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Soundtrack review: Thunderbirds are go (volume 2) (Ben Foster & Nick Foster – 2017)

Film scores

Soundtrack review: Thunderbirds are go (volume 2) (Ben Foster & Nick Foster – 2017)

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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 second season. I really enjoyed the music of the first season so the huge number of cues (52) doesn’t worry me anymore.

Right from the start it’s like I never left as “Space hotel” picks up right where the first season left. I am also glad to hear the “Thunderbirds march” in this one as well. They anchor this show back into my mind and even if I wasn’t familiar with the show or its sound from the 1960’s I feel it as something very familiar now. I am happy that Ben Foster and Nick Foster decided to stick with the sound that made the first season of the show (and, I imagine, the older series as well) work so well. In this second season the music is a bit more complex and emotional and whimsical moments like “Best birthday ever” appear more often than last year. It’s quite telling how special the sound of “Thunderbirds” is if a year after I am still hungry for 80 minutes worth as if I haven’t heard something similar all year. Another good thing is that if you are not at all familiar with the sound of this show or you haven’t heard last year’s album you can start with this one and nothing is lost, the experience is the same.

It’s not easy to choose favourites from this score as great motifs pop up everywhere like mushrooms after the rain. Do I like more the sweet piano of “Pilot Aidan Williams” or the fairy tale sound of “Best birthday ever”? Do I want to hear more of the flute section in “Underwater rescue” and “Let’s talk tea” or of the epic “Brace for impact”? Maybe the romantic Bond like “A perfect storm”? How about I settle for everything? Yeah I could listen to this score starting no matter when and still enjoy it and I could listen to 30 cues or 5 cues and they would still leave me with a wide smile on my face. Delightful from beginning to end this score builds on the legacy of “Thunderbirds”.

Cue rating: 92 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 51 / 78

Album excellence: 65%

Highlights:
01 Space Hotel
02 Thunderbirds March
03 Thunderbird 3 Launch_Kayo On Board
05 Captain Taylor
06 Prepare For Lazer Quest ! _ It’s My Home
08 Three Six
09 Thanks For All The Memories
14 Best Birthday Ever
15 The Hood Maleficent
17 Nab That Blighter !
18 Brace For Impact
21 I Miss Him
23 Max The Hero
24 Pilot Aidan Williams
25 Underwater Rescue
27 Containment Field Compromised
29 Promise To A Father
30 Thunderbird 3 Rescue
31 Is it a Bird _ Is it a Plane _ No, it’s an Alan
32 The Parker School Of Motoring
34 FAB Zero _ A Pair Of Undesirables
36 Lady Sylvia
41 Afterburners On !
42 Waxed And Detailed
44 The Heist
45 Kayo’s Theme _ Kayo’s Secret
46 A Perfect Storm
48 Max Versus The Hoodlums _ The Hood Versus Kayo
50 The Final Push
51 After The Storm _ What’s Coming Next
52 Closing Titles – minor version

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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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