THUNDERBIRDS (VOLUMES 3 & 4)
Review by Michael Jacobson
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1
Video: Standard 1.33:1
Features: Photo Galleries
Length: Approx. 156 Minutes per disc
Release Date: November 20, 2001
One of the most asked questions we've received here at DMC
this year has been, “When are the next Thunderbirds sets coming out?”
It’s nice to know I’m not the only fan of Gerry
Anderson’s classic Supermarionation television program.
When A&E released their first two double disc sets earlier this year,
fans nostalgic for the imaginative and inventive show clamored for them.
We remembered the adventures of the Tracy family and their super-secret
organization International Rescue, with their amazing crafts known as the
Thunderbirds that could race, fly, swim and rocket to the side of anyone in need
The wait is over for the next installments as A&E has
released Sets #3 and 4. The
adventures of International Rescue continue, and these old shows are still just
as much fun as you remember.
I can only hope the unfortunate timing of the first episode
on Set #3, “Terror in New York City”, won’t be a hindrance.
It was one of the best Thunderbirds shows, but the sight of the
Empire State Building being toppled might not be the most savory form of
entertainment right now. Five more
episodes round out the first set, including two in which the Tracy boys fight
their arch nemesis, The Hood (“Edge of Impact” and “Desperate
Fans of the debonair London agent Lady Penelope (and who
isn’t, I ask you?) get three of her best episodes on Set #4, including one of
the Thunderbirds most requested airings, “The Imposters”, where she
helps the boys salvage their spotless reputations when a gang of spies posing as
International Rescue create a worldwide incident! She also saves the day in “The Man from M.I.5” and “The
Duchess Assignment”, which of course, feature more of her decked out pink
Rolls Royce and her dry butler Parker.
Both sets equate to 12 more exciting episodes of Thunderbirds,
which I can vouch will keep fans of the show busy for a little while longer.
But these terrific puppets with their imaginative crafts and expansive
sets, which could be considered one of the best and biggest toy boxes you’ve
ever seen, will always keep fans asking for the next installments…hopefully,
we won’t have to wait too long!
As with the first sets, #3 and 4 are both quality DVD
presentations. These 35 year plus
old shows look terrific, with great coloring, sharp images, and no undue grain
or compression artifacts. The
prints themselves are quite clean, too, with only a few minor tell tale streaks
or spots here and there…nothing distracting, and certainly acceptable given
the age. Once again, Thunderbirds
fans can rejoice!
Like before, these 5.1 audio mixes are extremely
impressive…you can’t imagine how good until you hear them for yourself!
Filled with explosions and rocketing crafts and more, the .1 channel gets
as good a workout as any modern action film you might have on disc.
There’s also a generous amount of rear stage work, which plays out with
smooth crossovers and clean pans. The
tracks are lively and very dynamic…when it gets loud, it gets LOUD!
A superior effort all the way.
All discs include a photo gallery, and each cover is
decorated with pics, quotes, and fun facts for a nice extra touch.