Thunderbirds, the ’60s television show about a family of do-gooders who used their stable of homemade rescue vehicles to help people in need, has been revived a couple of times since the original series finale aired in 1966. There was an anime re-imagining in the ’80s, and even a live-action movie version starring Ben Kingsley as a telekinetic supervillain in 2004. The brand has been quiet for a while now, but a remake called Thunderbirds Are Go! is being readied to air on ITV in Britain.
Thunderbirds is probably best known for its jerky yet charming aesthetic, a look achieved by filming marionette actors running around miniature sets. Trey Parker and Matt Stone aped the “Supermarionation” style of Thunderbirds for their own Team America: World Police, which will likely provide the best point of reference for all those who missed the original show. ITV Studios has enlisted Weta Workshop to handle the special effects on Thunderbirds Are Go!, which will use digital characters rather than marionettes. If this promotional image is anything to go by, the new show risks stranding viewers deep in the uncanny valley, where no one—not even the International Rescue team—can hear them scream.
The teaser above doesn’t tell viewers a whole lot about what the new show will be like, other than it appears that International Rescue still maintains a space station and picks up distress calls. But the details are sure to be filled in when Thunderbirds Are Go! debuts this spring, exactly 50 years after the original show came on the air.