HOME   News   Reviews   Adv Search   Features   My DVD   About   Apps   Stats     Search:
  Directed by
  • Full Frame
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • None
  • Featurette - Lady Penelope and Parker
  • Production notes
  • 10 Photo gallery
  • Animated menus
  • Interactive game - Tracy Island map
Thunderbirds Vol. 3
Roadshow Entertainment/Roadshow Entertainment . R4 . COLOR . 200 mins . G . PAL


Bup-ba-da, ba-ba-ba-da-ba... Pass the tub of ice cream and forget about the night out, it's Thunderbirds time again - and I don’t even have to get up at the crack of dawn for it like I used to!

The Brink of Disaster: Warren Grafton, a rather untrustworthy gent who is in charge of overseeing completion of a so far rather ill fated monorail (monorail!), has his sights set on Lady Penelope to provide the financial 'assistance' he needs to complete his job - whether by fair means or foul. Could Mr Tracy, Tin Tin and Brains' trip on the monorail (monorail!) be their last, or will he of the whopperous spectacles be able to save the day? Will Thunderbirds 1 and 2 get to do anything funky in this adventure? Will somebody attempt to rob the Creighton-Ward mansion? Need I have asked that last question?

The Perils of Penelope: Super-boffin Professor Borender, who has helped create a new fuel based on seawater, has gone missing somewhere along the way to Anderbad. Lady Penelope pops over to Paris to meet up with friend of International Rescue, Sir Jeremy Hodge, and together they set off to track him down - hopping a monorail (monorail!) to Anderbad, whilst Parker follows along in the funky pink Rolls FAB1. Aah, but who is this Doctor Godber guy? Will m'lady and her beau get gassed? Will they be able to track down Godber? Did Scott have a pleasant vacation? Why have the Thunderbird craft and Tracy boys got absolutely bugger all to do in this adventure? And will Lady Penelope be rescued from the train tracks in time? (Aaah, you've got to love the classics!)

Terror in New York: Oh brilliant, they're attempting to move the Empire State Building as the land needs redeveloping (will these people that seemingly need to build flats (sorry darlings, "apartments") EVERYWHERE stop at nothing?!) Tracks are built (no monorail (monorail!) this time folks) with the intent of wheeling it to its new position. Needless to say this doesn’t go according to plan, it sort of collapses and two men just may end up drowning. Calling International Rescue! Aah, but will the cutie-pie big chubby green Thunderbird 2 survive a naval attack? Could this be the end of Virgil, our hero with the Liam Gallagher eyebrow? Will photographs of the Thunderbirds craft hit the papers? Will Thunderbird 4 survive? (They really must be more careful with all this expensive equipment!) Will the two guys stuck in the sewers of New York stay alive? Well, at least all the subterranean homesick vampires seem to be hanging in LA these days, so with a little luck and a little IR intervention…

End of the Road: They're building roads through the mountains of Asia with a rather phenomenal Roadbuilder machine (unspoiled nature goes in, bitumen comes out). Eddie Houseman, an old friend of Tin Tin's, is in charge of the operation, and after a quick visit to Tracy Island is now frantically trying to complete things before the onset of the monsoon season. Displaying that lunatic trait that some men possess, the belief that they can beat anything nature has to offer up, he gets himself into a whole stormy mess of trouble and stuck in a truck amidst a rock fall. Will he meet an explosive ending? Will International Rescue risk being unmasked to do the save the day thing yet again? Is everything OK between lovebirds Tin Tin and Alan? And (silly question time) will good ol' TB1 and TB2 succeed without wearing out from overuse whilst the other Thunderbirds craft seemingly remain dormant all the time?

"I say, open this door at once - we're British!"


For a series that is older than myself, and I daresay many reading this review, it's hard to be too nit-picky about the quality of what we're given here visually. Many of the nasties you hear us rabbit on about in these reviews are present - plenty of speckles, a dash of aliasing, some inconsistencies in colour and contrast - however frankly anybody who is going to get in a huff over this is a tosser. Consider for a minute that many shows of this vintage don’t even exist anymore, let alone in colour and still scrubbing up in rather impressive form, and I would hope you that you'll agree. Besides, when you can clearly read the microscopic 'Made in England' legend on a clock, as you can in The Perils of Penelope, you know something remarkable has been done visually.

The audio is where some real magic has been worked. Remixed and remastered into Dolby 5.1, the sound field is not surprisingly rather front-biased, but some lovely things have been done to kick those extra speakers into life when it's apt to do so - craft taking off, trains zooming through tunnels, bullets ricocheting - the works. Anybody such as myself who watched this as a littlie surely would never have conceived that the Thunderbirds could ever sound so crisp and yummy - I mean think about it, this is set in the future years from now and I've seen neither hide nor hair of anything resembling a beautiful little shiny DVD-like disc!

Parting ways with the rather snazzy animated menus to pop into the dramatically billed 'Super Features' section brings up a few fun things to play with. There's a 14-minute featurette on Lady Penelope and Parker, complete with interviews with Gerry Anderson, writer/director Alan Pattillo, David Graham (who lends Lady P's servant his voice) and even the sculptor responsible for Parker. Some great trivia abounds, such as Parker being based on a waiter from the King's Arms pub, and that he is also Mr Anderson's favourite cast member. Sadly though it doesn’t explain why on earth FAB1 has six wheels, or indeed how it manages to turn corners at all. Anyway, the other cool inclusion is a map of Tracy Island, which can be zoomed into using the menu navigation buttons on your remote, and comes complete with information on most of the features of the Tracy family's home base. Otherwise there's the same old Thunderbirds Fact File that was on the first two discs, and another rather superfluous ten picture Stills Gallery.

In all this is another F.A.B. entrant into the Thunderbirds DVD canon, really only marred by the phenomenally rude inclusion of one and a half minutes of ads for TV1 and toys based on the show in the start-up sequence (however at least these can be skipped), the change in font size of Thunderbirds on the spine that makes this look out of place with the first two releases in the series, and if you want to get really nit-picky there's a spelling mistake on the back cover (what does 'secrects' mean?) Still, this isn’t as bad as on the first two discs, which had the rather humourous "Any unauthorised coping..." in the copyright message at the beginning. Spelling-nerds such as myself will be pleased to hear that this has now been fixed...

If you're a fan then it's simple, buy this, it is certain to please. If you're not a fan, or especially if you have somehow never witnessed Thunderbirds, buy or rent any one of the currently available discs and bop your parents around the head with it for depriving you of many simply fabulous childhood memories!

  • LINK: http://www.dvd.net.au/review.cgi?review_id=636
  • Send to a friend.
  • Do YOU want to be a DVDnet reviewer? If so, click here

    Cast your vote here: You must enable cookies to vote.
  •   And I quote...
    "In all this is another F.A.B. entrant into the Thunderbirds DVD canon..."
    - Amy Flower
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Pioneer DV-535
    • TV:
          Sony 68cm
    • Speakers:
          Home Built
    • Surrounds:
          No Name
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard RCA
    • Video Cables:
          Standard Component RCA
      Recent Reviews:
    by Amy Flower

    The Simpsons - Gone Wild
    "Fox get the dartboard out again to compile another haphazard four-episode release of Simpsons episodes… "

    The Commitments: SE
    "A rollicking good flick that manages to be musical without being naff..."

    Placebo - Soulmates Never Die: Live in Paris
    "One for all Nancy Boys and Ashtray Girls to treasure."

    Amazon Women on the Moon
    "...worth a look if you’ve never before had the pleasure. Bullshit, or not?"

    Jack & Sarah
    "Proving that simplicity is no obstruction to brilliance, this is an ultimately sweet (but not sickeningly so) tale that gives all those bigger English films out there a more than respectable run for their money... "

      Related Links
      None listed


    Search for Title/Actor/Director:
    Google Web dvd.net.au
       Copyright © DVDnet. All rights reserved. Site Design by RED 5