down to six episodes.

To add to the lukewarm public response, negative critical reception of "Thunderbirds Are Go" has targeted, besides other aspects, the characterisation of the puppet cast, the running time dedicated to model and effects shots, and the fantasy dream sequence starring Cliff Richard and The Shadows, which has been described as a poor scriptwriting idea on the part of the Andersons

To this day it is still a mystery to Gerry Anderson as to why it performed so poorly at the box office. Despite this setback, Gerry could content himself with two very high profile awards that year. On May 13th he was awarded a Silver Medal for Outstanding Artistic Achievement from the Royal Television Society, and later he was made an Honorary Fellow of the British Kinematograph Sound and Television Society.

The events of the film from the perspective of the Zero-X mission were also adapted for a four-part "photographic picturisation" in the comic TV Century 21 (launched in 1965 and renamed TV21 in 1968). After this re-telling of the events of “Thunderbirds Are Go”, comic strips published until 1969 charted the continuing adventures of the astronauts, led as ever by Captain Paul Travers, in missions to the other planets in the Solar System, and then beyond, on board the "Mark III" model of Zero-X.

Recap 

In 2065, the Zero-X spacecraft launches from Glenn Field as the first attempt at a manned mission to Mars. Unknown to Captain Paul Travers and his crew of two astronauts and two scientists, criminal mastermind The Hood has infiltrated the ship to photograph Zero-X's wing mechanism. When his foot becomes trapped in the hydraulics, The Hood causes a systems failure and Zero-X loses control. While the villain manages to extract his bloodied foot and parachute from the undercarriage, Travers and his crew eject in an escape pod and Zero-X crashes into the ocean before leaving Earth's atmosphere.

In 2067, at the conclusion of an investigation into the loss of Zero-X, the Inquiry Board of the Space Exploration Center reaches a verdict of sabotage. In the meantime, a second Mars mission has been planned. Days before the launch of the new Zero-X, International Rescue agrees to a request to organise security in view of the possibility of another sabotage threat. Jeff Tracy dispatches Scott to Glenn Field in Thunderbird 1, while Virgil in Thunderbird 2 and Alan in Thunderbird 3 are assigned to escort Zero-X as it leaves the atmosphere. Posing as a reporter at the pre-launch press conference, Lady Penelope ensures that Travers and the other four crewmembers are delivered St. Christopher brooches. Ostensibly for luck, these are in fact homing devices.

The next day, a search for Dr Grant's brooch checks negative. Scott unmasks the man waiting for lift-off on board Zero-X as The Hood in another of his disguises. The saboteur flees Glenn Field in a car, which Penelope and Parker pursue in FAB1. Transferring to a speedboat, and then a helicopter piloted by an accomplice, The Hood is apparently killed when Parker shoots the aircraft down with the Rolls-Royce's built-in machine gun. Meanwhile, the real Grant is returned to Zero-X and the spacecraft launches without further incident.

Mission accomplished, Penelope invites Scott and Virgil to join her at "The Swinging Star", a fashionable nightclub. Landing back on Tracy Island after escorting Zero-X, Alan feels unappreciated when Jeff insists that he remain on standby at base while his brothers spend the night partying. In bed, Alan experiences a surreal dream in which Parker "flies" him and Penelope in FAB1 to a version of The Swinging Star located in space. Present at the interstellar nightclub are Cliff Richard Jr and The Shadows, who perform a song titled "Shooting Star" and an instrumental, "Lady Penelope". The dream sequence ends abruptly when Alan plummets from The Swinging Star back to Earth and awakes to discover he has fallen out of bed.

After a six-week flight, the Zero-X Martian Exploration Vehicle lands on Mars on July 22. While investigating the barren surface, the crew are puzzled to encounter strange rock formations arranged into coils. Space Captain Greg Martin blasts one of the structures with the MEV gun and Dr Pierce prepares to leave the vehicle to collect samples. However, the other formations stir into motion and reveal themselves to be one-eyed "Rock Snakes". Under attack from the extraterrestrials, which are able to shoot fireballs from their "mouths", the Zero-X explorers are forced to effect a premature departure from the Martian surface. Docking with the orbiting command module piloted by Space Navigator Brad Newman, the astronauts start the flight back to Earth.

As Zero-X re-enters Earth's atmosphere on 2 September, a lifting body launched to assist the controlled descent fails to interface, damaging the escape unit circuit (EUC). With Zero-X locked in descent and set to impact Craigsville, Florida, Jeff sends out Scott and Brains in Thunderbird 1 and Virgil, Alan and Gordon in Thunderbird 2. Winched into Zero-X's undercarriage, Alan must risk being trapped on board the spacecraft as Brains advises him on re-routing the damaged escape circuit.

With Craigsville evacuated, Alan is left seconds to detach his cable, and Travers and the others eject just in time, before Zero-X crashes spectacularly into Craigsville. Collected by Penelope and Parker in FAB1, Alan is driven to the real Swinging Star and Penelope, joined by the Tracy family, Brains and Tin-Tin, all disguised to conceal their identities, propose a toast to Alan as the "hero of the day".

Voice Cast
Peter Dyneley as Jeff Tracy
Shane Rimmer as Scott Tracy
Jeremy Wilkin as Virgil Tracy, Space Colonel Harris & Washington Control
Ray Barrett as John Tracy, the Hood & Commander Casey
David Graham as Gordon Tracy, Brains & Parker
Matt Zimmermann as Alan Tracy & Messenger
Sylvia Anderson as Lady Penelope & Goldstone Tracking Station
Christine Finn as Tin-Tin
Paul Maxwell as Captain Paul Travers
Alexander Davion as Space Captain Greg Martin
Bob Monkhouse as Space Navigator Brad Newman & Swinging Star Announcer
Neil McCallum as Dr. Ray Pierce
Charles Tingwell as Dr. Tony Grant, PR Officer, SEC Board Member & Woomera Tracking Station
Cliff Richard as Cliff Richard Jr.
The Shadows as themselves

Production

With United Artists contracted to distribute the film and the Rank Organization to exhibit, a budget of £250,000 was set and Anderson and his wife, Sylvia, commenced work on the script at a Portuguese villa rented to them by Grade. The couple decided to base the plot on the American-Soviet "Space Race", in particular the 1960s contest to land astronauts on the Moon, but adapt this story for the futuristic “Thunderbirds” universe by changing the destination of the mission to Mars. In the pre-production stages of their next puppet series, “Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons”, the Andersons would opt to script a second appearance of the Zero-X spacecraft to link the continuities of “Thunderbirds” and its sequel, which is supposed to be set in the same fictional universe. “Captain Scarlet” would also prove to be a progression from “Thunderbirds Are Go” in terms of its depiction of extraterrestrial life on Mars, although the Mysteron antagonists of this series would be more ambitious than the Rock Snakes of the film by actively seeking to attack Earth. The final rescue of the crippled Zero-X emulates that of the airliner Fireflash in the “Thunderbirds” episode "Operation Crash-Dive".

The role of director fell to David Lane, who had filled this position for several of the Series One episodes and also had editing and special effects experience at AP Films. Aged 24, with this appointment Lane became the youngest film director in Britain at the time. Frustrated with the creative limitations of puppets and concerned that the television series would not adapt well to a film, Alan Pattillo, the Andersons' initial choice, declined the role.

The insertion of Alan's dream sequence set at interstellar nightclub The Swinging Star was spearheaded by Sylvia, who expanded these scenes with a proposed musical interlude to be performed by puppet versions of Cliff Richard and The Shadows, Richard's backup band in the 1960s. Richard and Bruce Welch owned homes in Portugal near to the Andersons, and it was there that the two agreed to "appear" in the film as Supermarionation puppets. Also signed on to contribute to the film's score, Richard and the band recorded a song titled "Shooting Star", with Richard providing the vocals, and an instrumental piece, "Lady Penelope". Richard says of his casting that he was "thrilled" to be part of the well-known and popular “Thunderbirds” franchise. Richard has fond memories of the making of his Supermarionation lookalike puppet: "It was quite a hoot ... I was never really sure if I looked like my puppet or it looked like me."

Anderson concedes that the sequence does not progress the plot, stating in her autobiography that it was "sheer indulgence that would not have been possible on our television budget." Stephen La Rivière, documenting the making of “Thunderbirds Are Go” in his book Supermarionation: A History of the Future, considers the sequence the strangest ever created by AP Films.

Pre-production for “Thunderbirds Are Go” lasted three months, and a shooting schedule of sixteen weeks was allotted to coincide with the filming of episodes for Series Two. Principal photography commenced on 3 March 1966 and ended nearly four months later in late June. The AP Films staff were split into an "A" and a "B" Unit, "A" to concentrate on the film and "B" the television episodes. As a result of the division, henceforth the television shooting would be completed at the rate of one episode per month, whereas Series One had been filmed at a faster rate with the completion of two episodes in the same time. While director of photography Paddy Seale and special effects supervisor Derek Meddings handled “Thunderbirds Are Go”, camera and effects roles for Series Two were delegated to their assistants, Julien Lugrin and Jimmy Elliott. Two unused buildings on the Slough Trading Estate were purchased to address the increased demands on the production team, combining with the pre-existing puppet workshop and art department and publicity centres to form an AP Films production base of five buildings. Converted by January 1966, one of these former factory units contained new puppet stages, while the other was dedicated to one large sound stage on which all model and effects work would be completed.

“Thunderbirds Are Go” was filmed in widescreen Techniscope, a subset of Technicolor, with an aspect ratio of 2.35:1. This represented a significant departure from the 4:3 picture used for the television episodes. The anamorphic lenses of Panavision, a popular system for Hollywood productions during the 1960s, proved to be unsuitable for special effects shots due to the depth of field of the cameras. Techniscope, on the other hand, could be used in conjunction with spherical lenses while attaining the "letterbox" image of mainstream films that were shot on 35 mm film. All AP Films productions had up to this point been filmed on Arriflex Cameras, but for the film these were replaced with the Mitchell brand.

“Thunderbirds Are Go” is also the first film to have been shot with the "Livingston Electronic Viewfinder Unit". Also known as "Add-a-Vision", this system consisted of a viewfinder, connected to video monitors, that was used to capture an image directly from the shooting camera. This enabled production personnel to inspect filmed footage on the set with a higher definition than had been possible with a more basic system used for AP Films television series. Add-a-Vision also benefited the puppeteers, who were stationed several metres above the set on gantries and had until this point not been permitted a useful view of the marionette movements below them. Based on German video assist devices, Add-A-Vision was developed by John Read, director of photography for “Thunderbirds”, in collaboration with Prowest Electronics, and also incorporated a form of playback function to aid staff while viewing rushes.

Derek Meddings and a team of 28 technicians completed the special effects shots for the film in six months. Their main assignments included the Zero-X launches, re-shot, widescreen launch sequences for the Thunderbird machines, the car chase between Lady Penelope and Parker in FAB1 and The Hood, scenes at The Swinging Star, the Mars shots involving the MEV and the mysterious Rock Snakes, and the ultimate destruction of Zero-X in the climax. Over 300 effects shot were completed with scale models. The team made use of the extra space afforded to them by the new special effects building to experiment with floor-level shots and other more creative camera angles.

The requirement to re-create the various Thunderbird machines was particularly problematic in the case of Thunderbird 2, as Meddings explains: "Unfortunately, its replacement was not only the wrong colour, it was a completely different shape. Although we had several more built in different scales, I never felt our model makers managed to re-capture the look of the original." Meddings was also responsible for the design of the Zero-X spacecraft, for the representation of which a fibreglass model, 7 ft (2.1 m) long, weighing 50 lb (23 kg) and costing £2,500, was built. The appearance of the Zero-X interior was based on then unfinished aircraft Concorde, a prototype of which was under construction at Filton Airfield in Bristol.

A long shot of a Zero-X lifting body falling through the atmosphere and exploding was the only special effects sequence filmed outside the building. Instead, it was mounted on a gantry at a nearby power station against a real sky backdrop and the team used Cordtex explosive strips, gunpowder, naphtha, magnesium and petroleum gel to create a "fireball" effect. Although it took months to construct, the studio's destruction of the Zero-X model was complete in two days. The effects shots for “Thunderbirds Are Go” later became so well-known in the film industry that the work of Meddings and his team was consulted during pre-production on the 1986 James Cameron film, “Aliens.

The film went through post-production in the autumn to be finished in time for a Christmas release. Len Walter, who had edited episodes for Series One, reprised his role for “Thunderbirds Are Go”. The workprint of the film ran more than 15 minutes over the maximum runtime permitted by United Artists, forcing Walter to cut several minor scenes that were not essential to the plot. One set of deleted scenes charted the Space Exploration Center's attempts to enlist International Rescue to escort the second Zero-X. Meanwhile, The Hood telepathically contacts his half-brother Kyrano, coercing him to relay the Tracy family's actions. With the removal of the one scene in which he appears, Kyrano, another character voiced by David Graham, was completely cut from the film. A second deleted scene featured Lady Penelope and Parker en route to Glenn Field via New York, flying on board the aircraft Fireflash which made its first appearance in the pilot episode of “Thunderbirds.

With Walter's editing complete, composer Barry Gray recorded the score in six sessions between 9 and 11 October at Anvil Studios near Denham in Buckinghamshire. To achieve proper symphonic sound, an orchestra of 70 musicians, aided by Gray's own electronic effects, was organised. The Band of the Royal Marines' rendition of the "Thunderbirds March" which accompanies the end credits of the film was recorded in one morning under the supervision of Gray and conductor Lieutenant Colonel Vivian Dunn at the Royal Marines School of Music in Deal, Kent. Three weeks were then allotted for visual wrap-up work, the insertion of the opening titles and minor animation, sound editing and dubbing. On its submission to the British Board of Film Classification in November, the film was awarded a U certificate.

Barry Gray's score received vinyl releases from United Artists in 1967 and Silva Screen Records in 1987. The collection was later converted for CD in 1990 and re-released by EMI in 1992. Also comprising four tracks of incidental music from the "Thunderbirds" television episodes, the 1992 release consists of items titled "Alan's Dream", "Martian Mystery", "Astronauts in Trouble" and "Swinging Star" (composed by Gray), "Shooting Star" (performed by Cliff Richard and The Shadows) and "Lady Penelope" (performed by The Shadows), and two versions of both the "Thunderbirds Theme" and "Zero-X Theme" (as composed by Gray or performed by The Shadows).

Thunderbird 6

 

Thunderbird 6

Directed by

David Lane

Produced by

Gerry Anderson
Sylvia Anderson

Written by

Gerry Anderson

Sylvia Anderson

Composers

Barry Gray

Cinematography

Harry Oakes

Running Time

89 minutes

Distributor

United Artists

Release Date

July 29, 1968

Budget

£300,000

 

After the unexpected failure of “Thunderbirds Are Go” on its release in December 1966, the United Artists distributors authorised a sequel, to be budgeted at £300,000. Major production credits were unchanged from the first film: while Gerry and Sylvia Anderson scripted the film in three months and returned as producers, David Lane filled the position of director.

Underperforming at the box office on its general release, “Thunderbird 6” went on to become a commercial failure and spoilt chances for the production of a potential third “Thunderbirds” film. In his review published in the Daily Mail, critic Barry Norman described the sequel to “Thunderbirds Are Go” as child-orientated but still a showcase of "technical excellence". In what he termed a "class-conscious" side to the film, Norman also discussed the characterisation of Parker, a manservant, as a butt of jokes, such as being the one unfortunate character to find himself stuck upside-down in a tree as the Tiger Moth crash-lands.

La Rivière theorizes that the commercial failure of the film is attributable to the facts that ITC financier Lew Grade had cancelled “Thunderbirds as a television series in 1966, and that, by July 1968, 18 months had passed since the screening of the final episode ("Give or Take a Million"), resulting in a loss of public interest in the franchise.

Recap

In 2068, the New World Aircraft Corporation (NWAC) provides Brains, the inventor of the Thunderbird machines of the humanitarian International Rescue organisation, with an open brief to design a revolutionary aircraft. Although Brains is ridiculed when he proposes an airship for the 21st century, NWAC accepts his blueprints and builds Skyship One, which will circumnavigate the world on its maiden flight with pre-programmed stopover destinations. Alan, Tin-Tin, Lady Penelope and Parker will represent International Rescue as special guests. Brains, meanwhile, is forced to remain on Tracy Island when Jeff decides that International Rescue requires a Thunderbird 6. Contracted to design this latest addition to the Thunderbirds fleet with no specification, Brains produces a range of concepts, all of which are rejected by Jeff.

Alan and Tin-Tin travel to England in an old Tiger Moth biplane and join Penelope and Parker. As Skyship One embarks on its round-the-world voyage, the International Rescue guests are unaware that Captain Foster and the stewards have been murdered and replaced by agents in the pay of The Hood, who is operating under the alias of "Black Phantom" and is based at the disused El Hadim airfield near Casablanca in Morocco. Codenamed "White Ghost", the impostors are not required to demonstrate technical knowledge of Skyship One since it incorporates automated systems, meaning that the trip passes without incident as the airship visits such locations as New York, the Grand Canyon, then Rio de Janeiro and India.

Penelope has been warming to the dashing impersonator of Captain Foster, but uncovers a listening device in her room after Skyship One passes through the Egyptian Pyramids. Foster and his associates have secretly been recording and editing Penelope's speech to assemble a false transmission, which requests that Jeff dispatch Thunderbirds 1 and 2, with Brains onboard, to El Hadim airfield where The Hood and his henchmen will be waiting to hi-jack the machines. When Skyship One makes its final stop in the Swiss Alps, Parker locates the editing equipment, but the transmission has been finished and is soon sent to John on Thunderbird 5. Alan determines the threat against International Rescue just in time for Penelope to contact Jeff in person and warn that Thunderbirds 1 and 2 are about to be ambushed. Dispatched by Jeff in accordance with the transmission, Scott and Virgil now open fire on and annihilate The Hood's hideout.

On Skyship One, Alan, Penelope and Parker battle Foster and his associates in a gunfight and kill two of the five White Ghost operatives, but are forced to surrender when Tin-Tin is captured as a hostage. One of the "Gravity Compensators" has also been damaged in the fighting, causing the airship to lose altitude. Crossing the English coast, it crashes into a radio mast at a missile base in Dover. With the airship balanced precariously on top of the mast and its anti-gravity field dropping, it is up to the Scott, Virgil and Brains to rescue all onboard before it collapses onto the base. On Tracy Island, Gordon proposes that Alan's Tiger Moth, in storage at the NWAC Headquarters, is light enough to land on the airship without precipitating its fall.

Brains pilots the plane onto the top deck but is confronted by Foster and his two surviving associates. Holding Penelope hostage in the cockpit, Foster intends to abandon the others, but Alan shoots and kills the impostor. The Tiger Moth lifts off again with all hanging on to either the wings or undercarriage, just before Skyship One crashes to the ground and obliterates the evacuated missile base in a chain reaction. A shootout onboard the Tiger Moth disposes of the last of the White Ghost agents, but a bullet has penetrated the fuel tank and the controls will not respond to Penelope. After narrow misses with a bridge on the unfinished M104 motorway and an exhaust tower, Alan and Penelope finally manage to ditch the plane into a field with Tin-Tin, Parker and Brains all unhurt. Back on Tracy Island, Brains unveils Thunderbird 6 as none other than the repaired, repainted and revamped Tiger Moth, which all agree has proven its value as a rescue aircraft.

Voice Cast
Peter Dyneley as Jeff Tracy
Shane Rimmer as Scott Tracy & Steward Carter (original)
Jeremy Wilkin as Virgil Tracy, Steward Lane (original) & Steward Martin (imposter)
Keith Alexander as John Tracy, Steward Carter (imposter), Missile Base Announcer & Narrator
David Graham as Gordon Tracy, Brains, Parker & Indian Stall-keeper
Matt Zimmermann as Alan Tracy, Steward Martin (original) & Steward Hogarth (imposter)
Sylvia Anderson as Lady Penelope
Christine Finn as Tin-Tin & Indian Fortune Teller
Gary Files as The Hood/Black Phantom, Captain Foster (original), Steward Hogarth (original) & Steward Lane (imposter)
John Carson as Captain Foster (imposter)
Geoffrey Keen as NWAC President James Glenn

Production
The plot of the ill-fated Skyship One was intended to be more light-hearted than that of Zero-X in “Thunderbirds Are Go”, although at the earliest production stage the focus was to be a "Russo-American space project". From an idea of Desmond Saunders, a long-standing collaborator who had an interest in aviation, the Andersons based the plot on the destruction of the British R101 in 1930. Gerry Anderson researched airship history by reading books on the R101, the R100 and the Graf Zeppelin.  The plot also emulates the “Thunderbirds” Series Two episode "Alias Mr. Hackenbacker", which stars another of Brains' pioneering aircraft, Skythrust.

Introducing a vintage de Havilland Tiger Moth as the new Thunderbird 6, in their script the Andersons allude to 1960s publicity for Esso, which advertised under the promotional banner of "Put a Tiger in Your Tank". A line from Virgil Tracy during the final rescue of the Skyship One occupants adapts this slogan to refer to the "Tiger" stored inside Thunderbird 2's Pod. However, no character dialogue explicitly refers to the aircraft by the full name "Tiger Moth".

With the cancellation of “Thunderbirds” after the six episodes of Series Two, the next small-screen project for AP Films, re-branded as "Century 21" in December 1966, would be “Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons. This series, which was screened from September 1967, starred a brand-new generation of Supermarionation puppets sculpted with more realistic proportions than the caricatured marionettes of “Thunderbirds”. However, in the pre-production stages for “Thunderbirds Are Go”, it was decided that audiences who had seen Thunderbirds were too accustomed to the older style of puppet for the returning characters to be upgraded to the new design. To maintain continuity, a compromise was made to produce puppets for the second “Thunderbirds” film which would mix traits from the two Supermarionation generations: although the heads and hands would remain disproportionately large, the marked caricature from the television episodes would be reduced.

For guest roles, puppets were mainly recycled from their previous appearances in “Thunderbirds Are Go”, although the Captain Foster puppet was a new addition. Puppeteer Wanda Webb recalls that “Thunderbird 6” maintained a high standard in the appearance of its cast, commenting on a shot which depicts Lady Penelope asleep onboard Skyship One, "I had placed the sleeping eyelids in Plasticine and made the eye shadow a little too blue. We ended up re-shooting the whole sequence." One-use puppets appear in what Supermarionation historian Stephen La Rivière describes as "a contender for the most horrific scene ever produced by Century 21": in the opening scene, the characters of the NWAC executives present gaping mouths and teeth, complete with dental fillings, when Brains' plan to design an airship sends them into howls of laughter. The decision to begin the film with a cold open and delay the title sequence and opening credits was one of Century 21's efforts to distinguish “Thunderbird 6” from the preceding film.

Principal photography for “Thunderbird 6” commenced on 1 May 1967, by which time “Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons” had already started production. One of the Century 21 production units was transferred from “Captain Scarlet” to the second “Thunderbirds” film and shooting was completed in four months alongside the new television series. Special effects director Derek Meddings constructed the Skyship One model and supervised the creation of scale replicas of destinations explored in the film, such as the Great Sphinx of Giza, the Egyptian Pyramids and the Grand Canyon. The Swiss Alps shots which frame a scene set inside the fictional Whistle Stop Inn called for the FAB1 model to skate across ice, while scale figures of Alan and Tin-Tin follow the Rolls-Royce on skis. The length of movement required necessitated the construction of a special effects set that was between 40 and 50 feet (12 and 15 m) wide (the largest used for the film), filled with salt to simulate the snow-capped Swiss mountains.

The art department, headed by Bob Bell and responsible for the interiors of Skyship One, designed each room in a unique style: while the airship's Ball Room includes spherical-shaped décor, a Games Room is furnished to a dice and chessboards theme. Although Keith Wilson was attached to the production of “Captain Scarlet”, he contributed the design of Lady Penelope's bedroom, which is shaded a bright pink to match the colour of FAB1. In the course of filming, the floor of the Skyship One Bottle Room set ignited under the heat of the studio lights and had to be completely rebuilt. The interior of the Whistle Stop Inn is a favorite of Bell. Shooting on this set had to be carefully timed due to the presence of model trains, of a smaller scale than the puppets, which run on tracks and transport meals to the characters as their "cargo". In their biography of Gerry Anderson, Simon Archer and Marcus Hearn hold the Skyship One Gravity Compensation Room, in which the Gravity Compensators are represented by rotating metal frames, in high regard. However, Penelope's bedroom is described as resembling a "Barbara Cartland nightmare".

The vintage Tiger Moth appears as a scale model for sequences such as Alan and Tin-Tin's departure from Tracy Island and Brains' arrival on the top deck of Skyship One. The production team also decided to arrange a live-action location shoot in Buckinghamshire to star a full-size biplane. Joan Hughes, an experienced pilot who had flown Spitfires and Lancaster Bombers from factories to airbases during the Second World War, was selected to fly the aircraft. Sequences that comprise live-action filming include Brains launching the Tiger Moth from a field to rescue the occupants of Skyship One, Penelope's subsequent struggle to control the aircraft, the gun battle with Foster's remaining henchmen, the near collisions with the motorway bridge and the exhaust tower, and the final crash-landing. For the later sequences, stunt dummies fixed to the Tiger Moth's wings and undercarriage represent the characters of Alan, Tin-Tin, Parker, Brains and the White Ghost agents, while Hughes doubles for Penelope in the cockpit. The location filming was based at Wycombe Air Park.

The M40 motorway, which was nearing completion at the time of production, doubled for the fictitious M104. In the run-up to filming the plane's miss with the bridge between Junctions 4 and 5, at Lane End on the High Wycombe Bypass, Ministry of Transport officials and police demanded that, in accordance with the rules of the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Hughes perform the maneuver with the wheels in contact with the ground. On one of the final takes of the sequence, a crosswind sprang up and the drag of the stunt dummies left Hughes fearing for the control of the aircraft if it hit the tarmac. She therefore piloted the Tiger Moth underneath the bridge, clearing it by nine feet (2.7 m), as had at first been planned. On a later attempt, she was forced to repeat the low-level glide to the objections of the Ministry of Transport officials. Hughes, a pilot of more than three decades' flight experience in 1968, later reported that the danger of the stunt marked the first occasion in her career that she had feared for her safety.

Hughes and production manager Norman Foster were arrested at the scene and prosecuted. Hughes was charged on seven counts of "dangerous flying" and Foster on three of aiding and abetting, but it was not until 18 March 1968, after production on the film had ended, that both were called to Aylesbury Crown Court to stand trial. The jury viewed the final cut of “Thunderbird 6” and dismissed the case on 20 March 1968. Publicized in the Daily Express under the headline of "Under The Bridge Goes Lady Penelope", the acquittal inspired Foster to comment that the character had "opened the way for much greater realism in film-making."

In the meantime, the Ministry of Transport had withdrawn its permission for further stunts to be filmed on the M40, forcing the production team to resort to alternative methods to complete the Tiger Moth sequences. The special effects department constructed a 16-scale model re-creation, located on the Century 21 outdoor backlot to reduce lighting discrepancies, with radio-controlled miniatures of the Tiger Moth made to replace Hughes' aircraft. Ranging from six feet (1.8 m) in width to a smaller 13-scale for filming with the puppet characters, the replicas were unreliable and frequently crashed, but Anderson asserts that the production team successfully merged the full-size and miniature shots so that it is difficult to distinguish which aircraft is piloted by Hughes and which is remote-controlled. The scale reconstruction of the M40 bridge was aligned with a backdrop of real trees and fields to simulate the intended setting as faithfully as possible. Bad weather forced the outdoor filming to run for six weeks.

Built in 1940 at the de Havilland production line at Hatfield Aerodrome in Hertfordshire, the life-size Tiger Moth which appears in the film had served in the RAF and been sold to the Association of British Aero Clubs in 1953. Since "Thunderbird 6", the plane has made other appearances in cinema, including Michael Apted's 1978 film, “Agatha”. Despite damage sustained in a crash in 1992, as of 2008 the repaired Tiger Moth forms part of the Diamond Nine aerobatics squadron, based at White Waltham Airfield in Berkshire.

Barry Gray considered the musical score for “Thunderbird 6” superior to that of “Thunderbirds Are Go” since its depiction of round-the-world travel provided scope for a large number of musical themes. Music was recorded in six sessions at the Olympic Studios at Barnes, London, between 1 and 5 February 1968, with an orchestra of 56 members. The main title music, described as "jaunty" in Gerry Anderson's biography, accompanies opening credits superimposed on shots of Skyship One as it sits on the NWAC airfield. The soundtrack was released in a limited edition in 2005. A rendition of the 19th-century song "The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze" accompanies the aerial shots which chart Alan and Tin-Tin's departure from Tracy Island at the start of the film. Director David Lane wanted the movements of the Tiger Moth to simulate a dance in mid-air, and to this end played the song on loudspeakers from the shooting helicopter to inspire the stunt pilot.

 

Team America: World Police

 

Team America: World Police

Directed by

Trey Parker

Produced by

Scott Rudin
Trey Parker
Matt Stone
Pam Brady
Frank C. Agnone II
Amine Tay
Anne Garefino
Michael Polaire

Written by

Trey Parker
Matt Stone
Pam Brady

Composers

Harry Gregson-Williams

Cinematography

Bill Pope

Running Time

98 minutes

Distributor

Paramount Pictures

Release Date

October 15, 2004

Budget

$30 million

 

 Heavily influenced by “Thunderbirds”, “Team America: World Police” is a 2004 action comedy film written by Trey Parker, Matt Stone, and Pam Brady and directed by Parker, all of whom are also known for the popular animated series “South Park. The film is a satire of big-budget action films and their associated clichés and stereotypes, with particular humorous emphasis on the global implications of US politics. The title of the film itself is derived from domestic and international political criticisms that the U.S. frequently and unilaterally tries to "police the world".

The duo worked on the script with former "South Park" writer Pam Brady for nearly two years. Despite having strong inspiration from “Thunderbirds” for the use of marionettes, Stone and Parker’s do not consider themselves fans as they were born after the series’ popularity climax. They admired the delicate care put into the puppets and miniature effects.

The filmmakers fought with the Motion Picture Association of America, who returned the film over nine times with an NC-17 rating. The film was recut by a few seconds and rated R. This was not unlike the ratings battles for "South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut".

Team America made $12.1 million in its opening U.S. weekend. The film eventually grossed a total of almost $51 million, with $32.8 million in U.S. domestic receipts and $18.1 million in international proceeds.

Recap

Team America: World Police exists for the sole intention of stopping terrorists from performing evil deeds. With a home base located within the structure of Mount Rushmore, the team consists of: Lisa, a young psychologist; Carson, Lisa's love interest; Sarah, an alleged psychic; Joe, a typical all-American jock who is in love with Sarah; and Chris, a technological and martial arts expert who harbors a deep yet mysterious mistrust of actors. The team is led by Spottswoode, a United States government agent. The team's information is received by I.N.T.E.L.L.I.G.E.N.C.E., a highly-advanced supercomputer.

The story opens with the team interrupting the activities of a group of terrorists in Paris, France. During the ensuing firefight, the Team ironically lays waste to a good portion of the city, destroying the Eiffel Tower (which then collapses onto and destroys the Arc de Triomphe) and the Louvre, among other structures, in an attempt to protect the city from the terrorists. Following the action, Carson proposes to Lisa, but the moment is cut short when a dying terrorist kills Carson. In search of a new member, Spottswoode recruits Gary Johnston, a Broadway actor, starring in “Lease, with college majors in Theater and World Languages. Gary is hired as a spy, utilizing his talents to infiltrate terrorist organizations. Unbeknownst to the team, North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Il is supplying international terrorists with weapons of mass destruction, planning a mysterious worldwide attack.

I.N.T.E.L.L.I.G.E.N.C.E. is informed of a terrorist meeting in Cairo, Egypt. Gary manages to successfully infiltrate the terrorist group due to his fluency in their language, which is shown to be a caricature of Arabic that consists mainly of the words "Dirka," "Muhammad," and "Jihad." During this time, both Lisa and Sarah become romantically attracted to him. Chris, however, hates Gary, solely because of his resentment of actors. Gary is sent in undercover; despite the fact that his disguise is extremely poor (with a wrapped towel being used in lieu of a turban), he successfully gains the trust of a terrorist lieutenant. The team attempts to capture the terrorists, and although Team America successfully foils the terrorist plan, their actions again leave most of the city in ruins. The group is criticized by the Film Actors Guild (F.A.G.), a union of liberal Hollywood actors. The group includes Gary's favorite actor, Alec Baldwin, and his heavy criticism is very discouraging to Gary. Meanwhile, the United Nations assign Hans Blix with the task of inspecting Kim Jong-Il's lair, but the investigator is killed by Kim Jong-Il's man-eating sharks. As the team relaxes following their victory, Gary expresses his guilt to Lisa, remembering a time where his acting talent caused his brother to be killed by gorillas. As the two express their feelings and have sex (after Gary promises that he'll never die), a group of terrorists blow up the Panama Canal.

The Film Actors Guild blames Team America, believing that they (rather than the terrorists or the person who supplied them with WMDs) are responsible for the terrorists' actions, as the terrorists claim this is retaliation for Team America's attack in Egypt. Gary, realizing his acting talents have once again resulted in tragedy, abandons the team, causing considerable conflict among the remaining members. Believing the terrorists to be operating within Derkaderkastan, the original members depart, only to be attacked and captured by terrorists and the North Koreans, respectively. Meanwhile, Michael Moore infiltrates the team's base and destroys their equipment by suicide bombing the area. Kim Jong-Il, upset with the terrorists' actions, expresses his frustration and despair by singing "I'm So Ronery." Meanwhile, a very depressed Gary becomes an alcoholic, only to be reminded of his responsibility by a drunken drifter, who compares the world's three dominant personalities to "dicks", "pussies", and "assholes." Gary then vomits repeatedly, to powerfully swelling music, for a good 56 seconds running time.

In North Korea, Kim Jong-Il reveals his plan to host an elaborate peace ceremony, inviting not only the Film Actors Guild but also the world's political leaders. Alec Baldwin is chosen as the ceremony's host. During the celebration, a series of bombs will be detonated throughout the world, reducing every nation to a Third World country. Gary returns to the Team's headquarters in Mount Rushmore and finds the area in ruin, although Spottswoode and I.N.T.E.L.L.I.G.E.N.C.E have survived. After regaining Spottswoode's trust by performing oral sex on him, and undergoing a one-day training course (deliberately shown in a cliché montage for comic effect), Gary is sent to North Korea.

Gary proceeds to infiltrate the lair and frees the team. They are confronted by the Film Actors Guild and a violent battle ensues, which involves panthers being released at the team, and leaving most of the Guild brutally slain, with Alec being the remaining member as he is the host of the ceremony. Soon after, Chris confesses to Gary that his mistrust of actors is due to the fact that when he was 19 years old, meeting the cast of “Cats, he was "felt up" by Rumpus Cat and Macavity, held down by Rumpleteazer, and raped by Mr. Mistoffelees. The team then confront Kim Jong-Il. Although initially unsuccessful, Gary convinces the world's leaders to unite when he recites the drifter's emotional speech, stunning Alec. Kim Jong-Il then kills Alec with an assault rifle, but is defeated by Lisa by being impaled on a Pickelhaube helmet, as worn by the German Kaiser; and he is then revealed to be an alien cockroach from another planet called Gyron. Kim Jong-Il flees, departing in a miniature spaceship, but promising to return. As Gary and Lisa begin a relationship, the team reunites, preparing to combat the remainder of the world's terrorists.

Voice Cast
Trey Parker as Gary Johnston, Joe, Carson, Kim Jong-Il, Hans Blix, Matt Damon, Tim Robbins, Sean Penn, Michael Moore, Helen Hunt, Susan Sarandon, Drunk in Bar & Others
Matt Stone as Chris, George Clooney, Danny Glover, Ethan Hawke & Others
Kristen Miller as Lisa
Masasa Moyo as Sarah
Daran Norris as Spottswoode
Phil Hendrie as INTELLIGENCE & Chechen terrorist
Maurice LaMarche as Alec Baldwin
Chelsea Marguerite as French mother
Jeremy Shada as Jean Francois
Fred Tatasciore as Samuel L. Jackson

Production
Filming began in a converted warehouse in Culver City. California, where a reproduction of Paris (complete with the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe. the Paris Opera House and the Louvre), along with exotic locations such as Cairo, the Panama Canal. North Korea, New York, Mount Rushmore (inside and out) and Washington. D.C., were constructed - all in one-third scale.

To bring these locations to life, visual consultant David Rockwell, founder of the New York-based architecture and design firm Rockwell Group, production designer Jim Dultz (“The Muppets Tonight!”) and acclaimed cinematographer Bill Pope (“The Matrix”, “Spider Man 2,”) were brought on board.

A world-renowned architect, Rockwell is best known for designing the Kodak Theater, W Hotels, the Mohegan Sun Casino and Nobu restaurant, and he was the Tony-nominated designer for the Tony Award-winning Broadway show “Hairspray”. It was he who led the production team to create the film’s groundbreaking visual language. Using the irreverence and satire of the script as inspiration for the sets, Rockwell “impolitely” played with design conventions and created a totally believable world in which the story unfolds.

More is exactly what Parker and Stone got from everyone on the production. including the Chiodo Bros. - Edward, Stephen and Charles - master puppet producers. They took one look at the script and said. “This is impossible.” And then they set out to configure ways of accomplishing everything Parker and Stone asked for.

“It was aptly described as a Jerry Bruckheimer action film with puppets,” says Stephen Chiodo. “It was definitely a no-holds-barred kind of film, and while it made us nervous, it also challenged us.

Edward Chiodo’s initial response after reading the script was sheer delight. “It was laugh-out-loud funny. And then it was sheer terror! I thought, How are we going to do this? It was nonstop, with gun battles and fistfights - anything you could think of - and it was basically pure insanity. We had to give it a try.”

Working with puppet designer Norman Tempia, the Chiodo Bros. made 95 generic mechanical heads that, by changing the makeup and hair, added up to more than 300 individual characters. Throw in the non-mechanical heads that are used for stunt puppets, stunt bodies, floppy bodies, blow-up bodies and specialty gags, and the number moves up and up.

Positioning the puppeteers onto a 21-foot gangplank and into the condor baskets was the most difficult part of the overall production, not to mention getting the puppets shuttled up to the puppeteers, finding their marks and communicating to them. But once the puppet machinery was in place before the camera, everything went smoothly - except when Parker and Stone wanted the puppets to do things that, well, puppets just can’t do.

“We were asked to do some pretty outrageous things and often without rehearsals,” laughs Charles Chiodo. “It caused us to have to think on our feet a lot and try to give Matt and Trey the closest approximation of what they asked for, often with very comic results.”

Michael Moore is depicted as a fat, hot dog eating glutton who partakes in suicide bombing and is referred to as a "giant socialist weasel" by the supercomputer. Stone explained the reason for this portrayal in an MSNBC interview: “We have a very specific beef with Michael Moore...I did an interview, and he didn't mischaracterize me or anything I said in “Bowling for Columbine”. But what he did do was put this cartoon (titled “A Brief History of the United States of America”, written by Moore, animated and directed by Harold Moss) right after me that made it look like we did that cartoon.”

“Thunderbirds creator Gerry Anderson was supposed to have met Trey Parker before production, but they cancelled the meeting, acknowledging he would not like the film's expletives. Anderson felt "there are good, fun parts but the language wasn't to my liking". Anderson however has stated on record that he considers “Team America” superior over Jonathan Frakes’ live-action version of “Thunderbirds” which Anderson has openly called “the biggest piece of crap of anything he had ever seen”. Anderson considers the movie a greater tribute than the Frakes’ movie. Stone and Parker also stated that Frakes’ version was "a terrible miscalculation": "I mean, if you aren’t using puppets, then you ain’t got nothin’. They sure didn’t have a story."

 

Agent Crush

 

Agent Crush

Directed by

Sean Robinson

Produced by

Richardly Jean-Charles

Written by

Barrie Robinson
Sean Robinson
Mark York

Composers

David Arnold
Michael Price

Cinematography

Peter Field

Running Time

 

Distributor

Fantastic Films

Release Date

N/A

Budget

$20,000,000

 

Made in 2008, with a trailer released the same year; “Agent Crush” has yet to see a release.

It is the year 2100, much has changed, but one thing remains a constant, crime and it's getting a little bizarre.

Boris Goudphater ("Good-farter") is a first prototype cyborg developed by the World Security Network (WSN) to combat crime. The experiment failed due to a dangerous defect. Goudphater manages to survive the de-commissioning process and escapes. Horribly disfigured and angry, he is at large and out for revenge.

Agent Crush is a second prototype cyborg, and is trying to prove himself as a secret agent. Crush has been furnished with all types of superhero gadgets but he is prone to bumbling accidents and causes havoc wherever he goes. Accompanied by his genius inventor sidekick, Spanners and Spanner's daughter Cassie, his latest mission is to stop Goudphater from exploding a nuclear device in the center of the Earth's magma core and causing every volcano to erupt, destroying the Earth.

A spectacular flying car chase through the streets of New York and the underground lava caverns leads to an explosive climax.

Can Crush prove to the world that he is the man for the job and save the Earth in time?

Voice Cast
Ioan Gruffudd as Agent Crush
Brian Cox as Spanners
Neve Campbell as Cassie
Roger Moore as Burt Gasket
Brian Blessed as Boris Goudphater
Rula Lenska as Olga Thyburn
Ruby Wax as Charleen Chinstubble
Trevor White as Major Rusty Gubbins
John Culshaw as Piston Pete
Alice Evans as Alex
Tim McInnery as Sergeant
Niko Nicotera as Pilot
Matthew Cureton as New Anchor Man

 

 

Compilation Films

What is a compilation film?

Wikipedia defines: A compilation movie, or compilation film, a term used by reviewers of Japanese anime, is a feature film that is mostly composed of footage from a television serial. These typically compress the plot of a story arc from about eight to thirteen broadcast hours to a bit more than two hours without commercials. Additional animation may be added that is either of a superior quality to that made for television or which changes story details, often making the ending lead to a sequel not suggested in the original show. Such films may be put on video or DVD, recently even without being shown theatrically.

A compilation movie is often the most available source for the content of the TV series for persons outside the range of broadcasting. Release rights to other countries are often given for compilation movies well before the entire serial is similarly released. A compilation movie does not contain the characterization developed through the series, but it does not have filler material or extraneous plot.

While animes are mainly subject to this lazy editing excuse, sadly Supermarionation shows have been. In the early 1980's Gerry Anderson's Supermarionation series had been subjected by ITC's American office to be highly edited, cut up and released as "NEW" movies for the ignorant American public. Anderson was reportedly annoyed by the decision, naturally as any artist would I expect. Anderson's live action TV series; "UFO" and "Space: 1999" were also subject to compilation films. "Stingray", "Thunderbirds", "Captain Scarlet" & "Joe 90" were subject to these edits, all under the title of "Super Space Theatre". "Fireball XL5" was said to have been planned, where it would have been digitally colorised, but this plan was scrapped.

Two of the Anderson compilation films ("Invaders of the Deep" & "The Revenge of the Mysterons") were subject to the first two episodes of the cult movie mocking series "Mystery Science Theatre 3000", which was famous for critiquing humurously "bad movies". Though these two episodes aren't available on VHS or DVD, or through Fan recordings online (as many have become available through) due to Joel Hodgson's refusal to reveal them.

"Star Fleet" was subject to two compilation releases unrelatedly as well. I'm not certain these were made for the US, though a rare poster for the US certainly suggests it may have. The US got compilation Videos of the series however. "Star Fleet" was a television serial, but even the compilation films were edited to suggest a different series of events that the series ever did! The Anderson compilation films had effort in them compared to these monstrosities, which were until 2009; only a horrid reminder of a wonderful series.

"Terrahawks" was given 6 compilation films made especially for VHS release. The first one contained deleted scenes from the first episode.

Below is information on them and the cut scenes and alterations made. Unfortunately I have seen only a handful, and I can't necessarily remember some things on some i've seen. Unfortunately these are all pretty rare today. No one has taken the good initiative of uploading some of these off their VHS tapes. I HAVE seen "The Incredible Voyage of Stingray" and "Thunderbirds to the Rescue" but the former has been removed from YouTube under the users own initiative and I purchased the VHS of the latter which with my luck was promptly eaten by my VHS player after viewing it once!

"Stingray"

 

Title Card

Title

Original Episodes

Release

“The Incredible Voyage of Stingray”

“Stingray”
“Plant of Doom”
“Count Down”
“The Master Plan”

1980

“Invaders from the Deep”

“Hostages of the Deep”
“Emergency Marineville”
“The Big Gun”
“Deep Heat”

1981

“The Incredible Voyage of Stingray”
 

 

“Invaders from the Deep”
·         The intro takes the scene from “Plant of Doom” with Titan consulting with Treuful with audio taken from “Count Down”, which is evident as a lot of audio doesn’t sync with the mouth movements.
·         The end credits play the “Thunderbirds” theme in a medley with “Yellow Submarine” by The Beatles.

“Hostages of the Deep”
·         The Scene where Troy and Phones prank Atlanta with the Toy Fish is cut, so there’s no real explanation later in the episode as to why Troy has a Toy fish.
·         The original music cue played after Phones states “On course for the Island of Lowe is cut due to new music being added.
·         The commercial fade transition is eliminated so after Gadeth states his plans, it cuts to Troy and Phones pondering if the beach house is safe.
·         The beginning piece of Marina swimming after leaving Stingray is cut, as the music cue evidently shows.
·         The ending where Troy says he has the advantage of speaking is cut, as it goes to the next episode

“Emergency Marineville”
·         The opening scene with the first missile launching from the Island is removed
·         The shot of Marineville HQ lowering is replaced with another one (from which episode I’m unsure) due to the title “Emergency Marineville” originally appearing on this shot.
·         The second action stations sequence where the Stingray crew are lowered into the ship, when Commander Shore orders the WASP Interceptors to stand by and Stingray launching is cut.
·         The shot of Stingray is cut after Commander Shore briefs Troy
·         The shot of the Interceptors flying over the Missile Interceptor base is cut
·         The commercial fade effect is removed, naturally
·         Troy informing Marineville Base that the Island headquarters has been destroyed and Commander Shore congratulating the crew is cut.

“The Big Gun”
·         The Scene of Commander Shore being contacted by WASP HQ is used as the opening scene. His explanation to Atlanta is also cut (rather evident by the cut in sound) along with him telling Atlanta to contact Stingray
·         The first views of Maritimus and his ship are cut
·         “The Big Gun” title is evidently removed from the original scene, as no other scene in the episode shows it in the clear
·         The Scenes of Maritimus and his ship diving and heading into the tunnel are cut. The scenes shown after that are shown after the below scene
·         Atlanta contacting the Stingray crew is moved after Maritimus attacks the Island.
·         The scene where Maritimus’ ship starts toward the surface and Phones detects his ship resumes after Maritimus receives his medallion.
·         Part of the shot of Maritimus’ craft starting to surface is cut as evidenced by the beginning half of music being cut
·         The scenes after Maritimus trying to contact Solarstar after his defeat and Corda informing the Leader are both cut.
·         The initial view of Marineville after the Solarstar leader makes his plans is cut and just goes to when Commander Shore reads off the Scientific analysis.
·         The scene of the Stingray crew launch cut from “Emergency Marineville” is inserted here as filler between the original commercial fade in.
·         Stingray’s torpedoes are replaced with a yellow laser beam
·         The original music cue played when the shot of Marineville is shown is replaced with another
·         The ending scene of Troy and Phones walking and chatting about their experience is cut

“Deep Heat”
·         This episode altogether makes no sense in the compilation film, as Turatta and Fragil merely look for another home.
·         The opening scene of the Tracking Probe making its way is cut and jumps to Marineville Tracking Station contacting HQ. This is a rather bad transition between the two episodes as for one, Lieutenant Fisher just appears out of nowhere and the Stingray crew and Atlanta are suddenly at a resteraunt.
·         The scenes of the Stingray crew being lowered into the ship are cut, as well as the scenes of Stingray leaving its pen
·         The commercial break fade and music cues are removed

"Thunderbirds"

 

Title Card

Title

Original Episodes

Release

“Thunderbirds to the Rescue”

“Trapped in the Sky”
“Operation Crash-Dive”

1980

“Thunderbirds in Outer Space”

“Sun Probe”
“Ricochet”

1981

“Countdown to Disaster”

“Terror in New York City”
“Atlantic Inferno”

1982

"Thunderbirds to the Rescue"

 

"Thunderbirds in Outer Space"

"Countdown to Disaster"

"Captain Scarlet & the Mysterons"

 

Title Card

Title

Original Episodes

Release

“Captain Scarlet vs. the Mysterons”

“The Mysterons”
“Winged Assassin”
“Seek & Destroy”
“Attack on Cloudbase”

1980

“Revenge of the Mysterons from Mars”

“Shadow of Fear”
“Lunarville 7”
“Crater 101”
“Dangerous Rendezvous”`

1981

“Captain Scarlet vs. the Mysterons”

 

 “The Mysterons”
·         Ed Bishop’s opening narration is removed
·         A pink laser effect is masked over the torpedoes shot in the original episode. Laser sounds added too.
·         The scene where Colonel White orders the Angels to be launched and the launching sequence is removed
·         The drum beat transition after we get first view of the newly Mysteronized Captain Scarlet is removed
·         The drum beat transitions signaling the commercial break in-between when Colonel White orders Scarlet to escort the World President and when the Spectrum Escort Jet goes off is removed. Noted by the fact that the music originally played is cut off abruptly (while being played under additional music added)
·         A music cue played while Captain Blue is rushing to the top of the Sky Vu tower is cut, which is evident as sounds stop playing as well. It’s cut as another music cue is placed over it
·         The scene where Dr. Fawn has Destiny Angel identify Scarlet isn’t used here. Instead it is moved to after the events of “Winged Assassin”, which is odd as they shouldn’t need an identification verification. Instead it cuts to when Colonel White briefs Spectrum personnel on Scarlet’s condition, without the drum transitions.

“Winged Assassin”
·         The opening scene has different music in place of the original. The original is still heard in some spaces however.
·         The Mysteron announcement from the original titles are played over the opening scene, as to make it seem as the Director General was awoken by their announcement. The SFX from the original opening are still evident such as the Angels jets or the Colonel’s desk turning motor
·         The drum beat transition after Colonel White addresses his suspicions that plans are being made somewhere, before we get the view of the DT19 is removed.
·         A new drum transition scene is added after DT19 is Mysteronized, to replace the commercial transition scene.
·         The transition scene after Scarlet is killed is removed.
·         The ending scene with the dialogue between Captain Blue and the Flight Controller (“maybe he didn’t die”) is cut after the Controller says “What a brave man”. The aforementioned scene from “The Mysterons” is used after this scene.

“Seek & Destroy”
·         Most of the opening scene is gone, and the other half is played later.
·         The Mysteron announcement is played over a custom animated zooming space scene and later using the removed footage of Harmony and Symphony Angels launching from “The Mysterons”
·         The opening scene with Captain Black arriving at the warehouse and setting the Truck’s load on fire is used after Colonel White again addresses his concerns about plans being made.
·         The scene where the Fire Chief has a word with the manufacturer after putting out  the fire is used thereafter, with a new drum beat transition.
·         The drum beat transition signaling the commercial is cut out, with another new one being made.
·         Colonel White’s telling Captain Blue to sit tight is cut, instead he addresses the Angels right after Blue sends the message.

“Attack on Cloudbase”
·         The initial opening is meant to give the impression that Symphony Angel was returning from the attack from the previous episode, yet she wasn’t even involved.
·         The Mysteron announcement is played while Symphony’s jet craft is shot down.
·         The Commercial transition after Rhapsody is killed is removed
·         The part when Colonel White calls Captain Scarlet aside after the conference and tell him to get his haircut if they survive. The following scenes where we get view of Symphony passed out in the Desert night and Captains Blue, Grey and Ochre waiting are also removed, just jumping to Captain Magenta in the tracking room.
·         The scene after Captain Magenta spots the Mysteron ships on the radar where Colonel White retorts “make up your mind, Captain” and cuts to where he states “This is it, Launch Angel 2”
·         The part where Captain Magenta counts four of the ships on the radar is cut
·         The Mysteron torpedo shots are badly traced over with a pink laser beam and sound effect
·         The part where Colonel White states “There Goes a Brave Man” with Lieutenant Green panickedly retorts “It’s easy to be brave when you’re indestructible” is cut.
·         The biggest edit is after Colonel White gives his salute while Cloudbase plunges into the ocean. In the original episode, here it is where we learn the whole scenario was but a dream. In the compilation film however, it fades to deep space where a purple CGI pyramid appears with the scenes from the episode showing up in reverse. A bad American accented voice actor poses as the Mysterons stating: “This is the voice of the Mysterons. We know you can hear us, Earthmen. The powers of the Mysterons are infinite. We can distort space and time! The moment of time, we have shown you the consequences of your primitive aggressive behavior. It has been decided by our Imperial counsel, that a peaceful sentiment with the Planet Earth might someday be possible. So we shall spare you. Be warned Earth men, your war-like behavior can only result in disaster for your planet! One day, the Mysterons will return! We hope you will be ready! Some day!” This then jumps to Captains Scarlet and Blue finding Symphony in the desert with the fade back to Cloudbase, with the end credits then following. This whole edit was to give the unconvincing impression that the events of the episode had actually happened.

"The Revenge of the Mysterons from Mars"

"Joe 90"

 

Title Card

Title

Original Episodes

Release

 

“The Amazing Adventures of Joe 90”

“The Most Special Agent”
“Splashdown”
“Attack of the Tiger”
“Arctic Adventure”

1980

 

"The Amazing Adventures of Joe 90"

"Star Fleet"

 

Title Card

Title

Original Episodes

Release

Story Editors

“The Thalian Space Wars”

“Scramble X-Bomber”
“X-Bomber Goes Forth”
“Mortal Combat in the Gravity Graveyard”
“An Attack Beyond Tears”
“Farewell: the Eternal Battlefield”
“Wipe Out the Transport Fleet”

1983

Annie Wallbank
Stephen Lovesay

“Space Quest for F-01”

“Super Powerful Imperial Alliance Fleet”
“Find F-01”
“Lamia: Girl of Destiny”
“Lamia Kidnapped”
“F-01 Assassination Attempt”
“M-13: Full Frontal Attack Begins”
“M-13: A Battle with No Tomorrow”
"The End of the Earth"
“A New Beginning for the Galaxy”

1983

Annie Wallbank
Stephen Lovesay

 

“The Thalian Space Wars”

“Scramble X-Bomber”:
·         One third of the episode is cut, only showing from when the EDF shuttle requests permission to land on Moonbase to while the crew fight the Alliance before being shot down.
·         The scene where Shiro, Hercules and Lee mourn over the supposed death of Captain Carter is cut out after Dr. Benn replies to Shiro, “I doubt if he can still be alive”. As Carter’s role after the attack is left out in the compilation films, Carter’s role has little purpose at all.

“X-Bomber Goes Forth”:
·         Almost all of this episode is cut until the battle scene near the end (meant to mix with the previous fight scene, which is helped as it uses stock footage from the previous battle)
·         Half of Makara’s gloating to herself at the end is cut, due to mention of the F-01. It is cut rather badly too, as you can hear her begin “Y—“ before it cuts to the next scene.

“Mortal Combat in the Gravity Graveyard”:
·         The opening narration is naturally cut, skipping to when Dr. Benn gets up after having his arm in a sling.
·         The viewers are left to assume that Lamia has always been on the ship.
·         Orion’s persuading speech is cut when after he states that X-Bomber can so easily be destroyed
·         Any mention of F-01 or Lamia’s self-sorrow is cut, as the film itself just tells a different story as opposed to the original series’ plotline.
·         Lamia contacting the Skull is naturally left out
·         Lamia’s pondering on the Skull is left in, which makes little sense if you’re ignoring the whole F-01 plotline.

“An Attack Beyond Tears”:
·         The opening narration is removed, as usual. This is probably the least cut up of the episodes in the film
·         Lamia recounts her origins, which makes little sense as she discovers these origins in the next compilation film.

“Farewell: the Eternal Battlefield”:
·         The transition between this episode and the previous is rather appalling. Seconds before, Lee was working the communication systems, now suddenly he’s in bed.
·         The references to Captain Carter and references to the events of episode 10 are removed, such as the beginning scene.
·         To add to that, the scene where the Alliance Carrier arrives has any reference to it being Carter in there is removed. His lines are still present saying “You can’t hide from us” and “feel like changing your minds fellahs?”. The viewers are given no explanation to who the voice is. To add to the evidence, the fact that Barry shoots saying “You Traitor!” makes no sense at all.
·         Part of the ending narration is removed

“Wipe Out the Transport Fleet”:
·         Orion’s lines referencing the X-Bomber being crippled and Makara’s angered response at the beginning are removed.
·         Orion and Makara’s panicked responses to the Dai X are shortened towards the end.
·         Dr. Benn saying Dai X has proven itself is removed (as Dai X was used in the last episode)
·         The movie ends as the camera pans in on the victorious Dai X, with the ending narration being removed.

Space Quest for F-01

Misc notes:
·         The intro for the TV series is used in both movies, though is shortened in "The Thalian Space Wars"
·         The movie footage has an unexplained greenish grey hue which may mean they come from different footage masters closer to the bluish hue of the original NTSC masters.
·         "The Space Quest for F-01" is included as an extra on the Japanese laserdisc and limited edition DVD. The movie is re-edited with cleaner Japanese footage (seemingly excluding "F0-1 Assassination Plot") however as a result; the audio has been slowed down and it becomes rather clear that the music and voices were produced in PAL format as everything excluding sound effects from the original Japanese NTSC version (which were sped up in the conversion process) are distorted.

"Terrahawks"

 

 Title Card

Title

Original Episodes

Release

 

“Expect the Unexpected”

“Expect the Unexpected (Pt 1)”
“Expect the Unexpected (Pt 2)”
“Thunder-Roar”
“Close Call”

1983

 

“Menace from Mars”

“Space Samurai”
“The Sporilla”
“Happy Madeday”
“From Here to Infinity”

1983

 

“Terror from Mars”

“Thunder Path”
“The Ugliest Monster of All”
“Gunfight at Oaky’s Corrall”
“The Gun”

1983

 

“Hostages of Mars”

“To Catch a Tiger”
“Mind Monster”
“Operation S.A.S”
“Ten Top Pop”

1984

 

“Flaming Thunderbolts”

“My Kingdom for a ZEAF”
“Play it Again, Sram”
“Gold”
“Midnight Blue”

1984

 

“Zero Strikes Back”

“The Midas Touch”
“Unseen Menace”
“Zero’s Finest Hour”
“The Ultimate Menace”

1984

 

Not a lot to say as most scenes aren't really cut, other than fade transitions and titles omitted from the original scenes