Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Thunderbirds and Space: 1999

Gerry Anderson claims a CGI Thunderbirds series is imminent, which should be an improvement over the mid-90s attempt to repackage the original (awesome) 1960s sci-fi marionette series.  The 90s effort featured lame "hacker" kids as framing-device narrators -- and then the 2004 live-action film version, directed by (Star Trek's) Jonathan Frakes, was dubbed by Anderson himself "the biggest load of crap I have ever seen in my life."  

(I nonetheless saw the film in the theatre, with a small group that included a libertarian weighing about 400 pounds, who sadly later died of a stroke in his mid-forties.  He helped run Victor Niederhoffer's monthly Junto gatherings, at one of which I will speak on June 2.)

Needless to say, the influence of the (perfect) Thunderbirds "countdown" opening (note the flying guitar in this iteration) can still be felt in later, more modem and nuanced works such as the (Montreal-made) short "RoboJew vs. Giant Nazi Woman of the SS," a perfect follow-up to Passover.


All right, one more look at the funky opening of Anderson's other best-known series, Space: 1999.  

And I finally figured out which episode it was that I remembered mesmerizing me as a kid: "Dragon's Domain," in which the Lovecraftian tentacled beast seen in the clip linked here killed a spaceship crew, regurgitating their charred corpses from its glowing tunnel of a maw almost immediately each time it did so (that was alarming to a six-year-old, I must say), leaving one semi-hypnotized survivor (years before the Moon and the Alphans were blown out of orbit to begin their spacefaring journey), who now fears the creature is returning, even as flashbacks reveal no one believed him about the beast the first time around. 

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