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Chat about the characters, plot, music, special effects...
Huffy1968
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Postby Huffy1968 » Mon Nov 10, 2003 1:03 pm

Last night I didn't get to bed till 2:30. Why? Because last evening I was sitting in front of my computer, thinking about something to surf on the internet... cult TV shows... Star Fleet! Google came up with SFXB, Big Dai-X and F-Zero-One... Fantastic sites guys, really. I had forgotten just how much I had enjoyed Star Fleet. I was 14 when it was originally shown, having grown up on repeats of Thunderbirds, etc. Star Fleet came as a revelation, no doubt in no small part to its Japanese origins. The spaceship and character designs were superb, and still stand up to this day. It also dealt with some pretty dark concepts (torture, brainwashing and death on a Saturday morning!) And, for the record, I thought Star Fleet was a much better show than Terrahawks, which despite coming from the great Gerry Anderson, came across as a bland, uninspiring thinly veiled copy of Thunderbirds. Star Fleet simply had cooler, more memorable characters, and that of course brings me to the Favourite Character poll. Easy choice - Commander Makara, a great science fiction villainess. I mean, there is just something about a beautiful woman in armour and prosthetics... Hmm... Er, anyway, like many others I was dismayed when she was killed off, despite it making sense dramatically. The last two episodes were poorer without her. I live in what was in '82 the Central TV region, so for its initial showing we were treated decently. The Sunday 1pm repeat run around '84 was a different matter though - one particular memory was that the final episode was delayed by 3 weeks so Central could show a couple of Princess Di documentaries! Another thing that comes to mind - the annual. I remember seeing it in our family's Grattan catalogue at the time, with a different cover... Anyway, having yawned through my lunch I thought I would sit down and say hi, thanks for some fantastic websites, and now I want to watch the whole series again...  

Rachel
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Postby Rachel » Mon Nov 10, 2003 9:33 pm

I agree with you 100% about Commander Makara, it's good having her back in my life. Although I bought the Starfleet videos before Terrahawks, I have now decided I prefer the latter, as PPA could never compete with the zeroids. Puh-lease, what is the appeal of Chunderbirds? My hatred of that show is increasing daily! I could never see anything in it, even when I was little, and Terrahawks (the only thing made by the great Gerry Anderson, of those I have seen, worth watching) thus came as a brilliant surprise to me. You will be pleased to know there is a Thunder-burps annual for 2004 available, I have noticed in bookshops.

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Crash
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Postby Crash » Mon Nov 10, 2003 9:57 pm

Thunderbirds is magic, an inspired masterpiece of genius. How can you people possibly slag it off? Terrahawks although it was kinda fresh and really groovy was complete pants in comparison.
Dream big and bold and daring.

Rachel
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Postby Rachel » Mon Nov 10, 2003 10:28 pm

Could this be the same lovely Crash Override, who really uplifted my spirits not so long ago, saying Terrahawks was "mint" even though it scared you? Now trying to give me a stroke? Can I have the "Dr Jekyll" Crash back, please? Thunderberks has no zeroids, no Yung-Star, and the theme-tune isn't even as good. And Penelope didn't appeal to me as much as Mary. I always find Ms Falconer really soothing, in fact I ought to go and watch her now...I must say, however, that although Ten Top Pop is one of my favourite episodes, they could have done more with the theme of Stu being hypnotised; if only to see his reaction when he "came round"! That was possibly inspired by the brainwashing of Carter in Starfleet, but wasn't nearly as moving; but then, it wasn't meant to be as tragic.

AndyThomas
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Postby AndyThomas » Mon Nov 10, 2003 10:28 pm

Ooooooh boy. Run for the hills folks, it's the Terrahawks vs Thunderbirds flame war! The thing is, they're utterly different shows from different eras. However, there are many similarities, at least from the designs point of view.Battlehawk : Thunderbird 2Both drop vehicles from their bellies, both are VTOL craft and command and control centres. Similar concealed launch methods.Terrahawk : Thunderbird 1Similar functions, although TB1 never piggybacked on TB2 of course.Treehawk : Thunderbird 3Treehawk's just a more ecologically sound version of TB3 - again with the vertical take off stuff.Spacehawk : Thunderbird 5Urm... they're space stations.Now, I suspect what Rachel finds better is that the female characters in Thunderbirds aren't great. Lady Penelope aside, they're not as involved as they are in Terrahawks. Thunderbirds is more about the technology - the rescuing - although there is a fair bit of characterisation in there too.OK, seconds away, round two
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AndyThomas
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Postby AndyThomas » Mon Nov 10, 2003 10:41 pm

Oh, and welcome to the forum Huffy... tsk, where are my manners eh...
Andy Thomas - SFXB Webmaster and Forum Moderator

Huffy1968
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Postby Huffy1968 » Tue Nov 11, 2003 12:06 am

Thanks for the welcome Andy...    Firstly, Thunderbirds v Terrahawks. Yes, the two series are similar from a vehicle design/utilisation standpoint, but when you have two shows with also-similarly structured titles and comparable opening sequences, you begin to wonder. I can't help but feel that Gerry Anderson was trying to catch lightning in a bottle for the second time with Terrahawks, and it sadly didn't work. Thunderbirds gained its almost mythical reputation for various reasons. One - it was made in the 1960s, a time when TV was prepared to take risks (see: The Prisoner, The Avengers). Two - it was made in colour, still a big deal for the mid-1960s, and something that would ensure a reasonable shelf life at that time, as colour TV was very much in its infancy. (A bizarre aside here: One of my earliest memories is ATV continuity announcer Mike Prince introducing an episode of Thunderbirds, stating that it was not originally made in black and white... Think about it...) Three - there was a distinct lack of video recorders, which meant that since you could only watch the programme when it was broadcast, it maintained its initial popularity, forcing the audience to request the programme to be shown again. Four - it was well made, as Lew Grade threw a lot of money at it. Five - a memorable, and easily-hummable theme tune. Six -  well-designed, iconic vehicles and ground-breaking special effects - Derek Meddings, RIP. Of course, if you watch Thunderbirds today, despite it being hugely entertaining, its many continuity flaws, visible strings  and out-of-scale water and fires are evident and obvious. But Thunderbirds was exciting for its time, and set in an almost-believable future universe (until they totally screwed it up with the Martian Rock Snakes from "Thunderbirds Are Go!", of course...) Terrahawks, on the other hand, I personally found a little childish from the start, even patronising (I was 15 at the time, though, if that makes any difference) and it was far too comedic in places. It was very well-made, though, and had that all-important hummable theme tune... Had Terrahawks been made in the 1960s with the level of expertise Thunderbirds had been made with, I'm sure its cult status would have been assured, and we would possibly be waiting for the live-action remake of that series next year... Sorry, didn't want to turn this into a Thunderbirds rant - at the moment, I would rather watch Star Fleet again... As to Rachel's comments - where have you been all my life?    Seriously though, I can see where you are coming from liking TH over TB - more advanced for its day, lovable characters, and more female characters in positions of authority... authorative females... dressed in armour and prosthetics... Yumm... Oh sorry, had a "Makara" again there, forgive me...  

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Crash
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Postby Crash » Tue Nov 11, 2003 6:08 pm

"authorative females... dressed in armour and prosthetics... Yumm... Oh sorry, had a "Makara"" - Certainly got an obsession this lad.Welcome to the board - its usually my job to say that... oh well. I'm not saying Terrahawks wasn't great but TBirds had the idea you know... the original one? (about saving people and not having to wage a war with / kill anyone).Besides TBirds on that basis could get away with being a much more idiosyncratic organisation than in Stingray/Captain Scarlet. Terrahawks tried that and failed a bit - I mean come on who would put those hicks in charge of all that gear and say "there you are defend the planet with it" They wouldn't last 5 minutes.Thank you Mr Huffy for your support... I rest my case.PS. I asked the guy next to me at school and agrees (with me of course).
Dream big and bold and daring.

Shane
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Postby Shane » Tue Nov 11, 2003 6:49 pm

I was an avid Gerry Anderson fan when I was 8, I used to like em all. I remember one time in school when we were allowed to watch an episode of Thunderbirds as a treat. Everyone was incredibly excited about it, Thunderbirds was a big deal back then, probably second only to Star Wars in the ahead of it's time stakes. Along came Star Fleet a couple of years later, and my love affair with Gerry Anderson shows ended. Star Fleet was dark, and I could tell that even then, the bad guys weren't just bad, they were genuinely scarey! Thunderbirds is just a little to bland for my tastes, and I'm not dissing any fans here, live and let live thats what I say. It was amazing for it's time, but I don't like Thunderbirds that much these days. Terrahawks might not be as classy in the minds of G. Anderson fans but it was a lot more fun, and I think it was just as Iconic in it's own way.So in clossing Terrahawks is better than Thunderbirds, but Star Fleet kick's them both in the nuts. So there. Shane.
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Huffy1968
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Postby Huffy1968 » Tue Nov 11, 2003 8:18 pm

Hi Crash, glad to be of service... Me, obsessed? Nah... ok, maybe a bit... But anyway: It's certainly true to say that Star Fleet is a much more mature series than either TBs or THs, mainly I suppose to its core Japanese influences. Looking at all the shows now, aged 35, SF is in no way as patronising as the others. In fact, its not patronising at all. Maybe the Japanese production crew were aiming for as broad an audience as possible, something that, interestingly, the UK dubbed version I feel does nothing to diminish. Let me put it this way: if someone was to offer me a box set of Thunderbirds DVDs with one hand and some VHS tapes of Star Fleet recorded from the TV in the other, I would take Star Fleet. No question. In fact, is Daz (djdust) still offering the UK episodes on tape?


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