Terra-Hawks and Thunderhawks

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Rachel
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Terra-Hawks and Thunderhawks

Postby Rachel » Fri Jul 25, 2003 7:30 pm

The title Thunderhawks would just be too similar to Thunderbirds, wouldn't it?

Jon Talpur
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Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2003 12:44 pm

Terra-Hawks and Thunderhawks

Postby Jon Talpur » Wed Aug 13, 2003 8:36 pm

Taken from the extremely comprehensive book "The Anime Encyclopaedia", Thunderbirds 2086 entry:"The head of ITC Japan (ITC being the company that owned Thunderbirds, Stingray etc.) Banjiro Uemura held talks with Gerry Anderson in 1977 about an animated series called Terrahawks: Order to Recapture Earth. During the outlining process, much of Anderson's original idea was discarded in favour of new plot elements from Sukehiro Tomita and Yoshikazu Yasuhiko. Set in the year 2085, it was to be the story of second-generation immigrants from the rest of the solar system, returning to reconquer their homeworld, which has been overrun by aliens led by the evil "Queen Mother". The show stalled in the early stages, because the Japanese network MBS claimed there was no call for sci-fi. Star Wars opened in Japan just a few months later, by which time the project was already cancelled.However, several parties reused elements of the proposal in later shows-writer Tomita with Mospeada (Robotech: The New Generation), Anderson with his puppet-show Terrahawks, and Uemura with Technovoayger (Thunderbirds 2086)."If the Japanese text in your "Making of Terrahawks" mentions the year 2085, then I guess that's what the book is referring to! Also, although the above info sounds comprehensive, there are so many entries in the book that this info may not be 100% accurate. It doesn't sound to bad to me though.There's also a bit of info regarding the original Japanese development of the show on this page:http://www.televisionheaven.co.uk/hisanderson4.htmThe Anime Encyclopaedia entry also includes by far the most interesting piece of info regarding Terrahawks in Japan, namely that they apparently had an all-new title sequence featuring Japanese animation, directed by one Satoshi Dezaki. If that book has any pics of that, then I'm definitely going to have to shell out and get a copy, I'd give anything to see Terrahawks in an 80s anime style!Jon

AndyThomas
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Terra-Hawks and Thunderhawks

Postby AndyThomas » Wed Aug 13, 2003 9:38 pm

That's interesting - I knew that Thunderbirds 2086 had come about from Technovoyager which by a quirk of fate resulted in the ships having TB on them because of the Japanese tendency to use English lettering, but I'm surprised that there was even a vague connection with Terrahawks in terms of storyline. The baddies in Thunderbirds 2086 were invariably machines gone wrong, or just natural disasters - not aliens. It's interesting, though, that British designs should get reflected in Anime which are well known for their mecha - perhaps that's what attracts some Japanese to the Anderson shows?BTW Jon, don't know if you've seen it, but I've got a page on Thunderbirds 2086 here:http://www.sfxb.co.uk/animated/tbirds2086.html
Andy Thomas - SFXB Webmaster and Forum Moderator

Jon Talpur
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Terra-Hawks and Thunderhawks

Postby Jon Talpur » Wed Aug 13, 2003 10:12 pm

Well, I'm not sure exactly what elements from the original Terrahawks proposal were actually used in Thunderbirds 2086, but as you point out, the series certainly didn't have any alien enemies to speak of, so the connection is probably a very loose one. The same goes for Mospeada, which bears little resemblance to any of the characters and concepts from Terrahawks.I have seen you page on TB2086 Andy, and very nice it is too! I'm currently working on one myself for another website. There's not much up at the moment, and since I don't have all the eps, it'll still be a while before it's complete. Technovoyager was originally intended to be an unofficial "homage" to Thunderbirds, with TV also conveniently replaced quite legitimately by TB on the vehicles. Since Uemura was also the head of ITC Japan, he wasn't in any trouble with the official rights holders of Thunderbirds either, since he worked for the company that owned the rights! It was then only a formality to rename the show for foreign broadcast.As for the connections Anderson shows and mecha in Japan, the Anderson shows have always been insanely popular in that country (I suspect that most of the merchandising profits from his shows over the years has come from Japan, rather than old Blighty), and many of the trappings of Thunderbirds have become standards in anime. Apart from the outlandish routes to vehicles and heavy emphasis on semi-realistic technology, Thunderbirds and Stingray were some of the earliest TV shows to show a well-realized future society on Earth (simply by virtue of the fact that miniatures were used, which were considerably cheaper than live-action could ever have hoped for). These are things that most mecha shows have also done since their conception.Jon

AndyThomas
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Terra-Hawks and Thunderhawks

Postby AndyThomas » Wed Aug 13, 2003 10:20 pm

Heh, yes, interesting point about the way they tend to get to their vehicles - perhaps more so in the live action shows than in the anime that are trying to do mecha in a more military fashion? Robotic mecha never really show up in Anderson shows of course, but I imagine the concept of it being a family team struck chords as well. It must have had a good translation. As you say, merchandise wise, I've seen far more Japanese model kits of Thunderbirds than I have British ones.
Andy Thomas - SFXB Webmaster and Forum Moderator

Happosai
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Terra-Hawks and Thunderhawks

Postby Happosai » Thu Aug 14, 2003 12:15 pm

I'm sure there's no real connection, but I thought it'd be interesting to point out that in Japanese, there is no 'V' sound, and they use a 'B' in its place when pronouncing and writing foreign words (this is similar to the well-known 'R'/'L' thing), so 'violin' written/pronounced in Japanese is 'baiorin', and 'Techno Voyager' would be something like 'Tekuno Boijya'.[Happosai]

FZeroOne
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Terra-Hawks and Thunderhawks

Postby FZeroOne » Thu Aug 14, 2003 8:32 pm

<edit - apologies to Jon Talpur, I've just realised I've gone over some of the ground you've already covered. Sorry! > One of the shows that was apparently born out of the aborted 70s Anderson/Japan team-up was Genesis Climber Mospeada, which used a projected plot of a human relief force returning to Earth to fight alien invaders - allegedly the alien leader in the original treatment was called The Queen Mother! ( presumably, this is where Zelda came from )Mospeada is, oddly enough, probably better known in the West than Terrahawks, as it formed one of the components of the hybrid Robotech anime entity.For anime examples of the influence Anderson shows had on anime, try the following anime directed by Hideki Anno: Gunbuster! ( most obvious: hypersonic transport clearly based on FireFlash ), Nadia of the Mysterious Seas (AKA The Secret of Blue Water; several, but one episode parodies Thunderbird 2s famous launch sequence ), and Neon Genesis Evangelion (also numerous, but Tokyo-3s protective submerging underground recalls Stingrays MarineVille ).Possibly the closest in spirit to Andersons theme of "The future will be cool, but there will still be man-made problems", though, is Patlabor.
"The power of bakers, the power of artists; even the power of witches! It must be a power given by God... sometimes we suffer for it."- Ursula, Kikis Delivery Service.

FZeroOne
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Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2002 1:42 pm

Terra-Hawks and Thunderhawks

Postby FZeroOne » Thu Aug 14, 2003 8:36 pm

Forgot - isn't there supposed to be a new Anderson-produced, Japanese animated series out in Japan now? Storm Force?
"The power of bakers, the power of artists; even the power of witches! It must be a power given by God... sometimes we suffer for it."- Ursula, Kikis Delivery Service.


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