Preview image of new Thunderbird 1 releasedBookmark and Share

Sunday, 22 June 2014 - Reported by John Bowman
A preview image of the new Thunderbird 1 from the forthcoming series Thunderbirds Are Go! has been released by ITV Studios.

The major new children's series, which is a co-production between ITV Studios and Pukeko Pictures in association with Weta Workshop, is set to make its international debut early next year in the UK on ITV and CITV.

Set against the backdrop of the Hollywood sign, the rocket maintains its distinctive silver bullet style from the original show, which first aired on ITV from 1965 to 1966.

The reboot, comprising 26 half-hour episodes, will be produced using a mix of CGI animation and live-action model sets to deliver a new level of action-adventure animation while also paying tribute to the classic 1960s phenomenon.

As previously reported, the reinvention of Gerry and Sylvia Anderson's iconic series will star Rosamund Pike as the voice of Lady Penelope and original cast member David Graham, who reprises his role as Parker.

Other star voices will include Kayvan Novak as inventor Brains and Thomas Brodie-Sangster voicing John Tracy.

Executive producer Giles Ridge said:
Thunderbirds Are Go! pays tribute to the original series whilst delivering a dynamic action-adventure to thrill a new generation. The iconic characters, craft, music and story elements of the original have been lovingly reimagined for a 21st-century audience. The series will showcase the world-famous Pukeko Pictures and Weta Workshop's ground-breaking creative and technical excellence.






Thunderbirds Are Go AgainBookmark and Share

Monday, 4 February 2013 - Reported by John Bowman
ITV is to reinvent the cult TV series Thunderbirds, it announced today.

The broadcaster will be working with the New Zealand-based Pukeko Pictures and Weta Workshop on 26 30-minute episodes, which will mix CGI animation and live-action model sets. They are scheduled to debut on CITV in 2015 - 50 years after the Gerry Anderson Supermarionation series first hit TV screens in the UK on the commercial channel ITV.

Currently in pre-production, it has been given the working title of Thunderbirds Are Go! and will once again see the five Tracy brothers piloting their vehicles into international rescues.

The series head writer is Rob Hoegee, and it has been commissioned by Jamila Metran, head of programming for CITV, who said:
Thunderbirds Are Go! will be a hugely exciting new show for the CITV audience. We're delighted to be working with ITV Studios and the talented teams at Pukeko Pictures and Weta Workshop, whose success and innovation is renowned across the film and television industry. Thunderbirds is a much-loved British institution with significant global recognition, and our audience will relish this timely opportunity to discover the new series 50 years on.

Denise O'Donoghue, the managing director of ITV Studios UK, said:
Thunderbirds is a highly-respected brand that continues to hold recognition around the world. This cult series is often credited as changing the history of animation and action-adventure, and we look forward to taking the show to another level while retaining the much-loved heritage that has endured over the past 50 years.

Richard Taylor, the co-owner of Pukeko Pictures and Weta Workshop, said:
Thunderbirds was a hugely influential television series in my childhood. Having watched it originally in black and white, it was only years later that I discovered the full and rich world that Gerry and Sylvia Anderson, Derek Meddings, Mike Trimm, and their team created. It is thrilling, therefore, to think we have the opportunity to work with ITV on this new series inspired by this most wonderful of British shows.

I personally, together with the teams here at Pukeko Pictures and Weta Workshop, look forward to designing and creating an inspirational world that will engage the imagination of a whole new generation as it did for us nearly half a century ago.

Andrew Smith, the chief executive of Pukeko Pictures, commented:
Pukeko Pictures is focused on high-quality value-based programming, and we are thrilled to be associated with such an iconic brand, one that brilliantly encompasses family values, heroism, and generosity. We are very proud to partner with ITV Studios to create a new era of Thunderbirds.

It is being executive-produced by Estelle Hughes for ITV Studios, Giles Ridge for ITV Studios Global Entertainment, and Taylor and Smith for Pukeko Pictures.




ITV To Mark 30 Years Of Children's ProgrammesBookmark and Share

Friday, 21 December 2012 - Reported by John Bowman
The 30th anniversary of the Children's ITV brand is to be marked with a special documentary and an "Old Skool Weekend" of iconic programmes from the '80s and '90s.

Children's ITV launched on 3rd January 1983, and in the early days guest presenters - including Roland Rat, Timmy Mallet, and Basil Brush - pre-recorded the intros to children's programming every month. In 1987, Children's ITV went live, with output presented by Gary Terzza and Debbie Shore. The CITV channel arrived on 11th March 2006 and, with its mix of programming aimed primarily at four-to-nine-year-olds, now broadcasts approximately a third of original content.

A one-hour documentary entitled 30 Years Of CITV will be shown on ITV1 on Saturday 29th December at 6.30pm, while between 9.25am and 6pm on Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th January, CITV will be showing a selection of its iconic shows, including the first and last episodes of Press Gang - Steven Moffat's first TV work - and episodes from Children's Ward, which was produced by Russell T Davies, who also wrote for it, as well as an episode of Button Moon, whose theme music was co-composed by Peter Davison.

The "Old Skool Weekend" schedule is as follows:

    SATURDAY 5th JANUARY
  • 9.25am: Mike and Angelo (1990)
  • 9.50am: Super Gran (second episode, 1985)
  • 10.15am: Wizadora (last episode, 1998)
  • 10.30am: T-Bag (1987)
  • 10.50am: Engie Benjy (series 3, episode 1, 2004)
  • 11.05am: The Raggy Dolls (1994)
  • 11.15am: Puddle Lane (1986)
  • 11.35am: Count Duckula (1991)
  • 12pm: The Sooty Show (1986)
  • 12.25pm: Art Attack (1992)
  • 12.40pm: The Big Bang (1997)
  • 1pm: Finders Keepers (1991)
  • 1.30pm: Fun House (1994)
  • 2pm: Knightmare (1993)
  • 2.30pm: Fraggle Rock (1983)
  • 3pm: The Worst Witch (1998)
  • 3.30pm: Woof! (Eric, first episode, 1989)
  • 4pm: Dramarama (Blackbird Singing In The Dead of Night, 1988)
  • 4.30pm: Press Gang (first episode, 1989)
  • 5pm: The Tomorrow People (1992)
  • 5.30pm: Children's Ward (2000)

    SUNDAY 6th JANUARY
  • 9.25am: Mike and Angelo
  • 9.50am: Spatz (1992)
  • 10.10am: Huxley Pig
  • 10.30am: Rainbow (1984)
  • 10.50am: Button Moon (1985)
  • 11.05am: The Riddlers
  • 11.15am: Rosie and Jim (first episode, 1990)
  • 11.35am: Dangermouse (1986)
  • 12pm: Sooty & Co (1993)
  • 12.25pm: How 2 (1995)
  • 12.40pm: Fingertips (2002)
  • 1pm: Jungle Run (2001)
  • 1.30pm: Fun House (1995)
  • 2pm: Knightmare (1993)
  • 2.30pm: Fraggle Rock (1983)
  • 3pm: My Parents Are Aliens (2005)
  • 3.30pm: Woof! (Rex, 1993)
  • 4pm: Dramarama (Back To Front, 1989)
  • 4.30pm: Press Gang (last episode, 1993)
  • 5pm: The Tomorrow People (1992)
  • 5.30pm: Children's Ward (unknown)