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Brit television outfit ITV has announced the return of the Tracy family in Thunderbirds Are Go! - a fresh take on Gerry Anderson's classic puppet series promising "a whole new level of action-adventure animation for today's audience".

Out goes Supermarionation and in comes "CGI animation", although we're promised "live-action model sets", which will pay tribute to "the legacy of model locations from the classic series".

That's according to NZ-based Weta Workshop, which with sister company Pukeko Pictures, will collaborate with ITV Studios to bring 26 half-hour episodes to the small screen in 2015.

Richard Taylor, co-owner of Pukeko Pictures and Weta Workshop, enthused: "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."

ITV Studios UK supremo Denise O'Donoghue joined the love in with: "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 fifty years."

Gerry Anderson died last year at 83, so he sadly won't be around to pass judgement on the stringless, computer-generated Tracy clan. He deliciously described the 2004 live-action movie adaptation of Thunderbirds as "the biggest load of crap I have ever seen in my entire life". ®

Bootnote

* Derek Meddings was special effect head honcho on Thunderbirds, while Mike Trimm worked as a modelmaker and designer on the series.

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