I’ve been looking forward to a new, live-action film of the model-and-puppet based Thunderbirds television series for years now. The rumours have flitted around, green lights have been given and then burned out. Finally it seems the movie will, as the Americans say, get a theatrical release in 2004.

The creator of the original “Supermarionation” TV series, Gerry Anderson, is reported to be unhappy about the way the widescreen, human-piloted version has been developing. Although most people, including me, had expected the film to be tongue-in-cheek I’m surprised at the form the humour seems to be taking. It certainly looks like the production is going to be funny, though perhaps not for the reasons either Mr Anderson or I or most of the Thunderbird fanboys had imagined.

I planned to ‘Blog the entertaining online trailers for the film some weeks ago, but I held off until they became available in lots of formats. Now that they are, watch the “Extended Teaser Trailer 2” on this page and witness perhaps the gayest movie preview ever made. There is a priceless cut from Lady Penelope, dressed in pink, greeting the gathered Tracy brethren with the words “Hello, boys”, to the boys themselves retreating into individual hydraulic closets in the wall whence they are whisked off to pilot their enormous, acid-coloured phal—I mean space vehicles—on a mission to save the World. Opposite these pretty, clean-cut American boy-band-alikes in jumpsuits, the villain is, of course, a suspicious-looking middle-aged Englishman: Ben Kingsley as The Hood. According to the plot summaries I’ve seen, The Hood’s goal is to get his hands on their rockets.