It’s all go for television coins with the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who having just passed in 2013, and Star Treks 50th to come in 2016 with the first coins due any day. In between those two comes the 50th anniversary of a show that for me at least, easily stands alongside those two greats; Thunderbirds.
The greatest of Gerry Anderson’s puppet-based creations, Thunderbirds chronicles the adventures of International Rescue, a mysterious rescue organisation using ultra-advanced equipment to save lives. Set in 2065 and run by the Tracy Family, headed by ex-astronaut father Jeff and crewed by his five sons, the 32 episodes filmed are some of the most entertaining of their genre.
Filmed between 1964 and 1966, it used pioneering scale-model special effects sequences in a hybrid filming technique they called “Supermarionation”. One if the most expensive television series of all time when it was filmed, the show spawned two movies in 1966 and 1968. A 2004 live-action movie was also released to a universal critical mauling and rightly so; an absolutely appalling movie that should be avoided like the plague. The new series coming this spring looks like it has potential and lets hope its not just for the kids.
The first coin is depicted below and is a nice start, but keep going for a world-exclusive first-look at the whole series thanks to the New Zealand Mint.
50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THUNDERBIRDS
New Zealand Mint is delighted to release the Thunderbirds 50 Years 1 oz Silver Coin to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the iconic Sci-Fi tv show ‘Thunderbirds’.
Gerry Anderson’s now classic show blasted onto television screens in 1965. Using a unique puppet system known as SuperMarionation, Thunderbirds became an instant hit. Set in the year 2065 on a secret island, the series stars the Tracy family, who together battle the forces of evil as ‘International Rescue’. Included in this line up were five vehicles known as Thunderbirds. Piloted by the talented Tracy brothers, the dynamic combination ensured heroic search and rescue missions in each intrepid episode.
Today Thunderbirds remains one of the most influential British Sci-Fi television shows of its era, and continues to play an influential part in modern culture.
This highly collectible coin has a Limited Mintage of only 5,000 coins. With this release, New Zealand Mint blasts off the 2015 Thunderbirds programme, with six silver coins due for release over the coming months. First up is this official 50th Anniversary coin, in fine gilded silver. Stay tuned for the next exciting release as we count down from 5 to 1.
WORLD EXCLUSIVE: THE NEXT SIX COINS
Making their debut just twelve days ago at the World Money Fair in Berlin, the New Zealand Mint showed the prototypes of the entire seven-coin range of Thunderbirds coins due to be released one-per-month from now until September. Starting off with this first coin, there are currently planned to be five coloured coins depicting the five main Thunderbird craft and their pilots, ending with a ¼oz gold version of the first coin. Thankfully, they’ve chosen the original series as the subjects.
We love them. It’s a nice tight range that’s bang on subject and captures the essence of the show perfectly. If there’s any justice, they’ll be a big hit, and thanks to the guys at the mint, we’ve got a world-exclusive first look at the whole series.
Please bear in mind these are first run prototypes and the release schedule may change.
THE NEW ZEALAND CONNECTION: THUNDERBIRDS 2015
Coming in this 50th anniversary year is a long-awaited new series called Thunderbirds Are Go! The new show will premiere in the Spring and feature all the main cast from the original series done with a mix of CGI and live action model sets.
Only David Graham, the voice of cult favourite chauffeur, Parker, will reprise his role. New voices are headlined by current Hollywood favourite Rosamund Pike, who will be providing the voice of Lady Penelope, as well as Game of Thrones actor, Thomas Sangster Brodie. It appears that early buzz looks good as even before a single episode has aired the series has been picked up for a second season of 26 episodes.
The New Zealand connection is cemented by one of the two main animation studios being based there (Pukeko Pictures), as well as the special effects being undertaken by the highly regarded Kiwi special-effects company, Weta Workshop. It all sounds quite promising as long as the CGI is done right.
The video below gives an early look at the CGI sets that have been designed for the series.
|DENOMINATION||$2 NEW ZEALAND|
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|BOX / COA||YES / YES (SERIALISED)|