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. Andrew Smith
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.
, 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.