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I remember watching Thunderbirds in black and white before having some VHS tapes in colour. The quality of the Blu-ray is excellent. These stories are as good as when they were first broadcast but now with a quality to match current productions. A must buy for any Thunderbirds fans and good for introducing the next generation to great TV.
I've read all the negative reviews regarding the cropping of the Blu Ray from the 4:3 ratio, and I have to tell you quite honestly that I don't notice a thing. All I see is an absolutely STUNNING picture of a television series that was one of my favorites as a kid, and as a 51 year old "kid" still is. The machinery that the Tracey's used; the secret entrances and exits on Tracy Island; the constant attempts by the Hood to gain the secrets of International rescue; and wondering what the heck John Tracy does in his spare time when manning the IR Space station (well, brother Alan gets to relieve him from time to time)? I still love the way Thunderbird 2 is the kick butt workhorse of the IR gear, especially when it drops off Thunderbird 4 (who even has its own secret launching bay on the Island). I love the cool way you get into Thunderbird 3 and how it's launched (it's my favorite of the T-Birds for sure) There are some truly excellent stories, and some of the actors who voice multiple roles do a heck of a job, including Sylvia Anderson, who voices Lady Penelope. Yeah, there are some guys who sound the same, but even better is when they are supposed to be playing two different roles and wind up talking with themselves in the same conversation, occasionally losing track of the correct accent, LOL! It may have been considered a children's show, but watching a puppet have a cigarette and a martini still cracks me up every time.
Butchered? Not by ANY stretch of the imagination. This picture looks crystal clear, and you can really see the attention to detail that went into the making of this series; every little nut and bolt in Thunderbird 1. Every splash of the pod releasing Thunderbird 4 into the water is incredibly realistic and jumps off the screen at you. I honestly wish they had found a way to take the 4:3 picture of "Space: 1999 Series One" and do as good a job as it's done here. I'm assuming that it is MUCH harder to ensure that human heads are not cut off and important print at the bottom of the picture is not lost. That series also looks spectacular, and we're supposed to get the Second Series sometime this year, but they have said the delay is because they have wanted it to look as great as the first set did (and that too will be in its original 4:3 Aspect Ratio).
If you loved this show as a kid or want to turn the next generation of children on to some great action and adventure, then this is the show for you. Having them see it in HD is something that will be truly special for them...and you, as you watch their faces when they see this for the first time (my kids love it; but my youngest daughter loves "Stingray" the best). ALMOST as good as having them watch Doctor Who for the first time and adopt someone as "their Doctor" (mine was Tom Baker and then David Tennent). My youngest likes Eleven the best wile my oldest loved Ten. Such great memories we have been afforded sue to technology; memories that we thought were lost forever, now lovingly preserved...and this Thunderbirds Complete Blu Ray set was crafted with loving care, all if it that it deserves. Thunderbirds are go! F.A.B!
Listen up. I can rightly claim to be one of the early adopters in the UK to have owned a widescreen TV (a massive 1990 Philips 32 inch behemoth that you could land a helicopter on) connected to a Laservision player At that time Laserdiscs were the only format that you could enjoy films in their correct shooting ratios. I want my copy of 2001: a space odyssey in full widescreen, and prefer listening to The Beatles in glorious mono.
So why am I relaxed about the so-called 'hatchet job' that ITV have done by cropping this beloved TV series into 16:9 ratio widescreen? Because it looks so damn good! In 1964 Lew Grade (whose company financed Gerry Anderson's series) famously watched the first episode of Thunderbirds and exclaimed, "This isn't a TV programme - it's a movie!" And so, dear friends, my critical faculties lay in pieces on the floor because this new Blu-Ray version fulfils Lew Grade's eureka moment of insight - every episode in this set looks like a movie. There's no degradation in quality because it was originally shot on 35mm film (itself a high definition format, though nobody seems to think of it that way), and most of it looks pin-sharp with fabulous colours and picture stability. You don't see yards of puppet strings because they're now cropped out of view - what's not to like? Thunderbird 2 looks amazing in flight within a 16:9 frame.
This is Thunderbirds as you saw it in your imagination when you were 5 years old - not as some angry old git moaning about cropped 4:3 ratios in 2014. If you want that 1960's low-fi vibe, play the old VHS tapes on an 4:3 TV switched to black & white.
Or you can buy these Blu-Rays, put them on, and imagine what your younger, 5 year-old self would have thought. FAB!
These programmes were made in 1965-66 but this is a brilliant transfer with sharp pictures and outstanding sound. For many, this will be a nostalgia trip, but today's younger generation should enjoy the adventure and drama and may not notice how hackneyed the script is. Special effects were by Derek Meddings, who went on to work on the James Bond films.
Wow! and double Wow! Not waiting any longer for original aspect ratio. Having just watched on a 55in Oled T. V. This in 16:9 widescreen is now superior in every way in my opinion, its nothing less than spectacular in image and sound. Blew me away, it's that good. FANTASTIC!
As parents who loved watching Thunderbirds the first time around in the 70's, we were delighted to be able to introduce our kids to it in the 2000's via VHS videos we acquired via ebay. Roll on a decade or so and our 16 yr old son (high functioning on the Autistic Spectrum) fancied watching them again, so found this Blu Ray collection online. The set contains the entire collection of episodes and therefore we think is very good value for money. Our son (& our 20 yr old daughter & ourselves!) have loved sitting down together and reliving their (& our) childhoods watching them. The improved quality of Blu Ray is clear to see (perhaps too good, as I'm sure you can see the 'strings/wires' more clearly?!) and yet the whole thing continues to have a timeless quality about it, that we love - as entertaining now as when they were first made 50+ years ago :) Thoroughly recommend.
First off, I can tell you that I have this box set and I've watched it. Unlike some other reviewers who have heard that it's been cropped to 16:9 or seen stills on the internet from this box set. You can't possibly make a good judgement based on a few still pictures! - You have to see the real thing to really appreciate it.
I already have the DVD box set in the original 4:3 ratio, but I was blown away by the quality of the picture on blu-ray. The colours are amazing - rich and vibrant, and the picture has the sharpness you'd expect from blu-ray. It's hard to believe Thunderbirds is 45 years old. It's like watching the series anew.
Also, I can't believe that some people are just writing this box set off and asking people not to buy it! Why anyone would want to watch a 4:3 picture on a widescreen TV with ugly black bars at the sides is beyond me. I want my screen filled! I think they've done a good job with the cropping. You hardly notice it. You do lose quite a few strings - which is no bad thing! My only complaint is that they could've made the packaging a bit sturdier. A thicker cardboard case would have been better.
I'm really glad I bought this box set (and not listened to negative reviews from the old boys club!). Hopefully we can look forward to Captain Scarlet and UFO revamped for the 21st Century. I can't wait!
I bought this Blu-Ray box set hesitantly due to all the negative reviews. I already own the complete Thunderbirds series on DVD and personally I find it distracting to watch 4:3 images on a widescreen TV. Strangely I enjoy watching 2.35 movies with black bars at the top and bottom, but black bars at the sides just leaves everything looking too boxy for me. It's a delight to watch this series in 16.9. I've watched a few complete episodes and I can't understand what the negative reviews are all about. Because of the negative reviews I've watched very carefully to see if I can notice problems due to the cropped picture and I could see no issues whatsoever, the images always looked as if they were intended to be viewed in this format. I also checked picture quality from the last two discs as someone commented these were of poorer quality as there were more episodes per disc. I could see no difference in picture quality. Everything I have so far watched from this Blu-Ray set is stunning picture quality for such an old series and I'm really glad I bought it, although I will hang on to my DVD collection too.