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Soundtrack review: Thunderbirds are go (volume 1) (Ben Foster & Nick Foster – 2016)

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Soundtrack review: Thunderbirds are go (volume 1) (Ben Foster & Nick Foster – 2016)

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“Thunderbirds Are Go” is an animated science fiction television programme produced by ITV Studios and Pukeko Pictures. It is a remake of the 1960s television series Thunderbirds created by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson that follows the exploits of the Tracy family, five brothers who form the front line members of International Rescue, a secret life-saving organisation equipped with technologically advanced crafts for sea, land, air and space rescue; central to these is a fleet of five vehicles named the Thunderbirds. Ben Foster and Nick Foster wrote the score and this is a review for the music of the first season.

I do hope it’s a coherent affair, sound wise, because although just a little over 77 minutes long the score has no fewer than 57 cues. I am more particular to longer cues myself but when it starts with a cracking orchestral theme like “10000 feet and climbing” I just don’t care anymore and just enjoy the infectious stride of the music. “Thunderbirds march” is next and it’s just as spectacular and inspirational and it somehow makes me think of the bold adventure sound of decades ago. I wonder if the composers can keep this trailer like infusion of epic for the duration of the score; there are fanfares that make me want to get up from my chair and run and motifs that just make me happy that there are so many cues. The composers seem to just go for it, balls to the walls action and I actually want to see a show with music like this. There are even moments when I get a pure James Bond vibe. I also feel like humming the main theme as it reminds me of themes like “The A-team” or “MacGyver”.

Honestly I didn’t think I could enjoy a score like this, so long and fragmented, as much as I did. When the music is great though, it really doesn’t matter how it’s divided or how long the cues are; it matters that I grew up dreaming while watching TV shows where heroes were saving the situation or the world even on music like this, heroic, inspirational, optimistic and catchy and there are cues inside the first volume of “Thunderbirds are go” that bring nostalgia and motivation. And the fact that there are so many different moments to choose from, some funky, some epic, some suspenseful, other dreamy or romantic makes this collection of music a wonderful album to have in your collection, whether you have an emotional connection with the world of “Thunderbirds” or not.

Cue rating: 93 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 50 / 78

Album excellence: 64%

Highlights:
10,000 Feet and Climbing
Thunderbirds March
The Launch
Seaquake
An International Rescue
Previously on Thunderbirds Are Go
Halo Jump
Tracy Island
Thunderbirds Triumphant
Space Junk
The Grey Ninja
The Mole Digs In
Major Landing Gear Fail
Fireflash Landing
If I Don’t Make It
Mission Accomplished
Save One Life: Then Save the World
The Train That Couldn’t Slow Down
Meanwhile, On Tracy Island
It’s a Runaway !Ned Tedford at the Helm
A Rock in Space
Alan Around the World
A True Tracy
At the Pyramid of the Laughing King
Into the TempleIt’s Now or Never
Thunderbird 2 Is Going Down
Crisis Averted
The Continuing Woes of Ned Tedford
Fab1 Versus the Hoodlum
A Giant Theme Park of Science
Whirlpool
The Gravity Well
Tracy Brothers to the Rescue
Closing Titles

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Mihnea Manduteanu

I have been listening to film music for 25 years and writing about it since 2014. I've written over 1000 reviews and I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I am also a member of IFMCA (International Film Music Critics Association).

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