A&E Home Video brings us another exciting set of episodes from the cult 1960s TV show, ’Thunderbirds’. Unique, to say the least, ’Thunderbirds’ offers exciting adventure, but uses marionettes, instead of real actors. Filmed in ’Super-Marionation!’, ’Thunderbirds’ displays amazing miniature sets and very cool model vehicles to compliment the marionette characters. While it takes a while to get used to the puppet action (their eyes are kind of freaky!), the interesting storylines combined with the well-paced action soon make the use of marionettes a moot point. Some of the sets, costumes, and motifs displayed here are definitely dated (seeing a marionette smoke is just plain weird!), but the action still feels fresh and these collections should appeal to both fans of the show and the curious.
’Thunderbirds’ focuses on the Tracy family — a group of men who run International Rescue, a secret organization who helps those in need. Using their special vehicles, the Tracy’s can travel the world assisting those in jeopardy. The DVD Set 3 features six episodes from the show. They are; ’Terror in New York City’, ’End of the Road’, ’Day of Disaster’, Edge of Impact’, ’Desperate Intruder’, and ’30 Minutes After Noon’. These six episodes show off the wide array of plots that the show had. Some deal with individual rescues, while others showcase the International Rescue team squaring off against their archenemies, The Hood. Of the six, ’Day of Disaster’, ’Terror in New York’, and ’Edge of Impact’ are the best here. ’End of the Road’ is the oddball show here, as nothing really happens for the first 30-minutes. No matter which episode you consider best, these six will please ’Thunderbirds’ fans.
’Thunderbirds — Set 3’ flies onto DVD from A&E and it is very impressive. Considering the fact that these shows are nearly 40 years old, they look great. The episodes are presented full-frame. The image is surprisingly sharp and clear. There is some minute grain and darkness at times, but otherwise, the image is quite crisp. Not surprisingly, there is some occasional damage from the source print, but not very often. A&E definitely spent some time cleaning these prints. The real highlight here is the Dolby Digital 5.1 channel soundtrack. This booming track offers non-stop surround sound action and sounds better than some modern-day action films. There is a plethora of subwoofer response and the dialogue is always clear. Purists may prefer the optional Mono track, but this 5.1 track rocks! The only extra on the disc is a still gallery with 12 photos from the show.