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After the special preview screening of “Ring of Fire (Part 1 and Part 2)” at the BFI on 31st of March there was a Q&A with actors Kayvan Novak (Brains), Thomas Brodie-Sangster (Alan) and David Graham (Parker), writer Rob Hoegee and executive producers Estelle Hughes and Giles Ridge. Now there’s a video of it. 

Answers revealed the following information:

  • Because they were asked by CITV and ITV Network to make the show the target audience was kids from 6-11. But unofficially they strived to be a family show.
  • Making the show is truly an international affair. Rob Hoegee writes in the US, with US and UK writers. The voices are recorded in London. In New Zealand all the designs are made and scenes are filmed. This is also where the directors are. The animation is done in China and eventually everything comes back to London for the post production. The sound element is added from the UK.
  • The textures for the CGI elements were actually painted and wheathered for realism. 
  • Kayvan Novak repeats his story of how he wanted to be involved from day 1. 
  • Thomas Brodie-Sangster reveals that Thunderbirds (1965) was his first fandom.
  • Secrecy was paramount in which part of the show was slowly revealed to the audience.
  • Rob Hoegee answers the question about the absense of Jeff Tracy again. Jeff is a huge presense in the world and no the screen. They decided that the show has to be about the boys and Kayo and it would be really hard to just kick Jeff out. So he needed to be in a place where he still had influence, but he wasn’t actually present. In a “What would Dad” do type of situation.
  • The episode “Fireflash” will be a remake of “Trapped in the Sky”“Sun Probe” will not be remade in that sense, but there will be an episode with inspirations from that episode. 
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Rob Hoegee, the main writer of Thunderbirds Are Go (2015) opened himself up for questions on the show on Reddit. People asked him various questions regarding comparisons with the old show, fears of things the new show might do wrong and about the animation/writing business itself. Out of this some very interesting new information arose.

Like always, spoiler alert!!

  • Because I’m totally excited about this I’m gonna post this first. There will be a remake episode of “Trapped in the Sky” and it will feature the Fireflash. As for remaking other episodes they don’t feel they can improve on those.
  • There won’t be an extreme focus on secrecy like the original. This was deemed implausible for today’s age. There also won’t be a focus on journalism or paparazzi.
  • Humorously, when asked about Team America: World Police Rob answered that he always loves everything that Matt and Trey do.
  • The writer acknowledges that he didn’t watch the 2004 movie so if there are any similarities it’s purely co-incidental. He also acknowledges that while he didn’t grow up with the show he did see the original episodes. 
  • About age he mentions that Scott is probably in his beginning 20s and the rest follows the original age gaps between the boys. On Lady Penelope and Brains and the others he says that they kept those vague on purpose so you can fill that in yourself as you like.
  • As with the original they’re trying to show future technology. Some of the originals ideas might be antiquated, but some other ideas seem to actually still be relevant.
  • On the boys’ mother the answer was that there won’t be a mention of her in the episodes written so far and probably if she was going to get mentioned it’d stay at a mention and not a full episode focus.
  • With the old fans in mind, he says that if you look closely, you’ll definitely see nods and winks to the original and other Gerry Anderson productions.
  • They have done a rethink on how pod vehicles work, but he doesn’t want to spoil the changes.
  • While they enjoy going back into the well (original episodes and comics) they do try to think of their own original stories first.
  • While not exactly confirming, Lady Penelope’s FAB1 will not have the Rolls Royce label. Probably just not have a label at all (but that’s just me guessing). 
  • Jeff Tracy will not be in seasons 1 and 2. After that, who knows. He won’t be forgotten because he’s out of sight and he will be mentioned plenty of times.
  • The Tracy Brothers will have a vaguely north American accent. 
  • Season 2 will also feature a two-parter. Due to omission he confirms that the first episode of Season 1 will be its only two-parter.
  • Keeping in mind that the network might air episodes in different order, the focus is mostly on keeping it episodic, with a tiny bit of a character arc throughout the series.
  • John Tracy apparently is very happy living on Thunderbird 5 as he really loves the quiet of space. 
  • Thunderbirds Are Go! will air in the US, but he doesn’t know when. 
  • On music, Rob says that there will probably be familiar cues throughout the series. It’s also going to be as grand and bombastic as the original.
  • Officially the show is going to be for 6-11 year olds, but unofficially they’re trying to make it a family show.
  • Brains will have a robot called MAX (Mechanical Assistant, E(x)perimental).
  • The rescues fall into three different categories: villains, nature, and human error that are balanced out over the series. Human error is going to be people cutting corners to get things finished and ending up in disaster. He says it’s not going to be like too spicy Mexican food or reckless female driving (references to “Path of Destruction” and “City of Fire” respectively).
  • As opposed to the original the characters will be the main focus.

Read the entire Reddit post here.