Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Casting a 60's THUNDERBIRDS movie...

   Yes, it's a completely pointless exercise to imagine the production of a movie that was never produced. Let me start off by admitting to just that. While the teleseries Thunderbirds spawned two feature films (THUNDERBIRDS ARE GO, and THUNDERBIRD 6), a live-action version of the property wouldn't happen until decades later (and the less said about that mess, the better).

   Recently, I finally saw the 1966 spy epic KISS THE GIRLS AND MAKE THEM DIE, which starred Mike Connors as a secret agent out to uncover the mystery behind a millionaire's bevy of beautiful women. Said mystery holds the world in the balance, as you might well imagine.

   In the film, Dorothy Provine and Terry-Thomas essentially play Lady Penelope and Parker of Thunderbirds fame, complete with gadget-laden Rolls Royce! That made me notice that star Connors would have made a good Scott Tracy in a live-action Thunderbirds movie, and that got my brain cells to leaping....

   Thunderbirds was Gerry Anderson's most beloved and visible series to be filmed in Supermarionation. Being an hour show as opposed to half hour like his other "puppet" shows, the characters were much more developed than we usually saw. Casting them with period actors would be very easy. So....

SCOTT TRACY: Now, as weird as it would be to have that character minus Shane Rimmer's voice, I've already noted that Mike Connors would make for a pretty good live-action Scott.

VIRGIL TRACY: While watching CODE NAME "JAGUAR" I was struck by how perfect a Virgil Ray Danton would have made. Not only does he favor the puppet, but sports a similar deep voice.

JEFF TRACY: The patriarch of the Tracy family was based upon Bonanza's Lorne Greene, so that casting choice would have been obvious.

ALAN TRACY: For the youngest Tracy, I'm thinking 60's heartthrob Fabian. 

GORDON TRACY: For the aquanaut pilot of Thunderbird 4, I thought of one of my favorites: Richard Jaeckel.

JOHN TRACY: Nick Adams.

LADY PENELOPE: As noted, Dorothy Provine (although her English accent was questionable).


PARKER: Terry-Thomas didn't look exactly like the character, but after seeing the film I did, he would have handled the part neatly.


TIN-TIN: I thought of exotic TV actress Wende Wagner for Alan's girlfriend.

BRAINS: I suppose Wally Cox would have been the obvious choice.... 

KYRANO: James Hong in old-age make-up.

The HOOD: I think he was based on Torin Thatcher to begin with, so...

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