January 15, 2011

A SINGULAR CONTRIBUTION TO HUMAN HAPPINESS:

Why Thunderbirds is still FAB: Did any person in the 20th century make so many children so happy as Gerry Anderson (Simon Heffer, 1/15/11, The Telegraph)

Mr Anderson made several other series, but nothing has resonated quite like the goings-on at Tracy Island. Thunderbirds has thrilled generations of children. I was not the only father of a certain age who, in the 1990s, made the supreme sacrifice of sitting and minding the small ones in front of the television while they, too, marvelled at the adventures of International Rescue. I bet that if one were to watch most children’s programmes from the 1960s now, they would look impossibly dated and dull. Mr Anderson’s are as fresh as a daisy.

At the time, I was rebuked by my children for having lost along life’s journey so much of the stuff that came with being a Thunderbirds obsessive. None of my model vehicles had made it into my early middle age. Nor had my Thunderbirds books, or my Thunderbirds game, which I seem to recall was about getting The Hood before The Hood got International Rescue.

To make up for this deficiency, a large amount of folding money changed hands in order to bribe a boy slightly older than mine into selling me his model of Thunderbird Two, when one of my children decided that his life would end without it. It was worth every penny. Then there was the hot afternoon in New York when my wife and I chanced upon a shop in Tribeca selling vintage toys, where we bought various rare die-cast models that drove our boys wild with excitement.

Which brings me to ask the inevitable question about Mr Anderson: did any person in the 20th century, even Enid Blyton or Richmal Crompton, make so many children so happy?


For some demented reason the show was not on regularly in NYC except on one of the Latino stations--41 or 47--so we just watched it there (along with bullfighting and El Show del Iris Chacon).

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 15, 2011 3:40 PM
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