1. ITV Report

Thunderbirds are (almost) go! Crowdfunding project to bring the puppets back is taking off

Barry Davies is already working on creating the puppets for the new episodes. Photo: ITV News

A bid to bring 1960s-series Thunderbirds back to the small screen is underway and man from the Rhondda Valley is hoping he can help bring the puppets back to life.

Barry Davies, from Ferndale, is one of those behind a project to create new episodes of the popular children's series using audio-only stories released on LPs and recreating the Tracy family, as well as Lady Penelope and her chauffeur, Parker, using original mouldings.

Barry Davies is one of the men behind the bid to bring Thunderbirds puppets back to our screens. Credit: ITV News

This will be a brand new episode of Thunderbirds. People have been waiting a long, long time for a new episode of Thunderbirds and I'm sure it will be a good success.

– Barry Davies

The Thunderbirds 1965 project launched on crowd-funding site Kickstarter just a few months ago and has already surpassed its original £75,000 target. It's now hoped fans will help fund three new episodes. Those donating will also received a DVD-Blu-Ray of the finished collection.

Barry has already recreated the puppets of Lady Penelope and her chauffeur Parker. Credit: ITV News

Barry learned his Supermarionation (a puppetry technique devised in the 1960s) skills from the original Thunderbirds' chief puppeteer and worked for the show's creator Gerry Anderson on various projects. He'll be building the puppets as well as creating and installing the mechanisms inside the heads which make the lips move.

You get so much CGI on television these days and it is very good, but these are physical things. People still like to see physical things and they are a bit quirky puppets, they are a bit jerky and that's part of the charm.

With puppets, particularly caricatures, they are larger than life. The exaggerated voices and the characters, like Parker for example, is a very well developed character. Everybody instantly is like 'Parker.'

– Barry Davies
Barry is also making the electronics which go inside the puppets' heads to make the lips move. Credit: ITV News