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article imageThunderbirds Are Go . . . again!

By Mathew Wace Peck     Nov 5, 2011 in Entertainment
A 1960s cult-movie “dream sequence” featuring Cliff Richard and the Shadows is being rediscovered via the video-sharing website, YouTube.
The video, which stars Sir Cliff Richard and the Shadows, originally appeared in Thunderbirds Are Go – the 1966 Gerry Anderson Supermarionation* puppet science-fiction movie based on the cult hit television series Thunderbirds. Jim Bessman, who writes for examiner.com, says “[it] is being rediscovered at an opportune time for the legendary British pop star”, whose new album, Soulicious, was released recently.
Bessman says: “Richard, along with Shadows Hank Marvin, Brian Bennett, Bruce Welch and John Rostill, were given Supermarionette facsimiles, which performed a new song, ‘Shooting Star’, for the film [which, as it] takes place in the future, the singer is identified as Cliff Richard, Jr. at the band’s dream sequence gig at an outer space nightclub.”
The Supermarionette group also performed an instrumental piece in the film, called “Lady Penelope”, after the character of that name.
Sir Cliff, who turned 71 on 14 October, told Contactmusic.com that he would “never retire”, but admitted to trying to “slow down”. He said, “While I won’t ever retire – it sounds so serious, that word – I have tried to slow down. I mean, I could stop tomorrow, not announce anything officially and just work when I want to.”
Richard has been performing since the 1950s. The Shadows was created in 1958, as a backing band for Richard, and disbanded in 1968. Since then, they have reformed and disbanded on several occasions. Most recently, from 2008 to 2010, they reformed to go on tour with Sir Cliff.
“5, 4, 3, 2, 1!”
As to the future of Thunderbirds, in January, Gerry Anderson confirmed to Fanderson – the official appreciation society for the work of Gerry Anderson – that he had finalised a deal to make a new series of Thunderbirds.
At the time, Anderson revealed to BBC Radio 5Live that he'd signed a non-disclosure agreement for the time being, adding: "I don't want to sound conceited, but because I'm going to make it...I'm confident that it will be a smash hit!" However, ten months on, details are still thin on the ground.
The January announcement capped a frenetic few days for Anderson, who had been busy promoting the launch of a set of Royal Mail stamps that commemorated the octogenarian's film and television work.
FAB: The Genius of Gerry Anderson” – which comprises six stamps: Joe 90, Captain Scarlet, Thunderbirds, Stingray, Fireball XL5 and Supercar – is available from Royal Mail Shop, priced at £4.29.
* “Supermarionation” is a portmanteau of “super”, “marionette” and “animation”.
Most of Anderson's iconic shows used puppets voiced by actors instead of live action. As well as the Supermarionation shows celebrated in the Royal Mail stamp set, as mentioned above, Anderson also created the Supermarionation series Terrahawks and New Captain Scarlet, and a number of live-action science-fiction drama series such as UFO and Space: 1999.
To date, there have been three Thunderbirds feature films: the aforementioned Thunderbirds Are Go (1966), Thunderbird 6 – both Supermarionation – and the live action Thunderbirds (2004).
More about Gerry anderson, sir cliff richard, Cliff Richard, Thunderbirds, BBC
 
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