Review: Amazon's 'Thunderbirds Are Go'

I remember growing up watching television on weekends. On Sundays when most kids were in church I was watching cartoons or whatever local TV stations decided on playing. One show that was weird to watch yet awesome was the Thunderbirds. This show from the UK in the 60s was a made using some type of special marionettes. It was about a group of pilots of 5 amazing vehicles that saved people throughout the world. Each vehicle had a number and when they counted down each vehicle during the intro they’d say “THUNDERBIRDS ARE GO!” That was fire because it was like watching what you imagined your action figures were doing when you played with them. I honestly can’t speak on the quality of that show since I haven’t seen it since, but it they are remaking it for a brand new audience with Thunderbirds Are Go! (see everyone knows that tagline is fire!). The show, going by my trained cartoon watching eye, uses a mix of CGI and real physical model environments and follows the same setup as the old show. The Thunderbirds save people with the help of their colleague Secret Agent Penelope.

I’m not going to lie, I was really excited hearing about this new show...probably too excited to be honest. The show feels a bit too stiff for me, also a little too simple and close to the original in feeling to me. Almost to nostalgic for its own good. The characters still feel like the marionettes from the past as do the planes and vehicles. And while that’s cool it feels a bit too slow to keep a child’s attention for the entire length of an episode. But I could be off on this, even though I watch a lot of cartoons I don’t watch that many for younger kids. Shows like paw patrol and such, Thunderbirds are Go! Could be going for that audience with the very clear heroism angle of saving people. Not much real conflict or humor actually.

The production value is definitely there but for me, this version of the show isn’t something I’m going to be checking for. I think The Thunderbirds deserve a bit more of a refreshing take on the concept and characters and this is far from that.