Thunderbirds (2015) First viewing

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thebeekeeper
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Re: Thunderbirds (2015) First viewing

Post by thebeekeeper »

Simon Coward wrote:
thebeekeeper wrote:Any revival could be said to be aimed at the original fans , most of whom would not be around during the mornings or afternoons when the repeats aired.
But if you think the ITV runs were aimed at the original fans, why denigrate them because they didn't boost sales of Thunderbirds toys? if they were aimed at the original fans, why on earth would they?

I watched all of Thunderbirds during its original run in the 1960s and I watched it all again during its 1981/82 repeat - it wasn't difficult. It was on Saturday mornings - in two separate runs, I'll grant you, but then it was originally two separate seasons. The slot was pretty consistent - 11am initially, moving to 10.35am. The second run started earlier still, but it wasn't bobbing about in the schedules all the while. In each run it was shown consistently - only two weeks were skipped, once because of the early start of ITV sport programming on F. A. Cup final day, and one because of a special near-networked Boxing Day schedule. I know that some regions put Thunderbirds and other Anderson shows out in less original-fan-friendly slots, often keeping them for weekdays during school holidays, which suggests that perhaps they aiming at the original fans after all.

I agree completely that the repeats were shown in a regionalised fashion but I don't think they were anything like as haphazard within that structure as you make out.
I don't think the ITV 80's repeats were aimed at original fans - that would be called a revival.
The 80's repeats were standard ITV practice with ITC shows - put them on as filler and just hope people watch them.
I would say the ITV repeats were poor scheduling if they hoped for original fans to watch them - this was early days for the VCR.

You were lucky in your region.
In the Anglia region I don't recall Thunderbirds in a saturday morning slot ever ( not for any kind of run anyway) I recall the 80's repeats as being aired in a mix of school holiday mornings and other filler slots.
Obviously regions differed . Fireball had some consistency even though times were slightly different between the regions .
But while strictly speaking you could call the 80's repeats a revival I don't because while they may have increased sales of toys where it was on it was nothing compared to the BBC repeats.
I wasn't disagreeing about the reasons why the BBC repeats were able to have that slot or why ITV could never do that . I merely state that 1991 was the true revival as it matched the excitement of the original 60's broadcasts from what I can see.

The ITV repeats were a revival in the same way that ITV's 80's repeats of UFO were. It was back on but with little or no consideration about scheduling it for maximum effect.

thebeekeeper
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Re: Thunderbirds (2015) First viewing

Post by thebeekeeper »

dprisoner wrote:Regarding the air time, this was brought up on the Fanderson FaceBook group: Does anyone actually watch at time of broadcast these days? So being broadcast at 8am means it's available to watch whenever you want - including 5pm (if that's your preference).
Although these days its easy to see things you've missed the bulk of viewing is still done live which surprises me since we've had VCR's for 35 years+.
The thing with catchup is that you have to specifically search something out. There are still many viewers who sit and watch whatever is on.
That's ignoring the fact that getting decent quality from any catchup service for ITV is impossible

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Mickey
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Re: Thunderbirds (2015) First viewing

Post by Mickey »

thebeekeeper wrote:If you'd been paying attention you would have spotted that I was referring to the original series which was aired at 7pm - not the new show
Yes, I know what you're talking about. I'm just questioning whether a children's programme would ever be scheduled specifically for an audience of those adults who used to watch it. That's no way to find yourself a decent-sized audience, and I can't believe that a mainstream channel would attempt it.

thebeekeeper
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Re: Thunderbirds (2015) First viewing

Post by thebeekeeper »

Mickey wrote:
thebeekeeper wrote:If you'd been paying attention you would have spotted that I was referring to the original series which was aired at 7pm - not the new show
Yes, I know what you're talking about. I'm just questioning whether a children's programme would ever be scheduled specifically for an audience of those adults who used to watch it. That's no way to find yourself a decent-sized audience, and I can't believe that a mainstream channel would attempt it.
If they were aiming only for old fans it would on after 9pm and I never suggested even once that they should target just the original fans.
The 5pm broadcast slot suggested that ITV were aiming at fans new and old but until it was on we didn't realise it really was only suitable for 6-11 year olds.
I don't think it would have affected the reception by the target demographic had ITV raised the bar slightly and attempted to bring in fans of the original too , but clearly this was not something they were interested in doing.
Airing it 8am is not going to get them a decent sized audience either - although it may be classified as decent for the limited number available watching CITV.

I read it was 1.73 million for yesterday. I've not looked at ratings figures for a long time so I don't know if that's good but it sounds pitiful to me.

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Cooper S
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Re: Thunderbirds (2015) First viewing

Post by Cooper S »

GarethR wrote: Space:1999 was never "promised" a network sale, but Grade knew that he had to have star names for the leads if he wanted to get a network to buy it.
As I understand it - from an interview given by Sylvia Anderson - Lew Grade did have interest from one of the American networks when he originally commissioned the series, but by the time it was finished the executive who he'd been dealing with had left the company, and ITC had to sell it through syndication.

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Cooper S
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Re: Thunderbirds (2015) First viewing

Post by Cooper S »

Simon Coward wrote:...Thunderbirds was on-air somewhere in the UK every year from its first broadcast until 1977. Come 1980/81 it had barely been away, so for that reason alone, the 80/81 outing wasn't really a revival. The same would not necessarily be true for the other Anderson shows, some of which had been off-air for much longer, although they never generally had quite the same merchandising clout as Thunderbirds in the first place.
The repeats of Thunderbirds were pretty few and far between after the early 70s, particularly in some of the outlying regions of the ITV network. It was only on occasional visits outside the HTV region during this time that I ever managed to see the show, so certainly for me, and I would imagine many others, the 1980/81 cross region screenings of the series (even if at different times) was certainly a revival. And as this also came partly as a response to increased fan activity - e,g. the formation of Fanderson - I don't think it can be said the show was screened just as a 'filler'.

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Cooper S
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Re: Thunderbirds (2015) First viewing

Post by Cooper S »

drmih wrote:Just checked it out and it's solid fare for kids / young teenagers (at a push) but there's no way this is anywhere near family viewing - I remember the Ben 10 stuff when my kids were at school and it has that feel. Hopefully it will find an audience in the Saturday morning slot. I've got to say that I didn't like the Anderson puppet stuff when I was a kid but loved UFO and the first season of Space:1999.
I agree. This is a very juvenile take on the original, which has been deliberately fashioned to look as toy-like as possible - in complete contrast to Gerry and Sylvia's approach with the puppets, where they tried to make the puppets and models look as life-like as they could. This new version also lacks the charm, wit and atmosphere of the 60s show - relying instead on frenetic pace, loud noise and cheesy humour. The 'nods' to the original just serve to show how much this is a cynical rip-off rather than a well fashioned remake. I much preferred Gerry's approach with New Captain Scarlet, which although flawed, didn't treat its audience like morons.

thebeekeeper
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Re: Thunderbirds (2015) First viewing

Post by thebeekeeper »

Depends on your definition of "revival" I guess.
To me , a revival means a channel has purchased a series with the specific aim of bringing it to the attention of those interested in it and making it as accessible as possible . So the BBC did that for Thunderbirds and Bravo did it for The Avengers and the ITC shows.

When ITV repeated Thunderbirds in the 80's it was no different to any other ITC repeat. Varying slots and just hope that people were watching. In no way at all did they make any similar efforts to BBC and Bravo although they were obviously more restricted than the other channels would be.

One example of a channel that did make some effort was TVS who I think revived V and UFO in their regions after many requests from viewers annoyed at seeing these shows on other regions .
Most of the other regions who had shown the series earlier made little attempt to maximise viewers.
But this was the way ITV always treated its film series . With the exception of the initial broadcasts ( and even then for some of the series) they were all treated as filler and the only time it was guaranteed not to see them was peaktime so for any of the repeat runs the chances of anyone actually catching every single episode was remote - not surprising when one week a show could be on at 11am then the the next week 11pm (not Thunderbirds obviously although YTV did play Year 2 of Space 1999 in a very late slot and on its first screening)

TonyCurrie
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Re: Thunderbirds (2015) First viewing

Post by TonyCurrie »

I tuned in* on Saturday. Having been optimistic at the countdown sequence, the first bars of the theme in a minor key sounded dirge-like and then morphed into yet another anthemic doom-laden Royal Philharmonic (or Prague Phil?) breadwinner. How can Grandma still be cooking if Jeff's dead? It was all showoff clever ("See what amazing things we can do with CGI!!") and David Graham's voice sounded sadly out of place. Will kids like it? Possibly. Will it make money? Probably. Is it good television? Not really.

After six minutes I gave up and went to wash the dishes.

* does one 'tune-in' any more? Or do we 'log in'?

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Re: Thunderbirds (2015) First viewing

Post by GarethR »

Simon Coward wrote: Secondly, Thunderbirds was on-air somewhere in the UK every year from its first broadcast until 1977. Come 1980/81 it had barely been away
As others have pointed out, that perception depended entirely upon which ITV region you received.

For me, when Thunderbirds returned in 1981 it was a very big deal indeed. I had been obsessed with it in the mid-70s, but by 1981 I hadn't seen an episode for the best part of five years - which was half my lifetime, and hence a colossal time-span for a 10-year-old. All I'd had to sustain me during that time were my Dinky Toys Thunderbird 2, vague memories of parts of episodes, and the Century 21 mini-album "Thunderbird 2" which a cousin had given me. It's almost impossible to convey how momentous the fact that Thunderbirds was coming back seemed to be.

At the end of the 80s, when I was at university in Devon, I was able to pick up back issues of Fanderson's SIG magazine at the late lamented Destiny One shop in Exeter. The 1981 editions naturally made much play of the resurrection of the Anderson shows on ITV, and although I haven't read them in a long time, ISTR from the letters pages that many Fanderson members had been in the same boat as me. If there really was a sense that Thunderbirds had "barely been away", an awful lot of fans weren't feeling it.

The repeats of Joe 90 and Stingray were in some ways an even more exciting prospect, since I had only a single hazy memory of the latter and no memory at all of the former, although I had the theme music for both. And then when Fireball XL5 eventually turned up as well (a year or two later if memory serves), I could barely believe my luck.

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Re: Thunderbirds (2015) First viewing

Post by GarethR »

thebeekeeper wrote: Although not aired in the US I read it {New Captain Scarlet] sold well elsewhere around the world
Can you come up with more information than that? As I mentioned previously I can't find any broadcast history for any country other than the UK, although the IMDb mentions that it was called simply "Captain Scarlet" in Greece, so presumably it sold there. The fact that the USA didn't buy it was a real blow, and I'm genuinely interested to know for certain which other countries bought it.

Supposedly the UK was the only country to see a DVD release, too.
Gerry categorically states onscreen in The Space 1999 Documentary and its also in the Sellers ITC book that a network sale was guaranteed if they signed up Landau and Bain
That doco is rather old now. I wouldn't necessarily consider it gospel. It predates Gerry (and Chris Penfold) explaining about Grade blowing the deal with NBC by upping the price at the last minute.
As for a loss of face - I doubt it
Network deals were always the ultimate, they were what everybody wanted. To have the most expensive TV series ever made at that time, with two prominent American stars as the leads, and to end up having to sell it into syndication - that's a comedown. Syndication means that the individual stations that buy it are entirely free to show it whenever they like, you don't have the prestige of a regular network slot (or even a prime-time slot), so you're on the back foot ratings-wise before you begin.

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Re: Thunderbirds (2015) First viewing

Post by GarethR »

TonyCurrie wrote:How can Grandma still be cooking if Jeff's dead?
Jeff isn't definitely dead, he's officially missing, presumed dead. It's a story thread that's going to be left open. The head writer confirmed that he won't be in series 1 or 2, but if there's a series 3, he might be brought back into the mix.
It was all showoff clever ("See what amazing things we can do with CGI!!")
Well, what exactly did you expect them to do? Make it look deliberately low-tech? What would be the point?

I watched it with my 6-year-old son today, and he loved it. I enjoyed it too, at least I didn't find my attention wandering the way it does with the original series. I was the world's most obsessive Thunderbirds fan as a kid, but as I've got older I've found it harder and harder to watch without skipping over the tediously drawn-out sequences where nothing much is happening. The dialogue isn't exactly riveting, and it's clear that they're largely trying to pad so that they don't overburden the effects unit.
Is it good television? Not really
It's as good for its intended audience as the original was fifty years ago. As a reboot for an entirely new generation, it seems to be pitched just right. Sure, I have my niggles about it, but who cares? It's not made for me. I'm just another of the legion of middle-aged old farts who get grumpy about the fact that things aren't the way they used to be.

cdnbob
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Re: Thunderbirds (2015) First viewing

Post by cdnbob »

thebeekeeper wrote: As I mentioned previously I can't find any broadcast history for any country other than the UK, although the IMDb mentions that it was called simply "Captain Scarlet" in Greece, so presumably it sold there. The fact that the USA didn't buy it was a real blow, and I'm genuinely interested to know for certain which other countries bought it.
I can verify that it never aired in Canada either. I remember when the series came out and I had hoped that Teletoon (Canadian cable channel that airs animation) would have picked it up for broadcast but they never did. Definitely knew that Space (our SF channel) wouldn't be interested as over the past couple of years, since Bell bought them out, have been slowly getting rid of SF&F programming and going for a more mainstream route.

I've not heard of anyone in Canada either picking up the new Thunderbirds series, which I'm surprised considering that I would have thought both recent series would appeal to audiences here.

thebeekeeper
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Re: Thunderbirds (2015) First viewing

Post by thebeekeeper »

I don't recall where I saw the details about New Captain Scarlet.
IIRC it was around the time of production where I saw some mention that the show was already in profit due to it being pre-sold to so many countries and this was in reply to comments about ITV throwing it away and that not mattering because Granada had made the money they wanted so exposure on ITV was unnecessary thus continuing ITV's dunderheaded treatment of Anderson shows.

Where are these comments from Anderson about Grade increasing the price to the network for Space 1999?
The Sellers book on ITC does not mention it either.

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Re: Thunderbirds (2015) First viewing

Post by GarethR »

As I mentioned previously, Anderson himself spoke about it at a convention appearance, as did Chris Penfold - I was there to hear it in both instances. I've also read it somewhere, but can't remember where.

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Mickey
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Re: Thunderbirds (2015) First viewing

Post by Mickey »

I loved the new "Captain Scarlet". It wasn't perfect, but it was very enjoyable, and deserved a lot better. It followed on the heels of an updated "Dan Dare", which made it look as though we were in for a new trend in interesting animated adventure series. Obviously that never happened. A shame.

The scheduling for "Dan Dare" sucked too.

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Re: Thunderbirds (2015) First viewing

Post by ctraynor »

I liked New Captain Scarlet too. The only thing that really needed fixing was the unmemorable music. If I'd been commissioning a third season of the show that's what I'd have insisted needed improving. Barry Gray may have left us but still...

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Re: Thunderbirds (2015) First viewing

Post by Doom Patrol »

Another vote for New Captain Scarlet. It's a pity it wasn't developed further. When in the new Thunderbirds on by the way? I thought it was going to be on Saturday morning. But I don't see it there.

thebeekeeper
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Re: Thunderbirds (2015) First viewing

Post by thebeekeeper »

Doom Patrol wrote:Another vote for New Captain Scarlet. It's a pity it wasn't developed further. When in the new Thunderbirds on by the way? I thought it was going to be on Saturday morning. But I don't see it there.
Saturday Mornings 8am . It's on the CITV channel , supposed to be simulcast on ITV1 but presumably from the CITV feed as neither are listed as HD

videoking
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Re: Thunderbirds (2015) First viewing

Post by videoking »

cdnbob wrote:
thebeekeeper wrote: As I mentioned previously I can't find any broadcast history for any country other than the UK, although the IMDb mentions that it was called simply "Captain Scarlet" in Greece, so presumably it sold there. The fact that the USA didn't buy it was a real blow, and I'm genuinely interested to know for certain which other countries bought it.
I can verify that it never aired in Canada either. I remember when the series came out and I had hoped that Teletoon (Canadian cable channel that airs animation) would have picked it up for broadcast but they never did. Definitely knew that Space (our SF channel) wouldn't be interested as over the past couple of years, since Bell bought them out, have been slowly getting rid of SF&F programming and going for a more mainstream route.

I've not heard of anyone in Canada either picking up the new Thunderbirds series, which I'm surprised considering that I would have thought both recent series would appeal to audiences here.
I'm surprised that teletoon In Canada didn't give Scarlet a go since they did a run of Fireball XL5.
Space was a great channel back in the day but when they got bought out, they went mainstreem and their programming went to crap.

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Doom Patrol
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Re: Thunderbirds (2015) First viewing

Post by Doom Patrol »

Well, I suppose I did record it this morning. Difficult to tell. It doesn't appear to have appeared in any of the schedules I've seen. It might as well not exist. So I set it to record the 8am segment of something called Scramble (?) and hoped for the best. Funny way to carry on if you ask me. You'd think they would sell it a little more.

thebeekeeper
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Re: Thunderbirds (2015) First viewing

Post by thebeekeeper »

If I was still interested in this and recording it I would be very annoyed that ITV can't even be bothered to show it in HD.

drmih
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Re: Thunderbirds (2015) First viewing

Post by drmih »

thebeekeeper wrote:If I was still interested in this and recording it I would be very annoyed that ITV can't even be bothered to show it in HD.
There's certainly HD copies circulating, although I don't know which channel it was on.

videoking
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Re: Thunderbirds (2015) First viewing

Post by videoking »

There are HD copies around because I have one.

videoking
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Re: Thunderbirds (2015) First viewing

Post by videoking »

1080p HD versions are available online via official or....ahem....less than official means.

GarethR
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Re: Thunderbirds (2015) First viewing

Post by GarethR »

I didn't know that iTunes was offering 1080p downloads now.

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John Williams
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Re: Thunderbirds (2015) First viewing

Post by John Williams »

I wasn't intending to carry on watching Thunderbirds Are Go, as I don't have kids, but I idly watched Saturday's episode and really enjoyed it. 22 minutes, lots of jokes, and Parker as the Grey Ninja. I'll definitely watch more.

thebeekeeper
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Re: Thunderbirds (2015) First viewing

Post by thebeekeeper »

videoking wrote:There are HD copies around because I have one.
The first double episode was shown in HD by ITV . I recorded on the hard drive of my Bluray recorder intending to copy it to BD . So presumably HD versions of the first 2 episodes may be around.
But as episode 3 onwards is not being aired in HD that might be harder to find.
I assume if Itunes is HD then it won't match the quality of ITV HD and you have to jump through hoops to watch it anywhere except via Itunes

drmih
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Re: Thunderbirds (2015) First viewing

Post by drmih »

thebeekeeper wrote:
videoking wrote:There are HD copies around because I have one.
The first double episode was shown in HD by ITV . I recorded on the hard drive of my Bluray recorder intending to copy it to BD . So presumably HD versions of the first 2 episodes may be around.
But as episode 3 onwards is not being aired in HD that might be harder to find.
I assume if Itunes is HD then it won't match the quality of ITV HD and you have to jump through hoops to watch it anywhere except via Itunes
The copies knocking around are from ITV HD, so are you sure it wasn't shown? I thought ITV and ITV HD have the same schedule.

thebeekeeper
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Re: Thunderbirds (2015) First viewing

Post by thebeekeeper »

Yes it was shown but ITV HD is using the CITV feed by all accounts which is why its not in HD.

ITV HD often air programmes that are not HD but this one is annoying ( or would be if I was still recording it) because its made in HD and the CITV channel isn't so one would have hoped simulcasting on ITV HD would have ensured it being shown in HD . Apparently not - just as all saturday morning CITV output on ITV HD isn't in HD

Are people assuming the episode is in HD just because it has the ITV HD logo in the corner ?
By that reckoning all the Top of the Pops 80's shows on BBC4 would also be HD

The Radio Times and the Tivo and Freeview guides all have the HD notation missing from TAG.

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